Tax news December 2007

Tax

Survey says tax prep fees are a bargain

The cost to hire a professional tax preparer is still economical, according to the National Society of Accountants (NSA).The NSA biennial survey of nearly 8,000 qualified tax preparers showed that the average tax preparation fee for an itemized Form 1040 with Schedule A and a state tax return increased less than 2 percent during the past two years – rising from $201 to $205.Rates for other services also remained low – the average cost to prepare a Form 1040 and state return without itemized deductions is only $115, up from $110 two years ago."The tax code is more complicated than
Tax

IRS announces delay of tax return processing

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that the upcoming tax season is expected to start on time for everyone except certain taxpayers potentially affected by late enactment of the Alternative Minimum Tax patch legislation.Following extensive work in recent weeks, the IRS expects to be able to begin processing returns for the vast majority of taxpayers in mid-January.
Tax

New sin tax greets Texans in 2008

In the continuing effort to raise taxes and increase state coffers, Texas has added a new tax to the mix. The tax is to be assessed on customers of strip clubs. Proceeds from the new tax, which some are calling the Pole Tax, will help victims of rape.Effective January 1, 2008, Texas will require strip clubs to collect a $5-per-customer levy. Club owners are arguing that the tax infringes on their First Amendment right to freedom of expression, that it will drive some bars out of business, and that it unfairly links their industry to sex crimes."We'll be fine.
Tax

Bush signs AMT fix - millions saved from tax increase

On Wednesday, President Bush signed the House legislation that provides a one-year patch for the Alternative Minimum Tax, keeping an estimated 23 million taxpayers from an unexpected tax increase of approximately $2,000.
Tax

IRS releases newly designed Form 990 for 2008

The IRS has issued an updated version of Form 990, the return that charities and other tax-exempt organizations are required to file annually, and has provided transition relief so that small exempt organizations will have time to adjust to the new form. "When we released the redesigned draft form this past June, we said we needed a Form 990 that reflects the way this growing sector operates in the 21st century," said Steven T. Miller, commissioner of the IRS' Tax Exempt and Government Entities division.
Tax

Psychic joins hunt for missing IRS agent

Veronica "Nikki" Ruiz, 25, a criminal investigator for the IRS, has been missing in the mountains outside of Mill Valley, California since December 3.Family, friends, and co-workers refuse to give up the search for the missing agent, and have now enlisted the aid of a psychic. Jeffrey Baker, a Colorado-based empath and spiritual healer, thus far has been unable to pinpoint the location of Ruiz, believed to be lost in the Mt. Tamalpais region. "There are more than 25,000 acres," said Baker.
Tax

IRS gets busy with AMT patch

The Internal Revenue Service has announced it will immediately begin the final reprogramming steps for its income tax processing systems to prepare for the upcoming tax season following final passage of the Alternative Minimum Tax patch Wednesday by the House of Representatives."Our people will do everything they can to quickly update our systems for this major change and make this filing season as smooth as possible for everyone," said Linda Stiff, IRS Acting Commissioner.
A&A

Small business forecast for 2008

For over 80 years now, the Kiplinger organization has been providing insights into business forecasting and finance. Kiplinger was actually founded in 1920 by W.M. Kiplinger and in 1923, The Kiplinger Letter was launched and the company began producing the nation’s first newsletter. Our featured guest in this episode of Small Business Trends Radio is Matthew Mogul, Associate Editor of Kiplinger Business Forecast. Matthew provides business insights for the coming year and discusses a variety of issues that may have an effect on small businesses.
Tax

Senate won't yield on AMT legislation - bill goes back to the House

The clock continues to tick on the Alternative Minimum Tax patch as this year comes to a close and weary legislators are anxious to get home to their families. In a late night session on Tuesday, December 18, the Senate voted 48-46 in favor of a House bill that would halt the spread of the AMT to the middle class and increase taxes elsewhere to pay for the amount the Democrats are claiming the government will lose if the AMT is restricted.
Tax

IRS expands Fast Track Settlement program

The Internal Revenue Service has announced it is expanding the number of test areas for the Fast Track Settlement program for taxpayers under examination by the Small Business/Self-Employed Division.The settlement program is now available for small businesses and self-employed taxpayers until Sept. 5, 2008, in five new areas, including Philadelphia, central New Jersey, San Diego, Laguna Nigel, CA, and Riverside, CA.The Fast Track program is continuing in the three original test cities of Chicago, Houston, and St.
Tax

House AMT relief bill passes - political wrangling continues

This week, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) introduced the AMT Relief Act of 2007, new legislation that would provide a one-year fix to the alternative minimum tax (AMT) currently poised to affect an estimated 23 million taxpayers. Congressman Rangel's bill, H.R.4351, passed in the House at 6:45 p.m.
Technology

AICPA tax veep to participate in live small business tax Web chat

AICPA Vice President of Taxation Thomas P. Ochsenschlager will answer questions Thursday, December 20, from 1:00 p.m.
Tax

Lawmakers vow to pass AMT fix before year-end

Late last week the Senate passed legislation to halt the impending increase in the Alternative Minimum Tax, currently poised to affect more than 23 million Americans on their 2007 income tax returns.The Senate legislation is in direct contrast to legislation passed earlier in the House, the large difference between the two factions being the reaction to the philosophical intent of the AMT.
Tax

IRS agent missing in California

Veronica "Nikki" Ruiz, 25, a criminal investigator for the IRS, is missing in the mountains outside of Mill Valley, California.Ruiz, a resident of Mill Valley, was last seen on Monday, December 3. It is believed she was sighted Monday morning at the Blithedale Trail entrance at Mt. Tamalpais and an hour later at the nearby West Point Inn. Family members and friends report that she told several people she was planning on hiking near Mt.
Technology

What to look for in small-end tax prep software for 2007

The best selling tax preparation software packages, Intuit's TurboTax, H&R Block's TaxCut and 2nd Story Software's TaxACT are now available for 2007 both online and in CDs or downloads.
Tax

Introducing AccountingWEB's Tax Zone

In an effort to bring a variety of tax resources to our readers, AccountingWEB is pleased to introduce our Tax Zone, an area of our Web site dedicated to tax news, tips, and resources. Look around, tell us what you think. Send your requests and watch this site grow. Here is a roadmap of what you'll find in our new Tax Zone.Tax NewsThis area of the Tax Zone summarizes the current tax news stories that are important to you and your business.