Tax news April 2008

Tax

Legislation would eliminate fees for e-filing

Software firms that handle online tax filing may lose the fees they’ve been collecting for the service under legislation developed by Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer of New York and Daniel Akaka of Hawaii.Their bill would require the IRS to allow all Americans to file their returns electronically at no charge. The senators say this would save taxpayers roughly $1.2 billion a year.
Tax

IRS speeds up rebate schedule

The Internal Revenue Service has stepped up the pace of transferring economic stimulus payments to millions of Americans, some of whom have already seen payments in their bank accounts.The IRS will issue payments of up to $600 ($1,200 for married couples) plus $300 for eligible children younger than 17, throughout the spring and summer. The first wave of payments will go to people who opted for direct deposit on their 2007 income tax returns."People who chose direct deposit will receive their economic stimulus payments the quickest," IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said.
Tax

CPAs offer advice on how to spend tax refund

Many tax filers stress over completing the return on time and mailing it before incurring any penalty from the IRS, so they often do not consider all of the options available to smartly spend or save any refund. The Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) offers a few suggestions that will allow you to enjoy your refund for years to come.Invest in something you enjoy.
Tax

AICPA offers tips for tax savings

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants advises taxpayers to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the nation's tax laws to save money. The AICPA published these tips to coincide with last week's celebration of the day American taxpayers stop working for the federal government and start working for themselves, according to the Tax Institute, which annually calculates Tax Freedom Day.Tom Ochsenschlager, AICPA vice president of taxation, says, "Take Uncle Sam up on his offer!
A&A

IRS launches campaign to help new small businesses

The Internal Revenue Service has launched a year-long campaign to help educate new self-employed small business owners about federal tax responsibilities and about filing Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business.One of the biggest challenges faced by people starting out in business is understanding and meeting their tax filing requirements," said Kathy Petronchak, commissioner of the IRS's Small Business/Self-Employed operating division. "It's a new, different and potentially overwhelming experience for them.
Tax

Wesley Snipes gets prison time for tax crimes

Saying Wesley Snipes showed "contempt," a Florida judge sentenced the actor to three years in prison for failing to file income tax returns."These are serious crimes, albeit misdemeanors, because he has a history of contempt over time," said U.S. District Court Judge William Terrell Hodges during Snipes's sentencing hearing in Ocala, FL Thursday.Hodges sentenced Snipes to the maximum sentence, one year for each misdemeanor count, to be served consecutively, Bloomberg reported.
Tax

KPMG establishes IFRS institute to foster smooth adoption in the united states of international financial reporting standards

KPMG Seeks to Initiate Stakeholder Dialogue Around Global Accounting ModelNEW YORK, APRIL 22 – KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm, today announced the establishment of the KPMG IFRS Institute to raise awareness and address the information needs of companies, investors, academics and others who may be affected by a transition by U.S. companies to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).“As companies expand their reach and economies globalize, the ability to compare financial statements across borders has become imperative.
Tax

9 tips for keeping in touch with your tax clients year-round

Tax season is over, you've delivered the tax returns, put the files away, sent your invoices, caught your breath, and have told all your tax clients you'll see them next spring, right? Whoa! You don't have to wait until there's more snow on the ground to contact your tax clients. This year, make a post-tax season resolution to stay in touch all year. Your tax clients will know how much you care about them and won't consider looking for a different accountant next year, and who knows?
A&A

Choosing a business structure

Many small businesses start to rethink their business structure at this time of year, right after filing a tax return and learning how much tax they owe for the preceeding year.
Tax

Texas strip club pole tax struck down

The famous pole tax imposed at the beginning of the year on visitors to Texas strip clubs has been struck down as unconstitutional.On March 28th, District Judge Scott Jenkins concluded that the tax, "while furthering laudable goals," violates the Constitution's First Amendment protection for freedom of expression, reported Associated Press.The tax was introduced on January 1st an
Tax

Business Tax Index 2008 ranks state tax systems

With April 15, "Tax Day," just behind us, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) has published the "Business Tax Index 2008: Best to Worst State Tax Systems for Entrepreneurship and Small Business," ranking the states according to the costs of their tax systems for small business start up and growth.SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan said, "Entrepreneurs and small businesses have to struggle every day with the costs of taxation, which affect a wide array of decisions, including hiring, investment, expansion, and location.
Tax

Tax season is over, but 2008 tax planning is just beginning

While the tax season rush has now cooled, individuals shouldn't be putting tax season behind them just yet. Now's the time for taxpayers to take a look at their 2008 tax situation and start making changes to help minimize their tax come next tax season, according to CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business and a leading provider of tax, accounting and audit information, software and services. "Too many people give a big sigh of relief, shove a copy of their tax return in a drawer, and forget about taxes until next year.
Tax

AICPA applauds House action on tax provisions

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed two provisions that the accounting profession has strongly urged Congress to adopt. One provision would restore the proper relationship between tax preparers and taxpayers by equalizing IRS disclosure standards. The other provision would free businesses from onerous recordkeeping requirements for cell phones. The provisions are included in H.R. 5719, the "Taxpayer Assistance and Simplification Act of 2008," passed by the House on April 15.
Tax

Taxpayer rights legislation passes in House

Once again on Tax Day, April 15, lawmakers in the House of Representatives, approved by a vote of 238 to 179 a measure designed to simplify the tax code and make it more fair, according to the bill's sponsors, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Tax

IRS agent who went missing in December takes own life

An IRS agent in San Rafael, CA, who did not return from a hike in December, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot more than a month later on Mount Tamalpais.The Marin County coroner's office identified the body on January 15 as that of missing IRS criminal investigator Veronica "Nikki" Ruiz, 25, who was last seen December 3, two days after she and her boyfriend of two years broke up.
A&A

IRS shifting audit focus to small corporations from largest corporations

The number of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) field audits of the nation's largest corporations, companies with more than $250 million in assets, declined from 4,693 in 2005 to 3,308 in 2007, while the IRS has told Congress that the number of audits of all corporations has increased, according to the latest report from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC).
Tax

IRS issues draft instructions for 2008 Form 990

The Internal Revenue Service recently released for public comment the draft instructions to the 2008 Form 990, which is the return most tax-exempt organizations must file annually.The instructions apply to the redesigned Form 990 that organizations will file for their 2008 tax years (returns filed in 2009).
Tax

As deadline looms, CPA financial planners offer their favorite last-minute tax tips

The clock is ticking, and taxpayers have only days left to file their 2007 returns.To help them as they race toward the April 15 deadline, CPAs holding the Personal Financial Specialist (CPA/PFS) credential of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants offer their favorite last-minute tax tips:If you cannot deduct a contribution to a traditional IRA, always make a Roth IRA contribution instead.
Tax

Tax credit for buying foreclosed properties debated in Senate

The Senate is debating a $7,000 tax credit designed to help sell foreclosed homes and the proposal is getting a chilly reception from both the Bush administration and Democrats in the House.Primarily sponsored by Republicans, the $7,000 tax credit is designed to stabilize home prices and keep neglected houses from dragging down neighborhoods, the Associated Press reports. But economists point out that banks could be more likely to foreclose on a house instead of working with a homeowner who is delinquent on mortgage payments.
Tax

IRS opens again on Saturday; extra personnel required to handle rebate issues

Going into the final weekend of the tax season, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) personnel are working long hours managing the rebate ripple effect. The agency has taken about 1,500 employees off their regular jobs to handle rebate-related calls, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration's (TIGTA) interim report. The IRS also expects to pay for overtime and extend the employment of "seasonal" workers because of the added workload, the Washington Post reports.

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