Tax news May 2013

Tax

Tax Breaks for Film Producers Lure 'Star Wars' to United Kingdom

It was recently announced that Walt Disney Company–owned Lucasfilm Ltd. is planning to shoot and produce the next Star Wars movie in the United Kingdom. Chancellor George Osborne said the announcement is "clear evidence" the country's film tax incentives are working.
Tax

IRS Grant Helps Organizations Provide Free Tax Help to Seniors

The IRS TCE program offers free tax help to individuals who are sixty or older. The IRS provides grants to eligible organizations, which use the funding to purchase equipment and to reimburse volunteers for out-of-pocket expenses.
Tax

Justice Department Investigating IRS' Targeting of Conservative Groups

Attorney General Eric Holder is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, one day after he announced the Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation of the IRS for improperly scrutinizing the tax-exempt status of groups with conservative titles, such as "tea party" or "patriot," in their applications.
Tax

GAO Identifies Weak Links in IRS' Internal Controls

It hasn't been a very good week for the IRS. First, a firestorm has erupted over its efforts to target conservative "tea party" groups applying for tax-exempt status. Now the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a new report saying that the IRS has to improve its internal controls.
Tax

2013 NFL Draft: Who's #1 . . . After Income Taxes?

Nobody wants to come in second instead of first. But depending on how the pieces of the tax puzzle fit together, second place could be a lot more profitable. Take a look at this recent scenario in which the number two draft choice netted well over a quarter million dollars more than the number one.
Tax

Obama: IRS' Targeting of Conservative Groups 'Outrageous'

President Barack Obama says he will not tolerate political bias at the IRS and promised to get to the bottom of the agency's admitted targeting of conservative groups. The IRS apologized on May 10 for scrutinizing the tax-exempt status of groups with conservative titles, such as "tea party" or "patriot," in their names.
Tax

IRS Announces Plan to Share Tax Data with Brits and Aussies

The United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom have announced a collaborative effort to share tax information from a multitude of trusts and companies holding assets on behalf of residents from far-flung places.
Tax

Pew Survey: One-Third of Americans Like Doing Their Taxes

While many people believe doing their income taxes is a hassle, a recent survey from the Pew Research Center shows that a good portion of Americans don’t mind the process.
Tax

Update: Lauryn Hill’s Tax Case Leads to Prison

Last month, Grammy-winner Lauryn Hill asked the judge in her tax evasion case for probation. Not because she is a celebrity but because she wanted to work in order to pay the taxes she admitted owing. Things didn't turn out exactly as Hill planned.
Tax

Internet Sales Tax Clears Senate Hurdle

New legislation authorizing the states to collect sales tax from companies peddling their wares online breezed through the Senate on May 6 by a wide 69-27 margin. But the Marketplace Fairness Act is expected to face much tougher opposition in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
Tax

Limits of Health Savings Accounts to Increase in 2014

For calendar year 2014, the annual limitation on deductions under §223(b)(2)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code for an individual with self-only coverage under a high-deductible health plan is $3,300, up from $3,250 in 2013.
Tax

Tax Reform? Mortgage Interest Is All About Location

According to a new study, the amount of the mortgage interest deduction for taxpayers differs widely across the country, with the biggest deductions claimed by those living along the east and west coasts.
Tax

Crime Watch: May 2, 2013

A federal court in Los Angeles has entered an order permanently barring John Trunzo from preparing federal income tax returns and other tax-related documents for others, the Justice Department announced April 30.
Tax

IRS Seeks Applications for the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council

The IRS announced it is accepting applications for the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC). Applications will be accepted through June 14, 2013.
Tax

IRS Summons Wells Fargo for Data on Offshore Accounts

A ruling in a San Francisco federal court on April 29 allows the IRS to seek information on US taxpayers who may have offshore bank accounts in the Caribbean. Judge Thelton E. Henderson authorized the IRS to serve a "John Doe" summons on financial services firm Wells Fargo & Co.

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