Tax news | AccountingWEB

Tax news


Treasury Department Investigators Find IRS Customer Service Inadequate

The good news is that taxpayers are using the 500 taxpayer assistance centers the Internal Revenue Service has set up around the country. The bad news is there’s about a 50-50 chance they will get incorrect answers to their tax law questions.The subjects of earned income tax credit, education credit and dependents generated the most incorrect answers from IRS employees, according to a study conducted by Treasury Department investigators between July and December of last year.
Education & Careers

Good News For Students From The IRS

IRS Press Release - Sept. 2, 2003 Worried about the rising cost of tuition? Well, the IRS has good news for students that may provide you with a little extra money while you're in school and even after graduation.Students are entitled to as much as $5,250 in employer-provided educational assistance -- tax free! This tax benefit applies to both undergraduate- and graduate-level courses.Some people may deduct up to $3,000 of qualified higher education expenses, even if they don't itemize deductions on Form 1040, Schedule A.

Teachers Should Save Receipts for Educator's Deduction

IRS Press Release - Sept. 2, 2003 As the new school year begins, the Internal Revenue Service reminds teachers and other educators to save their receipts for purchases of books and classroom supplies. These out-of-pocket expenses may lower their 2003 taxes.The deduction is available to eligible educators in public or private elementary or secondary schools.
Education & Careers

Back-to-School Tax Breaks, Educator's Deductions

Another school year is in full swing. Whichever side of the desk you sit on, you may find some tax benefits waiting for you.

Tax Lawyers Exit Big Four, Head For Law Firms

Six high profile tax attorneys have left the Washington National Tax Services office of Big Four firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, and have landed at DC law firm Shaw Pittman. Is this the start of a trend? Shaw Pittman thinks it is."We are thrilled to be on the cutting edge of the trend of top attorneys moving from a Big Four accounting firm to an AmLaw 100 law firm," said Stephen B. Huttler, managing partner at Shaw Pittman. The firm has just added the six lawyers to its national tax law practice.Michael F.

Virginia Tax Amnesty Program Underway

The State of Virginia has launched a tax amnesty program with hopes of padding the coffers of an overstretched budget. The program, which runs from now until November 3, offers some enticing incentives for those who owe back taxes to the state.Amnesty for Delinquent Taxpayers allows Virginia taxpayers the option of paying back taxes during the amnesty program. Penalties on such payments will be waived and interest will be cut in half. If taxpayers can't pay the full amount of back taxes, they can apply the amnesty incentives to just the part of tax that they are able pay.

Debit Cards Facilitate Use of Flexible-Spending Accounts

Flexible spending plans offered by some corporations just got a whole lot easier to use with new rules allowing debit cards to track the use of pretax dollars employees put away to pay for medical expenses not covered by health plans. The IRS recently permitted the use of debit cards to cut down on the paperwork usually involved in taking advantage of these flexible-spending plans offered by many employers. These plans allow employees to put a portion of their pretax salary away for anticipated medical expenses during the year.

Colorado Surpasses Expectations With Tax Amnesty Windfall

When officials from the State of Colorado announced a tax amnesty program for the month of June, they were hoping that the program would collect over $5 million in back taxes from delinquent taxpayers. The results are now in, and officials are delighted.The final tally for Colorado's "Deadline: June - Pay the Tax or Pay the Max!" amnesty program is $23.4 million collected from almost 3,000 individuals and businesses.

RIA's GoSystem Teams up With India-Based Tax Preparation Outsourcer

RIA, the publisher of GoSystem Tax RS, a Web based tax compliance software for tax professionals, has formed a strategic alliance with G.K. Management Services (India) Pvt Limited (GKM) to provide outsourcing services for tax professionals.Because of high labor costs and staffing challenges facing CPA firms during tax season, outsourcing U.S. tax returns to tax preparation services in India has been a growing trend for a number of years. U.S.

IRS Offers Weekly Electronic Newsletter for Tax Professionals

Press ReleaseThe IRS is now publishing the Digital Dispatch on a weekly basis instead of biweekly. By sending the e-mail dispatch out each week, the IRS can better help tax professionals stay current with important new developments. The Digital Dispatch is a newsletter for tax professionals e-mailed to 100,000 subscribers, free of charge.

Tax Protester Wins Battle Against IRS

Last week a Federal Express pilot won a battle with the IRS over the popular tax protester issue of where it states in the law that people are required to pay income taxes. A federal court in Memphis ruled in favor of Vernice Kuglin who has refused to pay federal income tax for nearly a decade.The issue decided by the Memphis jury was actually not whether or not Ms. Kuglin owed taxes on $920,000 of income earned in the years 1996 to 2001. While Ms.

IRS Announces Application Fee for Offers in Compromise

IRS Press ReleaseBeginning November 1, 2003, the Internal Revenue Service will charge a $150 application fee for the processing of offers in compromise. The IRS expects that this fee will help offset the cost of providing this service, as well as reduce frivolous claims.The law authorizes federal agencies to charge fees to defray the costs of providing certain services. Guidelines encourage such fees for benefits beyond those provided to the general public.

Kinder, Gentler IRS Gives Automatic Blackout Extension

Much like the tax relief measures instituted by the Internal Revenue Service after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, an automatic extension of time to file tax returns has been granted by the IRS to victims of the August 14 power outage that affected several northeastern states.For taxpayers affected by the blackout, the due date for tax returns that were due on August 15 is automatically extended one week to Friday, August 22, 2003.

IRS Strikes Blow Against Attorney-Client Privilege

When does the Internal Revenue Service's right to prevent participation in abusive tax shelters take precedence over the age-old right of attorney-client privilege? A nation of lawyers and accountants is biting its collective nails waiting to find out the answer.On Thursday, The U.S. Justice Department asked a federal court in Illinois to force the Chicago office of Dallas-based law firm Jenkens & Gilchrist to turn over the names of clients who invested in certain abusive tax shelters sold by the firm.

IRS Extensions Create Financial Burden for U.S.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has released a report showing that the current extension program for federal income tax returns is costing the country millions and perhaps billions of dollars. Not only that, the current program creates a feeling of ill will toward the government by taxpayers who comply with the laws by paying their taxes on time.The TIGTA report points out inequities in the current rules for tax return extensions and makes recommendations for improvement.

More Than 8.5 Million Tax Returns Are On Extension

Last spring, more than 8.5 million taxpayers took advantage of the automatic extension available for filing income tax returns after the April 15 due date. Friday is August 15, and the time has arrived to file those tax returns. Here are some last minute reminders and recommendations for getting the job done on time.In the flurry of finishing the preparation of your federal income tax return, don't forget your state.
Community News

BDO Seidman's Clients Try to Rescue Accounting Firms

Last month, the Chicago-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that accounting firms cannot hide behind the cloak of client privilege and must disclose information to the Internal Revenue Service about participation in certain types tax shelters that are considered to be abusive.

IRS Not Chasing Tax Miscreants

A report issued last week by the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration claims that the Internal Revenue has failed to follow through on collection efforts relating to business taxpayers that are breaking tax laws.The report describes 1,841 cases of tax fraud wherein businesses are either failing to withhold taxes from employees or are guilty of filing frivolous returns. Of those cases, only 233 were entered into an IRS database of taxpayers who file frivolous returns.The report also referred to at least 165 taxpayers files that been lost.

Taxpayers Can Track Advanced Child Tax Credit Checks on IRS Web Site

With the final set of advance child tax credit checks being mailed today, the IRS reminds taxpayers they can use to get information about the amount or status of their checks. People who filed after April 15 — for example, those with extensions — will get any advance payment they are entitled to receive after the IRS processes their 2002 return.About 7.9 million checks totaling $4.8 billion are being sent today, marking the third and final week of the initial mail out of 24 million checks totaling about $14 billion.

Schwarzenegger Releases Tax Return

Did you see the "Today Show" on Friday? NBC's Matt Lauer was interviewing California gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger and asked him if he was prepared to release his tax returns as part of a public disclosure.


Already a member? log in here.