Tax news


Taxpayer Rights a Priority For IRS

The law requires the IRS to protect taxpayer rights, and in its day-to-day operations, the IRS and its employees make taxpayer rights a top priority. This includes explaining those rights to taxpayers, keeping taxpayer information private and confidential and being professional and courteous.Besides what is expected of IRS employees, taxpayers have many other rights. They have the right to have someone represent them before the IRS and to accompany them to any meeting with IRS employees.

Summary of 2002 Tax Law Changes For Individuals

There are plenty of changes in the tax laws this year. Every taxpayer is affected in some way by the new rules that affect individuals.

Budget-Challenged Municipalities Step up Tax Collection Efforts

When times are good and city coffers are bulging, the effort to get consumers to comply with obscure tax laws often is not strong. But with city and state governments facing budget crises all across the United States, any method of squeezing additional revenue has become an acceptable strategy.The art of mining consumer data for possible tax liability is growing among city revenue officers. Municipalities in California, for example, are reviewing state records and sending out bills to people who often don't even know they owe money.

E-File Helps Refunds, Payments

Are you one of the almost 100 million taxpayers who will receive a refund this year? The IRS says that requesting direct deposit and filing your tax return electronically (e-filing) will put that money in your pocket faster and easier.Every year, more taxpayers find out how safe and easy it is to have their tax refund deposited directly into their checking or savings account. This option is available for both e-filers and paper return filers.When you file electronically, your refund will be issued within three weeks, about half the time it would take if you filed a paper return.
Community News

NY Tax Preparer Jailed For Padding Clients' Expenses

A Bronx tax preparer was sentenced to a year and a day in jail for her role in preparing false income tax returns for clients. Some would say she got off too easy, considering the maximum sentence would have been five years in jail and business ethics are at an all-time low. The tax preparer who got the jail time was part of a father/daughter tax preparation service. The Internal Revenue Service charged her with fudging deductions and inflating personal expenses for items such as charitable contributions, job-related expenses and medical and dental expenses.

Publication 17 - One Stop For Tax Help

Facing a lot of different tax questions this year?

Avoid Headaches - Prepare Taxes Early

Earlier is better when it comes to working on your taxes. The IRS encourages everyone to get a head start on tax preparation. Not only do you avoid the last-minute rush, early filers also get a faster refund.There are several easy ways to get a good jump on your taxes long before the April 15 deadline rolls around:Gather your records in advance. Make sure you have all the records you need, including W-2s and 1099s. Don’t forget to save a copy for your files.Get the right forms.

Ready, Set, E-File!

The IRS on Thursday unveiled its new online tax service called Free File. The service provides information about e-filing and links to 17 companies, all of which have agreed to provide free tax preparation and filing services to certain taxpayers. Each participating company has set its own criteria as to who qualifies for the free services. Altogether the companies have agreed to make their services available at no charge to at least 60% of the U.S.

Concerns Mount Over Proposed Curbs on Tax Services

Concerns are mounting among both accounting firms and consumer groups over the rules proposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission to limit the tax services provided by auditors. SEC's proposed rules represent a cautious compromise, saying auditors can still provide tax services so long as the services are pre-approved by audit committees and don't involve the firm acting as an advocate for the client or auditing its own work. Apparently, this is a compromise that no one likes.

Explanation of The Dividend Exclusion in The Bush Tax Plan

provided by CCHPresident Bush announced an economic stimulus package on January 7 containing more than $670 billion in individual and business tax cuts over the next 10 years. The centerpiece of the package, and the proposal causing the most controversy, is the proposed exclusion from income of dividends paid by a corporation to shareholders.

Get Tax Information 24 Hours a Day

Need a tax form? Have a question about changes to tax law? Want to find the nearest IRS taxpayer assistance center? Now anyone with a personal computer and Internet access can point and click their way to access tax information at should consult your tax preparer for answers to your questions about your personal situation. But for quick reference, check out the IRS Web site.The IRS Web site at offers a wealth of resources for making tax time, well, a little less taxing.


You can avoid headaches at tax time by keeping track of your receipts and other records throughout the year, the IRS advises. Good recordkeeping will help you remember the various transactions you made during the year, which may help you out on your taxes.Records help you document the deductions you’ve claimed on your return. You’ll need this documentation should the IRS select your return for examination.

IRS Offers Amnesty For Taxpayers With Offshore Accounts

The Internal Revenue Service has announced a new program, the Offshore Voluntary Compliance Initiative, designed to round up promoters of and participants in offshore banking and credit card accounts.Taxpayers who approach the IRS by April 15, 2003 and declare ownership of offshore credit card or bank accounts in which they have protected funds from U.S. income taxation may be eligible to participate in the amnesty program.

Should I Itemize?

Whether to itemize deductions on your tax return depends on how much you spent on certain expenses last year. According to the IRS, money paid for medical care, mortgage interest, taxes, contributions, casualty losses, and miscellaneous deductions can reduce your taxes. If the total amount spent on those categories is more than the standard deduction, you can usually benefit by itemizing.The standard deduction amounts are based on your filing status and are subject to inflation adjustments each year.

Mark Everson Chosen to Head IRS

Mark W. Everson, currently the deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has been named to the position of commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. Mr. Everson, if confirmed by the Senate, will replace former commissioner Charles O. Rossotti who completed his five-year term in November, 2002. Bob Wenzel, IRS deputy commissioner, has been serving as acting commissioner since Mr. Rossotti vacated the position.Mr.

Which Form - 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ?

If you are filing a federal income tax return on paper, use the simplest form you can, the IRS advises. The simpler the form, the less chance of an error that may cost you money or delay the processing of your return. The simplest is Form 1040EZ. Form 1040A covers several additional items not addressed by the EZ. Form 1040 should be used when itemizing deductions and reporting more complex investments and other income.

2nd Story Offers Free Tax Software

As tax preparers around the country begin gearing up for another busy tax season, software publisher 2nd Story is taking a different approach - giving away free copies of its TaxAct 2002 Standard Edition software for taxpayers to prepare their own taxes.Why are they doing this? 2nd Story is looking to open up a new market for tax preparation software.The theory that 2nd Story is banking on is that there are 30 million people preparing taxes the "old fashioned way," and many of them may be intimidated by software to help them with the process.

Summary of 2002 Tax Law Changes For Businesses

There are some changes to the tax laws effective for 2002 income tax returns that work to the benefit of business taxpayers. Tax accountants will want to make sure their clients are aware of these changes that will save their clients tax dollars on their 2002 tax returns and in years to come.The deduction for self-employed health insurance as an adjustment to income increases to 70% for 2002. The remaining 30% qualifies as an itemized deduction. For 2003 the above-the-line adjustment for self-employed health insurance increases to 100%.

What is Your Filing Status?

Your filing status on your federal tax return is a category that identifies you based on your marital and family situation, according to the IRS. It is an important factor in determining whether you must file a return, the amount of your standard deduction and your correct amount of tax. If more than one filing status applies to you, you may choose the one that gives you the lowest tax obligation.There are five possible filing statuses: Single, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household and Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child.

Who Must File a Tax Return?

There are some instances when you may not be required to file a federal income tax return. But keep this in mind — more than 70 percent of those who file are due a refund, so it may be to your advantage to file even if you are not required to.The law does require you to file a tax return if your income is above a certain level. Check the instructions for Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ (under "filing requirements") for specific details that may affect your need to file a tax return with IRS this year.Here are some general guidelines for anyone under age 65.


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