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Tax

Federal Employees Encouraged to Pay Back Taxes

The IRS is about to make some U.S. government employees pretty unhappy. The tax agency plans to implement a phase of its Federal Payment Levy Program whereby federal employees who owe back taxes will be subject to tax levies.Affected federal employees will be subject to a 15 percent levy on their federal salaries until debts have been paid. It is estimated that nearly 9,000 federal employees owe tax debts.Federal employees who wish to attempt to circumvent the levy program by making other payment arrangements should contact the IRS at 800-829-7250.
Tax

IRS Investigator Charged With Taking Bribe

William Koskos, an investigator with the IRS for 31 years, was charged Monday with accepting a bribe from a Detroit area builder from whom he was supposed to be collecting back taxes.The builder, Hudson Construction, owed the IRS more than $500,000. Mr.
Tax

Tax Deduction Available for Items Donated to Charity

One of the more creative things you can do with tax return preparation is donate household items to charity. Donating your used belongings is a total feel-good procedure.First, you feel good about emptying your closets and drawers of items you no longer use - the house is cleaner and less cluttered. Also, you feel good about providing useful items to needy people.
Tax

IRS Beefs Up Security After Mellon Bank Fiasco

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rossotti outlined plans last week to improve security measures at sites such as Mellon Bank where tax returns are received and initially processed.Plans call for improved background checks for all employees who handle tax returns, including FBI fingerprint checks, as well as a requirement that the banks pass a security certification check.Last week information surfaced surrounding the intentional action on the part of Pittsburgh's Mellon Bank employees to hide and in some cases destroy app
Tax

Fear of Filing: IRS Deterrents to Filing Late Returns

By Julian Block, attorney and former IRS investigatorThe law empowers and encourages the Internal Revenue Service to make life decidedly disagreeable for persons who intentionally fail to file their returns at tax time. The key federal statute is the Internal Revenue Code, which authorizes the imposition of severe sanctions, both criminal and civil, on those who fail to comply with our "voluntary" system.First, consider the provisions for criminal offenses.
Technology

IRS Launches New Online Tax Payment Service

The IRS will unveil a new Web site today where individuals and companies can make payments of all federal taxes. The program is part of the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), and has been used by businesses for the past year. Now individuals may also take advantage of this opportunity to pay taxes online.Any type of federal tax can be paid online at the IRS site, and there is no fee for using the service.
Tax

Mellon Bank Employees Hid, Shredded Tax Returns

It has been discovered that Mellon Bank employees hid and in some cases destroyed by shredding at least 40,000 federal tax returns and accompanying payments that were received at the IRS's Pittsburgh, PA lockbox this past spring.The Pittsburgh center handled tax returns for much of the northeast United States, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and parts of New York.Approximately 1,800 tax returns were
Tax

Senator Daschle Denounces Cut in Capital Gain Tax

Rivals in Washington are lining up on both sides of an issue that has been smoldering for years.
Tax

IRS Moves Ahead with Plans for Upgrade

Not wasting any time finding ways to spend the $432 million Congress allocated to the IRS for purposes of getting in step with the times, the Internal Revenue Service announced plans to spend approximately $100 million on upgrading its Internet presence.Software manufacturer Vignette Corp.
Tax

Tax Accountant Robs Banks, Shoots Policeman

Claiming he turned to bank robbery as a result of problems with the IRS, a Chicago tax accountant with a history of violence took a police detective hostage and both men ended up in the hospital suffering from gunshot wounds.The accountant, 41-year-old Daniel Salley, was suspected of robbing two banks. An undercover policeman, Joseph Airhart, cornered Mr. Salley in a Chicago apartment building, and a related exchange of gunfire left both men severely woundedDetective Airhart was held as a hostage for two hours before Mr. Salley eventually surrendered.
Tax

IRS Loses Checks and Tax Returns; GAO Not Surprised

The IRS has determined that the tax returns and related payments of at least 40,000 taxpayers may be missing. Affected taxpayers are primarily located in the Northeast United States and would have sent their returns to an IRS lockbox address in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. An earlier report indicated that approximately 1,800 taxpayers were affected.The General Accounting Office (GAO), the U.S.
Technology

H&R Block Inks Mega-Deal with AOL

H&R Block, tax preparer to the nation, has signed a three-year agreement with AOL Time Warner to be the exclusive promoter of tax services to subscribers of America Online, CompuServe, Netscape.com, and MONEY.com.
A&A

Small Business Resource Guide Available for Free

The IRS and the U.S. Small Business Administration have pooled their resources and created a CD full of information that will help small businesses understand their federal tax requirements as well as providing other essential business information.The CD contains start-up information for new small businesses and valuable information from a variety of government agencies, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions, including the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Social Security Administration, the U.S.
Technology

PeopleSoft Teams with Kinder, Gentler IRS

An announcement expected on Monday will demonstrate the latest example of your tax dollars at work. The IRS will spend more than $10 million on customer relationship management (CRM) software in an effort to improve online support for taxpayers and tax return preparers.
Community News

Ernst & Young Named Top Tax Advisor

In an annual survey conducted by the International Tax Review, Ernst & Young LLP has been named Canada's top tax advisor for the fifth consecutive year.The International Tax Review gave the Big Five firm the top position in both tax planning and tax transactions, citing the firms leadership in the areas of commodity tax and transfer pricing.
Tax

Stealth Tax Increases End Eventually

President Bush’s overhaul introduced new income tax brackets for 2001. Under the revamped rules, there are six – 10, 15, 27.5, 30.5, 35.5, and 39.1. Actually, the true top rates in 2001 for millions of upper-middle and high-income individuals often exceed the official rates above 27.5 percent. Their top rate is boosted by cleverly concealed tax increases that were enacted during the senior Bush’s presidency. They are derisively characterized as stealth, or backdoor, increases because their effect is to increase taxes without increasing rates.
Technology

US Governors Push For Internet Taxation

The Washington Post is reporting that a majority of US Governors will urge lawmakers this week to reject the extension of the moratorium on Internet access taxes unless it is tied to the opportunity for states to create a streamlined system to collect online sales tax.The moratorium, which has been in place since the fledgling days of the Internet to help foster e-commerce growth, is set to expire October 21, 2001."If you care about a level playing field for main street retail businesses, and local c
Tax

FEI Study: US Companies Face International Disadvantage

A new study performed by the Financial Executives International (FEI) Research Foundation finds that US companies doing business in the international market face tax disadvantages in comparison to their international counterparts.Tax laws that allocate US interest expense to foreign source income and that limit the use of foreign tax credits can frequently result in double taxation for US companies.The study, which is the second edition of a study performed in 19
Tax

New Income Tax Brackets

by Julian Block, attorney and former IRS investigatorPresident Bush achieved a big opening victory with his Reaganesque ten-year, $1.35 trillion tax cut. The package provides the biggest reduction since 1981 and cuts individual income-tax rates for everyone for the first time since 1986. To garner the support of a closely divided Congress, the latest overhaul of the Internal Revenue Code includes diluted or deferred versions of Mr.
Tax

Top Ten Tax Preparer Errors

The IRS has posted the latest list of errors encountered on tax returns prepared by paid tax preparers.

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