Tax news

Technology

Retailers Advocate Revamping Sales Tax Laws

Although the House of Representatives has voted to extend the Internet tax moratorium until 2006, brick & mortar retailers are joining forces in an effort to encourage Congress to completely rewrite what they consider to be archaeic sales tax laws.The retailers' goal is to ensure that online retailers charge the same tax as anyone operating outside cyberspace.
Tax

Thousands of Taxpayers Forego Refunds

An audit performed by the office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration examined $360 million in unclaimed refund money that the IRS is holding in an Excess Collections Account.
Tax

Charities and Political Candidates do not mix!

The Internal Revenue Service issues a statement on Wednesday that made clear its position on charities, churches and tax-exempt groups who support or oppose political candidates.Wrong, wrong, wrong.According to the documentation, the IRS said these organizations cannot 'endorse any candidates, make donations to their campaigns, engage in fund raising, distribute statements or become involved in any other activities that may be beneficial or detrimental to any candidate.'The Service issued a similar statement in 1992 and 1996.
Tax

Is Your City Animal Sculpture Friendly?

Manhattan has cows, Saginaw has hares, New Orleans has fish, Norfolk has mermaids, and Bloomington, IL has giant ears of corn. These are just a few of the many structures gracing, or grazing, the streets and parks of cities nationwide. While cities embrace this latest craze, businesses can gain promotional exposure and a tax deduction by sponsoring the streetside artwork.
Tax

PACs Must Disclose Campaign Contributors

President Clinton signed the 527 Disclosure Bill on July 1, a bill that requires groups organized under Internal Revenue Code 527 (relating to political organizations) to notify the IRS of their existence and to disclose details of all contributions that exceed $200 per year and all expenditures that exceed $500 per year.The IRS will be required to report this information and make it publicly available on the Internet and at the IRS offices. Organizations that are organized under Section 527 are now required to file quarterly reports with the IRS.
Technology

Support Dying for Internet Tax Moratorium

Pro-tax bills have surfaced in both the House and Senate, supported by legislators who recognize the loss in tax revenue that states will continue to suffer as sales on the Internet proliferate. The current Internet sales tax moratorium expires in October, 2001, and it is unlikely any further legislation to either extend this moratorium or institute a sales tax policy will occur this year. All but five states have a sales tax, but currently no state enforces the taxation of sales if the seller has no in-state store or warehouse.
Tax

IRS May Become Competitor in Online Tax Filing Arena

The Clinton administration’s fiscal 2001 funding request includes a requirement that the IRS provide tax preparation and filing services at no charge on its web site.
Tax

Marriage Tax Relief Bill Goes to Senate Floor

The latest attempt at passing marriage tax penalty relief bill was approved by the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday, under the leadership of Senator William Roth. The bill offers a complete restructuring of the standard deduction and the tax brackets so that married taxpayers pay taxes as if they are two single taxpayers. The bill is expected to land on the Senate floor in July. President Clinton has indicated a willingness to sign such a measure, but only if a Medicare prescription drug bill is incorporated into the plan.
Tax

Tax Scofflaws Exposed

A list of 50 individuals and businesses owing delinquent taxes to the State of Maryland appeared on the Maryland Comptroller's web site yesterday. The list reflects approximately $10 million in unpaid taxes.Maryland is not the first state to attempt this type of public humiliation. Others participating in such a program include California, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, New Jersey, New York City, and Washington D.C.
Tax

Are American Taxpayers Celebrating Today?

According to the Americans for Tax Reform, a non-profit lobbying, research, and educational organization which is working to fight tax increases of any kind, today, June 16, 2000, is National Cost of Government Day.
Tax

End of Estate Tax = Boon for Financial Planners

The vote by the House of Representatives to repeal the estate tax made the headlines when nay-sayers spoke publicly that this was only good for the rich. It also is good for the financial planner who serves the very rich.Because it looks as if the estate tax will be banned over a 10-year period, those in high incomes or with large inheritances will have to make some very heady decisions as to what to do to lower their tax liability.
Tax

New IRS Division Supports Retail, Food & Pharmacy Biz

One of the effects of the modernized IRS is the necessity to service businesses faster and resolve issues before they become too difficult to handle.A new section of the Large and Mid-Size Business Division (LMSB) will focus on just that for the food, retail and pharmaceutical industries.
Tax

Where Do Your Tax Dollars Go?

The IRS has added a new page to its web site.
Tax

House Votes Overwhelmingly to Repeal Estate Tax

An historic vote in the House today will pave the way for the eventual repeal of the oppressive estate tax. The vote was 279-136 to repeal the "death tax" over a period of 10 years. Sixty-five Democrats voted in favor of this bill, enough to override a projected veto by President Clinton.The tax affects about 2% of Americans, many of whom are owners of farms and family businesses. It is estimated that the repeal of the tax will cost the government approximately $50 billion per year.
Technology

Internet Businesses with European Sales Face Taxation

The European Union (EU) is considering a new program that will “level the playing field” by making U.S. high-tech companies subject to the same type of Value Added Tax (VAT) that European companies enjoy. Initial reaction among U.S. companies is that this program will discourage sales in Europe or, at least, will result in a higher price structure for items sold via the Internet to European customers.The VAT rate is 15% to 25% on non-physical goods, such as software and data. Estimates are that the tax will cost U.S.
Tax

1040PC Bites the Dust

The 1040PC provided a paper-saving method for filing tax returns, by presenting a scannable tax return prepared on a computer. The method didn’t quite catch on, and with the momentum that electronic filing has gained, the IRS feels the time is right for dropping the 1040PC format altogether.The 1040PC format will not exist in the spring of 2001, and will therefore not appear as an option on computer programs that prepare tax returns.
Tax

Audits of Low Income Taxpayers on the Rise

A recent study by Syracuse University has confirmed that for the first time ever, low income taxpayers are more likely to be audited by the IRS than high income taxpayers.Low income taxpayers, defined as the "working poor" with annual income below $25,000, are being targeted to catch fraudulent claims of earned income tax credits.Audits of low income taxpayers, which the study said also included taxpayers who don't file any taxes (income = $0), generally are handled through computer generated correspondence.
Tax

IRS Announces New Specialty Areas for Businesses

New specialty areas in the IRS’s Large and Mid-Sized Business division are geared toward helping businesses file and pay their taxes correctly.
Tax

House and Senate Join Forces to Change New Small Business Tax Ruling

The small business committee chairmen from the U.S. Senate and House have joined forces to ask Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers to rethink the recent release of Revenue Procedure 2000-22, which requires small businesses with average annual gross receipts of over $1,000,000 to use the accrual method of accounting.Previous law provided a threshold of $5,000,000 in annual gross receipts before the accrual method was required.
Tax

Reality Check: Tax Breaks on Stock Options

Current legislation swiftly moving through the House of Representatives could ensure that employees receive tax incentive breaks when they exercise their right to purchase stock from their employers.Controversy exists, of course. Labor unions and Democrats have gone public in saying that the legislation needs to make certain employees don't abuse this privilege by replacing traditional retirement plans with stock buys.Current rules state that employees have to pay taxes when they buy shares.

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