Legislation

AICPA applauds House passage of tax provision essential to CPAs

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that includes a provision the accounting profession and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants have supported that would equalize the tax return reporting standards for tax preparers and taxpayers."Today's action by the House is a significant step forward in our fight to solve a critical problem for CPAs nationwide," said Barry C. Melancon, president and chief executive officer of the AICPA.

Congressional leaders agree on farm bill, but veto possible

House and Senate leaders agreed Wednesday to cut some payments to wealthy farmers in a nearly $300 billion farm bill, with floor votes expected to come next week.The legislation is expected to limit payments to farmers who have adjusted gross incomes of $750,000 or more. Under a proposal last week, an individual could have as much as $950,000 in annual farm income and not lose any subsidies.
Tax

AICPA applauds House action on tax provisions

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed two provisions that the accounting profession has strongly urged Congress to adopt. One provision would restore the proper relationship between tax preparers and taxpayers by equalizing IRS disclosure standards. The other provision would free businesses from onerous recordkeeping requirements for cell phones. The provisions are included in H.R. 5719, the "Taxpayer Assistance and Simplification Act of 2008," passed by the House on April 15.
Tax

Taxpayer rights legislation passes in House

Once again on Tax Day, April 15, lawmakers in the House of Representatives, approved by a vote of 238 to 179 a measure designed to simplify the tax code and make it more fair, according to the bill's sponsors, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Senate votes for tax breaks for home builders and credits for home buyers

Focusing on problems faced by the home building industry in the current housing crisis, the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly last Thursday to give home builders a $6 billion tax break by temporarily extending a rule that lets businesses count current losses against taxes from prior profitable years.
Tax

Tax credit for buying foreclosed properties debated in Senate

The Senate is debating a $7,000 tax credit designed to help sell foreclosed homes and the proposal is getting a chilly reception from both the Bush administration and Democrats in the House.Primarily sponsored by Republicans, the $7,000 tax credit is designed to stabilize home prices and keep neglected houses from dragging down neighborhoods, the Associated Press reports. But economists point out that banks could be more likely to foreclose on a house instead of working with a homeowner who is delinquent on mortgage payments.

Supreme Court won't hear case that would have required higher retiree benefits

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review a decision made by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia in AARP vs. EEOC that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) rule permitting employers to coordinate their health benefits for retirees with Medicare was "legal and reasonable." The Appeals Court said that "over time, it will likely benefit all retirees," the LA Times reports.
Tax

Economic Stimulus Act provides tax benefits to businesses

In addition to providing stimulus payments to individuals, the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 provides incentives to businesses. These incentives include a special 50 percent depreciation allowance for 2008 purchases and an increase in the small business expensing limitation for tax years beginning in 2008.50 percent special depreciation allowanceDepreciation is an income tax deduction that allows a taxpayer to recover the cost or other basis of certain property over several years.
Tax

IRS provides details of tax rebate program

The Internal Revenue Service is advising taxpayers that in most cases they will not have to do anything extra this year to receive the tax rebate payments beginning in May.
Tax

Congress passes stimulus bill, including tax rebate

On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed an economic stimulus bill designed to stave off a recession. The bill passed 380-34, complementing the Senate vote of 81-16 earlier in the day. President Bush has indicated he expects to sign the bill into law next week.For the general public, the highlight of the bill is a tax rebate program that will provide individual taxpayers with a $600 rebate and joint filers with a $1,200 rebate this May. Additional rebates will be issued in the amount of $300 per child.
Tax

Aerospace industry pushes for R&D tax credit extension

The research and development tax credit creates high-paying jobs and should be an important tool in efforts to stimulate the U.S. economy, Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion Blakey said in a Jan. 29 letter to Senate leaders.The tax credit is a proven incentive that helps U.S. companies compete in the global economy by encouraging high technology innovation.
Tax

Partisan bickering leaves tax rebate, economic stimulus in jeopardy

At the end of January, the House voted 385 to 35 to approve an estimated $146 billion stimulus package aimed at countering a slowdown in economic growth. However, one week later, Senate Republicans put the fate of $600-$1,200 rebate checks for more than 100 million Americans in limbo when they blocked the bid by Democrats to add $44 billion in help for the elderly, disabled veterans, the unemployed, and businesses.GOP senators banded together Feb.
Tax

National Taxpayer Advocate asks Congress for Taxpayer Bill of Rights

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson has released her annual report to Congress, focusing particular attention on the consequences of changes to the tax code enacted late in the year and the need for a coordinated IRS approach to combat the cash economy portion of the tax gap. Olson also urged Congress to enact a Taxpayer Bill of Rights and to authorize symbolic "apology payments" in egregious cases where taxpayers suffer significant harm as a result of IRS errors.
Tax

Tax relief aimed at easing sub-prime mortgage mess

Amid daily headlines of a worsening housing crisis, debt-burdened homeowners are looking to two pieces of congressional action that could ease the pain.Monday's headlines stated that new home sales fell by 26 percent last year, which is the biggest drop since 1963, the U.S. Department of Commerce says. And last week's headlines said sales of previously owned single-family homes took a dive - the biggest annual drop in 25 years.
Tax

Bush signs AMT fix - millions saved from tax increase

On Wednesday, President Bush signed the House legislation that provides a one-year patch for the Alternative Minimum Tax, keeping an estimated 23 million taxpayers from an unexpected tax increase of approximately $2,000.
Tax

Senate won't yield on AMT legislation - bill goes back to the House

The clock continues to tick on the Alternative Minimum Tax patch as this year comes to a close and weary legislators are anxious to get home to their families. In a late night session on Tuesday, December 18, the Senate voted 48-46 in favor of a House bill that would halt the spread of the AMT to the middle class and increase taxes elsewhere to pay for the amount the Democrats are claiming the government will lose if the AMT is restricted.
Tax

House AMT relief bill passes - political wrangling continues

This week, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) introduced the AMT Relief Act of 2007, new legislation that would provide a one-year fix to the alternative minimum tax (AMT) currently poised to affect an estimated 23 million taxpayers. Congressman Rangel's bill, H.R.4351, passed in the House at 6:45 p.m.
Tax

Lawmakers vow to pass AMT fix before year-end

Late last week the Senate passed legislation to halt the impending increase in the Alternative Minimum Tax, currently poised to affect more than 23 million Americans on their 2007 income tax returns.The Senate legislation is in direct contrast to legislation passed earlier in the House, the large difference between the two factions being the reaction to the philosophical intent of the AMT.
Tax

Retirement group testifies on automatic IRA legislation

On Thursday, November 8, 2007, Mark Iwry and David C. John, representing The Retirement Security Project (RSP), testified before the House Education and Labor Committee's Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor & Pensions, in support of the Automatic IRA proposal to dramatically expand retirement saving. The Automatic IRA Act of 2007 (H.R. 2167), introduced in the House by Reps. Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and Phil English (R-PA), makes it easy for employees not covered by a 401(k) or other employer plan to save in IRAs through automatic payroll deposit.

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