Legislation

Tax

EAs Should Note President's 2008 Budget Request

Enrolled Agents should take special note of President Bush's fiscal year 2008 budget proposal to allow the Internal Revenue Service to terminate installment agreements.One of the surprisingly few requests aimed at narrowing the tax gap in the president's request would end installment agreements when a taxpayer fails to file a timely return or fails to make timely required tax deposits.At the top of the president's list is expanded information reporting, followed by increased penalties and new requirements for large businesses.

The Democratic Congress and Your Money

With the installation of a Democratic House and Senate in January, their legislative actions can affect people all over the world and Americans may be wondering about matters concerning their money. Big changes are unlikely, according to Don Patrick, MBA, a certified financial planner and advisor for over 26 years and managing director of Atlanta-based Integrated Financial Group, but some changes may occur in the way in which money is handled.
Tax

Remember These Key Tax Changes, Credits and Deductions

As taxpayers begin gathering their financial documents for the 2006 filing season, Ernst & Young offers its 2007 Tax Guide that is filled with reminders on new credits and deductions.Personal Tax Credits for the Purchase of Residential Energy-Efficient Property — A non-business credit of up to $500 is available for certain energy-efficient improvements, such as insulation, or exterior doors and windows.
Tax

IRS Begins Implementing Extenders Legislation

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced new guidelines helping tax filers in 2007 claim extended deductions and other tax advantages included in the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006.
Tax

Moratorium Lifted on Suspended Cash Balance Conversion Applications

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has lifted a moratorium on determination letter applications for conversions from traditional defined benefit pension plans to so-called cash balance plans.

HSAs Expanded in Last Days of Congress

Congress gave final approval to H.R. 6111, the "Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006", with provisions that expand Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and incorporates provisions from H.R. 6134, the "Health Opportunity Patient Empowerment Act of 2006". The new provisions would make several improvements to the HSA program. In September, Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA) said, "HSAs are still relatively new, but we are already seeing them grow in popularity.
Tax

What Gives with Giving?

America is a generous country and during the holiday season even more people think about giving to charity. A study from Network for Good, who process online charitable donations of over one million non-profit groups, reports on the over $100 million donated to 20,000 groups through the site since November 2001. Findings show that: The average age of online donors is 38 Offline donors tend to be over 60 years old The most generous online donors are from New York, Connecticut and
Tax

Congress' Last Hours Extend Tax Breaks, Creates Iraq Accounting Oversight Office

Residents of states that do not levy income tax, college students and their families, teachers and many high-tech companies, are among the beneficiaries of the tax and trade bill passed by the House on Friday and the Senate on Saturday morning at 4 a.m. Earlier in the week, the Senate extended the term of the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction which was set up by Congress to provide oversight of the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund and all obligations, expenditures, and revenues associated with reconstruction and rehabilitation activities in Iraq.
Tax

Congress May Extend Sales Tax Deduction This Week

If the House of Representatives and the Senate do not extend the sales tax deduction during the final days of the lame duck session, residents of the seven states that do not levy personal income tax, who itemize their deductions, will see an increase in federal tax owed for 2006.
Tax

Steering Clients Towards New Hybrid-Vehicle Tax Credits

From The Tax Strategist, http://thetaxstrategist.netThe new hybrid-vehicle credit effectively replaces the clean-air deduction on the books the past several years. This deduction, set at $2,000 for 2005, was scheduled to be cut down to just $500 in 2006.Instead, the new hybrid credit lets you keep as much as $3,400 in your pocket. Advice: Make sure your clients understand all the tax ramifications.
Tax

Complex Rules Determine Who Will Pay Honolulu’s General Excise Tax Increase

When Hawaii’s state legislature decided to allow county governments on each of the four islands to vote separately on a .5 percent rate hike in the state’s general excise tax (GET), currently at 4 percent, to pay for the proposed mass transit system serving Honolulu, it was trying to avoid making taxpayers on all four islands pay the hike, according to Lowell L. Kalapa, president of the Tax Foundation of Hawaii .

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 & Provisions Made for Commercial Airline Plans

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 seeks to overhaul pension and retirement fund rules established previously and address the conversion of plans, as well as other changes and rules to funding and disclosure of pension plans, according to Thomson RIA. There are several important areas covered in the provisions of the Act. Taxes are important to all of us and a good place to start.
Tax

Understanding Your 401(k) Fees, Tax Implications

With more pension plans floundering or failing altogether, workers are advised to step up their knowledge of their company's 401(k) plan.Financial advisers say workers should understand the overall structure of these popular retirement savings accounts, as well as the fees they are paying and the tax implications of 401(k)s.Advertisement
Tax

Mixed Reaction to New Congress from Small Business Groups

Health coverage, taxes and government regulation, the most difficult problems for small businesses, are issues that a lot of newly elected representative to the U.S. House of Representatives understand, according to Dan Danner, senior vice president for public policy with the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the Associated Press reports.
Tax

Winners and Losers Among Ballot Propositions Affecting Taxes

Voters approved 141 of the 205 initiatives and referendums on the ballots of 37 states in Tuesday’s election, rejecting only 59, according to iandrinstitute.org’s Ballotwatch. Five measures, including Arizona’s controversial cap on property tax increases, remain to be decided.

Senate May Reverse Closing of Iraq Auditor’s Office

The military authorization bill signed by President Bush in mid-October calls for the termination of the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) by October 1, 2007. Susan Collins (R – Maine), chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, says that provision was not in the conference version of the bill, the New York Times reports. In addition, some analysts say that the content of reports issued by the office, which were critical of weapons oversight by the U.S. military and accounting methods used by the U.S.
Tax

Corporate America Fighting Back Against Lawsuits, Regulations

Two influential industry groups are developing proposals that would make it more difficult for investors to file civil suits against companies and accounting firms, while also strengthening protections from criminal cases brought by government prosecutors.The groups, which have close ties to the Bush administration, hope to limit the liability of accounting firms for the work they do for clients so that individuals are targeted for wrongdoing, not entire companies, the New York Times reported.One of the groups drafting proposals is the U.S.
Tax

Spending Caps, Tax Measures on Ballot in Many States

After choosing their candidates on November 7, voters will check yes or no on ballot propositions that, along with more familiar bond issue proposals, would increase the minimum wage, support property rights, prohibit same sex marriage, and limit tax increases. While Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) proposals that put caps on future spending have received national attention, proposals that will affect property taxes and increases in personal exemptions are much more popular this year.
Education & Careers

Downgrading Partners Could Cost Firm: EEOC Able to Seek Monetary Relief

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a petition filed on behalf of international law firm Sidley Austin Brown & Wood (Sidley & Austin) regarding the ability of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to pursue monetary damages and other individual victim-specific relief in the ongoing discrimination suit against the firm. The refusal comes just months after the number of workers age 55 and older reached 24.6 million, the highest level ever recorded, according to a study from Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
Technology

Disabled Military Retirees to Receive Back Pay

The first group of disabled military retirees will soon receive back pay owed them, thanks to legislation that allowed the payments but inadvertently created complicated accounting challenges.Advertisement

Pages