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AICPA tax expert reacts to the Stimulus Bill

With all the nay-saying about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, at least one AICPA tax expert finds it … well, stimulating. Tom Ochsenschlager is still reading through the nearly 1,100 pages, but he sees some items for individuals and for business which he predicts will have real power to boost the economy. And, he adds, there are also reasons for CPAs to be optimistic about new business coming their way because of the bill. The list of items in the spending plan is long, and by now, well publicized.

What will a $575 billion spending spree buy?

The details will continue to roll out as analysts actually get a chance to read the 1,071 page bill was which voted on before anyone had a chance to read the whole thing. The bill, which was passed with a warning of urgency, will be signed in Denver by Barack Obama on February 17th.

Who gets what in the Stimulus Bill?

A lot of people get a little bit. Some, like certain home buyers or car buyers get more than a little. Some projects that do seem related to stimulating the economy get billions, and they may hold the power to create or protect jobs. And some programs that are not related to economic stimulus but do represent Democrat wish lists items are promoted and enhanced. The official name is the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, passed by a partisan vote on February 13th. The signing of the bill into law was delayed until Tuesday, February 17th for the holiday weekend.

AMT patch is attached to Senate version of new stimulus bill

The Senate Finance Committee on January 27 approved its portion of an $825 billion economic stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009, and potentially boosted the total cost to nearly $900 billion after agreeing to include a one-year patch for the alternative minimum tax (AMT) for the 2009 tax year. Senator Max Baucus, (D-Mont), chairman of the committee, included the AMT patch in the face of Republican complaints that the package contains too much spending and not enough tax cuts, CCH reports. The final committee vote was 14 to 9.

Ways and Means completes new tax plan

Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee have released a tax plan that they hope will provide additional economic stimulus to taxpayers who have yet to demonstrate the effectiveness of last year's stimulus package.

Obama's tax decisions will define income tax systems for years

Tax policy decisions ahead: President-elect Obama's call for change, prepared by the Tax Policy Group of Deloitte Tax LLP in Washington, D.C., predicts that with Barack Obama in the White House and a strengthened Democratic Congress facing huge budget and tax issues, the outlook is for changes in tax policy in the next two years that could determine the size and shape of our income tax systems for the foreseeable future.

CCH issues special briefing on President-Elect Obama's tax proposals

CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business and a provider of tax, accounting, and audit information, software and services, has issued a Special Tax Briefing detailing the tax policies of President-elect Barack Obama."Recent history supports the likelihood that there will be a major tax bill in 2009, but historical data suggests that no first-term tax law will pass until May, and usually not until late July," according to George Jones, JD, CCH senior tax analyst."But, when legislation is passed, it's l

State tax initiatives receive mixed results on election day

Income tax repeal measures were defeated in last week's election, as Massachusetts voters once again rejected a ballot question to eliminate the state's income tax, six years after the question lost by a slim margin. And in North Dakota, voters overwhelmingly rejected a measure that would reduce their income taxes by 50 percent and create an oil-tax trust fund.

Income tax repeal, investments in renewable energy on state ballots this year

While tax measures are less prominent on most state ballots this year, Question Number 1 in Massachusetts asks voters to cut the state income tax from 5.3 to 2.65 percent on January 1 and eliminate it entirely by 2010. North Dakota voters are being asked to cut their income tax by 50 percent and the corporate tax by 15 percent, largely because they enjoy a revenue surplus from a tax on oil drilling, The Wall Street Journal reports.

AMT fix: No real relief for accountants or legislators

The most significant provision in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 for small businesses as well as individuals is the one-year "patch" of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), says Tom Ochsenschlager, AICPA vice president, taxation, who spoke with AccountingWEB about the broader impacts of the bill. Small businesses are affected by the AMT because they are typically S Corporations or limited liability companies, and as flow-through entities, their revenues are often subject to the tax. "This AMT patch will have very important budget impacts for small businesses," he says.

Rescue bill extends tax breaks, expands energy credits, and more

Tax provisions attached to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, and signed into law by President Bush on October 3 will result in over 290 changes to the Internal Revenue Code, according to a CCH Tax Briefing. In addition to extending a long list of tax breaks for individuals and businesses, the bill contains provisions directly related to the financial bailout and extends and expands energy credits.

House passes bailout bill - President Bush will sign

NOTE: On Friday afternoon the House of Representatives passed the Senate's version of a bailout bill that is now headed to President Bush for his signature. Wednesday: Senate attaches extenders and AMT Fix to rescue bill; sends package to HouseThe proposed alternative minimum tax patch and extensions of expiring tax deductions and credits for individuals and businesses have now become part of the rescue package that the Senate approved late Wednesday and has sent to the House.

House turns back on Senate extenders bill and AMT patch

After a brief debate on Sunday, leaders of the House of Representatives indicated that they would not take up the Senate bill approved last week by a vote of 93 to 2 extending expiring tax breaks for individuals and businesses and a temporary "patch" for the alternative minimum tax (AMT), before the end of the year. The two houses of Congress are deadlocked over tax policy, with fiscal conservatives in the House requiring revenue offsets for the approximately $60 billion in extensions and the AMT "patch" under their "paygo" rules.

Senate approves one year fix to AMT; extends tax credits for individuals and businesses

The U.S. Senate Tuesday voted to approve a one-year AMT Patch, and extend expired and expiring tax credits for individuals and businesses. The Senate bill will also extend energy tax breaks. The measure will return to the House this week where legislators will reconsider the requirements for revenue offsets in the alternative minimum tax (AMT) and extenders bills already passed in the House. The Senate bill does not contain any revenue measures to offset the expected cost of the AMT patch and calls for only partial offsets to the costs of other tax credit extensions.

Did Rangel the rulemaker wangle the rules?

The tax woes of New York Congressman, Charles B. Rangel (Democrat, 15th district) differ, depending on who does the telling. The IRS says he failed to report rental income of more than $75,000 over a period of 20 years. Rangel – the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee* and chief tax-writer in Congress – says he didn't know that the money he received for the use of his luxury condo in the Dominican Republic was taxable income. And his attorney says Rangel is just learning of all these errors. The facts of the case continue to roll out almost daily.

American workers urge Congress for renewal of expired R & D credit

Troubled that the U.S. Congress has still not renewed the research and development (R&D) tax credit that expired last December, more than 3,400 American R&D workers from industries such as manufacturing, information technology, biotech, and healthcare representing 123 companies and 43 states have sent a letter to lawmakers urging them to reinstate the credit that drives billions of dollars in domestic economic activity.The workers, citing concerns that the lapsed R&D credit places their jobs at risk, called on Congress to work in a bipartisan manner to support this tax incentive.

Senate passes Housing bill; Bush promises to sign

After several passes back and forth between the House and Senate, on Saturday, in a rare weekend session, the U.S. Senate voted 72 to 13 to pass the bi-partisan Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, a bill passed by the House last Wednesday. President Bush has indicated he will sign the bill into law in spite of several objections he has to the bill.In the wake of 10 bank closings in the past 18 months, the new housing bill is the government's latest response to the national housing crisis.

House passes housing bailout bill; Bush signs

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, designed to reduce foreclosures, strengthen the housing market and shore up lending institutions will also change the amounts many taxpayers owe to the IRS, according to CCH. The Act passed the House last Wednesday, July 23, and the Senate is scheduled to follow suit shortly, with assurance from the White House that President Bush will sign the measure. Some of the tax provisions in the measure are aimed at raising revenue to pay for the bailout of the housing market. Other tax breaks are aimed at encouraging investment in low-income housing.

Congress working on bill to help homeowners

The Senate voted heavily on favor of a mortgage rescue bill last Thursday, but House leaders are planning to rework key parts of the bill while the White House is threatening a veto.The proposal involves the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) backing up to $300 billion in new loans, providing for more affordable, fixed-rate mortgages. The idea is to avoid foreclosures, not only for homeowners, but for the lenders, who would agree to take on a substantial loss but could reclaim some of the money.New U.S.

AMT relief passes House; Senate prospects unclear

The House last Wednesday approved a bill that would save millions of families from the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), but prospects in the Senate are not promising.The House voted 233-189 to stop the AMT from spreading to more middle-class taxpayers next April while raising taxes on hedge fund managers and oil companies to raise the estimated $61.5 billion in lost revenue.The Senate did not support a similar plan to raise the money that was proposed in December.


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