Payroll tax Feed

Donald J. Trump's got a lot of campaign promise policy issue irons in the fire. This week, he pulled one out a bit by deciding to let undocumented residents known as DREAMers stay in the United States. The decision was announced as part of a fact sheet released by Homeland Security late June 15. That document's next-to-last line notes: "The June 15, 2012 memorandum that created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will remain in effect." A group of DREAMers, the undocumented youths who hope to remain in the United States, make their point during a 2016 presidential... Read more →


Donald Trump is batting .500 for cabinet members who screwed up nanny tax reporting. This morning, the Senate narrowly confirmed Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-South Carolina) to head the White House Office of Management and Budget. The vote was 51-49. At least Vice President Mike Pence didn't have to up to Capitol Hill to break a tie this time. Click image to watch the C-SPAN video of Mick Mulvaney's confirmation hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. His testimony apparently convinced just enough Senators to approve him on Feb. 16 for the White House budget post. Did Mulvaney's... Read more →


Rep. Mick Mulvaney is going to have to answer some nanny tax questions if he hopes to become President-elect Donald Trump's budget director. Rep. Mick Mulvaney speaks to some of his South Carolina constituents on last September's Constitution Day. (Photo by Erik B. Corcoran via Twitter) The South Carolina Republican was elected to Congress in 2010 as part of the midterm Tea Party wave. Since then, the man whom some have called a debt warrior has been a major player in the conservative Freedom Caucus and has focused on ways to cut federal spending. He probably should have focused on... Read more →


This presidential election year, the candidates' tax focus is, as usual, on how to lower income tax rates for at least some Americans. But, notes the Tax Policy Center (TPC), most U.S. workers hand over more in payroll taxes than income taxes. Payroll tax parts: Payroll taxes are the amounts designated for Federal Insurance Contribution Act, or FICA, funded programs. You know them as Social Security and Medicare. The total FICA rate is 15.3 percent. Workers and their bosses each pay half. The bulk of the tax, 12.4 percent, goes toward the Social Security component. Taxes at a 6.2 percent... Read more →


A little more than a month ago, inquiring tax eyes were focused on Panama. Specifically, folks were curious about a law firm in that Central American nation that allegedly helps the wealthy stash cash in global accounts that are out of reach of their nations' tax collectors. ICIJ has produced a video, The Panama Papers: Victims of Offshore, that shows what the organization says are the unseen victims behind the email chains, invoices and documents that make up the Panama Papers and the shadowy offshore industry. A couple of U.S. states, Nevada and Wyoming, were named as international tax haven... Read more →


Hey, May. You're supposed to be all about the flowers from last month's April showers. You can stop the rain and more any time now. Bluebonnets and more in a Central Texas field along the Willow City Loop. Photo by Kay Bell; art direction by the hubby. Yep, that old climatological adage is not quite accurate. May also brings plenty of showers. And hail. And tornadoes. That trend seems to be on track this year. Just two days into the month, and severe weather has moved from Central and flooded East Texas, where Houston was declared a major disaster area,... Read more →


One way to survive working on your tax return with a deadline looming -- April 18 this year -- is to make sure you don't make any easily avoidable filing mistakes. Similarly, you don't want to overlook any tax breaks. I guess that technically omitting a tax claim could be considered a mistake, but for the sake of keeping things clear -- and for providing an added blog post topic! -- I've separated them. Searching for tax breaks? Below are 18. (James Corden GIF via CBS.com/Corden) And to save you time in your search for ways to cut your tax... Read more →


Tax deductions, whether itemized or above-the-line, and tax credits can save you money, but they do so in different ways. A deduction lowers the amount of your income on which tax is figured. Less income generally means a lower tax bill. A credit, however, is an even better tax reduction tool. Credits are claimed once you figure your tax liability and they then reduce what you owe Uncle Sam dollar for dollar. That means a $1,000 tax credit could cut your $2,000 tax bill in half. Even better, a few tax credits are refundable. As the name indicates, these credits... Read more →


Allgreens, a medical marijuana dispensary in Denver, has won its cash payment battle with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS demands electronic payroll tax deposits. Allgreens, however, began making its federal employee withholding tax payments in cash after its bank, leery of working with a business that Uncle Sam deems illegal, closed the dispensary's account. So although Allgreens was meeting its federal tax obligations in full and on time, it also was racking up penalty charges for not making them in the form the IRS wants. Allgreens headed to U.S. Tax Court. Now, however, the case is moot. The IRS... Read more →


It's been a busy week for folks who follow retirement-related numbers. In addition to the Internal Revenue Service's announcement of 2015 inflation adjustments for various retirement plans, the Social Security Administration released how the cost of living will affect that government benefit and workers who contribute to it. These annual cost-of-living changes have been a part of the popular government retirement program since 1975. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act on Aug. 14, 1935. Participating in the landmark law's enactment are, standing left to right, Rep. Robert Doughton (D-N.C.); unknown person in shadow; Sen. Robert Wagner (D-N.Y.);... Read more →


Workers have been paying the full 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax for almost two years now. You remember this so-called tax holiday in place in 2011 and 2012. During those years, the deduction from your pay that goes toward the federal retirement program was reduced by 2 percentage points to 4.2 percent. The matching employers' portion stayed at 6.2 percent. The payroll tax cut for workers was made so that folks would have a few more dollars to spend, giving the sluggish economy a buying boost. But after two years, Congress decided enough was enough and let the payroll... Read more →


Happy Labor Day, my fellow workers. Labor Day's first observance is generally thought to be Sept. 5, 1882. On that day, around 10,000 workers assembled in New York City for a parade. Since everyone loves a parade, the Big Apple celebration inspired similar events across the country. By 1894, more than half the states were observing a "working men's holiday" on various days. Later that year, Congress passed legislation and President Grover Cleveland signed into law the country's official designation of Labor Day as the first Monday in September each year. So who's celebrating? American worker jobs: Every year, the... Read more →


It's tough being a small business owner. It's especially tough when no financial institution will handle your accounts or provide you with loans. That's the situation with which dealers in legal marijuana nationwide have been coping. But things may be about to change. On July 16, the U.S. House passed a bipartisan amendment by a 231-to-192 vote that prevents the Treasury Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission from spending any funds to penalize financial institutions that provide services to marijuana businesses that are legal under state law. Marijuana retailer courtesy Marijuana.com Marijuana sales are legal in 33 states and... Read more →


The Internal Revenue Service likes to get its money. It also really likes to receive it electronically. The IRS is so committed to electronic transactions that has mandated more and more of them, especially for business taxpayers. One reason for required e-filing and electronic tax payments, says the IRS, it that the system helps reduce taxpayers' burdens. Not so, says one small business in Colorado. Allgreens LLC of Denver says the federal tax collector's insistence on electronic transactions is costing it millions of dollars in penalties that it can't avoid. And it's asking the U.S. Tax Court to change that.... Read more →


2013 was not a good year for rich folks. That's when tax laws designed to get more money from the wealthy went into effect. And making matters even worse for those with bigger bank balances is that there's no universal tax definition of just how much money makes you rich! Today's Daily Tax Tip, courtesy my slide show at Bankrate.com, looks at five higher taxes on wealthy taxpayers. A couple of the new, higher taxes are part of Affordable Care Act, popularly (or unpopularly, depending on your political persuasion) known as Obamacare. The others are part of the American Taxpayer... Read more →


In addition to the many dollar amounts that the Internal Revenue Service adjusts annually for inflation, a key figure that affects our taxes is the Social Security Administration's official contribution and benefit base. For us working stiffs, this is the amount of our income that is subject to Social Security taxation. This is part of the payroll tax, also known as FICA (short for Federal Insurance Contributions Act), that comes out of salaried workers' checks and goes toward the federal retirement benefits program. The tax rate is 6.2 percent for employees with employer contributions matching that rate. The Social Security... Read more →


Just like Sen. Ted Cruz, I'm on my spouse's company health care policy. That and a Texas address are the only thing the Tea Party darling and I share. Because Ted and Heidi Nelson Cruz and the hubby and I have workplace-provided medical insurance, we get a chance in the coming weeks to decide exactly what type of coverage and other related workplace benefits we want for the coming year. Yep, it's annual workplace open enrollment season. Like many employer-provided plans, our options are part of a cafeteria plan, so named because they allow employees to select benefits from a... Read more →


Remember back in the spring when the Internal Revenue Service admitted that losing operating funds because of sequestration will hamper the agency's audit efforts? It's happening again. About a month after sequestration kicked in on March 1, then Acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller told a House appropriations subcommittee that budget cuts will mean, among other things, fewer audits. Last week when the IRS had to determine which jobs were essential, it decided that return examination, which is what the agency calls audits, wasn't. Tax audits, as I noted last week at my other tax blog, are among the IRS activities... Read more →


While Capitol Hill lawmakers are screwing around considering ways to deal with the country's impending financial deadlines, Congress' independent budget analysts announced some good fiscal news. The U.S. Treasury picked up $284 billion in August. That added revenue, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), means Uncle Sam's budget deficit at the end of last month was $411 billion smaller than at the comparable period last year. That sizable reduction, making the budget deficit around $753 billion for the first 11 months of the 2013 fiscal year, is noteworthy. At this point in 2012, the budget deficit was $1.164 trillion.... Read more →


Remember the infamous 47 percent of people who didn't pay taxes? Sure you do. Those were the folks cited in a 2009 estimate by the Tax Policy Center (TPC) who inadvertently sabotaged Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's quest for the White House when he was caught on video tape characterizing them as government dependent takers instead of economic growth makers. That group is now 4 percent smaller, according to the latest analysis by TPC, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution. The 43 percent of Americans whom TPC analysts project won't owe federal income taxes in 2013... Read more →