Politics Feed

Millions of folks — around 152 million of us, by the Internal Revenue Service's latest count — have received COVID-19 economic impact payments, or EIPs as they are called in the acronym crazy federal government (and tax) world. The payments of up to $1,200 per individual and $500 for each eligible child were created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The IRS began sending out EIPs in April. But now, two months after the CARES Act became law on March 27, some EIP-eligible recipients are still waiting for direct deposit or a paper check or a... Read more →


Photo by Suzanne Walker from Pexels Memorial Day 2020 has an added poignancy. This solemn day to commemorate those who gave their lives in military service to the United States is overshadowed by the coronavirus. Almost 100,000 COVID-19 deaths have been recorded, with reporters often referring to military casualty numbers to put the pandemic's human cost in perspective. The Memorial Day events that we are used to seeing or participating in have been altered by COVID-19. Rather than community gatherings to share our sorrow and thanks, most now are limiting attendees or are being done virtually. There is so much,... Read more →


There are a lot of footprints on many U.S. beaches this Memorial Day weekend as folks seek seashores after weeks of staying home due to the coronavirus. (Photo by Wendy Wei via Pexels) This Memorial Day long weekend is a big one for numbers. As most states have relaxed at least some COVID-19 stay home orders, Americans are taking advantage of more openings to celebrate this unofficial start of summer. They are, naturally, heading to spots that offer traditional seasonal activities. There's no official counts of how many folks have flocked to U.S. beaches and lakes and parks, but the... Read more →


Americans are plastic addicts. I'm not just talking packaging. We depend on plastic payments, aka credit and debit cards. That financial transaction method has made its way into the COVID-19 economic impact payment (EIP) distribution. This week, the Internal Revenue Service began sending debit cards loaded with coronavirus payment amounts to approximately 4 million Americans. As created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the COVID-19 payment amounts are up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. Parents also receive $500 for each qualifying child who is younger than 17 at of the end of... Read more →


Forty-three states and the District of Columbia rely to some degree on income taxes from their residents. The good news for most who live in these locations is that the COVID-19 economic impact payments (EIP), which the Internal Revenue Service notes won't be taxed by Uncle Sam, also are tax-free at state levels. But things are a little different in a handful of states. Taxpayers in Alabama, Iowa, Louisiana, Oregon, Missouri and Montana are allowed at least a partial deduction for federal taxes they pay. And that could affect the tax treatment of the coronavirus payments. Flipping tax code effects:... Read more →


All tax eyes nowadays are on coronavirus relief measures, both the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that became law in late March and The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act that passed that passed House on Friday (May 15), but isn't expected move, at least not quickly, through the Senate. That's understandable. Businesses are still struggling, despite some partial re-openings across the country, and most people who got laid off are still out of jobs. They are growing more desperate each day for the financial help that CARES offers and the HEROES promises. But... Read more →


Updated Friday May 15, 2020, 7 p.m. CDT Many found the first $1,200 (at most) of coronavirus relief payments to be too little and a tad too late. This latest round of relief, which calls for additional payments of up to $6,000 for some families, isn't likely to advance beyond the House in its current form, but at least it's a start toward more federal financial help. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opens debate on the latest COVID-19 relief bill. (Live House video feed screenshot) Today's good COVID-19 relief news is that the House is expected to vote on (and pass)... Read more →


And what you might be able to do about it. But not until next year. The hubby and I recently got our COVID-19 economic impact payment, despite my grumblings last month about not being able to get into the Get My Payment online tracking tool. We knew that due to some financial moves we've made in recent years in preparation for retirement, we wouldn't get the full possible payment. In case it's slipped your mind, that's $1,200 per individual, twice that for married couples who file a joint return. If you have qualifying dependent children younger than age 17, you... Read more →


Providing bank data for direct deposit of coronavirus relief payments will get you added more quickly to the growing number of folks — around 130 million so far — who've received their COVID cash. Photo by Alexander Mils from Pexels More than 130 million COVID-19 economic impact payments have been delivered, according to the Internal Revenue Service. That means the tax agency is nearing the end of its distribution of the money that is intended to help folks cover a few of the costs they've incurred due to the impact of coronavirus on the U.S. economy. And even though the... Read more →


The shift would highlight the protective agency's more investigative activities. Plus, a look at the Secret Service's evolution and movies featuring its agents to help you pass time in coronavirus self-isolation. Secret Service agent Allen Taylor following former First Lady Michelle Obama in a less formal setting. Obama discusses her protective coverage in Netflix's now-streaming "Becoming" documentary. (Photo: Netflix) The Secret Service could be heading home. The federal law enforcement agency known mostly for its agents who protect the president, the White House occupant's family and other U.S. elected leaders and visiting foreign dignitaries is part of the Department of... Read more →


Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels Interstate tax matters are difficult in the best of times. During a pandemic, they can be particularly confusing, infuriating and for the state hardest hit by COVID-19, a tax public relations nightmare. Health care heroes from across the country who came to work in overwhelmed New York hospitals and other medical facilities have learned that in addition to the eternal gratitude of Empire State and Big Apple residents, they also are getting tax bills. The issue was first reported by a New York City television station that spoke with medical staff at the temporary... Read more →


You won't have to issue a mayday call if you don't fall for any of the many myths surrounding the COVID-19 relief payments. May 1 is celebrated as, obviously, May Day. Across much of the world, at least part of today is dedicated to acknowledging, usually festively, workers' contributions. However, it also can be a warning. Mayday as one word, mayday, often repeated, it is an internationally recognized distress signal. During the coronavirus pandemic, both etymologies apply. Scary, nonworking May Day: Workers globally have lost their job as businesses have closed to help slow the spread of COVID-19. We're still... Read more →


Photo by Alexander Mils from Pexels Have you received your COVID-19 economic relief payment? The Internal Revenue Service says that 88.1 million taxpayers have. Those payments, which were delivered as of April 17, come to a total of almost $158 billion. Both the total checks and the overall amount are worthy of this week's early By the Numbers recognition. Timely turnaround: The coronavirus relief payments were authorized as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was enacted on March 27. That means that in three weeks, the IRS is more than halfway through the 150... Read more →


The hubby and I are self-isolating, meaning I only get out of the house every 10 days or so to pick up some perishables. This week, though, my grocery list was a bit longer. On top of COVID-19 concerns, it's been a bad allergy and sinusitis season for me. I'm relatively lucky, though. Most of the time over-the-counter (OTC) medications do a decent job of stifling the sneezing, sniffles, headaches and itchy eyes. So I loaded up on the shelf ready antihistamines, as well as cold and flu meds that treat many of the same symptoms without as much drowsiness.... Read more →


More than 80 million stimulus checks went out last week, mostly to people who filed federal 2018 or 2019 returns and had the Internal Revenue Service directly deposit those tax years' refunds. Millions more have been anxiously checking the IRS' Get My Payment online tracking tool (guilty!) and/or their bank accounts (guilty again!) to find out just how far along their (my) COVID-19 relief payment is in the distribution system. In many cases, people who didn't get refunds, but are eligible for the coronavirus stimulus money are trying to speed up the delivery process by using the online tool to... Read more →


A closeup of the bread line statues that are part of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorial in Washington, D.C. (Photo courtesy National Park Service) Another 5.245 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending April 11, according to the Department of Labor's report issued last week. These latest applications mean that coronavirus ramifications have wiped out more than a decade of U.S. job growth. Since June 2009, more than 20 million new jobs were reported across the United States. But in just the last four weeks, the number of unemployment claims has reached 22 million. That 22 million... Read more →


The COVID-19 outbreaks and subsequent worldwide stay-at-home orders have meant empty streets. Hello, Saturday! We made it through not just another week, but not-Tax-Day week, where we saw the arrival of a weird April 15 when neither our federal nor state tax returns were due. Now onward to July 15. Except for some states. A couple, Hawaii and Iowa, have usual personal income tax deadlines later than mid-April, so their extension deadline is later than July 15. A few — Idaho, Mississippi, New Hampshire and Virginia — want their personal state filings before mid-summer. And then there's the myriad deadline... Read more →


The Internal Revenue Service said this afternoon that its new Get My Payment online tracking tool is "operating smoothly and effectively." OK. Maybe I just caught Get My Payment, which is supposed to let taxpayers check on the status of their COVID-19 economic relief payment or add banking information so it can be directly deposited, at a brief glitchy moment. Apparently, according to the tax agency's statement, my experience, which I recounted earlier today in my tracking tool troubles post, was not the norm. But then again, what is normal in coronavirus tax time? IRS says things are A-OK: "As... Read more →


Happy Tax Day 2020! But it really isn't, thanks to the coronavirus delay of deadlines to July 15. So it's Happy COVID-19 Payment Day! But apparently, it really isn't that either. While the Internal Revenue Service says that it already has delivered some of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act created payments via direct deposit — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said earlier this week that would be the case today for 80 million of us — many of us are still waiting. And, after checking out bank accounts and finding nothing new from Uncle Sam, we eagerly... Read more →


The Treasury Department says it's on schedule to get coronavirus economic recovery payments to folks' bank accounts next week. There's even better news for those who want to change the payment's delivery method from snail mail to direct deposit. Politico's Morning Tax newsletter reports that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Capitol Hill lawmakers that the online tool that could speed up delivery of the COVID-19 money also will up and running next week. That's the mechanism that, as I noted in yesterdays' post, whereby folks who've previously received refunds as paper checks sent via the U.S. Postal Service or didn't... Read more →