Tax numbers Feed

Free tax-preparation and filing help is offered ever tax season through groups community groups nationwide, like this Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program run by the Summit-Medina, Ohio, United Way. As the COVID-compromised 2020 and 2021 tax filing seasons demonstrated, most taxpayers needed some help to make sure they got all the tax breaks they were entitled to, as well as just file their annual returns. That need for tax assistance isn't going away, even if we do (fingers and toes tightly crossed) get to a more normal tax season next year. And volunteers who've received the Internal Revenue Service... Read more →


Fans of peer-to-peer payment apps are worried that a proposed $600 bank account reporting threshold will affect their transactions. It won't. The U.S. tax system is based on voluntary compliance by taxpayers. But the Internal Revenue Service wasn't born yesterday. It knows full disclosure by all taxpayers is a pipe dream. That's why the agency relies on, and pushes for, increased third-party notifications. That's where taxable transactions are reported not only to the taxpayers, but also the IRS. The most common situation is the W-2 annual wage statement, but there are plenty of others. The latest instance of third-party reporting... Read more →


Young boy feeding the chickens. (Photo by ArtHouse Studio from Pexels) As we wind down the first weekend in October, Democrats are continuing to fight amongst themselves and with Republicans over how big President Joe Biden's economic plan should be and how to pay for however much it ultimately is. But one group of taxpayers is happy about what isn't in the mix. Potential changes to the tax treatment of inherited property are off the table, at least for now. There had been talk that the stepped-up basis rule would be eliminated. This tax rule allows heirs to set the... Read more →


But despite the technical problem, IRS says still use online tool to make changes, including stopping Advance Child Tax Credit payments for the rest of the year. You'd think that by the time the Internal Revenue Service issued the third Advance Child Tax Credit (AdvCTC) payment, things would be automatic. Well, you've got another think coming. The IRS did deliver in mid-September around 35 million AdvCTC payments totaling $15 billion. But unfortunately for some eligible families, their money didn't show up on time. The explanation was the usual one. It was a technical issue. Yeah, I rolled my eyes, too.... Read more →


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay Each year, the Treasury Department's Office of Tax Policy and the Internal Revenue Service formulate a Priority Guidance Plan that focuses resources on issues that are most important to taxpayers and tax administration. One of the main goals of the guidance plan is to increase voluntary taxpayer compliance by helping to clarify ambiguous areas of the tax law. So working off the annual guidance plan, the IRS issues regulations, revenue rulings, revenue procedures, notices, and other published administrative guidance. The 2021-2022 Priority Guidance Plan, released on Sept. 9, contains 193 guidance projects. The list... Read more →


via GIPHY On a visceral financial level, we all hate paying taxes. But what we hate almost as much is that the tax laws often seem overly complicated or just plain goofy. Take estimated taxes. These are four extra payments that the Internal Revenue Service and many states require taxpayers to make to cover the taxes due on earnings that aren't subject to paycheck tax withholding. Straightforward enough, right? Until it comes to payment deadlines. Even though there are, in most cases, four of them and they're called quarterly estimated tax payments, the IRS uses a calendar that's a bit... Read more →


With the financial situation of Uncle Sam's retirement benefits program getting more dire, a recurring suggestion — raise the Social Security payroll tax wage base — is getting some traction this year. Labor Day typically marks the end, at least unofficially, of summer. After the early September long weekend, most schools are back in session, albeit still in remote/real classroom combos due to the Delta COVID-19 variant. Workers, many also still in hybrid coronavirus cubicle/Zoom formats, tend to focus on their jobs. Those jobs are critical not just to the employees, but the economy as a whole and to two... Read more →


Last November, Louisiana voters in 55 of the state's 64 parishes approved sports betting. Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the necessary enacting bills into law in June. And this month, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board passed emergency sports betting rules, effective Aug. 23, to start the licensing process and finalize permanent rules. The process probably isn't streamlined enough to allow bettors to put down cash on the Thursday, Sept. 9, meeting of my frustratingly underachieving Cowboys and the current Super Bowl Champion Buccaneers, which kicks off the 2021 National Football League (NFL) season. But the hope of sports betting supporters... Read more →


When is a tax whistleblower not a whistleblower, at least as far as getting rewarded for certain information? When the Internal Revenue Service determines that added taxes didn't directly come from the whistleblower's, well, whistle blowing. That's what recently happened to a man who altered the IRS to what he thought was unreported, and therefore untaxed, income. The IRS, acting on the tip, reviewed the reported individual's apparently questionable filing. However, the IRS found that the suspect funds were indeed non-taxable. But then the IRS took a longer look at the taxpayer's filing, and found what it determined were improper... Read more →


The parents of these youngsters are as happy as their offspring, thanks to the Advance Child Tax Credit payments. But some moms and dads still have questions about the money. With the delivery of the second Advance Child Tax Credit (AdvCTC) payments last week, the Internal Revenue Service now has sent out roughly $30 billion to around 36 million families. That dollar amount will continue to grow as half of the tax credit, which was bumped up for the 2021 tax year, is mailed or directly deposited at the middle of the coming months. But this weekend, as we mark... Read more →


Tax reporting changes of virtual currency transactions remain a part of the infrastructure bill, now on the bumpy legislative road to passage in the U.S. Senate. But crypto already has been contributing to the U.S. Treasury, and I'm not talking about individual taxpayers' filings. So far this fiscal year, the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation division has seized $1.2 billion in crypto currencies. And there's still almost two months before fiscal 2021 ends on Sept. 30. That amount is a reflection of the tax agency's increased interest in digital currency. "In fiscal year 2019, we had about $700,000 worth of... Read more →


IRS image Last fall, the Internal Revenue Service announced that it was adding QR, or Quick Response, codes to some of the notices it sends taxpayers. Specifically, the codes are going on tax due notices. The goal, says the IRS, is to make it easier for taxpayers to deal with the notices. Recipients of the QR coded correspondence can use their smartphones to scan it and go directly to IRS website. From there, they can access their taxpayer account, set up a payment plan, or contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service. Basically, the digital option eliminates the tax middleman or woman.... Read more →


Just about a month ago, the Internal Revenue Service reportedly had a backlog of more than 35 million individual and business returns that required manual processing. That was up from 29 million back in April. Last week, however, the IRS said it's essentially caught up with early season individual filings. Hey, don't shoot the messenger. That's the official word from the IRS, via its special IRS Operations During COVID-19: Mission-critical functions continue webpage. In a July 23 update to a portion of the What You Can Expect section of that site, the tax agency says it "is opening mail within... Read more →


The Internal Revenue Service and those who want Uncle Sam to go after tax evaders were elated when a bipartisan infrastructure bill included money for enhanced tax collection efforts. Proponents said the beefed-up proposal to close the Tax Gap could bring in an additional $100 billion over the next 10 years in owed but unpaid taxes. However, that funding option has been scuttled. "Well, one reason it's not part of the [infrastructure] proposal is that we did have [Republican] pushback," said Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) during an appearance today on CNN's "State of the Union" program. But there's still hope... Read more →


Some of the world's billionaires are looking to escape earth, but for those who like terra firma, New York City is home to most of the world's richest people. (Photo of lower Manhattan skyline by MusikAnimal via Wikimedia Commons) Richard Branson today proved yet again how different the rich are from you and me. The British billionaire owner of Virgin Galactic and three spaceplane crewmates reached suborbital heights on Sunday, July 11, before gliding back to earth. I was once a child with a dream looking up to the stars. Now I'm an adult in a spaceship looking down to... Read more →


American artist John Trumbull's painting of the presentation of the draft of the Declaration of Independence, which is the artwork's name, to Congress. (Image from Wikimedia Commons) Happy July 4th everybody! I hope all y'all are having great and save 245th birthday party for what became the United States. Relatively speaking, we're still a young country. And like most juveniles and young adults, we're still making mistakes. But we're learning (I hope) from them as push ahead to reach what our Constitution calls a more perfect union. To get there, we need to turn to another critical U.S. document, the... Read more →


Photo by 竟傲 汤 from Pexels Texas is pretty much open. Even my local grocery store, which for almost a... Read more →


Being a parent is tough when there are two adults to share the responsibilities. Child rearing sometimes is darn nigh impossible when there's just a single parent in charge. Most single-parent families are headed by mothers. But there's a substantial number of dads facing these challenges, too. U.S. Census Bureau data show that of the 35 million fathers of minor children, 1.7 million, or roughly 2 percent, are single fathers living with at least one child younger than 18. On Father's Day 2021, we salute all you nearly 2 million dads who are doing your best to take care on... Read more →


June 15 — yep, this coming Tuesday — is Tax Day for all Louisianans (and Texans and Oklahomans) who endured mid-February's historic freeze. But some Pelican State taxpayers now get even longer to finish up their 2020 tax year returns. The Internal Revenue Service says victims of severe storms and flooding in parts of Louisiana that began May 17 now have until Aug. 16 to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. The affected filers live in or have businesses in Ascension, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, and Lafayette Parishes. These parishes were designated as disaster... Read more →


Unemployment benefits were a lifesaver for many Americans who saw their jobs eliminated during the height of coronavirus pandemic. Now some of those unemployment insurance (UI) recipients are getting another boost from the benefits thanks to a change in how the COVID-related funds are taxed. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) deemed up to $10,200 per taxpayer in unemployment compensation as tax-free. ARPA became law on March 11, meaning some filers submitted their 2020 returns and paid tax on all the UI benefits they got last year before the change took effect. Rather than make those folks redo... Read more →