Tax numbers Feed

A few years ago, tugboats pushing barges down the Mississippi River, like this one going under the Vicksburg Bridge, was not a problem. Extreme drought, however, has lowered the river's levels, allowing salty water from the Gulf of Mexico to creep upstream below a layer of freshwater. (Photo by Justin Wilkens on Unsplash) Salt water is creeping up the mouth of the Mississippi River and threatening the drinking supply of several parishes in Southeast Louisiana, including the city and suburbs of New Orleans. The prospects are so severe, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared major disasters in Jefferson, Orleans,... Read more →


Photo by Nikola Knezevic on Unsplash The famous saying about all politics being local also applies to taxes, most notably property taxes. Property taxes are locally levied, usually by counties (or parishes if you're in Louisiana), meaning they vary widely across, and within, the 50 states. Local jurisdictions set the tax rate, but if real estate values increase, even a relatively low rate can mean a big tax bill on your home. Because of the complicated considerations involved in calculation property taxes, the Tax Foundation's latest analysis took a two-pronged approach. The Washington, D.C.-based tax policy nonprofit looked at median... Read more →


Your next "welcome to your new job" handshake could be at the Internal Revenue Service. (Photo: Unsplash+ in collaboration with Ahmet Kurt) A key part of the Internal Revenue Service's plan to increase taxpayer compliance is personnel. It takes people to track down and confirm they, or their businesses, owe taxes. So the IRS is looking to hire 3,700 employees nationwide. Specifically, the agency is seeking people, preferably experienced accountants, to serve as revenue agents. Revenue agent special skills: IRS revenue agents, known officially as Internal Revenue Agents, serve as technical experts in examinations of significant and complicated tax compliance... Read more →


Source: AmeriCorps Tomorrow, Sept. 11, is Patriot Day. It's not an official, formal federal holiday. But it was declared, by a joint resolution of Congress in 2009, as the day each year for remembering those who died or were injured during the terrorist attacks in New York City, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., on Sept. 11, 2001. On the annual National Day of Service and Remembrance on Monday, Americans across the country will follow the urging of President Joe Biden's in his proclamation to participate in community service in honor of those our nation lost. You can find opportunities to volunteer... Read more →


Spc. LeAnn White, 2nd Scout Battalion, 49th Brigade, Alaska State Defense Force, assists with recovery operations in Crooked Creek, Alaska, following May floods. Ice dams caused riverbanks to overflow, severely damaging many homes in the area. (Photo courtesy Alaska National Guard via Defense Visual Information Distribution Service) All weather eyes recently, and understandably, have been on Florida, where on Aug. 30 Hurricane Idalia made landfall in the state's Big Bend area as a category 3 storm. Idalia's winds damaged buildings and roads in Keaton Beach and other Gulf Coast enclaves near where the hurricane came ashore. Flooding was more widespread,... Read more →


Relax! An IRS change should help those 50 and older who make catch-up contributions to their workplace retirement savings plans. (Photo: Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) The second version of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement, or SECURE 2.0, Act was lauded for its many retirement-saving positive provisions. But as often happens with tax-related legislation, especially when it becomes law at the very end of a year, there were some not so good changes. That was the case with SECURE 2.0, which was enacted on Dec. 29, 2022, as part of the much larger Consolidated Appropriations Act.... Read more →


Hawai'i Air National Guard loadmasters and maintenance specialists deliver supplies at Kahului Airport, Maui, to help with the recovery from the fires that devastated the island. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Internal Revenue Service also are offering affected residents and businesses relief. (Photo by U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. John Linzmeier via Wikimedia Commons) The Internal Revenue Service has made it official. Hawaii wildfire victims in Maui and Hawaii counties have been granted tax relief, including a Feb. 15, 2024, deadline to file various federal individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. The... Read more →


America's elite billionaires club last week welcomed a new member. The person who has the sole winning ticket, purchased at a Publix grocery store in Neptune Beach, Florida, can claim the $1.58 billion Mega Millions jackpot. The Aug. 8 jackpot was the largest Mega Millions jackpot awarded, according to the national lottery. The winner, who has yet to come forward, has the option of taking the nearly $1.6 billion spread out over 30 years. Or the winner can slide into the millionaires' club by getting a single cash payment of $783.3 million. One vs. 30 payouts: Most people opt for... Read more →


An energy audit might find that adding insulation can make your home more comfortable and energy efficient. The formal inspection also could get you a tax break. audit could produce lower utility bills and a tax credit. (Photo via Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) In extreme weather, which happens year-round and more frequently nowadays, homeowners do their own residential energy audits. Depending on the season, we stand in hot or cold spots in our houses and try to figure out (1) why it's happening, and (2) how to remedy it. If you're finding yourself doing this more often, and... Read more →


Flags of member nations at the United Nations office in Geneva, Switzerland. (Photo by Photo by Peda Run on Unsplash) Here in the United States, the Internal Revenue Service has gotten a lot of attention for its efforts to fight tax evasion. Earlier this month, the IRS reported that it IRS had collected $38 million from more than 175 high-income tax delinquents. That money was the result of a new initiative made possible from $80 billion new Inflation Reduction Act funds, although Republicans clawed back $1.4 billion of that money (and more to come in future years) in the debt... Read more →


Photo by Cash Macanaya on Unsplash Any great change brings hopes and fears. The possibilities and threats of artificial intelligence (AI) becoming a regular part of our lives have ramped those hopes and fears up to level gazillion. On the positive side, tasks that take up an inordinate amount of time for us humans to do can be accomplished much more quickly by AI. That can make everyday life more convenient and enjoyable for many of us. The downside of that is that some of those tasks are paying jobs for people. Those folks are out of luck (and work)... Read more →


Need an in-person helping hand with a tax problem? New and reopened Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) across the United States and Puerto Rico could be the place to find it. Plus, the Internal Revenue Service is holding community visits in places far from TACs. (Photo by Austin Kehmeier on Unsplash). An IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) is your source for personal tax help when you believe your tax issue cannot be handled online or by phone, and you want face-to-face tax assistance. Now, with the money provided by the Inflation Reduction Act, the IRS is reopening TACs that had been... Read more →


Reviewed and updated Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024 The New Year's Day 2024 Powerball drawing was life-changing for the yet-to-be identified person who bought the lone winning ticket in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Congrats to the winner of the $842.4 million jackpot, which has a one-time cash payment value of $425.2 million. And better luck next time for the rest of us! Picking lucky numbers from a lottery game dispenser. Benjamin Franklin wasn't wrong, but he did live in pre-national lottery times. Today, joining death and taxes as life's constants is Americans' love of gambling. One of the most popular betting options... Read more →


World's youngest CPA Jimmy Chilimigras, left, with his mentor Bryan Kesler. (Screen capture from Kesler CPA Review video) When I was 15, summer was a fun time. No school. The public pool was open. And I was getting driving lessons in anticipation of my 16th birthday when I could get my license. Yes, I am that old. James Chilimigras has other plans this summer. Sure, Jimmy, as he's known, is doing some fishing around his Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, home. But the 15-year-old is also getting ready to attend New Orleans' Loyola University law school in neighboring Louisiana this fall.... Read more →


FanDuel On July 1, Tennessee will become the first state to tax sports betting handle. That means the Volunteer State's tax take will be based on based on the total amount of money wagered, instead of revenue collected. For a few more days, Tennessee will impose a 20 percent tax on adjusted gross gambling revenue (AGR). Next month, it will tax sports betting handle at 2 percent. The reason is, of course, money. Millions more to collect: A Tennessee General Assembly Fiscal Review Committee financial summary of the bill making the taxing methodology change notes that more than $3.77 billion... Read more →


The expanded Child Tax Credit was a lifeline for millions of families early in the COVID-19 pandemic. The benefit went from $2,000 per qualifying child to $3,600 a year for children younger than age 6, and $3,000 per child for youngsters ages 6 to 17. More of the increased CTC also was refundable, meaning that if the available tax credit amount was more than the filer's tax due, the excess was sent to the taxpayer as a refund. Even better, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) called for most eligible households to get half of their qualifying CTC payment in... Read more →


Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich Congress is starting to work on federal tax law changes, but states have been at it for a while. In fact, notes the Tax Foundation, 2023 marks a third consecutive year of substantial state tax reform and relief. Since 2021, 24 states have cut individual income tax rates. That includes 22 reductions to top marginal rates. Eight states adopted individual income tax rate reductions, writes Katherine Loughead, senior policy analyst at the Washington, D.C.-based tax policy think tank's website. They are Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Utah, and West Virginia. Additionally, Michigan triggered a... Read more →


Click on image for animation. Tropical Storm Arlene marked the official opening on Thursday, June 1, of the 2023 hurricane season. The good news is that she's now fizzled, as the above animated satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Hurricane Center, or NOAA NHC for all my fellow government acronym fans. Better news is that the NHC says it doesn't expect any tropical cyclone activity for the next 48 hours. The lull could be longer; that's just the time range that Uncle Sam's forecasters are using. A slow hurricane season start is not unusual. The Weather... Read more →


Members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment place flags at Arlington National Cemetery in advance of Memorial Day. Memorial Day officially is Monday, May 29. But a lot of people will be traveling back home then, so it's today that most friends and family across the United States are gathering. Many will make sure to acknowledge Memorial Day. It's the national day of remembrance of those who died in service to the United States. The graphic below from the U.S. Census Bureau, using the Department of Defense's Defense Manpower Data Center statistics, has the tally of those military service personnel... Read more →


Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko A Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) report on the early results of the 2023 filing season shows that the agency is still taking identity theft seriously. This filing season, which wrapped up (save for extensions) on April 18, was the first since the pandemic began where individual tax return processing and related activities returned for the most part to normal timelines, noted TIGTA. As of March 3, the IRS had received 54.9 million tax returns, or almost a third of the 167 million filings it expects to get this year. Of that nearly 55... Read more →