Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tax Watch Spring 2007 Edition Available

Tax Foundation.org has posted the Spring 2007 edition of their quarterly tax policy newsletter, Tax Watch. The newsletter includes non-technical research and discussion of current tax issues including Gross Receipts Taxes, the Alternative Minimum Tax, and much more. Click here to see the full newsletter.

E-Filing Up 5 Percent Says IRS

According to the IRS’s official website the number of tax returns being filed electronically is up five percent from the same time period last year. According to IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson, "taxpayers are filing electronically at a record pace this year, E-file reduces taxpayer errors and gets refunds back quickly." So far 73 percent of all returns have been e-filed this tax filing season, up from 70 percent for the same period last year. Also up is the number of people having their returns deposited directly into their bank accounts. 76 percent of all refunds issued this tax-filing season were directly deposited, up from 71 percent for the same period last year.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

IRS Identifies 40 Frivolous Positions To Avoid

Recently the Internal Revenue Service issued an article detailing 40 frivolous positions that taxpayers should avoid when completing their tax returns. These positions have no basis in tax law or have been determined frivolous by tax or federal courts. If any frivolous positions are contained in a tax return, taxpayers could face a fine for filing a frivolous tax return. In 2006 congress increased the penalty from $500 to $5,000 for persons submitting tax returns that are deemed frivolous by the IRS. One of the frivolous positions includes false arguments that wages are not taxable income, among various others. For more details visit the IRS’s official website.

Strangest Tax Deductions

Kiplinger has a new article on Yahoo finance with the top ten oddball tax deductions. All of which seem too be fake, but are actual examples that were held up in court. Some of the deductions include cat food for a junkyard owner, the cost of moving a pet, and a trip to the Bahamas among many others. Keep in mind that these deductions are not typical, and not recommended to include on individual taxpayers' returns.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Free File For Telephone Tax Refund

Because of the confusion over the telephone tax refund the IRS is reminding telephone users who do not normally file tax returns that they can take advantage of the Free File system to request a telephone tax refund. According to the IRS the Free File system is the easiest and quickest way to request the refund, which could arrive in taxpayers bank accounts in about two weeks. IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson claims, "Fee File is a great choice for people who don’t normally need to file a tax return but who are entitled to this special telephone excise tax refund." For more information on requesting a telephone tax refund through Free File, visit the IRS’s official site.

Help With W2 Forms

Associated Content has added an article with a detailed breakdown of the information on W2 forms. Included is a box by box breakdown of what appears in every box on W2 forms and how it pertains to individual taxpayers. You can read the full article here.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Revisions to Offer in Compromise Application Form

On Monday the IRS announced they had revised the application for an Offer in Compromise, Form 656 package. IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson notes, "we hope that these changes help more people who qualify satisfy their tax obligations." The changes were made as a result of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 and some of the changes include new payment terms and submission rules. For more details on the changes visit the IRS’s website.

$2.2 Billion in 2003 Tax Refunds

According to IRS estimates there is over $2.2 billion in unclaimed tax refunds from over 1.8 million American taxpayers who did not file a federal return in 2003. The IRS estimates that half of the people who could claim refunds would receive over $600 per return. There is no penalty for filing a late return qualifying for a refund, and the IRS is encouraging people to file before the April 17, 2007 deadline, at which point all unclaimed funds become property of the government. You can get all current and prior years tax forms at www.IRS.gov or by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM. For more information check out Times Record News.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

E-Filing And Direct Deposit Numbers Up This Year

According to IRS data from March 2, 2006, the number of people using the e-file system, as well as people direct depositing their refunds has risen yet again. Overall the number of e-files has increased by 4% when compared with last year’s data. Including an increase in 7% of e-filing from personal computers and a 2% increase in e-filing from tax preparers. Also more people are requesting their refunds be directly deposited into their bank accounts. So far 82% of all tax refunds have been direct deposited, up from 80% last year. Source: IRS.gov.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Small Business Deductions

Do you own a small business? Nolo.com has compiled a list of the fourteen most important small business tax deductions, as well as another list of other easily overlooked deductions. You can check out the list by visiting Nolo.com.

Tax Incentives For Whistle Blowers

According to the IRS the difference between what taxpayers are supposed to pay in federal taxes and what they actually pay is around $345 billion per year. In order to help combat this ever-growing shortfall of revenue congress and the President have enacted a measure to give people more motivation to report others who are abusing the tax system. There are even plans to offer rewards for those who report abuse. The rewards will only go to informants who provide specific and useful information. For more on the whistle blowing incentives visit this article at The Star Ledger.