There's no estate tax on the books for 2010, but that situation probably won't last long.
By Joe Mont, TheStreet
The old saw goes that no one can escape death and taxes. A pending fix to the nation's curiously missing estate tax will likely keep that cliche intact.
Currently, there is no estate tax on the books for 2010. In 2001, Congress, taking its lead from the Bush administration, approved a multi-year reduction of the rate and increased the exemption limit a deceased benefactor can leave to heirs tax-free. Last year, the final year of the relief package, set the exemption at $3.5 million and the top level tax hit was 45%. Even though the rate one again rises to 55%, with a $1 million exemption, in 2011, the current tax year was not covered by the 2001 legislation.
Although it was fully expected that Congress would pass a new rate for the missing year, a ramp-up to bridge the gap, it never happened. As 2009 drew to a close, the House of Representatives approved a new rate and exemption limit. The Senate, however, took no action.
Instead of getting a tax refund, you can keep the money to use during the year.
It makes no sense to me.
In 2003, the average federal income tax refund was $1,988. It jumped to $2,081 in 2004, rose to $2,171 in 2005 and exploded to $2,237 in 2006, $2,309 for 2007 and $2,400 for 2008. As of April 24, 2009, the average 2009 refund was $2,683. The total refunded in 2008 was almost $257 billion, to 107 million taxpayers. In 2009, the numbers rose to $259 billion owed to almost 97million taxpayers.
That’s a huge interest-free loan to the IRS.
Congress gives taxpayers a choice of taking deduction in 2009 or 2010 but you have to itemize.
No good deed ever goes unpunished -- but sometimes you can get a big tax deduction out of it.
Our U.S Congress actually did the right thing, even if they still can’t play well with others.
New Rule: Any contributions to earthquake relief in Haiti made between Jan. 11, 2010, and March 1, 2010, will be allowable against your 2009 tax return.
Value assigned to reward points is low, plus you have to pay a fee.
If you're filing your taxes in January, it's probably because you're going to get a refund.
But for folks who will be facing an IRS bill and likely filing and paying later, one credit card company is already touting its new tax payment option: reward points.
American Express customers who have Membership Rewards accounts can use those points to pay federal, state and local taxes. The company says the arrangement is a first for the credit card industry.
Previous fraud prompts IRS to require paper documents to claim home buyer tax credit, which will delay refunds.
The IRS wants you to e-file.
In 2009, individuals e-filed a record 95 million federal tax returns, up almost 6% from 2008. That’s almost two of every three tax returns filed. By 2011, all professional preparers will be required to e-file if they do 10 or more returns.
Returns filed electronically get processed faster and are significantly less expensive for the IRS.
The IRS even provides free e-filing on its website, www.irs.gov, for those making up to $57,000.
But, sorry new home buyer, if you want to claim the home buyer credit on your 2009 tax return, the IRS won’t let you e-file.
|Tags:||federal taxIRSJeff Schnepperreal estaterefundtax breaktax creditstax preparationtax write offs|
Feds say player owes $2.2 million in back taxes and penalties; he sues and says the agency has treated him badly.
The Internal Revenue Service says Arizona Cardinals safety Antrel Rolle understated his taxable income by more than 50% during his first two years in pro football, sending him a $2.2 million bill for back taxes, interest and penalties.
The IRS claims are contained in a previously unreported lawsuit Rolle filed in U.S. Tax Court against the agency. His petition asserts the IRS violated the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, denied him due process and failed to treat him in a "fair, professional and courteous manner." He complains the agency refused to transfer his tax audit from Sacramento to Los Angeles where his advisors and records were located and would not accept proffered documentation.
Anybody who earned wages needs to file this form, or risk paying too much in taxes.
You’d better use a good computer tax preparation program this year, or at least have a really good tax preparer. Otherwise, you’re gonna leave a big green bundle on the table.
There’s a new Schedule M that anybody with wages should file.
Agency produces informational videos to explain tax issues to public.
This news story comes from Carole Feldman at partner The Associated Press:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Amid all the music videos and celebrity news, the cute animal shots and comedy routines on YouTube, you'll find some helpful tax tips from the Internal Revenue Service.
The IRS channel on YouTube features dozens of videos informing people about new credits and deductions and other changes in the tax law.
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