Smart TaxesSmart Taxes

Anybody who earned wages needs to file this form, or risk paying too much in taxes.

By Jeff Schnepper Jan 25, 2010 11:45AM

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.

By Teresa Mears Jan 22, 2010 12:48PM

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.

 

Reform proposals would give agency significant responsibility.

By Jeff Schnepper Jan 22, 2010 12:41PM

Congress now wants the IRS to manage major parts of the new health care reform.

 

New IRS responsibilities would include:

  • Remitting affordability credits to low-income earners to pay for coverage they will purchase through state-run exchanges.
 

Congress passes bill that would allow Americans to deduct contributions to Haiti relief efforts from 2009 taxes.

By TheStreet Staff Jan 21, 2010 7:07PM

TheStreetBy Joe Mont, TheStreet

 

Congress passed a bill that would let taxpayers who make charitable contributions for Haitian earthquake relief to deduct those donations from their 2009 taxes.

 

Under current law, taxpayers would have to wait until next year to claim a deduction for Haiti-related contributions. The change is similar to legislation created after a tsunami struck Thailand and Indonesia in 2004.

 

The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved the Haiti Assistance Income Tax Incentive Act on Wednesday. The Senate passed it unanimously late Thursday. President Obama is expected to sign the bill by the end of the week.

 

The agency plans to look through the books of 6,000 companies over 3 years.

By TheStreet Staff Jan 21, 2010 5:42PM
TheStreetBy Joe Mont, TheStreet

 

The Internal Revenue Service, trying to recoup some of the estimated $14 billion that companies underpay in employer taxes each year, plans to wage a three-year campaign to audit 6,000 businesses.

 

The cash-strapped government, which separately said it wants to put a levy on large financial companies that received bailouts, will zero in on worker classification, fringe benefits, reimbursed expenses and executive compensation. The selection of the audited companies will be random, and both big and small businesses will be scrutinized.

 

Defining who is, or isn't, an employee might be the biggest challenge for the IRS and the companies it audits. While some businesses might be confused about how to classify workers, others might misclassify employees to bypass protections, such as minimum-wage laws, child-labor standards and overtime requirements, and avoid having to offer health and pension plans.

 

 

Poor customer service hurts ability to collect taxes, taxpayer advocate says.

By Teresa Mears Jan 21, 2010 11:12AM

This news article comes from Martin Vaughan at partner site The Wall Street Journal:

 

An expanding slate of duties is stretching the Internal Revenue Service too thin, leading to poor customer service and undermining its ability to collect taxes, a government watchdog said.

 

Installation of some improvements is included, but for other upgrades, you get credit only for material.

By Jeff Schnepper Jan 20, 2010 12:36PM

Congress and President Obama want us to save energy.

 

Global warming is my fault. I’ll take the heat. I actually use my car and prefer to live in a comfortable indoor temperature. I’m sitting here now in minus-7 degree wind chill adjusted outside temperature wondering where I can buy a can of hair spray to open a warming hole in the atmosphere over my house.

 

Proposal would allow contributions to be deducted on 2009 returns.

By Kay Bell Jan 19, 2010 4:19PM

As relief workers scramble to bring aid to the victims of last week's devastating earthquake in Haiti, U.S. lawmakers are working out details of a tax break for those who've donated (or plan to donate) to the cause.

 

Under a bipartisan House bill, if you contributed money to nonprofits providing relief to the stricken island nation, you would be able to deduct those donations on your 2009 tax return. This would allow you the tax benefit of the gifts now, rather than making you wait almost a year to claim the charitable gift when you file your 2010 tax return in 2011.

 

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