Federal tax of 10 cents a roll to upgrade sewer systems would be the ultimate user tax and ease the squeeze on city funds.
If Washington, D.C., is going to demand that local governments upgrade their sewer systems, then Washington, D.C., should help pay for the improvements.
And what better way than a federal excise tax on toilet paper?
The extra 10 cents on every roll of toilet paper was one of the ideas from Omaha, Neb., Mayor Jim Suttle, who's looking for ways to help pay his city's $1.7 billion federally mandated sewer project cost.
Given the linking of taxes and bathroom humor, the toilet paper tax proposal pops up across the country now and then.
Suttle admits that he got the idea from an Oregon lawmaker who suggested a similar plan a couple of years ago as a way to help cities and the environment. But the
Midwest mayor thinks the time might actually be right for such a tax.
Almost 100 offices nationwide will be open to answer questions and help with returns. We also have tips on other sources of free tax-return help.
Tax day is fast approaching. This year you get a few extra days, but you might want to start working on your tax return now to get it sent to the Internal Revenue Service by the April 18 deadline.
If you need some help, the IRS will have offices open this Saturday throughout the country to provide free help to taxpayers. The offices will be open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time Saturday, March 26.
"We are opening our doors on these Saturdays to help taxpayers who may not have a chance to seek assistance during the work week," IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said in a news release. "If taxpayers need help preparing their tax returns or have an account question, we encourage them to visit one of our open houses."
Start by filing on time and paying as much as you can. Ignoring the problem will just make it worse.
March 6, 2011
What if you owe money to the IRS but don’t have the cash to pay the bill?
Don’t panic, but don’t ignore the problem, either. File your 2010 tax return by the April 18 deadline, even if you can't pay the full amount you owe. The late-payment penalty is 0.5% per month of the unpaid amount, up to 25% of the balance. Still, that's a lot better than the failing-to-file penalty of 5% a month.
Pay as much of your tax bill as you can when you file your return, to reduce the penalties and interest that will continue to accrue until the balance is paid in full. Then wait for the IRS to send you a bill for the balance. That should take about 45 days and give you some time to come up with some or all of the cash.
The IRS is having problems processing the returns of those who got the 2008 homebuyer tax credit. It's a small but vocal group.
This has not been a good filing season for the Internal Revenue Service.
First, Congress screwed around into December before passing tax laws that apply to 2010 returns. That forced the IRS to push back the start of the 2011 filing season for many taxpayers as it reprogrammed its computers.
Then, thanks to a glitch in those computers, the IRS erroneously demanded payments of folks whose direct tax debits are in the works.
Now there's a passel of first-time homebuyer credit claimants who are not happy about another IRS glitch that's placed their tax returns and, in some cases, their refunds in limbo.
The problem is with filers who claimed the original $7,500 homebuyer credit for the 2008 tax year. It wasn't really a credit back then. Instead, it was a 15-year, no-interest loan that has to be paid back, starting with 2010 tax returns.
The agency issues an 84-page report debunking common arguments people use to try to avoid taxes. The penalty for 'frivolous' filing is $5,000.
Americans have tried just about everything to get out of paying their taxes, the Internal Revenue Service says, but very few excuses are likely to work.
The IRS recently released its annual The Truth About Frivolous Tax Arguments report, which outlines not only the most popular arguments people have presented over the years to avoid paying their taxes but also the policy statements and inevitable tax court decisions the government has used to debunk them.
"Anyone who contemplates arguing on legal grounds against paying their fair share of taxes should first read the 84-page document," the IRS said.
Agency offering carrots and sticks to force taxpayers and preparers to file electronically. Plus, tax benefits to remember this year.
Tax season is in full swing. But something is missing: the forms the Internal Revenue Service sends out in the mail every year.
It isn't a mistake. As part of a push to have more taxpayers file electronically, this year the IRS ended its decades-long practice of mailing paper packages to taxpayers.
In 2009 it cost the IRS only 19 cents to process an e-filed return, compared with $3.29 for one on paper.
There are other important tax-code changes to be aware of as well, many of them a result of December's sweeping tax legislation. They affect health insurance for the self-employed, charitable IRA rollovers, sales taxes and other items.
Yet the "e-filing" push will be the biggest and most jarring change for many. Although e-filing has caught on over the past decade -- nearly 70% of 142 million individual returns were e-filed last year, up from 23% a decade ago -- it has been least popular among wealthier taxpayers. To promote e-filing, the IRS this year stopped mailing forms to people's homes automatically and mandated that preparers of more than 100 returns e-file them. Next year, that figure drops to 11.
Anonymous tipster alerted the feds to $600 million tax-evasion scheme. Yes, the bounty is taxable.
A whistleblower who exposed a tax fraud scheme by Enron and Wall Street firms has been awarded a $1.1 million reward by the Internal Revenue Service.
The payout came from the new IRS Whistleblower Office, but was made under prior, less generous guidelines. Those older rules, which still apply in some instances, call for a reward of up to 15% of the money that the IRS recovers based on the information.
The whistleblower office was revamped in 2006. Now when whistleblower information about alleged tax cheating leads to IRS collection of unpaid taxes and the subsequent recovery amount exceeds $2 million, the whistleblower can pocket up to 30% of the recovered money.
Retirees up in arms over governor's proposal to tax pensions in order to cut taxes on business.
This article is by Kathy Barks Hoffman of The Associated Press.
Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is drawing recall threats and angry protests over his attempt to do what no Michigan governor has tried in more than 40 years: Tax the pension and 401(k) incomes of millions of retirees.
The move has brought demonstrators to the Capitol and has thousands of seniors reminding the new governor that they could make re-election difficult for him and lawmakers who go along. Democrats oppose the move, and even some GOP lawmakers are casting about for an alternative to avoid raising taxes on a powerful interest group.
Snyder remains undeterred. The multimillionaire former Gateway computer executive says Michigan -- which has some of the nation's most generous senior tax breaks -- can't afford the $900 million it loses because of them, and that retirees need to pay their share rather than pushing the burden onto younger residents.
Arnold Eick, a 73-year-old former General Motors manager, says he needs those tax breaks to stay afloat. Like many retirees, he's incensed that he and the working poor who would lose a tax credit are being asked to pay more so Snyder can reduce business taxes.
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