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The Donald's Tax Plan Has Arrived

Promises to simplify tax code, cut income taxes to zero for lowest earners

(Newser) - Slowly but surely, Donald Trump is bulking up the position statements on his website. His immigration and gun rights platforms have now been joined by his new tax plan , which he announced Monday in a press conference from NYC's Trump Tower, CNBC reports. "Too few Americans are working,... More »

Today's Tax-Free Pot Day in Colorado

Tokers can thank quirky state tax law for their good fortune

(Newser) - They knew this day was coming , and now it's here. It's tax-free cannabis day in Colorado, where due to a quirk in the state's tax law, buyers of recreational marijuana will be relieved of most taxes on their purchase, the AP reports. The one-day "holiday" means... More »

Streaming Customers Sue Over 'Netflix Tax'

Chicagoans claims tax violates federal law

(Newser) - Angry streaming customers in Chicago are fighting back against the so-called "Netflix tax," filing a lawsuit against the city last Wednesday that could have national implications, the Daily Dot reports. The plaintiffs—including Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify customers—allege the 9% tax on streaming services (an extension of... More »

IRS: We No Longer Accept Checks Over $99,999,999

Super-rich will just have to pay electronically

(Newser) - Owe the tax man $100 million or more? Your check is no good at the IRS. Starting next year, the IRS says it will reject all checks for more than $99,999,999. That's because check-processing equipment at the nation's Federal Reserve banks can't handle checks that... More »

Colorado's Pot to Be Much Cheaper for One Day

Quirky state law is cutting out most taxes on marijuana on Sept. 16

(Newser) - Think of it as a back-to-school sales tax break, but for stoners. Colorado's unusual tax law is forcing the state to suspend taxes on recreational marijuana for one day—Sept. 16—during which a 10% sales tax and 15% excise tax won't be collected. The sales-tax break would... More »

Let's Consider Taxing Elite Colleges' Huge Endowments

Harvard, Yale, et al. are getting richer while state schools scramble: Slate writer

(Newser) - As the student-loan struggle continues and presidential candidates try to come up with ways to help middle-class and disadvantaged students attend college, there are stockpiles of money that are benefiting the most affluent, unfettered by government taxation: the endowments of elite colleges, Jordan Weissmann writes for Slate . And that's... More »

Tax Day Argument: Let the IRS Do Our Taxes

Advocates push 'return-free filing' as a way to simplify a painful process

(Newser) - With "tax day" upon us, critics of the current filing system are staking out their usual ground and calling for reform. One of the big alternatives being pushed is "return-free filing," which, advocates say, would simplify a system that's needlessly painful and complicated. As Farhad Manjoo... More »

Ferguson Judge Behind Fines Scheme Owes $170K

Ronald Brockmeyer, 70, is also accused of fixing tickets

(Newser) - A Ferguson, Missouri judge first got in hot water when the Justice Dept. accused him of fixing traffic tickets and unfairly punishing residents over unpaid fees. But 70-year-old Ronald Brockmeyer has another problem: more than $170,000 in outstanding taxes, the Guardian reports. According to tax liens filed by the... More »

London Mayor Hit With Huge US Tax Bill

New York-born mayor agrees to pay up before US visit

(Newser) - Many Londoners might not know their mayor has an American passport as well as a British one—but Uncle Sam is certainly aware of it. Boris Johnson was born in New York, and as an American citizen, he's liable to pay American taxes, which he has reluctantly agreed to... More »

No Health Insurance by Feb. 15? Face Wrath of Taxman

Miss that date, get a 2015 ObamaCare penalty in addition to 2014's

(Newser) - With tax time fast approaching, there's a new hoop to jump through: Those without health insurance may be facing ObamaCare penalties for 2014—and for 2015 if they don't nail down coverage by Feb. 15, NPR reports. Those who were uninsured in 2014 may face a tax penalty... More »

Politically Minded Pastors Dare IRS to Sue Them

Numbers participating in Pulpit Freedom Sunday swell

(Newser) - You can't have your cake and eat it, too—or, in the case of the "rogue" pastors described by Politico , you can't endorse political candidates and still get sweet tax breaks. Although the ministers assert it's within their First Amendment rights to preach their political preferences,... More »

US Cracks Down on Companies Moving Overseas

Treasury Dept tries to curb tax inversions

(Newser) - The Obama administration cracked down today on so-called tax inversions, aiming to curb a spate of American companies shifting overseas in an attempt to shirk paying US taxes. New regulations from the Treasury Department will make inversions less lucrative by barring creative techniques that companies use to lower their tax... More »

Time for a Federal Tax on Soda

Mark Bittman salutes bill being introduced today

(Newser) - A Connecticut congresswoman is proposing a federal tax on soda, and chef and columnist Mark Bittman is throwing his weight behind it. "A well-crafted soda tax is likely to work to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, and therefore obesity, and therefore diabetes, and therefore health care costs, and to... More »

Rumsfeld to IRS: I Have 'No Idea' If My Taxes Are Right

Former defense secretary gets snarky with IRS

(Newser) - Can't make heads or tails of your taxes? Well don't feel too bad, because at least one former secretary of defense can't either. Donald Rumsfeld sent his tax returns the IRS along with a cheeky letter informing them that he has "absolutely no idea" whether they'... More »

TurboTax Tricks People Into Fighting Free Tax Prep

Lobbyist with ties to software maker plants stories with community leaders: ProPublica

(Newser) - It sounds like an uncontroversial proposal: The IRS could set up a simple, optional, online tax tool, filling out your forms automatically using info the government has on file. Yet over the past year, community leaders have been coming out of the woodwork against such a thing. Rabbi Elliot Dorff,... More »

Stop Tax Preparer 'Pros' From Swindling the Poor

Too many fraudsters are exploiting poor clients, writes Alex Levy

(Newser) - Unethical tax preparers are getting rich preying on poor people in the US, and it's time Congress did something about it, writes NYU law student Alex Levy in the New York Times . Just four states—Oregon, California, New York, and Maryland—currently regulate preparers, meaning pretty much anyone can... More »

IRS Won't Treat Bitcoin Like Currency

It will be taxed like property instead

(Newser) - Virtual currencies like bitcoin will be taxed like property—not currency, the Internal Revenue Service said today. The IRS says bitcoin is not legal tender, meaning you can't use it to pay your taxes. However, if you receive wages in bitcoin, you have to pay taxes on it just... More »

Colorado: We Made Millions Taxing Pot—in a Month

State hauls in $2M from marijuana taxes in January

(Newser) - Colorado made roughly $2 million in marijuana taxes in January, state revenue officials reported today in the world's first accounting of the recreational pot business. The tax total reported by the state Department of Revenue indicates $14.02 million worth of recreational pot was sold. The state collected roughly... More »

Bank's 'Spy Novel' Tactics Hid US Tax Dodgers' Billions

And Justice Dept. did little to respond, per Senate report on Credit Suisse

(Newser) - Swiss bank Credit Suisse helped thousands of Americans keep as much as $12 billion in assets tucked away from the eyes of the IRS, a Senate report out yesterday alleges—and the bank used some unconventional techniques in the process, including once hiding bank statements in a copy of Sports ... More »

How to Save 200M People by 2025: Triple Tax on Tobacco

According to new study

(Newser) - A new study finds that 200 million deaths could be avoided by the year 2025 if we triple the taxes placed on tobacco around the world, Medical News Today reports. In some countries, the increase would double the price; the difference in cost between the cheapest and most expensive brands... More »

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