NEWS ABOUT: taxes

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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 »

Zuckerberg Donates Sizable Chunk of Fortune

And sells off more Facebook stock to pay his taxes

(Newser) - It may be true that people are a bit more generous around the holidays, but Mark Zuckerberg is taking that to a whole new level. Facebook's founder is once again making a hefty donation to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation: a block of Facebook stock worth $1 billion. He... More »

Shutdown Fallout: Delayed Tax Refunds

IRS to start processing returns later

(Newser) - Internal Revenue Service workers are back from furlough with news that might annoy on-the-ball taxpayers: The agency says the government shutdown will delay the date when it begins processing tax returns by as much as two weeks, meaning refunds won't arrive as promptly as usual for millions of early... More »

Horrors: Belgian Royals Must Now Pay Taxes

Their allowances also are cut, except for the reigning king

(Newser) - Belgium is taking after the monarchies of Britain and the Netherlands and trimming the royal purse strings. Reigning King Albert II is exempt, but other royals are going to pay income taxes for the first time and get smaller allowances, reports Reuters . For instance, in the case of Queen Fabiola—... More »

Apple's 'Offshore' Billions? They're in Manhattan

Has $102B in 'overseas' profits right here, and the IRS can't touch it

(Newser) - Tim Cook went before the Senate yesterday, answering accusations that Apple is keeping billions from the IRS' clutches by holding it in overseas subsidiaries. Only that money isn't actually overseas, the New York Times reports—its $102 billion in offshore profits is managed by a subsidiary based in Nevada... More »

Lauryn Hill Gets 3 Months in Prison

Compares her situation to slavery

(Newser) - Singer Lauryn Hill has been sentenced to three months in prison and three months in home confinement after pleading guilty to failing to pay taxes on almost $1 million in earnings. Hill told the judge that she had intended to pay the taxes ... eventually, but that she "needed to... More »

IRS Gave Out $12B in Improper Refunds Last Year

Earned Income Tax Credit is the culprit

(Newser) - The Earned Income Tax Credit is that rare IRS feature popular with politicians, economists, and especially with the low-income families it helps, notes the Hill . No wonder: Turns out, the IRS is overly generous with the credit. An audit shows that it distributed between $11.6 billion and $13.6... More »

White House: Here's Where Your Taxes Are Going

Website offers spending specifics

(Newser) - As you file your 1040, the White House wants you to know just how those dollars are being spent—so, for the third year in a row, it's offering a website to calculate just that. At the 2012 Federal Taxpayer Receipt , you enter your Social Security, Medicare, and income... More »

Top Cities Where IRS Expects Tax Cheats

Small-business owners among top targets: study

(Newser) - A study is shedding new light on just who should most fear a federal tax audit. Small-business owners—who often deal in cash—are eyed more warily than others, says the report by the National Taxpayer Advocate, an independent office within the IRS. And location matters. According to secret data... More »

Obamas' Income Drops ... to $609K

Slowing book sales make it lowest total of presidency

(Newser) - The White House today released the 2012 tax returns from the Obamas and the Bidens:
  • Obamas: The president and first lady earned $609,000, with 40% of that from book sales. They paid $112,214 for an effective tax rate of 18.4%, and they donated about a quarter of
... More »

Tax Dodgers Nabbed Using ... Google Street View

Some 100 Lithuanian homeowners, 30 construction companies identified

(Newser) - As soon as Google Maps Street View was rolled out in Lithuania earlier this year, tax authorities were ready. Sitting in the comfort of their own offices, inspectors used the free Internet program for a virtual cruise around the streets of some of the Baltic country's big cities, uncovering... More »

Obama Budget to Offer GOP a Spoonful of Sugar

Medicare, Social Security cuts 'demonstrate willingness to compromise': NYT

(Newser) - Obama's personal salary isn't the only figure the president plans on cutting this year. A new budget set to be released next week proposes cuts to Medicare and Social Security. It's a deficit-reducing olive branch to the GOP, and the administration says it will lead to... More »

Dancers Groove to Protest Wash. State's Dance Tax

Washington state has had tax law since 1960s

(Newser) - How to fight a dance tax? Dance, of course. That's what dozens did in Washington state yesterday to protest a decades-old state tax on dance venues, the AP reports. Lawmakers are considering a repeal of the tax, and protesters on the steps of the state Capitol danced everything from... More »

Guy Quits Job Over Tax Form Labeled '666'

And that's not the only weird tax story in the news

(Newser) - A Tennessee man is so fed up with getting the number "666" on official forms that he's quit his job—twice. The latest incident occurred when his W-2 tax form bore the number, which the Bible associates with the Antichrist. The number on the tax form was related... More »

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