“When you buy an illegal drug, like marijuana or even moonshine, in Tennessee, you have 48 hours to report it to the Department of Revenue to pay your tax and get a stamp for the substance.
There were 402 tax forms in 1990, by 2002 that number had jumped to a staggering 526.
The Cato Institute estimates that there are approximately 1.2M tax preparers in the country.
According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, in 2006, 53.7% of all federal income taxes were paid by those earning $200k+. Those between $100k and $200k paid out 28.3% of income taxes. That means 82% of taxes paid are by those making more than $100k.”
* TAX GIRL Kelly Phillips Erb reports that the “Overwhelming Majority of Americans Cynical About Tax Rebates”.
“According to a poll conducted by CNN/Opinion Research Corp., a whopping 82% of Americans believe the stimulus package won’t work. This is up sharply from 70% of Americans who said the same thing in February.”
* Speaking of TAX GIRL - there can never be too many post to warn you about “Scams, Schemes and Tomfoolery”, as KPE does regarding the “stimulus” rebates.
Kelly reiminds you, as I have said here many time before, that the IRS will never “send you email or phone you without your first contacting them”. She also quite rightly warns, “do not believe anyone who tells you that they can get your rebate to you ‘faster’ - this is not true. As slow as the IRS is moving to get those checks out, there is no private service that can speed it up.”
* In “Calling All Small Business Owners” A Tax Consultant for All Seasons reports that the IRS is offering a phone forum on May 21. All you need is internet access and a separate phone line. Click here for registration information.
* Kay Bell of DON’T MESS WITH TAXES reports that the IRS is stepping up efforts to root out offshore tax evasion by enforcing a law originally enacted in 1970 to help detect laundered drug money aggressively and appling stiff new penalties to taxpayers who don’t file disclosures required under the law.
The disclosure to which Kay refers is IRS Form TD F 90-22.1, officially known as a Foreign Bank and Financial Account Report, or FBAR (not to be confused with FUBAR, a term that could also be applied to the IRS on occasion). A question at the bottom of Schedule B asks “At any time during [the tax year] did you have an interest in or a signature or other authority over a financial account in a foreign country, such as a bank account, securities account, or other financial account?” If you answer “yes” you must complete Form TD F 90-22.1.
In my 37 tax seasons I have only come across one taxpayer who checked yes and completed the disclosure form. He was an officer at a NYC branch of a Swiss bank and in this capacity had signature authority on foreign bank accounts.
I often ask clients if they have money in Swiss accounts, telling them that the IRS asks the question on Schedule B – but none have ever admitted having any such accounts.
* An article from Smart Pros, included in Friday’s daily AccountantsWorld.com “Headlines” email, indicates that “Up to 350,000 households aren't getting the $300 per child owed them as part of their economic stimulus rebate payments”.
For example - a couple with two qualifying dependent children (under age 17) received a check for, or direct deposit of, $1,200.00 instead of $1,800.00. It seems the problem involves taxpayers failing to check a box on their paper tax returns – at Line 6c it is item (4) - and to two computer software systems that weren't capturing the information needed to trigger the payment. Just another reason not to rely on tax software.
“IRS spokesman Terry Lemons said the agency was confident it had identified all the people affected by the mistake. He said the IRS will send letters to those who missed out on the refund and that checks for the child credit will be mailed out in July. People need not contact the IRS or file additional paperwork, he said.”
* Joe Kristan of the ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG excellently sums up the entire “stimulus” rebate election year bribe program, especially in light of recent reports of multiple FUs –
“Bad ideas, badly executed. Bipartisanship at work!”