Friday, May 23, 2014
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’
There was enough important BUZZ since Wednesday to do a normal Friday installment.
* One of my posts on how the US Tax Code screws taxpayers was included in the weekly ACCOUNTING TODAY BUZZ-like “In the Blogs” series titled “Back to the Grind”.
* NJ seniors, disabled, and lower-income homeowners - don’t expect to get a NJ Homestead Benefit credit on your 3rd Quarter 2014 real estate tax bill. USA TODAY reports - “Cash-Strapped N.J. to Delay $400M in Tax Relief” -
“State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff announced Wednesday that nearly $400 million in property tax relief to residents will be delayed by up to nine months in an effort to help close an $807 million budget shortfall. That money was scheduled to be disbursed in the first quarter of fiscal year 2015, which will begin July 1. Instead, the state now has until June 2015 to give the money back to residents.
But the state will maintain the option of lapsing the payments into fiscal year 2016, which will begin on July 1, 2015.”
* In a related story from REUTERS “Exclusive: Like New Jersey, Most States Felt Drop in April Income Taxes” -
“New Jersey, which revealed a massive budget shortfall this week, is far from alone in feeling the pinch of lower income tax revenues in the key month of April, a Reuters analysis shows.
Personal income tax collections plunged last month from a year earlier in 27 of 32 states for which Reuters was able to collect data. That's most of the 43 states that levy income taxes, and drops were as high as 50 percent.”
* Continuing the discussion on the recently published ridiculous IRS regulations for Electronic Return Originators (ERO) that tells tax pro to do a credit check on clients to verify their identity, Jason Dinesen list some “Questions to Ponder About New IRS E-file Requirements” at DINESEN TAX TIMES.
Here is an interesting one -
“Question Four: Does the IRS understand that people’s credit might get dinged from pulling credit reports?
My attorney pointed out that typically, a person’s credit score gets dinged every time a credit report is pulled. Has the IRS contemplated this potentially negative consequence?”
* The NATP TAXPRO Weekly e-letter told us about “IRS Direct Pay”.
“IRS Direct Pay is a free online service that gives taxpayers the ability to pay their tax bills or make estimated tax payments directly from their checking or savings accounts without having to pre-register. With IRS Direct Pay, taxpayers receive instant confirmation that the payment has been submitted. The IRS will not retain bank account information once it receives payment. The steps include providing your tax information, verifying your identity, entering your payment information, providing an electronic signature, and reviewing and recording your online confirmation.”
* POLITICO PRO reveals “Lawmakers Have Bigger Tax Woes than IRS Workers” –
“The IRS, which has a 0.9 percent tax delinquency rate, has come under fire in recent weeks when an agency watchdog found that it had paid $1 million worth of performance awards to about 1,100 IRS employees with tax-compliance problems.”
“About 4.9 percent of all House employees, including lawmakers, have an unpaid tax liability. Those 486 employees owe Uncle Sam about $5.8 million.
Across the Rotunda, Senate staff and legislators have a 3.2 percent delinquency rate, with 228 employees owing $2.7 million in taxes.”
* USA TODAY brings us similar news via “Federal Employees Owe $3.3B in Back Taxes” –
“Federal employees owe a total of $3.3 billion in back taxes to the federal government, according to Internal Revenue Service data released Thursday.
In all, 318,462 federal employees owed back taxes as of last Sept. 30 — an increase of 2.6% from the previous year. That puts the average tax bill at $10,391, according to IRS data obtained by USA TODAY under the Freedom of Information Act.”
* A “tweet” from the NATIONAL SOCIETY OF TAX PROFESSIONALS led me to an “RTRP Program Update” (highlight is mine) -
”May 22, 2014 – Carol Campbell, Director of the Return Preparer Office (RPO) announced today in a National Public Liaison (NPL) conference call that the RTRP program is officially dead, that the RTRP credential no longer exists and cannot be used by those who had qualified earlier.
The IRS is working on a voluntary certification program which may include those who had taken and passed the RTRP exam.”