Viewing the 'Taxes' Category
The IRS has announced a standard telephone tax refund for anyone that paid long distance tax after Feb. 28, 2003 and before Aug. 1, 2006. Anyone who did will be able to claim the following refunds on their 2006 Federal tax return:
$30 for someone filing a return with one exemption
$40 for someone filing with two exemptions
$50 for someone filing with three exemptions
$60 for someone filing with four or more exemptions
There have been a large number of press releases by the IRS the last week. most of them probably have little impact on those that visit here, but here is a rundown on the off chance that one or two may apply to you. The full pres release for all of them can be found at the tax press release site:
Proposed Regulations Issued for Capitalization of Tangible Assets
New Law Expands IRA Options for Military Many Can Still Contribute for 2004 and 2005
IRS Begins Outreach to Entertainment Industry on Gift Bags Following Academy Agreement
New Directors Named for LMSB
Purchasers of Honda Hybrids Still Qualify for Tax Credit
Purchasers of Ford and Mercury Hybrids Still Qualify for Tax Credit
A bunch of new IRS tax press releases, most of which were job position announcements, but there was one that may be of interest to those looking to purchase a hybrid car. The IRS announced that three new Ford / Mercury hybrid vehicles had been approved for IRS energy tax credits:
Ford Escape Front WD Hybrid Model Year 2007 $2,600
Ford Escape 4 WD Hybrid Model Year 2007 $1,950
Mercury Mariner 4 WD Hybrid Model year 2007 $1,950
A couple of new tax releases from the IRS both dealing with last year's hurricanes. One was guidance on how to use the safe harbor method when claiming casualty and theft losses due to hurricanes while the other was an extension for those individuals who were living in the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina last year.
While I hope that no one reading this was in the area and will need this information, it's best to pass it along in case someone does...
A couple more tax updates that probably have limited significance to most people, but I also wanted to place a warning out to all (hopefully most of you already know this, but a little reminder never hurts. The IRS will be sending out 50,000 surveys to try and improve taxpayer services:
Taxpayers chosen at random will be asked 25 questions about how they use IRS services and how they would like to use IRS services. The questionnaire will be mailed to the taxpayers by an IRS-approved contractor. The survey to taxpayers does not ask for any financial or personal information nor should any be divulged. Individual responses will remain confidential.
This is important because when things like this get into the news, scammers always try to take advantage and I'm sure there will be some phishing schemes that use this survey to try and steal confidential data. Be aware that if you receive a survey that asks for any of this information, it is not a real survey.
The IRS also released another press release on the senate testimony of the IRS regarding Business Compliance Concerns
Yet another IRS tax release, this time explaining how the IRS is making your taxes easier.
AMT Assistant for Individual Taxpayers
Streamlined Extension of Time to File
Simplified Tax Filing Requirements for Small Employers with Form 944
Revised Schedule K-1 for Partnerships, S-corporations and Trusts
Now while the IRS is claiming a simplification here, I feel that taxes are so much more complicated than they need to be. It really doesn't make since why taxes have to be so complicated - seems that they should be focusing on the overall state of taxes rather than individual areas...
Lots of new tax releases, but most probably not applicable to the majority here unless you are considering buying a hybrid car or you owe the IRS money:
The IRS announced that there will be an increase in the interest rates for the calendar quarter beginning July 1, 2006. Each of these interest rates increases by a single interest point over the rate in the second quarter.
The IRS also announced that Ford and Mercury Sold 6,100+ Hybrid Vehicles while Toyota and Lexus Sold 41,000+ Hybrid Vehicles this people can continue to claim the hybrid tax credit during the next quarter if the purchase a qualifying vehicle.
Lastly, the IRS had released updated information on the special enrollment exam
The IRS has released three new tax releases - probably won7t apply to anyone here, but have updated our sister site with the information:
There are seven Honda Hybrid Cars that have qualified for the hybrid car tax credit.
Charities have been reminded by the IRS not to participate in political campaign activities and has set up an enforcement program to make sure that charities don't do do.
The IRS has put in place an explanation on how commercial property owners can participate and receive the energy efficiency deduction for their properties.
Good news for those that get tax refunds and would like to direct deposit a portion of it into your savings or retirement accounts. Until this year if you had your tax refund directly deposited, you could only do so into a single checking or savings account. The IRS announced today that starting next year, you can have your tax refund deposited into up to three different accounts:
The IRS will create a new form, Form 8888, which will give taxpayers greater control over their refunds. Form 8888 will give taxpayers a choice of selecting one, two or three accounts such as checking, savings and retirement account. Taxpayers who want all their refund deposited directly into one account can still use the appropriate line on the Form 1040 series.
This is good news for those who are better at saving when they money never goes into their general banking account.
A Tax Press Release today from the IRS saying that General Electric (GE) filed the nation's largest tax return by e-filing it this year:
On paper, GE’s e-filed return would have been approximately 24,000 pages long. After filing, GE received IRS’ acknowledgement of its filing in about an hour. The file was 237 MB
And I thought my tax returns were difficult...
This is probably not something that applies to many here, but the IRS has sent out another press release (placed on our sister site), this time on Shareholder and Corporation Reporting and the changes made to make it easier. Basically, the IRS removed some outdated requirements to make it easier for corporations and shareholders to e-file their taxes.
...well, except fo me since I've been living in Japan. The IRS announced that they will stop charging the 3% excise tax on long distance phone bills beginning immediately and that you will be able to claim a refund for the taxes you paid on this from February 28, 2003 until now. They haven't spelled out exactly how to do this, but it looks like there will be a dual system: you can look it up yourself and use that number, or you can use an easy form they are developing that will make estimating your refund claim easy.
A thread has been started in the forums where you can aske questions and get more information.
One of the true joys (**sarcasm dripping all around**) of living in a foreign country is that you not only get to do your US taxes, but also the taxes in the foreign country. Japanese tax forms are actually a lot less complicated than US tax forms except for one teeny, weeny factor... they're in Japanese!.
I struggled with my Japanese taxes until 4:00 AM (made a promise to my wife to have them done) so I'm a bit sleep punchy today. At one point I just needed a few laughs to get me through the process and came across these tax quotes I had gathered a couple years back. If any of you are struggling with taxes, hope these can bring a smile to your face:
1. "I owe the government $3,400 in taxes. So I sent them two hammers and a toilet seat." - Michael McShane
2. "Day in and day out, your tax accountant can make or lose you more money than any single person in your life, with the possible exception of your kids." - Harvey Mackay
3. "There's nothing wrong with the younger generation that becoming taxpayers won't cure." - Dan Bennett
4. "I'm proud to be paying taxes in the United States. The only thing is—I could be just as proud for half the money." - Arthur Godfrey
5. "Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut save you thirty cents?" - Peg Bracken
6. "Worried about an IRS audit? Avoid what's called a red flag. That's something the IRS always looks for. For example, say you have some money left in your bank account after paying taxes. That's a red flag." - Jay Leno
7. "If you get up early, work late, and pay your taxes, you will get ahead -- if you strike oil." - J. Paul Getty
8. "On my income tax 1040 it says 'Check this box if you are blind.' I wanted to put a check mark about three inches away." - Tom Lehrer
9. "What's the difference between a tax auditor and a rottweiler? A rottweiler eventually lets go." - anonymous
10. "It's income tax time again, Americans: time to gather up those receipts, get out those tax forms, sharpen up that pencil, and stab yourself in the aorta." - Dave Barry
As you can imagine, your taxes aren't quite the same as Bill Gate's taxes. According to a report I found here, Gates says:
"My tax return in the United States has to be kept on a special computer because their normal computers can't deal with the numbers," Gates told a Microsoft conference in Lisbon, according to a report from Agence France-Presse. "So I am constantly getting these notices telling me I haven't paid something when really it is just on the wrong computer. Then they will send me another notice telling me how bad they feel that they sent me a notice that was a mistake."
Nice to know that the IRS doesn't discriminate when it comes to causing people headaches with their taxes...