Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are pressuring the Internal Revenue Service over ongoing problems and unaddressed issues from last year’s filing season even as this year’s season is in full swing.
A bipartisan group of more than 100 lawmakers from the U.S. House and Senate sent a letter to the IRS raising concerns about “continued confusion” and “numerous problems” with the agency.
The Internal Revenue Service is hiring 10,000 employees as part of an attempt to address a backlog of nearly 24 million tax returns, most of which are outstanding from the 2020 tax season.
All taxpayers are dealing with a disastrous filing season this year, with the IRS backed up on processing millions of returns and refunds from last year and communication from the agency nonexistent at best. But some taxpayers will have an added headache in the future as a result of an unnecessary new paperwork requirement that went into effect this year. Fortunately, however, legislation introduced by Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) would address this issue by removing the burdensome new requirement.
Ever since IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig claimed last year that the “tax gap,” or the gap between what the IRS collects and what it believes it is owed, could be as large as $1 trillion, politicians and legislators have been scrambling to propose ways to collect all that missing revenue. That’s despite the fact that more sober analyses show that the $1 trillion figure is probably wildly exaggerated, that it is functionally impossible to wholly prevent tax evasion, and that a far greater concern is the IRS’s inability to handle its taxpayer service responsibilities.
But as far as proposals to collect all this supposed “extra revenue” go, most of the focus has rightly been on schemes to drastically increase the IRS’s enforcement budget and allow the IRS to snoop on taxpayers’ financial accounts. But another more targeted change has already gone into effect, and is already causing problems.
On Monday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced in a statement that it would no longer be moving forward with previous plans to implement a controversial facial recognition software on its website in order for users to access certain tax records.
According to CNN, the IRS’s reversal came after widespread backlash by elected officials, privacy groups, and others who pointed out that such technology would constitute a massive overreach and violation of individual privacy. The IRS said in its statement that it would “transition away from using a third-party verification service involving facial recognition,” and would instead add an “additional authentication process.” The agency also vowed to “protect taxpayer data and ensure broad access to online tools.”
“The IRS takes taxpayer privacy and security seriously,” IRS commissioner Chuck Rettig said, “and we understand the concerns that have been raised. Everyone should feel comfortable with how their personal information is secured, and we are quickly pursuing short-term options that do not involve facial recognition.”
The final $1.2 trillion INVEST in America Act passed the Democrat-led House in a late night vote on Friday. Tucked away inside the infrastructure bill are some controversial policies, including these five:
1. The cryptocurrency tax provision in the Senate version of the bill was the subject of scrutiny from Democrats and Republicans. The language was not amended in the final bill that passed the House. The legislation includes an IRS reporting requirement for brokers of cryptocurrency transactions.
2. Under the “national motor vehicle per-mile user fee pilot” section of the bill, there is a pilot program to create a vehicle miles traveled system for taxing drivers based on their annual vehicle mileage. During his confirmation process, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg floated the idea of taxing motorists based on the number of miles they travel each year as a way to partly fund the legislation. The Biden administration backed off of full-scale development of the controversial proposal, settling instead for a pilot program.
Bowing to pressure from banks and taxpayers concerned about a proposal to require financial institutions to report to the IRS gross inflows and outflows for just about every account in the country, Democrats have attempted to quell concerns by raising the threshold. Unfortunately, even the raised threshold is still laughably low to accomplish Democrats’ stated purpose of cracking down on wealthy tax cheats.
The original proposal would have required financial institutions to report on any account (be it a checking account, savings account, stock portfolio, etc.) which handled more than $600 in inflows and outflows in a given year. Obviously, that’s just about every account.
But the new proposal isn’t much better. This time, the threshold would be set at $10,000, and exempt payroll deposits. In other words, if a given taxpayer received $20,000 in payroll deposits, they would only exceed the threshold were other deposits and spending, taken together, to exceed $30,000.
The entire Democrat multi-trillion dollar socialist spending scam is bad for Americans, and bad for our economy. One particular provision that is especially terrible is their “IRS Surveillance” program, which would grant the government access to spy on nearly every Americans’ bank accounts. Their bill wants to use $80 billion of taxpayer funds to hire 85,000 more bureaucrats, nearly doubling the size of the IRS, to go through individuals’ personal banking information.
President Biden, and his colleagues in Congress, must have realized how unpopular this policy was with the American people, so they decided to make some “changes.” They created the impression they were raising the threshold in transactions individuals would need to hit before triggering the IRS to spy on their personal banking accounts.
A national education group that implied some parental activism is tantamount to “domestic terrorism” owes nearly $20 million to the IRS, according to tax forms reviewed by Just the News.
Most of that comes from “accrued pension liability,” as disclosed by the National School Boards Association’s 2017 and 2018 Form 990 filings. Unlike those two, the 2019 form — the most recently filed — does not include an itemized list under the federal income taxes subheading for “other liabilities.”
The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board said that a Democratic effort to crack down on tax cheating would give the Treasury Department access to almost every American’s bank account.
The Thursday op-ed focused on a proposal that would require financial institutions to report individual accounts containing at least $10,000 to the IRS. That effort, the board wrote, would affect the vast majority of Americans who did not exclusively use cash to make purchases and pay bills.
“The details are murky, but most Americans could still get ensnared in this dragnet unless they pay bills and buy goods in cash,” the editorial board wrote. “Democrats say banks will only have to report total annual inflows and outflows, not discrete transactions. But nearly all Americans spend more than $10,000 a year.”
Organizations representing community banks and credit unions are blasting the Democrats’ commitment to expanding IRS reporting requirements, calling the proposal a government overreach that would require financial institutions to spend more money on compliance costs at the expense of products and services for their members.
According to the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, customers at some credit unions have already decided to close their accounts over “government intrusion” concerns fueled by the prospect of such new rules taking effect.
The Democrats’ proposal would require financial institutions to report account activity above $600 to the IRS.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., doubled down on the inclusion in a spending bill of a Democratic provision that would require banks to report to the IRS transactions for accounts holding over $600.
When asked Tuesday if the IRS monitoring would remain in Democrats’ proposed $3.5 trillion reconciliation legislation, Pelosi emphatically said “yes.”
After the Biden Administration announced that it plans to track every American bank account with $600 or more via the Internal Revenue Service, Georgia’s Tea Party Patriots responded with a harsh rebuke.
A major component of President Joe Biden’s plan to raise revenue to pay for his trillions of dollars in new federal spending is now under fire from trade associations across the country.
The Biden administration has made clear its plan to beef up IRS auditing by expanding the agency’s funding and power. Biden’s latest proposal would require banks to turn over to the Internal Revenue Service bank account information for all accounts holding more than $600.
In a sharp pushback against the proposal, more than 40 trade associations, some of which represent entire industries or economic sectors, signed a letter to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., raising the alarm about the plan.
Most IRS guidance documents make for poor pleasure reading. Then again, most IRS guidance doesn’t effectively impose a retroactive tax on small business owners merely for having a family. IRS Notice 2021-49, issued on August 4, includes a bizarre interpretation of the law that will effectively raise taxes for business owners with close relatives, even if their family members have no involvement in the company.
A core goal of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed early on in the pandemic was to assist businesses in keeping employees on their payroll even as they dealt with the economic effects of lockdowns. Part of the plan was the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), which provides a tax credit against employer payroll tax liabilities.
U.S. Representative Austin Scott (R-GA-08) said a new Biden administration proposal would require financial institutions and other financial service providers to report all inflows and outflows on accounts that have more than $600. And this proposal, Scott told constituents in an emailed newsletter Sunday, would create a huge privacy issue for Americans and burden local banks and credit unions.
A top Internal Revenue Service official told a Christian group that “Bible teachings are typically affiliated” with the Republican Party as a rationale for denying its application for tax-exempt status.
The Texas-based Christians Engaged filed an appeal on Wednesday to the IRS’ denial, objecting to the tax agency’s assertion that it is partisan.
In a May 18 denial letter, IRS Exempt Organizations Director Stephen A. Martin said Christians Engaged is involved in “prohibited political campaign intervention” and “operate[s] for a substantial non-exempt private purpose and for the private interests of the [Republican Party].”
California residents of all ages and incomes are leaving for more tax friendly climates, and they’re taking billions of dollars in annual income with them.
The Internal Revenue Service recently released its latest taxpayer migration figures from tax years 2018 and 2019. They reflect migratory taxpayers who had filed in a different state or county between 2017 and 2018, of which 8 million did in that timespan.
California, the nation’s most-populous state, lost more tax filers and dependents on net than any other state.
Closing the “tax gap,” or revenue owed to the federal government that goes uncollected, has long been a favorite deus ex machina for lawmakers who want more revenue without having to raise rates. But Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Chuck Rettig really put dollar signs in lawmakers’ eyes when he claimed the tax gap could be as large as $1 trillion. Always eager to appear knowledgeable on policy issues, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is putting forward a plan to collect extra revenue that only gets worse the deeper you dig into it.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand how far off on an island Rettig is with his estimate. The IRS’s last official estimate of the size of the tax gap placed it at a far, far lower $381 billion. Even considering that this estimate may not have factored in underpayment from cryptocurrencies, offshore holdings, and pass-through businesses, the tax gap still remains far closer to $500 billion than to $1 trillion.
Millions of American families will receive hundreds of dollars in regular federal payments beginning next month, the Internal Revenue Service said Monday.
The IRS announced July 15 as the start date for monthly child tax credit payments that would affect the vast majority of Americans with children.
“Eligible families will receive a payment of up to $300 per month for each child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each child age 6 and above,” the IRS said in a statement.
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced on Wednesday that the 2020 tax filing and payment deadline is being pushed back from April 15 to May 17.
Puerto Rico has become a popular tax haven for super rich Americans who take advantage of local laws, which allow them to avoid paying U.S. federal income taxes.
Over the last decade, thousands of wealthy Americans have built homes, started businesses and spent a significant amount of time in Puerto Rico, all in order to take advantage of the island’s tax code that exempts them from U.S. taxes. While just a few thousand have taken advantage of the law, the U.S. federal government has potentially lost out on hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
“It’s being done, in a sense, in plain sight,” Peter Palsen, an international tax expert at the Washington D.C-area law firm Frost Law, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The IRS has the knowledge of who’s doing it.”
Tax and legal experts say the leaker or leakers who took President Trump’s personal tax returns and gave them to The New York Times, committed a felony punishable by prison.
Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia who has advised Trump on some legal matters, told Just the News that the leaking was “definitely” a crime that could be liable for both criminal and civil legal actions.