Tag Archives: IRS

Millions of People Face Stimulus Check Delays for a Strange Reason: They Are Poor

The IRS has had trouble getting money to people quickly because millions of Americans pay for their tax preparation through a baroque system of middlemen.

By Paul KielJustin Elliott and Will Young. Published 4-24-2020 by ProPublica

Image: Jernej Furman/flickr/CC

Last week, a group of angry and desperate Citi Tax Financial customers gathered outside the company’s storefront in Augusta, Georgia. Millions of Americans had received a big deposit from the IRS in their bank accounts, but they had not. The IRS website told them their coronavirus stimulus checks were deposited in an account they didn’t recognize.

With an officer from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office beside him and another officer shouting for people to be quiet, the tax preparation company’s owner told the crowd of about 60, only a few of whom wore masks, that he didn’t have their money. Continue reading

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‘Beyond Predatory’: Trump Treasury Department Gives Banks Green Light to Seize $1,200 Stimulus Checks to Pay Off Debts

“The Treasury Department is pointing out opportunities for banks and debt collectors to steal Americans’ relief checks out from under them.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-14-2020

Steve Mnuchin. Screenshot: CNN

President Donald Trump’s Treasury Department has given U.S. banks a green light to seize a portion or all of the one-time $1,200 coronavirus relief payments meant to help Americans cope with financial hardship and instead use the money to pay off individuals’ outstanding debts—a move consumer advocates decried as cruel and unacceptable.

“The Treasury Department effectively blessed this activity on a webinar with banking officials last Friday,” The American Prospect‘s David Dayen reported Tuesday. Continue reading

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Trump, Granting Lobbyist Demands, Quietly Handed Billions More in Tax Breaks to Huge Corporations: Report

“Trump is the most corrupt president in history, and here’s the latest example of how that corruption helps giant corporations.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 12-30-2019

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and President Donald Trump at a Tax reform press briefing October 31, 2017. Screenshot: YouTube

A “disturbing” New York Times story published Monday detailed how President Donald Trump’s Treasury Department, led by former Goldman Sachs banker Steve Mnuchin, has quietly weakened elements of the 2017 tax law in recent months to make it even friendlier to wealthy

individuals and massive corporations.

Lobbyists representing some of the largest corporations in the world, the Times reported, targeted two provisions in the original 2017 law designed to bring in hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue from companies that had been dodging U.S. taxes by stashing profits overseas. Continue reading

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IRS: Sorry, But It’s Just Easier and Cheaper to Audit the Poor

Congress asked the IRS to report on why it audits the poor more than the affluent. Its response is that it doesn’t have enough money and people to audit the wealthy properly. So it’s not going to.

By Paul Kiel. Published 10-2-2019 by ProPublica

Charles Rettig testifying at his confirmation hearing on June 28, 2018. Screenshot: C-SPAN

The IRS audits the working poor at about the same rate as the wealthiest 1%. Now, in response to questions from a U.S. senator, the IRS has acknowledged that’s true but professes it can’t change anything unless it is given more money.

ProPublica reported the disproportionate audit focus on lower-income families in April. Lawmakers confronted IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig about the emphasis, citing our stories, and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., asked Rettig for a plan to fix the imbalance. Rettig readily agreed. Continue reading

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How the tax package could blur the separation of church and politics

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If a House provision gets enacted, churches will be able to endorse – not just pray for – political candidates. Andrew Cline/Shutterstock.com

Susan Anderson, Elon University

The tax package pending in Congress includes a provision that would leave churches and other nonprofits, which by law must be nonpartisan, suddenly free to engage in political speech.

This measure, currently only in the House version of the bill, could potentially change charitable life as we know it.

As an accounting professor who teaches nonprofit taxation, I believe that this significant change deserves vigorous public debate and is too big to bury in tax legislation. Continue reading

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What if filing taxes wasn’t so… taxing?

By Gretschman for Occupy World Writes

[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

There are at least 1,910 forms and supporting documents on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website. The tax form that most Americans fill out for the purpose of federal tax liability has a 206 page set of instructions that go with it. American citizens are taxed at varying rates: up to 39.6 percent of their income.

The IRS calculates a burden of 7 hours and $120 for the average taxpayer to complete a federal tax return (Form 1040). For businesses, the IRS calculates a burden of 24 hours and $430.

Can’t we simplify this ? What if the existing tax code with its page after page of additions and exclusions was thrown out so that all citizens and businesses would pay the same flat rate on their income? No more having multi-billion dollar corporations paying less taxes than the average citizen pays.

Instead of pages and pages of tax code that favor those who helped write the tax code, one flat tax rate would apply to all. If all income was subject to a 7 percent tax paid to the federal government and a 3 percent tax was paid to the state or local municipality where the citizen or business resided the federal, state and local governments would have enough money to provide the types of programs and services that are now at the mercy of political wrangling. Most, if not all, citizens would be overjoyed to bring home 90 percent of their gross wages.

How much money and time would be saved by having a simplified tax code? How much less would the government spend on implementation and enforcement of a simpler tax code? How much more money would the average citizen have to spend on education, entertainment, or just the basic necessities of daily living?

If the only things that are certain in this life are death and taxes, can’t we at least try to make the second one feel a little less like the first?

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US House Wants IRS to Audit Rape Victims

By U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Kenna Jackson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Kenna Jackson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Once again, men in Washington think they are more knowledgeable about the realities of rape than the victims who survive the crime. In the continuation to oppress women and promote rape culture by blaming the victim, 164 people, 93% of them men, are supporting H.R.7, a bill that would require the IRS to audit rape victims to determine if their rape is “legitimate.” The Senate has 24 members, one a woman, who have signed onto an identical piece of legislation in that body, S.946.

Federal law, through the Hyde amendment, restricts federal funding of abortions. This new legislation is redundant and a waste of time and money, without even beginning to discuss the negative ethical implications it provides for. This forces legal discrimination of a class of people because they are victims of a crime. It intimidates women into not reporting a crime for fear of public criticism. It forces victims to re-live their experiences through invasive interviews with unqualified individuals, who are then entitled to pass judgement on their truthfulness.

What is the inspiration behind this? Consider the magnitude of states who have introduced bills that have limited or restricted access to abortion services. In Iowa, you need the signature of the governor of the state to get the legal procedure provided. In Texas, you may have to drive more than 400 miles, twice, before you can get to the remaining clinics for the procedure. In North Dakota, 6 weeks is the cut for when you can have an abortion in the one clinic remaining in the state.

When I was raped over 35 years ago, no one talked about it. The police investigator asked what I was wearing, but not for a description of my assailant. I thought our society could advance if this crime became understood, so I allowed my name to be published. Instead, I was discriminated and punished by the community I lived in. This law allows us to go further back in time than that – and not only legalizes, but perpetuates – rape culture within our communities and even our tax inspectors.

Enough is enough. Even women in Washington are fighting back, staging protests in the halls outside of the committee hearing room. We need your help to put a stop to this nonsense. Tell your friends to join us in a campaign to tell every politician signing this outrageous legislation that they are on notice. We will give you ideas for messages you can send, just visit our FB page.

The War on Women will be met with a War For Women!

Rape Culture allows stories like these to exist: Steubenville, Maryville, Saratoga.

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