Hey, calendar-year corporations and foundations, your fourth quarter estimates are due today.
Cromnibus passes. Extenders today? The monstrous $1.1 trillion ($1,100,000,000,000) government funding bill that had been holding up passage of the one-year “extender” bill finally cleared the Senate over the weekend. We might see the Lazarus provisions rise again as early as today. The 55 provisions that expired at the end of 2013, and which HR 5771 would retroactively extend through the end of this month, include the $500,000 Section 179 limit, 50% bonus depreciation, and the research credit. The bill would also extend the five-year built-in gain tax recognition period and the rule allowing IRAs to contribute to charity.
I’ll be following developments and post if the bill clears today.
Update, 10:54: This from The Hill makes it look like nothing happens on the extenders before late tonight.
Ames! Today is the final session of this year’s Iowa State University Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation Farm and Urban Tax School. We expect over 300 attendees here at the conference and another 80 webinar attendees. I always learn a lot from teaching and hearing from the attendees. Thanks to everyone who attended.
Kay is correct. Congress continues to pile more policy into the tax law. The IRS has become a superagency with a portfolio covering everything from industrial policy to historic preservation to running the national health care finance system. Oh, and it’s supposed to collect the revenue to finance the government, too.
Unfortunately, with great power comes great responsibility. The IRS has been abusing the power and scurrying away from the responsibility. The new Commissioner has forfeited any goodwill he had by stonewalling Congressional investigators in the Tea Party scandal. He insisted to Congress that the agency had exhaustively tried to retrieve the missing Lerner e-mails, only to have them turn up on backup tapes.
Also, the IRS undercuts its claims of poverty when it spends on things like the “voluntary” preparer initiative to sneak in the preparer-regulation scheme that the courts have barred.
It’s hardly a surprise that Congress isn’t eager to fund a rogue agency with an untrustworthy leader. Until a new Commissioner can restore trust, IRS will continue to struggle to get funding.
Robert D. Flach, THE RETURN OF THE GAO UNDERCOVER OPERATION:
In 2006 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) sent undercover operatives to 19 “commercial preparer” branch offices in a major metropolitan area posing as taxpayers looking to have their tax returns prepared. Errors were identified in 19 of the 19 completed federal returns, some “significant”.
As complicated as the tax law has gotten, this is no surprise, and it’s gotten a lot worse since 2006.
Tony Nitti, The Top Ten Tax Cases (And Rulings) Of 2014: #3-Aragona Trust Changes The Way We Look At Real Estate Professionals. This case is a big deal, and it definitely changes the landscape of trusts under the new 3.8% Net Investment Income Tax.
Robert Wood, IRS Can Audit For Three Years, Six….Or Forever. “Anyone who is hiding income or assets from the taxman should consider how long they need to be looking over their shoulder.“
Jason Dinesen, 5 Things You Didn’t Know About EAs, #3: Two Ways to the EA. One requires working for the IRS.
Leslie Book, CDP and Installment Agreements: Sometimes Court Review is Crucial; Other Times Not So Much. “This past week the Tax Court issued an opinion in a collection due process (CDP) case, Hosie v Commissioner. The case is a bad case for those who support CDP.”
TaxProf, The IRS Scandal, Day 585.
Elaine Maag, Will Immigrants Get A Tax Windfall From Refundable Credits? (TaxVox)
Alan Cole, The Problem with Free Stuff (Tax Policy Blog):
If you see a promotion for something like 7-Eleven’s Free Slurpee Day, you always end up having to temper your excitement when you realize that you’ll inevitably be waiting in line with the many others who want to enjoy the same treat. This is an unfortunate fact of life, the sort of thing we all reluctantly come to grips with by the time we turn twelve or so.
What puzzles me, then, is why we so often forget that fact of life when we’re sitting in traffic.
Roads are very much like free Slurpees. While roads are certainly not free to construct (much like a Slurpee isn’t free to make) using a road involves relatively little in the way of a user fee.
I’ve driven in Slurpee-like conditions. Good tires are a must.