Oregon launches program to tax drivers by the mile

Oregon - Public Domain

David Hastings is a rare American. This long-time hybrid car owner from Oregon wants to pay higher taxes for roads and bridges and says the current 30 cents per gallon state gas tax barely affects him.

“I’ve been free-loading on the highways for 20 years driving electric cars or hybrid cars, getting at least 40 miles to the gallon. So I haven’t been paying my share,” Hastings said.

Now, Hastings will pay more thanks to OReGO — the first pay-by-the-mile program in the U.S.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

IRS launches ‘the dumbest law in the history of the United States’

IRS - Public Domain

Yesterday, the IRS announced the International Data Exchange Service.

If you’ve not heard of it, it’s is an outgrowth of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which requires every single bank in the world to get in bed with IRS to share information about customers.

We’ve said this over and over, FATCA is probably the dumbest law in the history of the United States. And I don’t say that lightly, because there’s definitely stiff competition.

Like any other bankrupt government, the US government has taken to intimidating its own citizens and the entire world in an attempt to make ends meet.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

60,000 corporations closed every year, taxes blamed

Closed Sign - Photo by JamesAlan1986

America has lost 1 million corporations since their height during the Reagan era, in part driven out of business by the industrialized world’s highest corporate tax rate, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation.

The just-issued research revealed that the number of traditional “C” corporations has fall to a “historically low level” and wiped out the corporate tax base, resulting in the federal government relying much more on individual income taxes to fund its operation.

“There is now more net business income taxed under the individual income tax system than the traditional corporate tax code, a trend that does not appear to be stopping any time soon,” said the report provided to Secrets.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Feds balk at releasing docs showing IRS sharing tax returns with White House

IRS - Public Domain

Less than a week after ’fessing up that it found some 2,500 documents potentially showing that the IRS shared taxpayer returns with the White House, the Obama administration has reversed course and won’t release the trove to a group suing for access.

In an abrupt decision, the Treasury inspector general’s office said that the documents are covered by privacy and disclosure laws and can’t be provided to Cause of Action, despite a promise last week to hand over some 2,500.

The decision coincides with publication this week of the Washington Examiner’s series, “Watchdogs, lapdogs and attack dogs,” that assesses problems with the IG system, including the tendency in some quarters to protect federal officials and agencies from critical scrutiny.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

IRS Commissioner Predicts Miserable 2015 Tax Filing Season

IRS - Public Domain

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen warned that close to half the people trying to reach the IRS by phone might not get through during the upcoming 2015 tax filing season. “Phone service could plummet to 53%,” he told an audience of tax practitioners at the AICPA National Tax Conference in Washington, D.C. today. That would be down from an already unacceptable 72% during the 2014 filing season. The average hold time projection: 34 minutes! What’s to blame? Budget woes. “All we can do is try to maximize our services as well as we can; as well as we can is still going to be miserable. You really do get what you pay for,” he said.

Koskinen’s remarks followed National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson who was even gloomier:“The filing season is going to be the worst filing season since I’ve been the National Taxpayer Advocate {in 2001}; I’d love to be proved wrong, but I think it will rival the 1985 filing season when returns disappeared.”

(Read the rest of the story here…)

IRS seizes hundreds of perfectly legal bank accounts, refuses to give money back

Taxes - Public Domain

The Internal Revenue Service has been seizing bank accounts belonging to small businesses and individuals who regularly made deposits of less than $10,000, but broke no laws. And the government is refusing to return all the money taken.

The practice ‒ called civil asset forfeiture ‒ allows IRS agents to seize property they suspect of being tied to a crime, even if no charges are filed, and their agency is allowed to keep a share of whatever is forfeited, the New York Times reported. It’s designed to catch drug traffickers, racketeers and terrorists by tracking cash deposits under $10,000, which is the threshold for when banks are federally required to report activity to the IRS under the Bank Secrecy Act.

It is not illegal to deposit less than $10,000 in cash, unless it is specifically done to avoid triggering the federal reporting requirement, known as structuring. Thus, banks are required to report any suspicious transactions to authorities, including patterns of deposits below that threshold.

“Of course, these patterns are also exhibited by small businesses like bodegas and family restaurants whose cash-on-hand is only insured up to $10,000, and whose owners are wary of what would be lost in the case of a robbery or a fire,” the Examiner noted.

Carole Hinders, a victim of civil asset forfeiture, owns a cash-only Mexican restaurant in Iowa. Last year, the IRS seized her checking account ‒ and the nearly $33,000 in it. She told the Times she did not know of the federal reporting requirement for suspicious transactions, and that she thought she was doing everyone a favor by reducing their paperwork.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

U.S. Hikes Fee To Renounce Citizenship By 422 Percent!

American Flags

Over the last two years, the U.S. has had a spike in expatriations. It isn’t exactly Ellis Island in reverse, but it’s more than a dribble. With global tax reporting and FATCA, the list of the individuals who renounced is up. For 2013, there was a 221% increase, with record numbers of Americans renouncing. The Treasury Department is required to publish a quarterly list, but these numbers are under-stated, some say considerably.

The presence or absence of tax motivation is no longer relevant, but that could change. After Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin departed for Singapore, Senators Chuck Schumer and Bob Casey introduced a bill to double the exit tax to 30% for anyone leaving the U.S. for tax reasons. That hasn’t happened, but taxes are still a big issue for many.

To leave America, you generally must prove 5 years of U.S. tax compliance. If you have a net worth greater than $2 million or average annual net income tax for the 5 previous years of $157,000 or more for 2014 (that’s tax, not income), you pay an exit tax. It is a capital gain tax as if you sold your property when you left. At least there’s an exemption of $680,000 for 2014. Long-term residents giving up a Green Card can be required to pay the tax too.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

 

We Might See HUGE Taxes Just For Using The Internet, Thanks To Harry Reid

Harry Reid

State governments always seem to find creative ways to tax Americans, so why haven’t they taxed us for using the Internet yet? It’s because we’re protected by the Internet Tax Freedom Act — but if the Senate doesn’t pass a permanent extension of the act by Nov. 1, we might see $15-$20 additions to our phone bills for Internet usage.

“It’s really unfortunate because the House passed it on voice vote to make it permanent, and now the Senate is messing it up,” president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance David Williams told The Daily Caller in an interview. “I mean Harry Reid in particular is messing this up.”

On July 15, the House passed the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA) via voice vote — in true bipartisan fashion — which would allow permanent freedom from Internet taxes and eliminate the need for extensions. The Senate still has to pass the bill. On July 31, right before the August recess, Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tried to bring the bill to the floor, but was shut down by Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid.

“If this Senate doesn’t act, we’re going to see consumers on Nov. 1 begin paying taxes for basic Internet services,” Cruz said. ”This ought to be something where stop playing games and say let’s all come together and agree, ‘don’t tax the Internet.’ Unfortunately we’re not in that situation. We’re saying an objection to the House-passed bill because there’s hope that by holding the Internet Tax Freedom Act hostage it can become a vehicle to impose sales taxes on transactions over the Internet.”

(Read the rest of the story here…)

20 big, profitable U.S. companies that pay no taxes

Taxes - Public Domain

U.S. companies are looking for all sorts of ways to reduce their tax bill. But scores of big U.S. companies just paid no taxes or effective tax rates of 0%.

There are 20 companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500, including drugmaker Merck (MRK), computer storage company Seagate (STX) and automaker General Motors (GM), which reported effective tax rates of 0% or lower in the second calendar quarter despite reporting a profit during the period, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from S&P Capital IQ. To be included, the companies also needed to report positive earnings before taxes including unusual items.

This analysis shows that while U.S. companies and investors constantly grumble about corporate tax rates, there are many companies that pay nowhere near the highest rates. This is the rule, not an exception. A 2013 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that profitable U.S. firms filing a Schedule M-3 paid federal taxes of 13% of pretax worldwide income. That’s well below the top 35% statutory rate.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

New Emails: Lois Lerner Referred to Conservatives as ‘***holes’ and ‘TeRrorists’

Lois Lerner - YouTube

A newly discovered email exchange from Lois Lerner’s official IRS email account “directly demonstrates Ms. Lerner’s deep animus towards conservatives, which she refers to as ‘—holes,'” House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday.

In that Nov. 9, 2012 email, Lerner further suggests that conservatives will ruin the country: “So we don’t  need to worry about alien teRrorists (sic). It’s our own crazies that will take us down,” she wrote.

Camp (R-Mich.) told Holder the email “shows that Ms. Lerner’s mistreatment of conservative groups was driven by her personal hostility toward conservatives.”

(Read the rest of the story here…)

IRS agrees to monitor sermons in settlement with atheists

IRS - Public Domain

The IRS has agreed to pay closer attention to what is said in houses of worship after reaching a settlement with a secularist group in federal court last week.

On Friday, the IRS settled a lawsuit filed in 2012 by the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF). The Wisconsin group brought the lawsuit because it said the IRS was ignoring complaints about churches violating their tax-exempt statuses. Specifically, FFRF said many churches promote political issues, legislation, and/or candidates from the pulpit in violation of the 1954 Johnson Amendment, which requires that non-profits not endorse candidates.

According to FFRF, the IRS has not followed a 2009 ruling requiring it to hire someone to keep an eye on church politicking. The IRS says it hasn’t ignored the ruling, but merely failed to follow it.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Internet Sales Tax Quietly Moving Through Congress

Taxes - Public Domain

Big retailers, including Amazon, have been lobbying long and hard for it, and now the Internet sales tax is back after being quietly reintroduced in the US Senate last week.

The Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act would force customers to pay sales taxes for online purchases from out-of-state online merchants, and it forces online retailers to collect and remit separately sales taxes to all US territories.

Washington Post says “Currently, officials can only levy sales taxes on retailers who have a physical presence, be it a store or warehouse, in their states.” Because of that, big box stores complain that Internet retailers have an unfair advantage. Congruently, local officials seem to be salivating at the potential for more revenue.

In March 2013, the Senate voted overwhelmingly 75-to-24 in favor of a largely symbolic version of this bill to gauge the support for the concept of Internet sales taxes. An identical bill was introduced in the House of Representatives last year only to expire in session without a vote.

Earlier this month, the House passed the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act which bans states from taxing Internet access. Being a fairly popular bill with the public, the Senate wants to hitch this sales tax bill to it in hopes of easier passage.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Coverup: The IRS Reports EVEN MORE Computer Crashes

IRS - Public Domain

IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane said in transcribed congressional testimony that more IRS officials experienced computer crashes, bringing the total number of crash victims to “less than 20,” and also said that the agency does not know if the lost emails are still backed up somewhere.

The new round of computer crash victims includes David Fish, who routinely corresponded with Lois Lerner, as well as Lerner subordinate Andy Megosh, Lerner’s technical adviser Justin Lowe, and Cincinnati-based agent Kimberly Kitchens.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Dangerous Precedent: Spain says to charge tax of 0.03 percent on bank deposits

Tax Euro - Public Domain

Spain on Friday said it would introduce a blanket taxation rate of 0.03 percent on all bank account deposits, in a move aimed at harmonising regional tax regimes and generating revenues for the country’s cash-strapped autonomous communities.

The regulation, which could bring around 400 million euros ($546 million) to the state coffers based on total deposits worth 1.4 trillion euros, had been tipped as a possible sweetener for the regions days after tough deficit limits for this year and next were set by the central government.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Why The New US Tax Law Going Into Effect July 1 Is Overkill

Taxes - Public Domain

In a piece of extraterritoriality stunning even by Washington’s standards, the new law requires banks, funds and other financial institutions around the world to report assets held by American clients or face a ruinous 30% withholding tax. America is, in essence, using threats to outsource its financial policing. This is working: so far, more than 77,000 financial institutions have agreed to pass information to the IRS.

The costs of complying with FATCA are likely to dwarf the extra revenue it raises (see “Tax evasion: Dropping the bomb”). The law is also having unfortunate unintended consequences. The 7m Americans living abroad now wear a scarlet letter (presumably an “F”), thanks to FATCA. Many have been rejected by foreign providers of banking services, insurance and mortgages because, given the amount of paperwork needed to satisfy Uncle Sam, American clients are simply too much hassle. Foreign firms are less keen to hire Americans because of the extra tax complications. Not surprisingly, the number of Americans renouncing their citizenship has quadrupled since FATCA was hatched.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen Accused Of Lying By Members Of Congress

U.S. Capitol - Photo by Lance Cheung

Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., wasted no time in accusing the head of the IRS of lying to Congress, unloading a blistering barrage of accusations at a Monday night hearing.

“At a minimum, you did not tell the whole truth,” during previous testimony, Issa told IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, scornfully adding, “We are wondering what your word is worth.”

In his opening statement, Issa flatly told Koskinen he had given false testimony by promising to provide all emails of former IRS tax-exempt division chief Lois Lerner, while knowing two years of those emails were actually missing.

“You promised to produce documents,” he said. “You did not.”

“The committee requested all of Lois Lerner’s emails over a year ago,” said the chairman, noting the emails had been subpoenaed in August 2013 and again in February 2014. But, Issa accused, “You worked to cover up the fact they were missing and only came forward to fess up on a Friday afternoon after you had been caught red-handed.”

“Did you hope you could run out the clock on this scandal? Perhaps you hoped Congress would never know it was missing emails.”

*****

(Read the rest of the story here…)

18 States Are Considering Plans To Tax Us For Each Mile That We Drive

Rush hour traffic on I-66 westbound - Public Domain

Why is the mainstream media floating the idea of a plan to tax us by the mile?  We are already being taxed into oblivion.  Taxing us for every mile that we drive is extremely unpopular with the American people, and yet 18 states are already considering such a plan, and news reports such as the following are showing up during local news broadcasts all over the nation…

A bump at the pump? Senators propose a 12 cent hike in federal gas tax

Gas Prices

A bipartisan Senate proposal emerged Wednesday to rescue beleaguered federal transportation funding by raising the tax on gasoline by 12 cents a gallon.

The proposal to hike the 18.4-cent federal tax for the first time since 1993 came from Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and won quick endorsement from an array of advocates ranging from road builders to AAA.

In addition to increasing the tax by 6 cents in each of the next two years, the senators want the rate indexed to inflation. Failure to keep pace with inflation over the past 20 years, along with steadily increasing fuel economy, has caused the Federal Highway Trust Fund that receives the money to sink to a dangerous level.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!