Tax numbers Feed

Photo by RODNAE Productions Welcome to the continuation of the ol' blog's Tax Crime Weekend! Yesterday's post featured efforts to end abusive tax schemes and bring their promoters to justice. Today's post expands on the legal reckoning theme. The Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation division, known as IRS-CI, recently revealed its top 10 cases of 2022. Wide variety of schemes, one outcome: The tax evasion attempts included Ponzi pyramid schemes, fake businesses, COVID-19 fraud, bogus tax credit, and even a reality TV couple. And more. Despite the diversity of their criminal tax acts, they shared one thing. They got caught.... Read more →


Unemployment benefits can be a godsend when you lose your job. They also can be a god-awful problem at tax time. That money you get to help tide you over until you find another job is taxable income. In certain situations, however, lawmakers have provided unemployment compensation, or UC (and yes, that's its official name, so the compensation moniker explains the taxing), have exempted some of the government money from federal tax. COVID UC exemption: That was the case during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The extraordinary circumstances of so many people losing their jobs at the same time... Read more →


Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR The first work week of 2023 is in the books. How many miles did you drive for business purposes? If you're using your personal vehicle to conduct business you need to know. And if the number is to satisfy an Internal Revenue Service examiner's question about your mileage deduction, you need to be exact. The IRS can disallow questionable guesstimates, meaning your tax deduction could end up being zero. The U.S. Tax Court has backed up the agency when taxpayers don't keep adequate records. To help you avoid that unwanted tax reversal, here are some do's... Read more →


The tax year is over. Long live the tax year. Taxes are, if nothing else, persistent. Sure, there are a few (or more) changes every year, even if it's only inflation adjustments. But even in years when the changes are negligible, they are back, starting to add up on the first of every January. That's why 2023 is the first By the Numbers honoree of this new year. The transition from an old to a new tax year is also the focus of this post. It's a look at six tax matters that affected or at least fascinated us in... Read more →


Are you worried about getting a slew of 1099-K forms next year in connection with your side gig earnings? The Internal Revenue Service has an early Christmas present for you. The tax agency today announced that it was going to delay the requirement that third-party settlement organizations — places like Venmo, PayPal, CashApp, and similar payment mechanisms — issue the 1099-Ks to earners who in 2022 received at least $600 in a single payment or in aggregate, regardless of the number of transactions, for their goods or services. Instead, the new lower earnings level that triggers issuance of 1099-Ks will... Read more →


via GIPHY Seven days from now, many of us will be opening Christmas presents. Hanukkah is underway. Regardless of what or how you celebrate December holidays, your purchases probably increase this month. And this year, inflation, even though it's abated a bit recently, means you have or will pay more for all those gifts, food, and other festive trimmings of the season. Every year, PNC financial services issues its Christmas Price Index, or CPI. It measures, using a methodology similar to Uncle Sam's official CPI, or consumer price index, the current costs of the gifts given in the classic holiday... Read more →


Photo by cottonbro studio Italian retailers prefer cash transactions. That helps explain why the country ranks near the bottom in Europe in digital payment adoption, and is among the 30 most "cash dependent" major economies in the world, according to the latest Cash Intensity Index (ICC). This ranking, measures the effect of cash usage on the Gross Domestic Product in 95 countries around the world. The currency preference also is why Italian business owners are cheering the 2023 draft budget proposed by new far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. The new government's fiscal plan includes a measure to permit stores, taxis... Read more →


Some taxpayers might not be this happy in 2023 with their federal tax refund. (Image via Giphy) Many folks are already eagerly anticipating the 2023 tax filing season because they expect to get a refund from Uncle Sam. They might be disappointed. In a recent news release encouraging taxpayers to get ready for the upcoming filing season, the Internal Revenue Service slipped in this warning: Refunds may be smaller in 2023. There are three tax issues in 2022 that contribute to why the IRS will be sending some taxpayers smaller refunds when they file next year. No extra coronavirus funds:... Read more →


Photo by Chris Henry on Unsplash You're heading home from your Thanksgiving get-together, loaded down with leftovers and maybe something less welcome. Yeah, your indigestion has been acting up, inflamed by overly rich food and some family members who just wouldn't let things go. The good news is that you can use your flexible spending account (FSA) funds to pay for the Tums or Gaviscon or whatever over-the-counter (OTC) remedy works for you. You may remember that not too long ago, you had to jump through hoops to get FSA coverage for these store shelf treatments under an Affordable Care... Read more →


Is your retirement plan on target? Maybe not, thanks (no thanks!) in part to the COVID pandemic and inflation. People have been, understandably, more focused of late on meeting daily living expenses than saving for the future. Such financial concerns likely are partially responsible for the results of a new retirement savings report from Fidelity. The Boston-based investment company found that the average 401(k) balance declined for the third straight quarter. It dipped below the six-figure mark, coming in at $97,200. That's 23 percent lower than a year ago. The average individual retirement arrangement (IRA) balance also dropped. The average... Read more →


Image by Ag Ku from Pixabay There's some good news for taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service as we near the new year and 2023 tax filing season. The IRS is making progress in working through its backlog of paper tax returns. In a Nov. 10 update on IRS Operations During COVID-19: Mission-Critical Functions Continue webpage, the agency reports that it is "opening mail within normal time frames," and has "processed all paper and electronic individual returns" that had no errors or didn't require further review "in the order received if they were received prior to April 2022." As of... Read more →


The Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) division is doing its part to close the Tax Gap, which now sits at $496 billion in uncollected tax. The IRS' law enforcement group's recently released annual report notes that its agents initiated more than 2,550 criminal investigations, identified more than $31 billion from tax and financial crimes, and obtained a 90.6 percent conviction rate on cases that were prosecuted. Much of IRS-CI's success during the 2022 fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30, was due to its increased cooperation and partnership with its global counterparts to combat tax and financial crimes worldwide.... Read more →


The Tax Gap is the amount the Internal Revenue Service says it is owed, but which it's been unable to collect. That amount now is $496 billion. The figure, which was reached after the IRS analyzed tax activity from 2014 through 2016, is an increase of $58 billion from the agency's last estimate. The IRS also did some Tax Gap forecasting. The agency's projections for tax years 2017 through 2019 show an estimated $540 billion per year. Both those Tax Gap amounts are huge, and disturbing. That's why they earn this weekend's dual By the Numbers recognition. Tax Gap components:... Read more →


Dealing with global taxes can be a real puzzle. (Rubik's Globe photo by Alan Kotok via Flickr CC) Americans are inordinately competitive, especially when it comes to international matchups. But there's not much for the United States to cheer as far as our ranking in the Tax Foundation's latest International Tax Competitiveness Index. Each year, the Washington, D.C.-based tax policy nonprofit measures the degree to which the tax systems of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) 38 member countries promote competitiveness. The U.S. tax system basically is middle of the pack in the Tax Foundation's 2022 evaluation. OK,... Read more →


Following these youngsters' example could pay off in more money from Uncle Sam. The IRS is notifying individuals and families who didn't have to file a 2021 tax return to take another look and consider submitting one by Nov. 17 to claim valuable tax breaks, like the enhanced Child Tax Credit, that they missed. The Internal Revenue Service is still trying to distribute tax benefits to 9 million families that have yet to claim them. The yet-to-be-collected tax breaks are COVID-19 economic impact payments available as the Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC), the Child Tax Credit (CTC), and the Earned Income... Read more →


The Internal Revenue Service saw its largest tax fraud case ever end on Aug. 5 when Robert T. Brockman died. The 81-year-old billionaire had been charged with 39 criminal financial crimes, including tax evasion. Federal investigations alleged that Brockman was part of an elaborate offshore tax fraud scheme that cheated the U.S. Treasury out of more than $1.4 billion in taxes, penalties, and interest. While the criminal case is over, legal actions in civil and tax courtrooms to recoup the allegedly unpaid taxes (and add-on charges) continue. Special tax action to protect collection: As part of that process, the IRS... Read more →


UPDATE, Oct. 6, 2022: North and South Carolina, which were hit when Ian made a second U.S. landfall after devastating southwest Florida, now also get until Feb. 15, 2023, to meet various tax deadlines. More in my Carolinas/Ian follow-up post. This image from the NASA/Landsat Operational Land Imager (OLI) was taken about three hours before Hurricane Ian made landfall on Sept. 28 in Cayo Costa, Florida. (NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey, GEOS-5 data from the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and roads from OpenStreetMap.... Read more →


Just more than a year ago, a Parkville, Missouri, man pleaded guilty to charges filed in two separate federal investigations. One was a case involving conspiracy to commit wire and major program fraud. The defendant admitted to his role in a $335 million scheme to defraud federal programs that award contracts to firms owned by minorities, veterans, and service-disabled veterans. The second charge was one of tax evasion to the tune of $615,847. The Missouri man confessed to claiming fraudulent business expenses on his 2016 tax year return and filing false returns from 2013 to 2016. Last Thursday, Sept. 22,... Read more →


Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr. The Child Tax Credit was expanded in 2021 to help families coping with the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19. During the height of the pandemic, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) temporarily bumped up the amount available via the already popular CTC. It went from $2,000 per qualifying child to $3,600 a year for children younger than age 6, and $3,000 per child for youngsters ages 6 to 17. The credit amounts were phased out once tax-filing families hit certain income levels. More of the increased CTC also was refundable, meaning that if the... Read more →


One Martha's Vineyard vacationer had lots of questions when he was arrested for tax evasion following a minor traffic accident. The answer was a 'tax' typo. (Photo by Vadim Bogulov on Unsplash) Every taxpayer knows that a small mistake on a tax return could create big tax problems. A Philadelphia man found out a one-letter typo involving the word "tax" also carried a hefty price. Angus McCoubrey, who with his wife was vacationing last month on Martha's Vineyard, spent two nights in an island jail following a minor traffic accident. The jailing, however, wasn't for the fender bender. Instead, in... Read more →