I have an almost 2 year old daughter, Lilly. She is so many things: funny, loving, adventurous, curious…expensive. I mean she’s worth it and all, but man does that girl eat her way (literally and figuratively) through our family budget every month. I know our family is not alone. It seems like everyone is talking about the rising cost of raising children—and it turns out that talk is actually true. And despite the rising cost of living and child rearing, most family income is not keeping up, delivering a one-two punch to working families’ bottom lines.
On June 23rd, the White House will hold a Working Families Summit to focus on the current needs of America’s working families, and potential policy solutions that can help address those needs. I’m hopeful that the Summit will be the beginning of a concerted push for changes that will respond to the economic realities of working families—including some changes in our tax code. There are many tax provisions that can help families make ends meet while raising kids—and a couple of commonsense proposals to make those tax provisions even more meaningful. Read more »
You’re a taxpayer. Do you know what your taxpayer rights are? If you’re like most Americans, the answer is probably no. In fact, only 11% of taxpayers surveyed in 2012 [PDF] said they knew what those rights entailed—and less than half believed they had any rights at all.
Yesterday, the IRS took aim at these dismal statistics with the adoption of a Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. The document mirrors the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, in that it groups the dozens of existing rights in the tax code into 10 fundamental rights that every taxpayer should know, understand, and use. The National Taxpayer Advocate has long called for this document—a foundational framework that will encourage taxpayer “confidence in the integrity and fairness of the system.” With knowledge and confidence comes voluntary compliance at tax time—something we can all agree is beneficial to maintaining and building upon our current social structures.
So without further ado, I present the newly adopted Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. Read on and get to know your rights, Taxpayer! Read more »
Earlier this week, legislation that would extend through the end of 2015 nearly all of the tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013 (and two provisions scheduled to expire at the end of this year) — known as the “tax extenders” because they’ve been routinely extended from year to year — cleared a procedural hurdle when the Senate voted 96 to 3 to begin debate on the bill.
Guess what? The package will cost $85 billion over ten years. And the Senate has no plan to pay for it. More than 80% of the tax breaks benefit businesses, including multinational firms that ship jobs and profits overseas, NASCAR track owners, and racehorse owners.
It’s especially disturbing that the Senate would — like the House — consider spending billions on corporate tax subsidies without requiring that they be paid for before Congress acts on the far more urgent matter of extending emergency unemployment insurance benefits for over 2.7 million Americans who have lost their benefits since Congress refused to extend the program in December. Read more »
Happy Taxpayer Pride Day! Yes - you read that right, and no - I haven’t lost my mind.
For many, April 15 brings feelings of doom and gloom. It’s the day you might have to hand over some of your hard earned money to Uncle Sam (and if you’ve waited until the last minute, it’s the day you’ll have to stand in a long line at the Post Office with your fellow procrastinators). But we, inspired by our brilliant friends at NETWORK, will be celebrating April 15 as a day of joy and gratitude.
When you think about it, the world around you is fueled by tax revenue. Without taxes, we’d be less safe, less educated, and all around less content. Safety first: our tax dollars support police officers, fire fighters, the uniformed military, traffic lights, stop signs, street lamps, crossing guards, guardrails, airport security. I could keep going but I think you get the picture. Taxes support our elementary, middle, and high schools, state colleges and universities, cutting edge research that can both change and save lives, health care for the over-65 crowd (that’ll be you someday!) and the poor. Read more »
2 out of 19. According to a new report from the GAO, 2 out of 19 is the number of randomly selected paid tax preparers who calculated the correct refund amount on tax returns. That means that fully 89% of the time, tax returns prepared by paid preparers are incorrect—ultimately putting the individuals and families who file them at risk of paying penalties or even facing criminal sanctions.
This is an especially serious problem for low-income families, the majority of whom rely on paid tax preparers to help them file their taxes. In 2011, 60% of EITC recipients—or 16 million families—relied on a paid tax preparer to help them with their taxes. These are families whose tax refunds provide an infusion of cash that helps them pay down debt, cover major expenses like car repairs, and otherwise make up for all those other months when—no matter how many corners they cut—ends just don’t quite meet. Read more »
As the April 15 tax filing deadline approaches, NWLC and its partners want you to know about federal and state tax credits for which working families may be eligible -- and how to get help filing tax returns.
Many families are still struggling to recover from the recession, and keeping up with their bills can be a challenge. So it’s important now, especially for families with children, to claim federal and state tax credits that can to help them make ends meet. To do that, families must file tax returns.
But wait, you ask—what do taxes have to do with signing up for health insurance? Quite a bit, it turns out. The IRS just released some health care tax tips—from those, here are a couple of really important highlights to keep in mind between now and next tax season. And yes, I did say next tax season—what you know now will definitely help you later. Read more »
"The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment."
U.S. v. Windsor
“In light of the Windsor decision, the [Internal Revenue] Service . . .concludes that the terms “husband and wife,” “husband,” and “wife” should be interpreted to include same-sex spouses.”
IRS Rev. Rul. 2013-17
I know this might sound strange, but filing my taxes the year after my wedding made me feel more married. I remember it distinctly—around this time of year, the W-2s arrived. My husband and I worked on the tax return together, and filed using the Married Filing Jointly status. There was something about that tax form recognition that felt weighty and real. Official.
This week, the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee released several initial proposals to overhaul the tax code. One of these proposals deals with changes to the administration of the tax laws. So what do administrative tax law changes have to do with family economic security, you ask? A lot. They can help ensure that eligible families receive the tax credits they’re entitled to—and don’t fall victim to expensive and dangerous scams.
Americans for Tax Fairness has released the results of a new poll on taxes and spending that should define the issues in current negotiations over the federal budget.
Last month, Congress passed, and the President signed, a deal to end the shutdown, suspend the debt ceiling, and fund the federal government through January 15, 2014. What the bill left undone is a plan to fund the government after January 15. To that end, House and Senate leaders have agreed to meet in a conference committee on the FY 2014 budget, with the goal of reaching agreement on a budget plan for the remainder of the year by December 13.
The Senate-passed budget protects core safety net programs, proposes new investments to expand early childhood programs and grow the economy, and calls for a balanced package of revenue increases and spending cuts to replace the across-the-board federal budget cuts of the sequester; in contrast, the House-passed budget would end the sequester only for defense programs, while making even deeper cuts to programs that support low-income Americans and giving trillions in tax cuts to millionaires and corporations.
There’s no guarantee that the conference committee will be able to reach agreement, and no penalty if they don’t — at least for Congress. Read more »