All Articles Tagged "taxes"
I remember about eight years ago when I first started working my first professional job and was actually looking forward to tax season. Up until then from what I had witnessed with my parents and other relatives, tax season to adults was like what Christmas is to a toddler. That was the “real” most wonderful time of the year. I didn’t understand much about taxes, but quickly learned that because I didn’t have kids, was no longer in school, not paying student loans, barely had any deductions and was a tax bracket above broke that I qualified for a little something in return but definitely would not be doing the dougie to “This Is How We Do It” like the dude in the Jackson Hewitt commercial.
I drove home in tears crying to my friend on the phone, “What am I doing wrong?” But once I started to understand a little more about taxes, I learned I wasn’t really doing anything wrong. When I figured out tax season wasn’t meant for the single working woman, I was a lot less emotional during tax time. Now admittedly I’m a still a little bitter, but I am better prepared and I realize that without many deductibles I’ll end up owing every tax season because of my writing hustle, and that’s OK now that I know what to expect. But for all of you who are lucky enough to come into a little extra sometime soon, I need to you to spend responsibly for all of us who have to actually budget for big items and can’t lose our mind for 3 months out the year. Here are 12 ways I’m sure some people will waste their tax returns this year:
Tried calling the IRS lately? I have. If you want a live agent, you’ll be on hold for 30 minutes and upward. Or you could get caught in a maze of automated requests.
In fact, 39 percent of people who called the IRS last year gave up before their call was answered, according to a revealing report by the IRS Taxpayer Advocate. And don’t look for the IRS to fix this anytime soon. “Given our very limited resources, phone lines will be very busy, and there will frequently be extensive wait times,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said on the IRS’s YouTube video about the 2013 tax year.
IRS inefficiency is hurting taxpayers. Since they can’t get answers they need from the agency to do their own taxes, more people are paying outside sources to prepare them. And for those who go it on their own, basic mistakes in filing may become fines, penalties, or liens.
The agency’s inability to meet customer demands for the past three years are due to Congressional cuts to the budget. President Obama requested $340 million due to the Affordable Care Act, but Congress has failed to come through.
The IRS Taxpayer Advocate says the agency allotted $172 million for customer service training in 2012, but now only has $22 million to train those same people. The IRS also lost 8,000 employees between 2010 and 2012, according to Edward Jenkins, tax director at accounting firm CBIZ MHM. And in the government’s fiscal year 2017, a whopping 70 percent of IRS executives and half of non-executives will be set to retire, he says.
“The online system is better than it used to be,” Koskinen says. “But you’re still going to end up with 15 to 20 million calls unanswered this year.”
The IRS is even backlogged in dealing with notices they have sent out to taxpayers. “The IRS sends you a notice about an issue on your tax return, you respond, and they send a letter saying they will respond in 45 days,” Jeffrey Porter, chairman of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ tax executive committee, tells USA Today.
Jenkins says the agency needs to update its systems so its 22 departments can communicate. Some parts of the IRS still use the antiquated DOS system.
And the agency just isn’t making money. It collects $255 for every $1 it gets in its budget. Voluntary compliance rate is around 83 percent; 17 percent of tax revenue is uncollected. In 2006, this equaled $450 billion.
With a complicated tax code that changes every year, what’s a confused taxpayer to do?
There is a saying in the Bible: “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10)
You may have heard your mom, dad, or grandma reprimand or educate you with it from time to time, but did you ever think to apply the quote to advance your business sense and financial wealth? Financial pundit Sean Hyman has, for example, taking what he has deemed as the Biblical Money Code revealed in the Bible’s scriptures as a foundation for his investment success and education. Hyman is one of many who are enlightening others about how we can get out of debt and build wealth by way of the Word.
Read on for nine ways that we can all learn to invest and spend more wisely through the Bible, whether you are religious or not.
The year is almost over, and after some wise (and perhaps some very unwise) personal financial decisions throughout the course of 2013, you may be ready to close the books on another year. Don’t miss a beat before this year is out. There are many financial decisions you should make before the end of year, such as starting a retirement fund or making room for a little extra cash with a side hustle.
Before the year is over, challenge yourself and accomplish these financial resolutions before the New Year.
Looking to make a little extra cash with a secondary part-time source of income? A second job may only benefit you financially. When deciding whether or not to take on a part-time job or side hustle, you should consider not only the toll it’ll take on your finances, but your emotional health, your mental health, your daily schedule and your free time.
Have you considered these downfalls of juggling multiple jobs at one time? Is a little extra cash worth it? Here’s a few reasons why two (or more jobs) can do you more harm than good.
As we approach the month of November, you’re going to spend your days soon thinking about holiday shopping, decorations, and dinner table place cards. But, don’t forget about your taxes. In fact, it would be best to go ahead and not only start thinking about them, but to begin organizing your paperwork now for early filing.
Because of this year’s government shutdown, the IRS will not begin to process tax returns until one to two weeks after the originally planned January 21st date. If you’e expecting a return and need that money ASAP, you should act in advance. Just because the government is behind schedule does not mean that you should be. Tax season officially starts in December and you will still be able to send your tax returns at any time. Keep ahead of the game and continue to prepare on time — or early — so you’re not pulling your hair out when we’re talking about how close we are to April.
“Because, you know, paying taxes is supposed to pay for the government, which in turn is not working. So if they’re not working, I shouldn’t have to pay taxes,” he jokingly told Vh1. ”Being in the upper echelon of the tax bracket, [I] feel the the money I could be saving over these next couple of days could be very vital to my survival.”
While he’s being silly (clip below) there are those who agree with him.
“Republican or Democrat, it seems hard to argue with this logic,” says Forbes. “But high or low, everyone is a little tired of theatrics, of no service at the IRS and elsewhere. And yet taxes and filings are coming due like a freight train.”
The article also notes some past Nelly tax shenanigans, saying in 2006 he tried to deduct his “jewel-encrusted teeth” after he made the song “Grillz.”
Nelly’s latest album “M.O.” was released last week and, so far, sales have stalled. It debuted at number 14 on the Billboard 200.
If you haven’t paid your taxes lately in New York, don’t expect to get behind the wheel of a car anytime soon. Some 16,000 New Yorkers could lose their driver’s licenses because of unpaid taxes.
“The state has officially rolled out a new program that will yank delinquent taxpayers’ driver’s licenses if they are more than $10,000 behind on payments, according to a memorandum issued by the Dept. of Taxes and Finance,” reports Business Insider.
Gov. Cuomo called tax delinquents “scofflaws,” and said the new policy sends a clear message.
“These worst offenders are putting an unfair burden on the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers who are hardworking, law-abiding taxpayers,” he said. “By enacting these additional consequences, we’re providing additional incentives for the state to receive the money it is owed and we’re keeping scofflaws off the very roads they refuse to pay their fair share to maintain.”
Notices sent by the Tax Department have already gone out to 16,000 delinquent taxpayers, who’ll have 60 days to set up a payment plan or the D.M.V. will send another warning, this time giving them 15 days to respond. If they have not taken action by then, their license will be suspended.
Commercially licensed drivers and taxpayers who are makings child or spousal support payments will be exempt. And those who do lose their license will be able to apply for a restricted license, which will allow them to drive only to work.
The Department of Taxes expects the program to generate $6 million in tax revenue each year.
There are three other states who have similar license suspension programs. Many people in New York City don’t own cars, so this is a measure that will clearly impact people who live across the state more heavily than those living in the five boroughs.
This is not good news for small business owners. The Internal Revenue Service is cracking down on small firms. Since fall 2012, the IRS has been sending out letters to 20,000 small businesses notifying them of “possible income under-reporting.”
The reason: purchases made with card swipes. The IRS is suspicious that a lot of cash transactions might be going unreported. ”The IRS says it is trying to identify businesses that get ‘an unusually high portion’ of their reported sales through credit card transactions,” reports CNNMoney.
Before issuing a letter, the IRS compares a business’s credit card and cash receipts with industry averages. Which sounds a bit arbitrary.
An unnamed owner of a baking equipment supply company received such a letter, reports CNNMoney. The letter claimed that “80% of her $549,955 in annual revenue came from credit card swipes.”
In response her accountant, Steve Schneider, answered the IRS explaining that the numbers were correct, but the agency’s assumptions were wrong.
“Over the years, the business model has switched to more online sales,” Schneider told CNNMoney. “These types of customers tend to pay with credit cards.” He doesn’t agree with the IRS’s methods. He feels by relying on industry averages, the agency isn’t accounting for how a particular business operates.
“I just don’t think that the data they have is sufficient for them to send these letters out,” Schneider said.
There are other cases as well. But the IRS says it has reason. The agency found that some $450 billion is owed in taxes that goes uncollected. “Under-reporting by small businesses accounts for about $140 billion of that tax gap,” the story reports.
Some accountants say the IRS has always been stricter with small business. “This is nothing new,” Van Ballantyne, a small business accountant in Greenland, New Hampshire, told CNNMoney. “I think it’s another attempt to try to get us all to sit a little straighter in our chairs and be more honest in our reporting. It is fairly innocuous.”
MadameNoire got the chance to talk with the legendary Ron Isley y’all! The day after the BET Awards, the man we’ve come to know and love as Mr. Big came into our office and dished on everything from the time he spent in jail for not paying his taxes to his thoughts on Charlie Wilson’s return to music and what his plans are for new albums in the future. And to top it all off, he sang us a line or two from one of our favorite songs. Take a listen!