The 2015 tax season has been fraught with complications, from the fraudulent use of tax returns to the “dirty dozen” scams meant to tear consumers away from their money. During a Senate Finance Committee hearing exploring ways in which consumers could better be protected from such hustles, federal investigators divulged more information about one of the most prevalent tax-time scams in recent years, saying it has now targeted 366,000 taxpayers to the tune of $15.5 million. [More]
Millions of Americans will owe the IRS anywhere from a few dollars to many thousands of dollars when they file their income tax returns, and not all of them have funds available to pay what they owe. The simple answer might be to just put that bill on your credit card, but you could end up paying a lot more than you expect. [More]
Airbnb finally gave in to San Francisco’s demands that it fork over a bunch of cash to pay back-taxes after failing to pay the city’s 14% hotel tax going back a few years. Airbnb wouldn’t say how much it had paid, but officials had said it ran into the millions of dollars.
A new lawsuit filed by the state of New York and New York City is accusing United Parcel Service of shipping more than 136 million contrabands cigarettes across the state in the last five years. Those smokes are worth a lot of tax dollars — about $5 million for NYC and $30 million for the state — and as such, the lawsuit is seeking $180 million in damages and penalties.
Days after TurboTax resumed e-filing of all state tax returns following a third-party security expert’s finding that fraudulent activity reported by state tax officials did not result from a breach of Intuit’s own systems, federal regulators announced they would take a look for themselves. [More]
If you’re an Ohio resident and you’re expecting a refund on your state taxes this spring, you might have to go online and take a personalized “quiz” in order to prove you are who you claim to be before you can get your money. [More]
Just a short time after Intuit announced on Friday that it would stop TurboTax electronic filing of all state tax returns to investigate fraudulent activity, the company announced filing would resume. [More]
Can you pay all debts, public and private with whatever legal tender you’d like, one man alleged caused such a nuisance while trying to pay a $600 property tax bill with intricately folded singles, his efforts landed him in jail.
Walmart recently announced a service that allows consumers who use certain participating tax preparers to pick up their refunds at a Walmart store. The program already has one high-profile detractor in the form of Connecticut Commissioner of Revenue Services Kevin Sullivan who says he believes the program is intended to get consumers to spend their refunds at Walmart. [More]
Let’s be honest for a moment and acknowledge that not everyone is 100% honest or accurate when filing their tax returns. There are lots of people out there who wouldn’t be shocked to hear from the IRS that they owe more or didn’t pay enough, which is why thousands of Americans have been scammed out of millions of dollars by con artists pretending to represent the IRS. [More]
Happy first day of tax season! Today is the first day that you can file your federal income tax return. Most Americans have to file a tax return, but a substantial number of people still don’t have bank accounts and conduct life in cash. Walmart wants to keep people in that situation away from check-cashing stores…and keep them in Walmart with a great big wad of cash in their wallets. [More]
While one might assume that it requires a modicum of tax expertise and perhaps some sort of certification to be a paid tax preparer, the sad fact is that most states have little to no standards for selling tax preparation services, meaning that once again millions of Americans are being put at risk when seeking help with their tax returns. [More]
While the Internal Revenue Service won’t be accepting electronically filed tax returns until Jan. 20, the agency’s Free File program is open starting today for those taxpayers who make an adjusted gross income of $60,000 or less. The Free File site features free access to federal tax preparation and e-filing software from 14 different tax-prep companies, and offers helpful links to help guide taxpayers through the process. [IRS.gov Free File]
Subletting one’s home or renting out space on your own property has long been a way for some Los Angeles residents to earn some extra income without telling the taxman. And the rise of home-sharing services like Airbnb and VRBO has only encouraged more people to make money off their unused rooms. But the city of Los Angeles is now sending stern reminders to people who list properties on these sites that they have to pay taxes similar to those paid by hotel operators. [More]
It’s one thing for a state with nearly 4 million people filing tax returns to screw up on a couple of thousand of those filings. It’s another when the state realizes it screwed up but doesn’t make any effort to let people know of the error. [More]
Did you know that in some states, 24 to be exact, a Hershey bar is candy but a Twix bar is not, when it comes to taxes? I didn’t either, and it’s just that kind of baffling distinction — the Twix contains flour, and candy is classified as flourless — that’s making it hard for states to decide which foods are taxable under the sales tax code and which aren’t. [More]
It makes sense that the federal government would want to collect owed taxes and a proposed law would require the IRS to push that duty off to private debt collectors. However, a history of abusive practices by debt collectors and the failure of similar programs in the past has consumer advocates warning that the provision will only hurt consumers and the government in the long run. [More]