The United States Internal Revenue Service says it purchased access to a marketing database that offers location data for millions of US cellphones, so the IRS can identify and track persons suspected of tax-related crimes. Read the rest
The language was removed hours after Bloomberg Tax asked if gamers who purchased or earned in-game currencies would have to disclose that on their 2019 tax returns.
IRS Chief Counsel Michael Desmond indicated that the inclusion of the video game currencies was a mistake, though he offered no insight on how they ended up alongside Bitcoin on the list of examples.
“It was corrected and that was done quickly—as soon as it was brought to our attention,” Desmond told reporters Thursday at a Tax Council Policy Institute conference in Washington...
Desmond demurred when asked to confirm that gamers wouldn’t need to mark ‘yes’ to the new 1040 question, but said addressing gaming currencies in the virtual currency context isn’t a major focus for the agency right now.
Microsoft maintains the fiction that it has sold its most valuable copyrights and other intangible assets to a tiny factory in Puerto Rico, where, thanks to promising to hire a mere 85 workers, it pays effective zero tax; the company transfers almost all its profits to this factory to "license" its own crown jewels, making the company totally unprofitable on paper, and thus immune from taxation. Read the rest
America is one of the only wealthy countries where you have to pay someone to prepare your tax return; in most other countries, the national tax office prepares a return for you and if it looks right to you, you just sign it and return it (you can always prepare your own return, too, or pay someone else to do it). Read the rest
Virtually every rich country on Earth provides pre-completed tax-returns that you can either ignore (and pay an accountant or do your own taxes), or just sign and return: after all, the government already knows what you're earning and how much tax you paid, so they can do all the heavy lifting for your annual return. Read the rest
In 2018, for the first time in recorded US history, the 400 richest American households paid a lower rate of tax than any other group of American taxpayers: 23%, down from 70% in 1950 and 47% in 1980. Read the rest
Nine years ago, Republican lawmakers gutted the IRS's budget, but didn't relax its requirement to conduct random audits: in response, the IRS has shifted its focus from auditing rich people (who can afford fancy accountants to use dirty tricks to avoid paying taxes) to auditing poor people (who can't afford professional help and might make minor mistakes filling in the highly technical and complex tax forms), until today, an IRS audit is just as likely to target low-income earner whose meager pay entitles them to a tax credit is as it is to target a filer from the top one percent of US earners. Read the rest
In most countries, you don't have to pay an accountant to prepare your tax return: the government already knows how much you made, so every year they just send you a pre-filled in form to check over and sign. Read the rest
Every day, the world's poorest countries lose $3b in tax revenues as multinationals sluice their profits through their national boundaries in order to avoid taxes in rich countries, and then sluice the money out again, purged of tax obligations thanks to their exploitation of tax loopholes in poor nations. Read the rest
In 2009, the IRS created a Global High Wealth Industry Group to audit the super-wealthy, staffing it with skilled lawyers and accountants who could unravel the webs of "trusts, foundations, limited liability companies, complex partnerships and overseas operations" that were used to hide the income of the super-rich from the tax-collector. Read the rest
Since the 2008 financial crisis, the "sovereign citizen" movement/conspiracy theory (previously) has grown by leaps and bounds, thanks to a combination of the rise of antisemitism (long a dogwhistle in the movement, now out in the open), an increase in financial desperation and a sense of betrayal, and the movement's ability to realize real cash for its members, who have systematically defrauded the underfunded and resource-strapped IRS of move than $1B. Read the rest
The IRS is shut down, along with much of the rest of the federal government, but unattended servers running on autopilot are sensing that no progress has been made on taxpayers' attempts to clarify disputed and overdue bills, and so they are initiating asset seizure proceedings. Read the rest
Will Smith never planned on being an actor. He never planned on being broke and in debt to the IRS, either. In this video, Smith breaks down how being bad with money started him down the road to becoming one of the biggest TV and film stars in the world. Read the rest
Congratulations, America! The electronic federal tax filing system offered by the Internal Revenue Service so you can file your taxes today just crashed. Read the rest