On May 25, 2017, Senator Warner (D-VA) and Congresswoman DelBene (D-WA) introduced H. 1251 and H.R. 2685, Portable Benefits for Independent Workers Pilot Program Act. It calls for $20 million of grant dollars for states to study and pursue innovative ways to provide portable benefits to “the growing independent workforce.”
Archive for Annette Nellen
This interview is one in a series of interviews conducted by Kat Jennings, CEO of TaxConnections with Professors and Program Directors of University Tax Graduate Programs. Over the years, Kat has been asked often about the best schools to attend to continue ones advanced tax education. It is with great pleasure to have the opportunity to introduce this leading tax graduate program to you.
The House Republican tax reform blueprint touts that the individual system would be so simplified that individuals would have a postcard-sized return. Speaker Paul Ryan’s 5/19/17 op ed in the Kenosha News states: “Imagine being able to file your taxes on a postcard.”
Mark Your Calendars for The Upcoming Event…
5th Annual IRS-SJSU Small Business Tax Institute
Thriving in the Digital Economy – Best Practices for Small Businesses and Their Tax Advisers
At the start of the 21st century, I was involved with a project with the AICPA on tax reform. An outcome of our task force work was a set of ten principle of good tax policy. The goal was for lawmakers to apply these to both existing tax rules and proposals for change to identify where they did and did not meet the principles. Where not met, hopefully improvement could be made.
Members of President Trump’s cabinet (Secretary Mnuchin and National Economic Director Gary Cohn) released a 1-page list of items he wants in a tax reform plan. CNN has the 1-pager posted here.
A few observations (I’ll have more later):
Many states exempt groceries from sales tax per the premise that food is a necessity of life. This is a poorly targeted exemption though in terms of helping low-income taxpayers. Higher income individuals spend more on food so get the bulk of the tax savings. If instead, groceries were taxed, tax relief could be better targeted to the taxpayers who need it via a refundable income tax credit based on income.
One of the email alerts I received from the IRS recently was Tax Tip 2017-48, Helpful Tips to Keep in Mind When Amending Your Tax Return. I want to focus on tip #1 of the nine provided. Here it is:
It doesn’t seem that one’s filing status should be confusing. You’re single or you’re married. But, many people qualify for head-of-household status. That one is confusing because of its multi-faceted definition.
Years ago, the IRS had about 104,000 employees. Today it is around 83,000. Certainly, they don’t need as many people to open envelopes due to e-filing, but this change results in a big drop in taxpayer services and audits. A common lament I hear from tax practitioners is the challenge of having to deal with notices from the IRS. It is difficult to get to talk to someone from the IRS who has the knowledge and file access needed to resolve the issue and you likely need to wait 30 minutes or more to talk to someone.
Chief Counsel Advice 201710027 (3/10/17) states that determination letter requests, such as on Form SS-8, Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding, cannot be faxed to the IRS because an original signature is required.
You likely have lots of apps on your smartphone such as for shopping, interacting with hotels and airlines, social media, and lots more. You may have seen or heard about H&R Block’s 2017 Super Bowl ad about their artificial intelligence (AI) partnership with IBM (Watson). Per the H&R Block website, they are working with “Watson cognitive computing technology from IBM.”