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Tax e-file season is officially open
The Internal Revenue Service is now open for 2010 tax business, ready to accept electronically filed income tax returns from most taxpayers. The IRS touts e-file as the best way to file accurate tax returns and ensure speedy delivery of tax refunds. IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman speculates that e-file activity will increase this year, in part due to forced participation from many tax preparers. While many tax returns are eligible for immediate e-filing, the IRS is still working to reprogram its computers to reflect new tax law changes enacted by Congress in December.
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Treasury launches prepaid debit and payroll card program
The U.S. Department of the Treasury last week launched a program that offers taxpayers a financial account for the electronic delivery of their federal tax refunds. Originally announced in September, the Treasury is mailing letters to 600,000 low- and moderate-income individuals, asking them to consider activating a MyAccountCard Visa Prepaid Debit Card in time to have their 2010 federal tax refund direct-deposited to the card.
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Taxpayer Advocate report focuses on tax reform, collections, health care
Federal law requires the National Taxpayer Advocate to submit an annual report to Congress that identifies at least 20 of the most serious problems encountered by taxpayers and makes recommendations to mitigate those problems. This year's report identifies 21 problems, provides updates on four previously identified issues, makes recommendations for administrative and legislative change, and analyzes the 10 tax issues most frequently litigated in the federal courts.
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WikiLeaks may reveal names of tax evaders
Although WikiLeaks is reportedly reviewing secret information on approximately 2,000 offshore banking clients, it's unlikely the material will be made public soon, according to reports. Rudolf Elmer, a Swiss bank whistleblower, handed over two CDs of information to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a news conference in London on Monday, prompting speculation about potential revelations.
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Blog: Strategic estate planning under the new tax rules
The new tax cut extension package, which was signed into law on December 17, 2010, establishes a new (but temporary) estate and gift tax regime for 2011 and 2012. It also clarifies the situation for the estates of individuals who died in 2010.
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Blog: Illinois tax increase becomes law
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation last week that temporarily raises Illinois income taxes by two-thirds. The personal income tax rate immediately increases to 5 percent, from 3 percent. The corporate income tax rate increases immediately to 7 percent, from 4.8 percent.
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Tax season is upon us. The IRS is now accepting e-filed income tax returns from most taxpayers, while it readies its computers to receive returns from the rest. The Treasury has launched a debit card program for federal tax refunds. The National Taxpayer Advocate has identified 21 of the most serious problems encountered by taxpayers. And finally, on a personal note, I moved from the Chicago area a few years ago and headed to Michigan. What I miss about my home state? Italian beef sandwiches and Old Style beer. What I don't miss? A 67 percent increase in the state income tax. Ah, Illinois: where the taxes are high and expectations of their governors are low. Don't go changin', Land of Lincoln.
Sincerely,
Bill Grabarek
Managing Editor
editor@accountingweb.com


Tax Talk Today February 8, 2011 Program: 2010 Business Tax Law Update

The February webcast, “2010 Business Tax Law Update: Need-To-Know Changes” will feature IRS and tax practitioner experts in a lively panel discussion. You can earn CPE credits for viewing the Live and Archived programs by purchasing them at TaxTalkToday.com.

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