Implications Of Passing A Senate Bill Enacting An Online Sales Tax

The Senate Bill Enacting An Online Sales Tax

Congress is currently moving forward with a Senate bill that could place sales taxes on buyers who place orders for items housed out of state. This proposed law applies to e-commerce sites, and the main goal of this online sales tax is to generate revenue for cash-strapped state governments in jurisdictions where online retailers are headquartered. The bill has its opponents among online retail giants such as eBay, and it also has supporters among the President and a number of state government officials.

Oregon - no sales tax
Oregon – no sales tax (Photo credit: Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious)

Only online retailers that gross more than $1 million per year in sales will be subject to this online sales tax. Shoppers at large online retailers such as Amazon will see slightly higher bills for each order they place, and the tax will also apply to brick-and-mortar retailers who sell items online. A few of these vendors include Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart and many others.

Proponents of this online sales tax Senate bill argue that it will level the commerce playing field for both physical store locations and online retailers. Some believe that online vendors have had an unfair competitive advantage of being free from such sales taxation until now. According to this viewpoint, having a set of laws that taxes both types of sellers equally is considered a fair rule of doing business in the digital age. Depending on the individual taxes rates in different geographic regions, some states could have an online sales tax of 7% per purchase while others could have one as high as 9%.

TurboTax Fights Filing Reform

TurboTax Fights Filing Reform

TurboTax has come under fire recently after a report from Propublica revealed that Intuit, TurboTax’s parent company had launched a massive lobbying effort against what is known as return-free tax filing.

TurboTax Fights Filing Reform
TurboTax app (Photo credit: fixedgear)

This method, which is already used in other countries, would have the IRS prepare an estimate of the taxpayer‘s liability. The recipient would have the option to accept the estimate, make corrections to it, or reject it and prepare his own return, using a tax preparation company or other option.

This process puts the onus on the IRS to use the information that employers and banks have already provided to them to prepare these files. The taxpayers who would benefit most from this process are those who file simple forms with no itemization.  Up to 40% of taxpayers could benefit from this system.

TurboTax 2013 would have suffered a clear loss of revenue by implementation of this plan.  Fewer taxpayers would actually need to file, and TurboTax, being the largest online tax preparation firm, would certainly feel the loss of preparation fees.

Other tax firms and some political figures have opposed return-free filing because they feel the plan expands government control and that receiving a “bill” from the government might intimidate taxpayers into paying the amount without question.

Free Turbo Tax 2013 preparation would not have been necessary if the return-free plan had been adopted. Considering that TurboTax 2013 garners much business by selling consumers upgrades to more expensive packages, the company’s opposition is understandable from a financial standpoint.  They cannot, however, claim an impartial interest in the matter.

Return-free filing is not a new idea and has been endorsed by two Presidents and a host of consumer advocates.  Other countries have already successfully adopted such a plan, but strong lobbying efforts by TurboTax and other tax preparation firms have so far kept it from becoming a reality in the United States.

Intuit’s PAC Lobbies Against IRS Filed Taxes

Should taxpayers determine how much are owed on their taxes or is this a job for the government? TurboTax lobbying has led to millions of dollars being spent against IRS filed taxes. The IRS could make doing taxes easier on Americans by filing the taxes of citizens instead. Intuit is the parent company behind the TurboTax software and has used its public action committee (PAC) to spend millions to oppose every effort to make tax day less painful.

Intuit, the parent company of TurboTax has lobbied extensively against the “return-free” filing, decreasing the stress of Americans who file complex taxes. This represents the continuation of having to file taxes which take up a great deal of time, despite Obama’s efforts in 2007 towards taxes being prepared by the IRS.

TurboTax and other similar companies are partly responsible for Americans not being able to go without filing their taxes for years. It’s possible that this would have previously been made a law, however, tax professionals have expressed their opposition to this. American’s being able to go without filing taxes for such long periods of time would be detrimental to the businesses that profit from this.

TurboTax’s public opposition to IRS government tax preparation is a clear indication the business knows their long term profits would be affected. Intuit’s PAC has spent over $5 million contributing to certain politicians with the biggest donation to one individual being $1 million.

What Do The IRS And Your Ex-Girlfriend Have In Common?

You Don’t Want To Hear From Either One Of Them

What does getting an email from the IRS and getting an email from your crazy ex-girlfriend have in common? They are both something that you don’t want to open. The best advice is, don’t. If you get one of the IRS emails, it is best to not open it, or even altogether ignore it. We all know that the IRS is anything but a friend of yours, so why would they be sending you an email? They probably wouldn’t. It is just one of the latest scams that impostors are trying to pull off.

Exterior of the Internal Revenue Service offic...
Exterior of the Internal Revenue Service office in midtown New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scammers know that when you see the IRS come up on any document, your first reaction is fear, and the second is that you had better answer it quickly to avoid penalty. When you use Turbo Tax 2013, you will have direct access to the IRS email, but they will never have a reason to reply unless it is an auto response. As a general rule, if you ever receive an email from any company asking you for personal information, don’t answer it. Any doubts you have about its authenticity, which there should be many, can be addressed by contacting them directly. If you are the one to contact them using official channels, than you can feel secure about any information that you supply to them.

It is best, if you receive IRS emails, to pick up the phone and contact them directly. After all, nothing ever gets settled through email, you will have to follow up any issue with a live representative anyway. So, it’s best to do with that email what you would with your ex-girlfriend’s, ignore it.

Turn to a Phoenix Tax Lawyer for Advice

Taxes
Taxes (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

Filing taxes can feel like a daunting process at times. Tax laws at the federal, local, state, and foreign levels change constantly, causing potential confusion for taxpayers filling out a return. Turn to a Phoenix tax lawyer for advice; they possess the knowledge and combined expertise of tax, business and litigation to counsel and guide individuals effectively. Their understanding of how the different tax laws interplay helps clients to minimize their tax liabilities.

Tax issues can impact many areas of a person’s life, from estate planning to formation of a new business, and bankruptcy, to name just a few. Attorneys can assist with protection of assets through by setting up an entity to protect from malpractice, divorce, or any other threats to a client’s assets. In essence, proper planning avoids stress and anxiety in the event of unpleasant circumstances threatening the client’s tax situation.

A Phoenix tax lawyer can also assist with waiving IRS penalties and working out a payment plan for individuals owing money. In some situations the debt can be settled for less than the amount originally owed. Individuals behind on their filings can catch up quickly with an attorney’s assistance, thus avoiding further accrual of interest and penalties.

Individuals in need of tax assistance should seek a Phoenix tax lawyer today. Any issues or questions related to repayment of debt, filing, can be addressed knowledgeably by an attorney. They can help the client plan for the future and unpleasant events such as divorce, death, or malpractice.

Free Tax Filing for Taxes

Tax Filing for 2011

Each year, thousands of taxpayers fail to file their federal income taxes. Some individuals willingly forgo this action while others run into special circumstances. No event or situation frees a taxpayer from their responsibilities though. With that in mind, a person can always file back taxes in order to start catching up. Various options are currently available for taxes 2011.

Tax Preparation
Tax Preparation (Photo credit: agrilifetoday)

Filing tax returns for previous years often proves relatively simple. However, an individual needs the right software and extensive records for that particular year. Products like TurboTax, TaxAct, and others offer software for past returns. Free tax filing 2011 is hard to come by but is not impossible to find. Undoubtedly, taxpayers want to save as much money as possible.

For taxes 2011, the taxpayer needs to fill out all necessary tax return forms. They should treat this return just like any other one, making sure to avoid common mistakes. Failure to do so might cause problems when the IRS receives the return. Without a doubt, it is important to handle this matter quickly to avoid major consequences and problems.

Free tax filing 2011 is still available even though it is a past tax year. Many people fail to realize that they can still finish taxes 2011. The longer an individual waits, the more penalties they will face. In the end, finishing this task quickly produces the best results under all circumstances. That fact should not be forgotten for obvious reasons. The IRS takes federal income taxes very seriously after all.

IRS Tax Fraud Increasing

turbotax

IRS Tax Fraud Increasing

Identity theft linked to IRS tax fraud has been increasing. However, according to a recent government report, the IRS is actually unaware of the number of persons who are running scams on the system.

Based on a study from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a watchdog that collaborates with Congress, between January and September 2012, there were approximately 642,000 incidents of identity theft which involved tax fraud, which is 62 percent more than 2011. The report further stated that during that same period of time, the IRS would have paid some $754 million in refunds that were suspicious.

The report also shared that returns that involve identity theft are hard to track. The IRS informed the GAO that it is unable to determine why and how this is happening. American taxpayers who have been victims of identity theft and false returns, may experience delayed refunds and have to pay additional costs for re-filing, in addition to the tons of paperwork.

The Government Accountability Office is an imp...
The Government Accountability Office is an important information-gathering agency for Congress. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unfortunately, the tax and fraud professionals advised that this problem in increasing because it is easy to run the scam via electronic filing such as turbotax 2011. Once scammers have someone’s Social Security number and name, they can apply for the refund to be transmitted via direct deposit. Therefore, it is difficult for the IRS software to determine the legitimacy of the returns that are filed.

This problem is estimated to burden the US Government by billions of dollars. CNBC reported that the IRS inspector general forecasted an estimated $21 billion that could be paid out over the next five years in tax refunds that are fraudulent.

One of GAO’s directors, James White, shared with The Huffington Post that this problem is hard to solve and partnering with the banks could be one of the solutions. During the first nine months of 2012, 116 banks reported information to the IRS about over 193,000 accounts that were linked to tax fraud. White further stated that this type of crime is hard to catch and measure.

The IRS was able to block an estimated 262,000 fraudulent tax returns in 2011. However, according to CNNMoney, approximately $5.2 billion was lost to identity theft.