Friday, April 29, 2011

We're Back! Top-Three News Stories I Missed Because of Tax Season

It has been a very busy tax season, but I am happy to report that our blog is back and I'll be posting away. After sifting through the hundreds of Google Alerts (and thousands of news stories held within) in my inbox, I am ready to unveil my top news stories I neglected during tax season.

#3: Justice Dept. Goes After HSBC To Name Possible US Tax-Dodgers In India
It appears as though the Justice Department is ready to move on from UBS and start courting HSBC, who is apparently helping many US Citizens/Residents invest money in India and take advantage of they very high interest rates. That said, it does appear as though the IRS may start focusing more of their energy on higher bank account balances (see this story). The way the law is currently written, the Department of Treasury wants anyone with more than $10k invested abroad to be reporting their accounts annually via the TDF 90-22.1.

#2: AICPA's Call for AMT Repeal, Simplification Strikes Chord With Lawmakers
It seems like every year, I get to sit down and have that "fun" conversation with more and more clients about the Alternative Minimum Tax and how their deductions will provide them with no benefit. And while we try to tell our clients stories about how someday congress will get it right, we never see any progress. Well, the AICPA is lobbying hard, and they may have a few more people on board this year. Are we expecting much to come from this? Not really. But we can only hope some change is on the horizon.

#1: IRS Commissioner Seeks Changes in Annual Tax Filing Process
Are we getting closer to pre-filled 1040's? Possibly. Commissioner Shulman is trying hard provide taxpayers with up-front information so they can prepare their tax returns knowing that they have covered all of the bases. While Commissioner Shulman feels this is a step in the right direction for lowering the massive amounts of letter audits sent every year, many others believe this may actually increase the tax gap even further. While taxpayers are required to report ALL income earned during the year, many people often report income because they don't want to be caught forgetting an item the IRS may already know about. So what is going to happen when taxpayers know from the beginning how much income the IRS is expecting them to report?

No comments:

Post a Comment