Tax-Preparer Oversight Still Years Off, Says Auditor [WSJ]
A U.S. tax-policy auditor Wednesday said it will likely be three years before the Internal Revenue Service’s new federal oversight of paid tax-return preparers is in full force, finding that the IRS has inadequate resources and processes in place. “As a growing number of Americans now use paid preparers to file their returns, the IRS must move forward expeditiously with its preparer oversight program,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, in a statement Wednesday. “Our review found that more needs to be done.”
Senate votes to rescind IRS reporting measure [Reuters]
Bowing to pressure from small business groups who say the new reporting requirements will tie up entrepreneurs in paperwork, the Senate voted 81-17, for the amendment, which was appended to an unrelated aviation bill. Small firms and the self-employed are up in arms about the provision that, starting next year, they will have to submit 1099 tax forms on purchases of goods and services that total more than $600. “At a time when we need small businesses to help our economy grow, saddling them with expensive new requirements and paperwork burdens will only further hamper their ability to aid in our economic recovery,” Susan Eckerly of the National Federation of Independent Business said in a letter asking senators to support the amendment.
Democratic senators tout agreement on prisoner tax fraud [On the Money/The Hill]
A group of Senate Democrats is touting a new agreement between the IRS and federal Bureau of Prisons aimed at cracking down on prisoners’ ability to collect fraudulent tax returns. An inspector general report released in January found that prisoners had been issued at least $123 million in false federal returns between 2004 and 2009. The two federal agencies came to an agreement on the issue after a push started by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and other Senate Democrats. In a statement, Brown called the agreement “a long-overdue, common-sense solution.”
Obama proposes ‘green tax’ incentives [FT]
Barack Obama will on Thursday propose to cut oil and gas subsidies to make way for new “green energy” tax incentives designed to encourage US businesses to upgrade their commercial buildings and make them more efficient. White House officials said the move was intended to spur job growth in the construction industry and make commercial buildings 20 per cent more energy efficient by 2020. Officials declined to comment on the cost of the expanded tax credits, but said Mr Obama was “committed” to paying for the investments by eliminating subsidies for the oil and gas industry.
Baker Tilly teams up with NetSuite [AccMan]
Is there potential for a perceived independence issue?
Seven Ideas to Guide Tax Reform [TaxVox]
The Tax Policy Insitute’s Donald Marron laid it out in testimony yesterday before the the Senate Budget Committee, “America’s tax system is broken. It’s needlessly complex, economically harmful, and often unfair. It fails at its most basic task, raising enough money to pay our government’s bills. And it’s increasingly unpredictable, with large, temporary tax cuts not only in the individual income tax, but also in corporate, payroll, and estate taxes.
Final Oscar ballots hit the mail Wednesday [LAT]
Everything is due back to P. Dubs by February 22nd 5 pm PT sharp.