IRS’s New Commissioner Favors Voluntary Tax Preparer Certification [AT]
John Koskinen has ideas! "If you could require certification of preparers and some educational requirements, it would help taxpayers feel some level of confidence that preparers actually know what they’re doing, and the vast majority of them do. My sense is that we should be able to provide that same educational training and that background to preparers. If you can’t require it, offer it, and if you complete the information, you get a certificate that says, ‘I have completed the IRS preparer course.’ I think that could be over time very valuable to preparers, and consumers could ask preparers, ‘Have you gone through the IRS training?’ Whatever happens with the court case, we ought to be able to move forward on that and provide taxpayers with as much assurance as we can that the preparers they are dealing with have met some kind of minimum standards."
New IRS chief to battle for more funding [The Hill]
John Koskinen has needs! "The new IRS commissioner on Monday made clear that he's prepared to do battle with congressional Republicans over a funding increase for the beleaguered agency. John Koskinen, now entering his third week in charge of one of the least popular agencies in Washington, acknowledged a funding boost is a tough sell in the wake of the controversial targeting of conservative groups."
So much for checking twice. Company says exec was named CEO, not CFO as previously disclosed http://t.co/8WyH4L0Uf5
— footnoted (@footnoted) January 7, 2014
10 tax traps to watch out for in 2014 [DMWT]
I'm including this because I wanted to post the GIF.
State Tax Reform Advice for 2014 – Think About Spending [Tax Analysts via Tax Update]
David Brunori paints a picture of a vicious circle: "Cutting government programs is difficult because each program has a constituency that will fight like a gladiator to protect its access to public money. So when the topic of tax reform comes up, conservatives and liberals vow to find a fix that will neither raise nor decrease spending. But we also know that politicians – the majority anyway – generally hate raising taxes. This reflects the fact that most of their constituents hate the idea of paying more taxes. But the costs of government continue to increase. And that leads to worse tax policy as states look to gimmicks, excises, gambling, and other junk ways of collecting revenue. It also ensures that some horrible tax policies are never fixed."
California Judge Rules Slaps Overstock.com With a $6.8 Million Fine For Defrauding Consumers [WCF]
Sam Antar manages to hold back his maniacal laugh.
French workers at Goodyear tyre plant take bosses captive [Guardian]
I guess this one option: "Workers at a French tyre factory threatened with closure have taken two company executives hostage and promised to hold them until given 'enormous amounts of money'. The 'kidnapping" was carried out at the Goodyear plant in north Amiens that was at the centre of an international spat a year ago after an American businessman called the workers there lazy.