Harless Tax Blog
Just six weeks after lawmakers and the public got their first glimpse of the first draft of a tax overhaul bill, Republicans on Friday released their final version. They aim to pass it next week and send it to President Trump for his signature.
The final bill still leans heavily toward tax cuts for corporations and business owners. But it also expands or restores some tax benefits for individuals relative to the earlier bills passed by the House and Senate. See More
With the end of the year looming, the window is quickly closing for taxpayers who want to minimize the taxes they will pay next spring.
What's more, for those trying to make year-end adjustments to their income and deductions, a tax reform bill being discussed in the District of Columbia has created uncertainty. Although it's tempting to take action based on expected changes to the law, some finance experts urge caution. "Until the law becomes formal, we have to be very careful," says Kristin Bulat, senior vice president of strategic resources for insurance and consulting firm NFP. See More
The Senate tax bill is headed for a marathon debate this week after Republican leaders brought the measure to the floor Wednesday with the goal of holding a final vote by the end of the week. Here are the latest developments, updated throughout the day:
John McCain Says He Will Support Senate Bill
Republican John McCain of Arizona said in a statement Thursday that he’s decided to support the Senate tax bill.
“I believe this legislation, though far from perfect, would enhance American competitiveness, boost the economy, and provide long overdue tax relief for middle class families,” McCain said. See More
President Donald Trump is pitching the Republican tax-cut plan as aimed primarily at helping middle-class Americans, but the biggest beneficiaries of cuts in the individual tax rates are in the wealthiest income brackets.
A study from Congress’s own think tank provides some of the most recent evidence of this. The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service concluded that under the Senate plan, Americans making between $500,000 and $1 million a year would see the biggest percentage increases in their after-tax income. See More
The IRS is providing help to the victims of Hurricane Irma. Special tax relief and assistance is available to taxpayers in the Presidential Disaster Areas.
So far, the IRS filing and payment relief applies to the following localities identified by FEMA for Individual Assistance due to Hurricane Irma:
In U.S. Virgin Islands: The islands of St. John and St. Thomas.
In Puerto Rico: The municipalities of Culebra, Vieques, Canóvanas and Loíza.
In Florida: The counties of Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, DeSoto, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter and Volusia. See More
The Internal Revenue Service today warned people to avoid a new phishing scheme that impersonates the IRS and the FBI as part of a ransomware scam to take computer data hostage.
The scam email uses the emblems of both the IRS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It tries to entice users to select a “here” link to download a fake FBI questionnaire. Instead, the link downloads a certain type of malware called ransomware that prevents users from accessing data stored on their device unless they pay money to the scammers. See More
Every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights and the IRS has an obligation to protect them. The “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” groups the taxpayer rights found in the tax code into 10 categories. Know these rights when interacting with the IRS. A good way to learn about them is by reading Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer.
Below are the descriptions of each right, as listed in Publication 1: See More
Taxpayers may be able to deduct certain expenses of moving to a new home because they started or changed job locations. Use Form 3903, Moving Expenses, to claim the moving expense deduction when filing a federal tax return.
Home means the taxpayer’s main home. It does not include a seasonal home or other homes owned or kept up by the taxpayer or family members. Eligible taxpayers can deduct the reasonable expenses of moving household goods and personal effects and of traveling from the former home to the new home.
Reasonable expenses may include the cost of lodging while traveling to the new home. The unreimbursed cost of packing, shipping, storing and insuring household goods in transit may also be deductible. See More
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service began mailing letters this month to more than 1 million taxpayers with expiring Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers and urges recipients to renew them as quickly as possible to avoid tax refund and processing delays.
ITINs with middle digits 70, 71, 72 or 80 are set to expire at the end of 2017. The notice being mailed -- CP-48 Notices, You must renew your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to file your U.S. tax return -- explains the steps taxpayers need to take to renew the ITIN if it will be included on a U.S. tax return filed in 2018. See More
During the summer, some taxpayers may travel because of their involvement with a qualified charity. These traveling taxpayers may be able to lower their taxes.
Here are some tax tips for taxpayers to use when deducting charity-related travel expenses:
Qualified Charities. For a taxpayer to deduct costs, they must volunteer for a qualified charity. Most groups must apply to the IRS to become qualified. Churches and governments are generally qualified, and do not need to apply to the IRS. A taxpayer should ask the group about its status before they donate. Taxpayers can also use the Select Check tool on IRS.gov to check a group’s status. See More