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No Passport For You!!!

Beginning December 4, 2015, the IRS received authority to instruct the State Department to revoke or not issue a passport to individuals owing significant taxes. This measure is part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act).

Section 32101 of the FAST Act adopted a new Internal Revenue Code provision, Section 7345. Under FAST Act Section 32101 and new Internal Revenue Code Section 7345, if the IRS certifies to the State Department that an individual “has a seriously delinquent tax debt”, the State Department shall not issue a passport to the individual. If the IRS makes this certification to the State Department for a tax-delinquent individual with an existing passport, the State Department may revoke the person’s passport, or can limit the passport for return travel only to the U.S. The State Department also the authority to issue a passport, despite receiving a certification notice from the IRS, for “emergency and for humanitarian reasons.”

 

IRS Urges You to Check Tax Status

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today encouraged taxpayers to consider a mid-year tax withholding checkup following several new factors that could affect their refunds in 2017.  Taking a closer look at the taxes being withheld can help ensure the right amount is withheld, either for tax refund purposes or to avoid an unexpected tax bill next year.

The withholding review takes on even more importance this year given a new tax law change that requires the IRS to hold refunds a few weeks for some early filers in 2017 claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit. In addition, the IRS and state tax administrators continue to strengthen identity theft and refund fraud protections, which means some tax returns could again face additional review time next year to protect against fraud.

 

How much does an unmarried dependent student have to make before he or she has to file an income tax return?

If you are an unmarried dependent student, you must file a tax return if your earned or unearned income exceeds certain limits. Considering your income and marital status as single, your unmarried dependent student must file a return if any of the following apply:

1. Your unearned income was more than $2,600 ($4,150 if 65 or older and blind)

2. Your earned income was more than $7,850 ($9,400 if 65 or older and blind)

3. Your gross income was more than the larger of—

  • $2,600 ($4,150 if 65 or older and blind), or
  • Your earned income (up to $5,950) plus $1,900 ($3,450 if 65 or older and blind)

You may want to consider filing a return even if you do not have to in some cases, like to claim a refund of taxes paid. Consider reviewing IRS Publication 501 for more information on this topic.

 

 

Presidential Tax Rates

I was curious about how much taxes are paid by our politicians so I went to the Tax History Project website (www.taxhistory.org) and reviewed some current ones. To be able to compare I needed information for the same year for all. The most current year with complete information is 2014. Here's what I found:

2014      Total Income      Tax %

Biden            388,844        23%
Clinton     28,336,212         35%
Cruz            1,210,382         37%
Kasich          402,603         18%
Obama         495,964         19%
Rubio            335,963         23%
Sanders        205,617          13%
Trump          No computable

Information compared included Total Income (Form 1040 line 22) and Total Tax (Form 1040 Line 63). Total Tax divided by Total Income produced the Tax percentage.

How do you compare?

 

 

Tax Considerations for Same Sex Couples

The IRS has adjusted many of the regulations to reflect the condition of same-sex marriage and adjust the wording previously used to refer to spouses, wives, husband, and husband and wife. Still, people may have questions about how to proceed when tax time comes along. To help in this process, the IRS published Frequently Asked Questions pages dealing with the topic. Some of the questions addressed in those pages include:

  • When are individuals of the same sex lawfully married for federal tax purposes?
  • Can same-sex spouses file federal tax returns using a married filing jointly or married filing separately status?
  • Can a taxpayer and his or her same-sex spouse file a joint return if they were married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriages but they live in a state that does not recognize their marriage?
  • Can a taxpayer’s same-sex spouse be a dependent of the taxpayer?
  • If same-sex spouses (who file using the married filing separately status) have a child, which parent may claim the child as a dependent?
  • If a taxpayer adopts the child of his or her same-sex spouse as a second parent or co-parent, may the taxpayer (“adopting parent”) claim the adoption credit for the qualifying adoption expenses he or she pays or incurs to adopt the child?

These and many more questions are addressed on the pages published by the IRS and can be accessed here.

The important message is that while special considerations may exist, a marriage is a marriage regardless of whether it is between same sex couples or opposite sex couples. Read more and be informed. It's the law.

 
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