Category Archives: Internal Revenue Service

IRS excels at beaurocratese when it screws up

If you sent in an employment tax payment at the April 18 deadline, you did what you were supposed to.  But the IRS sent out notices to many filers that the deposits were late.

How did the IRS characterize its own screw-up?  Like this:

“Many taxpayers who made employment tax deposits on Monday, April 18, 2016, were incorrectly sent notices that their deposits were late.  Due to a programming error, IRS systems did not recognize the Emancipation Day holiday observed on April 15, 2016.  We apologize for any inconvenience, and no taxpayer action is required.”

Wow.  I almost expected them to say, “Mistakes were made.”

Don’t believe everything you read about the tax code — even in the New York Times

Reporting in 2014 on a proposed tax overhaul that went nowhere, The New York Times  referred to “the 70,000-page federal tax code.” People, I come bearing good holiday tidings:  The federal tax code is nowhere near that long. As Andrew L. Grossman, an attorney with the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, points out in Slate,… Continue Reading

Republican fantasy tax plans all “puppies and rainbows”

Let me paraphrase Josh Barro of The New York Times in summing up the tax talk you’re hearing in the Republican Presidential Debates: It’s all puppies and rainbows. As Barro points out here, Marco Rubio would eliminate all taxes on capital gains, which of course would benefit those in the U.S. who have accumulated the most… Continue Reading

Boston Bruins and IRS facing off over meal deductions

Businesses can deduct 100% of most ordinary expenses, but only 50% of the cost of business-related meals. When is a meal not a meal for tax purposes? One definition is when it’s an ordinary expense and provided for the convenience of the employer. That’s what the National Hockey League’s Boston Bruins say about the costs… Continue Reading