December 23, 2013 2:14 pm

New IRS Commissioner

The U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment of John Koskinen as the next IRS commissioner. He starts his job during the week of December 23. He becomes the first commissioner since Douglas Shulman left the job on November 9, 2012. Since then, there have been two acting commissioners.

The first focus for the new commissioner is the execution of a successful tax-filing season that begins on January 31, 2014, for individuals (January 13, 2014, for businesses). His other priorities are managing IRS responsibilities for Obamacare, helping to get answers about the IRS activities regarding tax-exempt status applications of certain political groups, and continuing the FreeFile program after 2014, when the current agreement with commercial tax preparation firms expires.

Tax Glossary

Itemized deductions

Items, such as interest, state and local income and sales taxes, charitable contributions, and medical deductions, claimed on Schedule A of Form 1040. Itemized deductions are subtracted from adjusted gross income to arrive at taxable income. The amount of itemized deductions is also subject to a reduction when adjusted gross income exceeds certain limits.

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