Tax News

February 9, 2012 11:40 am

The IRS released IRS2Go 2.0, which is an expanded version of its smartphone application. The new app works on both the iPhone and Android platforms. It enables taxpayers to check the status of their f...

February 3, 2012 11:29 am

Homeowners who claimed the first-time homebuyer credit in 2008 are subject to an annual repayment of 1/15th of the credit until it has been fully repaid to Uncle Sam. The credit effectively was an int...

January 27, 2012 11:59 am

The president’s State of the Union address on January 24, 2012, contained several tax mentions:For tax “fairness”: A promise to enforce the so-called “Buffett rule” so that wealthy exec...

January 27, 2012 11:51 am

Republicans vying for the presidential nomination have released their tax returns showing their effective tax rates. The effective tax rate is the percentage of taxable income that was paid in taxes. ...

January 18, 2012 5:49 pm

The IRS’s Free File program (www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=118986,00.html) for 2011 returns is now in full swing. If your adjusted gross income for 2011 was less than $57,000, you can choose from ...

January 13, 2012 10:09 am

Each year, the National Taxpayer Advocate is required to provide a report to Congress. The report identifies problems and issues and suggests ways in which they can be fixed. The report for 2011, whic...

January 11, 2012 11:17 am

If someone uses your Social Security number to file a fraudulent tax return in order to receive a tax refund, what can you do? The IRS now has a guide for taxpayers in this situation.Respond imme...

January 10, 2012 2:56 pm

The “tax gap” is the spread between what the government thinks it should collect in taxes and what it actually collects. In 2001, the tax gap, after enforcement activities, was $290 billion. In 20...

January 9, 2012 2:53 pm

Spouses who file joint returns usually are liable for the tax on such returns. However, some joint filers can request relief from this liability by claiming to be an innocent spouse. The IRS has annou...

January 7, 2012 2:50 pm

The IRS’s annual report on enforcement shows that the audit rate on millionaires in the government’s fiscal year 2011 (ending September 30, 2011) rose to 12.48%, compared with just 8.36% in the pr...

January 6, 2012 10:06 am

The 2-percentage-point reduction in Social Security taxes paid by workers in 2011 was extended for the first 2 months of 2012. Congress will try to extend the reduction for the balance of 2012. Assumi...

January 5, 2012 9:13 am

In 2011, there was a 14% increase in e-filing, according to the IRS Oversight Board’s 2011 Annual Report to Congress on Electronic Filing. Seventy-eight percent of all individual returns were e-file...

December 16, 2011 9:06 pm

If you use your car, truck, or van for certain purposes other than personal reasons, you can deduct the related costs or use an IRS-set mileage rate. The mileage rate for 2012 is:55.5 cents per m...

December 2, 2011 9:24 pm

The interest rate that individuals will pay on underpayments remains at 3% for the first quarter of 2012. The interest rate that the IRS will pay on overpayments (tax refunds) will also be 3%. Most or...

November 30, 2011 9:26 pm

Have you received a tax refund if you are owed one? The IRS reports that it is looking for 99,123 taxpayers who are owed $153 million in refunds. Their checks were undeliverable because of mailing add...

November 19, 2011 2:10 pm

Congress has voted to repeal the 3% withholding on payments to contractors, a rule that was set to take effect in 2013. As part of the repeal process, Congress also created two new tax credits for bus...

November 14, 2011 7:55 pm

Distributions from an account in a 529 plan to pay qualified higher education costs of the account's beneficiary are not taxable. However, distributions for any other reason are taxable unless there i...

November 3, 2011 2:46 pm

If you make gifts of cash or property to a charity, you can deduct them only if you have the proper substantiation. The rules are different for cash donations and property donations, and can be very c...

November 3, 2011 2:44 pm

The elective deferral limit for employee contributions to 401(k) and similar plans will be $17,000, or $500 more than the limit for 2011. Those who are at least age 50 by the end of the year can add a...

November 3, 2011 2:43 pm

For the majority of Medicare enrollees (those that were held harmless in 2011), the basic 2012 monthly premium for Part B will increase by only $3.50 to $99.90, compared with $96.40 in 2011. The law p...

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Tax Glossary

Capital asset

Property subject to capital gain or loss treatment. Almost all assets you own are considered capital assets except for certain business assets or works you created.

More terms