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October 2019 Archives

IRS: Tax law change meant about 2.7 million fewer 2018 refunds

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law in December 2017. One of the more notable things the law changed was the increase to the standard deduction, which made it unnecessary for most people to itemize their deductions. It also increased the child tax credit and lowered some tax rates.

IRS will now accept debit card payments through private collectors

As we've discussed on this blog before, the IRS's enforcement budget has been slashed by a quarter since 2011. That has meant fewer audits and collection activities overall, and it has focused those efforts on working people more than on the wealthy. In 2017, Congress directed the IRS to allow private collection agencies (PCAs) to collect unpaid taxes.

IRS provides guidance on reporting cryptocurrency income

Many investors in Bitcoin and other virtual currencies have been confused about how those investments are taxed. As we've noted before on this blog, cryptocurrency gains are taxed like capital gains. That means that you'll need to keep detailed records on what you paid and what you got when you sold the virtual currency. You will be taxed based on the difference.

IRS admits it audits the poor just as often as the rich

In April, the nonprofit newsroom ProPublica reported on a surprising imbalance at the IRS. Although it would almost certainly be both more effective and bring in more revenue if it focused on auditing the rich, the agency does not do this. No, it audits the working poor at almost the exact same rate as it does the richest 1% of Americans.

Minnesota updates its sales tax rules for out-of-state sellers

In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., Overstock.com, Inc., and Newegg, Inc. that states can require out-of-state sellers and so-called "marketplace facilitators" to collect sales tax on their behalf. Previously, the rule had been that a seller or facilitator had to have a physical presence in the state before it could be required to collect that state's taxes.

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