CNBC: Covid masks and hand sanitizer can get you a tax break, IRS says

CNBC: Covid masks and hand sanitizer can get you a tax break, IRS says. “Americans can get a tax break this filing season for masks, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes and other personal protective equipment to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the IRS announced Friday. The tax code lets taxpayers deduct medical costs that exceed 7.5% of their adjusted gross income each year. The IRS is counting costs incurred for PPE as a medical expense that qualifies for the tax break.”

ProPublica: Where Is My Tax Refund?

A little outside the ResearchBuzz lane, but tax season is so weird this year I thought it would be worth it. Apologies to non-US readers. ProPublica: Where Is My Tax Refund?. “For many Americans, hitting ‘submit’ isn’t the last step in the tax-filing process. Here’s what you need to know about checking your return’s status, reasons it may be delayed and the truth about companies that promise quick cash during tax season.”

BetaNews: Phishing campaign uses US tax season to lure victims

BetaNews: Phishing campaign uses US tax season to lure victims . “Researchers at Cybereason have detected a new campaign targeting US taxpayers with documents that purport to contain tax-related content. These deliver NetWire and Remcos — two powerful and popular RATs which can allow attackers to take control of the victims’ machines and steal sensitive information. The malicious documents used are roughly 7MB in size, which allows them to evade traditional AV mechanisms and heuristic detection.”

NBC News: IRS pushes tax filing deadline by one month, to May 15

NBC News: IRS pushes tax filing deadline by one month, to May 15. “The Internal Revenue Service is pushing back the tax filing deadline for all taxpayers from April 15 to May 15, the agency confirmed to CNBC on Wednesday. The IRS this year began accepting 2020 returns as late as Feb. 12 instead of its customary January start date. But it had kept the filing deadline at April 15, resulting in a shorter filing season.”

New York Times: For Gig Workers and Business Owners, Taxes Are Even Trickier Now

New York Times: For Gig Workers and Business Owners, Taxes Are Even Trickier Now. “Tax time is always complicated for freelancers and business owners, but this year, it’s especially swampy. Pandemic relief programs that helped small companies and self-employed individuals created new tax challenges. And many people had unusually jumbled patchworks of jobs and income sources last year.”

IRS: IRS Statement – American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

IRS: IRS Statement – American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. “The IRS is reviewing implementation plans for the newly enacted American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Additional information about a new round of Economic Impact Payments, the expanded Child Tax Credit, including advance payments of the Child Tax Credit, and other tax provisions will be made available as soon as possible on IRS.gov. The IRS strongly urges taxpayers to not file amended returns related to the new legislative provisions or take other unnecessary steps at this time.”

UChicago News: Property tax burdens fall on nation’s lowest-income homeowners, study finds

UChicago News: Property tax burdens fall on nation’s lowest-income homeowners, study finds. “The Center for Municipal Finance at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy has completed a nationwide analysis revealing that property taxes—which generate roughly $500 billion and represent the single largest revenue source for local governments each year—are inequitable, with the burden falling disproportionally on owners of the least valuable homes in most counties, cities, and other taxing jurisdictions across the United States…. Using data from millions of residential real estate transactions between 2007 and 2017, [Professor Christopher] Berry—who directs the Center for Municipal Finance and is the William J. and Alicia Townsend Friedman Professor at Harris Public Policy—developed the nationwide analysis and a new tool, searchable by county and city, which looks at property tax records for communities around the U.S.”

Accounting Today: Momentum builds for delaying tax deadline

Accounting Today: Momentum builds for delaying tax deadline. “House Ways and Means Committee chairman Richard E. Neal, D-Massachusetts, and Oversight Subcommittee chairman Bill Pascrell, Jr., D-New Jersey, on Monday urged the IRS to extend the 2021 tax filing season until July 15, noting that the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to impose a ‘titanic strain’ on the agency as well as taxpayers. They pointed out that as of the end of February, the number of tax returns filed had declined nearly 25 percent compared to the same time last year, and the number of returns processed by the IRS was down 31 percent.”

‘It just sucks’: America’s jobless owe thousands of dollars in taxes on their unemployment (Washington Post)

Washington Post: ‘It just sucks’: America’s jobless owe thousands of dollars in taxes on their unemployment. “For tax purposes, weekly unemployment payments count as income just like wages from a job. But few people realize the money they get from the government is actually taxable. Fewer than 40 percent of the 40 million unemployed workers in 2020 had taxes withheld from their payments, according to the Century Foundation, a left-leaning think tank.”

AFP: Google flags higher ad rates in France, Spain after digital tax

AFP: Google flags higher ad rates in France, Spain after digital tax. “Google has told customers that it will raise the rates for advertisements on its French and Spanish platforms by two percent from May to help offset the impact of a digital tax on profits. France has collected the levy since 2019, and Spain since this year, under pressure from voters to make US tech giants pay a greater share of taxes in countries where they operate.”

The Connexion: French tax office trials social media checks to detect fraud

The Connexion: French tax office trials social media checks to detect fraud. “French tax authorities will now be able to use data published online to cross-check tax declarations. This includes text, images, videos and photos published on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as online sales platforms including Leboncoin, Vinted and Ebay. The new measure is being introduced on a trial basis, for three years.” French authorities have already used Google Maps to find evaders of swimming pool taxes.

New York Times: Virus Did Not Bring Financial Rout That Many States Feared

New York Times: Virus Did Not Bring Financial Rout That Many States Feared. “…new data shows that a year after the pandemic wrought economic devastation around the country, forcing states to revise their revenue forecasts and prepare for the worst, for many the worst didn’t come. One big reason: $600-a-week federal supplements that allowed people to keep spending — and states to keep collecting sales tax revenue — even when they were jobless, along with the usual state unemployment benefits.”

Techdirt: The Best Summary Of Australia’s News Link Tax / ‘Bargaining Code’ Legal Issues

Techdirt: The Best Summary Of Australia’s News Link Tax / ‘Bargaining Code’ Legal Issues . “The Juice Media, an Australian outfit that is famous for making hilarious ‘Honest Government Ads’, usually for the Australian government (but sometimes for elsewhere) has put out a new ‘ad’ about the link tax in which they explain how it was a fight to take money from one set of giant rich companies, and give it to another set of giant rich companies, and not to do anything useful in between.” Includes several obscenities. Hysterically funny and also enraging.