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  • So Ted Cruz is running for President, and wants to abolish the IRS.Back in the wake of the “IRS Scandal”—that is, when the public became aware that the IRS was selectively targeting nominally conservative or Tea Party-associated groups for tax audits, Cruz’s solution was to eliminate the federal body altogether.
  • The tax preparation industry is one of those industries that everyone loves to hate. Since the average American doesn't understand the tax code, these organizations step in and promise to take care of everything for you. All you need to do is give them a hefty fee and voila, your taxes are now done. If you're lucky, you'll get some money back.
  • The EITC (or Earned Income Tax Credit) is one of the largest and most effective tax stimulus credits the federal government has ever installed into the economy and tax system. This refundable tax credit's goal is to help out the millions of Americans that struggle to make ends meat every year.
  • If there is anything nearly every American can agree on, it is that the way the American government collects taxes is frustrating, confusing, and downright crazy. The system has become so complicated that a layman would have to spend hours, if not days, shifting through all of the different rules and regulations if they want to ensure their yearly return is done properly.

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  • By one estimate, American individuals and businesses together spend 6.1 billion hours complying with the tax code every year. Lots of that time is likely compressed into these last few weeks before April 15. But while people pore over TurboTax forms, they may not be thinking about bigger income tax questions: have we always paid income taxes? (No.) Do all countries? (No.) If I find a pirate's chest full of gold doubloons in my lawn, do I have to report that? (Yes.) We have you covered. Below we present things you may not know about income taxes.
  • They are very convincing when they call. They have a Washington phone number and can cite your financial history down to the cent. They say you're under investigation, in danger of losing your home, or worse, your freedom -- unless you pay thousands of dollars on the spot. But they're not real. And you're not in trouble. Not unless you take it seriously. This is a scam.
  • Taxes are one of the few constants in life, but what happens when you change the way you do your return? People move or get divorced, tax preparers pass away. There is always the lure of do-it-yourself - the number of people using tax software to file, like Intuit's TurboTax, increases by 6 percent annually, according to the Internal Revenue Service. And then there is the reverse exodus of people who have decided their financial lives are too complicated, and they need to hire a professional. With so many changes, consistency takes a beating. If you are on the wrong end of it, you could end up drawing the dreaded attention of the IRS. Here are the items that can trip up taxpayers when they switch the way they do their taxes:
  • In a victory for secular Americans, the Internal Revenue Service said it will monitor churches and other houses of worship for electioneering in a settlement reached with the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
  • The Internal Revenue Service has released a new revenue procedure describing the details of its new voluntary tax preparer continuing education program, known as the Annual Filing Season Program.
  • There will be a tax preparer certification program after all. That was the word from Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen. If you’re scratching your head after Loving v. Commissioner and wondering how that’s possible, here’s your answer: the program will be voluntary. Following losses at the lower court and the appellate court which held that IRS did not have the authority to regulate preparers, the IRS dropped the matter. For the 2014 tax season, tax preparers were required to have a preparer tax identification number (PTIN) but were not required to engage in testing or continuing education requirements; similarly, the new Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) designation was no longer relevant.
  • U.S. tax authorities are relaxing the rules and lightening penalties to induce American and dual citizens living abroad to comply with tax filing rules in the United States. Michael Danilack, a deputy commissioner at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), said the changes should mean those affected — including up to one million people in Canada — “can sleep at night” knowing that they comply with U.S. rules and no longer face the prospect of financial penalties even if they owe no taxes.
  • There are many tax-time nightmares, but here's one of the most common: You don't have the cash to pay what you owe on April 15. "A couple of weeks ago, I ended up talking a young woman off a ledge, as it were, because she discovered she had screwed up on her withholding and owed a bunch of tax," says Melody Thornton, a certified public accountant in Cardiff, California.

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