IRS was going after the children to collect parents’ debts–but stopped!

A sentence was stuck into the Farm Bill removing the 10 year statute of limitations on debts owed to the United States government.  So now the IRS is withholding tax refunds from the children of deceased parents who owed Uncle Sam money.

UPDATE:  The IRS has announced that it is stopping the practice.

[Read more...]

Higher taxes if you had wealthy parents

Taxing the wealthy isn’t enough, some are saying.  Let’s tax people who had wealthy parents.  Since children of affluent parents have all kinds of advantages when it comes to educational accomplishments and social mobility, so, the reasoning goes, when they grow up, it’s only fair that they pay higher taxes.  [Read more...]

Policy lessons from the Beatles

The Beatles are hailed as icons of the Sixties counter-culture.  But in a lot of ways they were quite conservative.  Economics columnist Neil Irwin looks at their song lyrics and how they handled their money, drawing out what we can learn from the Beatles about taxes, retirement, and change. [Read more...]

Tax breaks that have expired as of Jan. 1

Fifty-five tax breaks have expired with the new year.  Some are clearly special-interest perks.  Others are time-honored staples, such as companies getting to deduct Research & Development expenses and tax incentives for wind power and energy-efficient appliances.  Others amount to broad-based tax increases. [Read more...]

Court throws out pastors’ housing allowance tax break

Pastors and other church workers have long been able to take part of their compensation as an untaxed housing allowance, resulting in substantial tax savings.  But a federal court has ruled in a suit brought by the Freedom from Religion Foundation that the tax break for clergy is unconstitutional.

The ruling has been stayed, pending appeal, but if it stands, pastors and their families will take a significant hit in their income. [Read more...]

IRS recognizes same-sex marriages

When the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, social conservatives consoled themselves by saying that the action did not mandate gay marriage across the board.  That remains a decision for each state.  But it does mean that the Federal Government now recognizes gay marriage.  That was made clear when the IRS and the Treasury Department announced that same-sex marriages, no matter what state they were performed in, will qualify for all marriage deductions and other tax benefits that husbands and wives receive. [Read more...]


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