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March 2016 Archives

IRS urged to return wrongly seized money to citizens

Georgia residents may have heard about lawmakers who sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service commissioner, the U.S. attorney general and the secretary of the Treasury regarding the return of funds that were wrongly seized from taxpayers in certain civil asset forfeitures. The letter originated from the members of the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee under the direction of the subcommittee chairman and a ranking member.

Tips on how to handle an IRS audit

Georgia residents who have received an audit letter from the Internal Revenue Service may be wondering what it means. While the letter may not indicate a person is guilty of tax fraud, it also should not be ignored.

Learning more about federal taxes in Georgia

According to figures from the National Taxpayers Union, Americans spent 3.8 billion hours completing tax paperwork in 2009. The tax code is almost 4 million words long. While most people are happy to get a tax refund, going through W-2s and other tax forms is not what most taxpayers consider to be fun. On average, four out of every five taxpayers gets a refund, which commonly goes toward investments or a vacation.

The tax rates of wealthy Americans

Georgia residents likely know that the United States has what is known as a progressive tax system. This means that wealthy individuals are required to pay a higher rate of income tax than those who are less fortunate, but this is offset by a number of exemptions and exclusions that reduce the amount of taxes paid by the rich. Politicians sometimes call for a return to top income tax rates of 70 percent or more, but many of the nation's wealthiest individuals pay no income tax at all.

Correspondence audits on the increase

Georgia taxpayers who earn more than $1 million per year may be less likely to face an in-person or field IRS audit but might be significantly more likely to be audited by mail, also known as a correspondence audit. The IRS has always focused on auditing taxpayers with higher incomes, but it has shifted its focus to correspondence audits. This is in part due to a drop in staffing at the agency. Correspondence audits are less costly.

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