An investigation by congressional Democrats concluded that TaxSlayer, H&R Block, and TaxAct inappropriately enabled visitor tracking technologies. As a result, tens of millions of Americans may have had their personal information shared without consent. “Every single taxpayer who used their websites to file their taxes could have had at least some of their data shared,” notes the report. TPC’s Steve Rosenthal told CNN that tax-prep companies could be sued for “knowingly” or “recklessly” leaking that information.
CBO: The federal deficit was $1.4 trillion in the first nine months of the fiscal year. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) monthly budget report states the federal deficit was $875 billion more than the budget gap recorded during the same time last year.
Sen. Whitehouse proposes a tax increase as a long-term fix for Social Security. The Medicare and Social Security Fair Share Act, introduced this week by Senate Budget Committee Chair Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), would help fill the program’s $22.4 trillion shortfall over 75 years. To date, taxpayers do not pay Social Security tax on wages above $160,200 or any investment income. The proposed measure would tax all earnings exceeding $400,000 (without an associated benefit increase) and expand the tax on net investment income.
Boston Mayor suggests tax breaks for companies turning offices into housing. Democratic Mayor Michelle Wu announced the program this week. It would encourage conversions from office space to housing by taxing developers at the city’s lower residential tax rate. The city would then discount the residential rate by as much as 75 percent. Bloomberg reports that a building with an assessed value of $10 million with an annual tax bill of $246,800 would instead owe only $26,850 under the plan.
Michigan lawmakers propose tax incentives to support the film industry. The bipartisan Michigan Multimedia Jobs Act would create a tax credit to promote Michigan-produced films, television, digital streaming productions, and commercials. Lawmakers introduced bills to encourage the expansion of Michigan’s film and video production industry, though critics argue that such programs fail to achieve the results claimed by supporters.
Germany plans a tax relief package for businesses. The finance ministry announced its plan to offer companies $6.61 billion annually in tax relief, part of the proposed Growth Opportunities Act. The tax relief includes nearly 50 tax provisions targeting small- and medium-sized businesses.
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