Unemployment claims decrease, but remain very high. Initial claims for the week ending March 20 fell below 700,000 for the first time in year. Before the pandemic, the record for weekly claims was 695,000 in 1982. New claims remain 4.5 times as high as weekly new claims before the pandemic.
Sen. Bernie Sanders proposes new tax increases. The Independent from Vermont has proposed raising the corporate tax rate to 35 percent but says he also would discourage companies from booking profits offshore to avoid that tax increase. He also introduced a progressive estate tax, with rates starting at 45 percent on bequests valued between $3.5 million and $10 million rising to 65 percent for estates exceeding $1 billion.
IRS will continue to investigate COVID-19 fraud, one year into the pandemic. Over the last year, the IRS Criminal Investigation Division has been combatting fraud related to Economic Impact Payments, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and the Employee Retention Credit. The agency has investigated more than 350 tax and money laundering cases totaling $440 million.
Canada’s high court upholds a national carbon tax. The Supreme Court ruled that Greenhouse Gas Pricing Act, which sets minimum emissions standards for Canadian provinces, is legal. The law gives the federal government the power to apply its own carbon tax, or backstop on provinces that don’t meet the national standard. Seven of 13 provinces currently pay the backstop prate of C$30 per ton of carbon dioxide.
Ohio joins the May 17 Tax Filing Day club. The Ohio Department of Taxation announced it will follow the IRS and extend the deadline to May 17 for filing and paying 2020 Ohio individual income and school district income taxes.
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