IRS Direct File will be available to some taxpayers in 13 states next year. Tapping new funds available through the Inflation Reduction Act, the IRS is continuing work on its own free tax filing program, Direct File. The program could ultimately be an alternative to private tax preparation platforms. Arizona, California, Massachusetts, and New York have chosen to integrate their state taxes into the pilot for the 2024 filing season. Taxpayers in Alaska, Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming—states without income tax—may also be eligible to participate.
Treasury sanctions crypto exchange that aided Hamas. The sanctions against 10 Hamas-linked organizations include a cryptocurrency firm, Buy Cash. Treasury says the firm aided Hamas before its terrorist strike against Israel on Oct. 7. “The United States is taking swift and decisive action to target Hamas’s financiers and facilitators following its brutal and unconscionable massacre of Israeli civilians,” Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said in a statement.
House Ways & Means Chair ponders revocation of tax-exempt status for certain universities. Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) said anti-Israel statements from several student groups at high-profile universities, and some administrators’ failure to condemn them, were counter to US values. He questioned whether the universities should have their tax-exempt status revoked as a result.
Vacant home tax law goes into effect in San Francisco next year. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the tax this week. The new law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024, and require owners of vacant homes to file and pay their first vacant home tax by April 30, 2025. The tax will be owed by owners of buildings of three units or more in which a residential unit has been vacant for more than six months out of the year. Larger units will face a higher tax rate, and the rate grows the longer a home remains vacant.
Local Australian road-user charge for EV drivers is ruled unconstitutional. The high court in New South Wales ruled that Victoria’s road-user charge for electric vehicle (EV) drivers is unconstitutional because states do not have the power to impose excise taxes on consumption. States and territories are examining the ruling’s impact, which could result in a revenue loss of “billions” of Australian dollars and has prompted a renewed call for the federal government to levy road-user charges at the national level.
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