Have you received a tax refund yet? About half of US taxpayers expect to get their check in the mail this spring. A new Bankrate survey of taxpayers found that 31 percent plan to save or invest their refund. But 28 percent say they’ll use their refund to pay down debt. Another 27 percent would spend their refunds on necessities, only marginally higher than the 26 percent share who said they’d do that in 2010, right after the recession.
Speaking of tax season… The IRS warns taxpayers of a new twist on a phone scam. This time, crooks call, claim to be from the IRS, and ask to confirm taxpayer information over the phone in order to process a tax return. The scammers may have altered caller ID numbers to look like the call comes from the IRS, and they may cite badge numbers or other official sounding information. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says, “Don’t be fooled. The IRS won’t be calling you out of the blue asking you to verify your personal tax information…. If you’re surprised to be hearing from us, then you're not hearing from us.”
A new lobbyist for H&R Block. The tax prep firm has signed former Senator Jon Kyl to advocate on its behalf in favor of the “creation of minimum standards for paid tax preparers.” In January, a federal appeals court upheld a lower court decision that the IRS doesn’t have the authority to broadly regulate tax preparers. The IRS is allowed to offer a voluntary education program for tax preparers.
In case you missed it, it’s Super Tuesday II, or Mega Tuesday… Or… Well, it’s Tuesday anyway, and TPC has updated its scorecard of Presidential tax plans. You can also review TPC’s analyses of individual candidate tax plans here.
Tomorrow the EU will question some big companies about their tax deals. The European Parliament’s tax committee will ask Apple, Google, McDonalds, and IKEA about their tax deals in Europe. The meeting is mostly for show, though—the committee cannot order the companies to pay more taxes.
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