House GOP proposes a 9 percent cut to the IRS budget. The House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee marked up the bill yesterday, which allocates $11.2 billion to the agency for fiscal year 2024, down from $12.3 billion last year. TaxNotes reports (paywall) the funding would be the lowest appropriation to the IRS since 2017. The bill would also bar the IRS from using its funding to develop or provide a free direct-file tax return system. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), chair of the Senate Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee, said the House bill would be dead on arrival in the upper chamber.
Meanwhile, the National Taxpayer Advocate “can see some blue sky.” In her mid-year Objectives Report to Congress, National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins says the IRS deserves praise for a turnaround in 2023. But while the IRS hit its 85 percent level of service benchmark, IRS employees answered only 35 percent of calls made to the agency. Millions of taxpayers hang up before being helped or were routed to automated responses. Nevertheless, Collins concluded: “The big picture shows taxpayers had a much easier time reaching the IRS this filing season.”
US sues former NFL linebacker for $15.3 million in back taxes. The US Department of Justice filed the suit in a California federal court this week. Former NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski and his wife are alleged to have used money from a nutrition company to pay for their personal living expenses, including pet food, chiropractor appointments, and plastic surgery appointments. They are alleged to have failed to pay income taxes between 1998 and 2007. Romanowski concluded his NFL career in 2003.
“StayNJ” property tax relief plan makes headway in New Jersey. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy and Democratic leaders in the state legislature have reached a compromise on property tax breaks for those aged 65 years and older. The maximum tax break would be $6,500 a year, and individuals or couples who earn more than $500,000 would not be eligible for the break. Property taxes could be cut in half, up to $6,500, for those over the age of 65 as soon as 2026. The plan is expected to cost the state $1.3 billion.
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