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As the GOP gears up to make peace between House and Senate budgets, Senator Bernie Sanders has an idea about war funding. The GOP Congress will need to reconcile their budgets in the next several weeks—for the first time in a decade. They want to come together to repeal and offer an alternative to the Affordable Care Act, but some in the GOP could thwart the effort because proposed war spending exceeds spending caps set in the 2011 budget deal. Sanders, a Vermont Independent, has a solution: Tax millionaires to finance US military operations. He’s expected to offer this as one of several amendments to the Senate budget this week.
Tales of Affordable Care Act tax filing headaches abound. The IRS will forgive a filer if mistakes on Form 1095-A resulted in underpayment of taxes. It’s some consolation as millions of taxpayers try to manage the implications of ACA enrollment their tax refunds. One common error stems from reporting lags with policy cancellations. A Colorado taxpayer bought five months of ACA insurance, but her 1095-A reported 10 months of coverage, resulting in a premium subsidy of $4,300 instead of $430. She calculates that correcting the excess subsidy could reduce her tax refund by $1,000.
The House Ways & Means Committee is set for a busy week. The panel may vote on eight bills: The Taxpayer Bill of Rights Act of 2015; a bill to prohibit IRS staff from using personal email for official business; the Taxpayer Knowledge and Investigations Act; two bills dealing with IRS determination of an organization’s tax-exempt status; a bill to prevent targeting at the IRS; a bill on the tax treatment of charitable donations; and a bill to repeal the estate tax.
Pew taxpayer poll: Overhaul the tax code; corporations and the wealthy aren’t paying enough. A new Pew Research Center poll of taxpayers reports 59 percent saying “there is so much wrong with the federal tax system that Congress should completely change it.” Nearly two-thirds of taxpayers “strongly believe” that corporations don’t pay their fair share in taxes, and 61 percent say the same about some wealthy people. The poll shows a growing partisan divide over taxes, too: 50 percent of Republicans say they are paying more than their fair share of taxes while 30 percent of Democrats feel that way. In 2011 it was 37 percent of Republicans and 38 percent of Democrats.
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