Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Taxpayers should see tax cuts in February paychecks, Treasury secretary says

New report says IRS paid $20 million to private debt collectors to recoup $6.7 million A new report says that the IRS spent $20 million to recoup $6.7 million from low-income Americans
Ellis Copeland | 12 January, 2018, 06:22

For example, income previously taxed at a 15 percent rate will now be taxed at a 12 percent rate, and much of the income that was previously taxed at a 25 percent rate will now be taxed at a 22 percent rate. That was less than 1 percent of the amount assigned for collection.

When Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was asked at his confirmation hearing what he thought about using private companies to collect money owed to the government, he replied that it "seems like a very obvious thing to do".

The pickup in spending in the first quarter largely reflected increased outlays for the departments of defense and homeland security, partly due to hurricane relief, and on Social Security, the Congressional Budget Office said in a report this week. A preliminary estimate from before the tax law was passed put the IRS cost of implementation at $495 million over two years - at a time when budget cuts have already "challenged the agency's ability to perform the basic tasks of administering the tax system". The IRS said it expects the earliest EITC/ACTC-related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards starting on February 27, if they chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with the tax return.

Sen. Orrin Hatch also played a key role in creating confusion in the new tax laws from his role as chairman of the powerful Finance Committee, the tax writing committee in the Senate. However, the IRS says it doesn't expect that tool to be online until "the end of February".

While companies and workers try to figure out the new tax landscape, states are trying to mitigate some of the tax hits in the law.

Implementing the most significant tax code changes in decades with tight resources will be no small feat.

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Mr. Mnuchin also dismissed questions about Mr. Trump's tax returns, which he has refused to release. But for larger families it could push up their taxable income and their total tax bill.

On the other hand, "if the IRS tells employers to use current W-4s but ignore the number of allowances claimed and reduce that number to zero, there will be a lot of overwithholding, thus reducing many employees' net pay".

The withholding tables and guidance it puts out will be created to work with existing W-4s that employees have already filed, the agency said.

Although not ideal, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will have significant, positive effects on the economy. Individuals, too, will soon see the benefits of tax reform by taking home bigger paychecks.

Some businesses have already responded to those anticipated changes by granting bonuses and wage increases and by making or planning for additional investments. Honest Utahns and other Americans will pay the price in terms of poorer customer service and further cuts to federal programs, while those out to take advantage of the confusion through hacking and tax fraud will benefit from the gutting of an essential part of the American government.

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