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Internal Revenue Service

BUSINESS
February 25, 2007 | Kathy M. Kristof, Times Staff Writer
The Internal Revenue Service estimates that the difference between what Americans owe in federal taxes and what they actually pay every year is about $345 billion annually. In an effort to close this huge "tax gap," Congress and President Bush in December enacted a measure designed to give people more motivation to tattle on dishonest employers, employees, co-workers, acquaintances and former spouses.
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BUSINESS
February 11, 2007 | Kathy M. Kristof, Times Staff Writer
Only a few weeks into the tax-filing season, the Internal Revenue Service says consumer returns are already riddled with errors as the result of a new and tricky telephone-tax refund. It is a one-time tax credit that aims to refund a 3% federal levy that consumers have paid on their phone bills for years. The tax was rescinded last summer, and the IRS is giving back the amounts consumers paid over the last three years.
BUSINESS
February 10, 2007 | Richard Verrier, Times Staff Writer
Hollywood unions criticized the Internal Revenue Service on Friday over a ruling they say will hurt efforts to curb runaway production to Canada and other countries. The dispute involves a provision in the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 that allows producers to deduct costs for films and TV shows that are shot mostly in the United States with budgets not exceeding $15 million.
BUSINESS
January 10, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
Congress should revoke the Internal Revenue Service's authority to use private debt collectors because the program doesn't work and the collection companies may be using unethical methods to "take advantage of taxpayers," the tax agency's independent watchdog said. Nina E. Olson, the national taxpayer advocate, said in her annual report to Congress that the agency struggled to supply contractors with accounts to collect.
BUSINESS
December 6, 2006 | From the Associated Press
The Internal Revenue Service and private tax preparers have agreed that a free electronic filing program will be offered for 2006 tax returns without solicitations for refund loans that sometimes carry high interest charges and fees, the IRS said Tuesday. The IRS said the Free File Alliance, a coalition of tax preparation software manufacturers that make their software products available for free, would no longer include side offerings such as Refund Anticipation Loans in their programs.
BUSINESS
November 21, 2006 | From the Associated Press
A taxpayer who made more than $1 million had a 1-in-16 chance of being audited by the IRS in the fiscal year just ended, up slightly from the year before. Commissioner Mark Everson said Monday that the Internal Revenue Service also paid more attention to the filings of small businesses that tend to underreport incomes and to the records of tax-exempt organizations. Overall, enforcement revenue for fiscal 2006 ended Sept. 30 was $48.7 billion, up 3% from $47.3 billion.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 18, 2006
So what exactly did a priest say to get a Pasadena church in trouble with the IRS? The federal agency has launched an investigation into the activities of All Saints Episcopal Church, asking whether a sermon by a former rector before the 2004 presidential campaign constituted campaigning. As tax-exempt organizations, churches are barred from campaigning for candidates. The sermon, delivered Oct. 31, 2004, by the Rev. George F.
NATIONAL
November 17, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Nearly 100,000 taxpayers are missing out on income tax refunds because the checks sent by the Internal Revenue Service were returned as undeliverable. The IRS said Thursday that the average refund for the 95,746 taxpayers whose checks were returned was $963. The checks, worth a total of $92.2 million, can be claimed as soon as the owners update their addresses with the agency. In Los Angeles County, there are 4,148 checks worth nearly $4.
NATIONAL
September 1, 2006 | From the Associated Press
The NAACP did not violate the conditions of its tax-exempt status when its chairman gave a speech that criticized President Bush, according to a newly released letter from the Internal Revenue Service to the civil rights group. The IRS notified the Baltimore-based National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People in October 2004 that it was looking into a July 2004 speech by NAACP Chairman Julian Bond that was largely critical of Bush's policies.
OPINION
August 30, 2006 | Lauren E. Willis, LAUREN E. WILLIS is an associate professor at Loyola Law School.
ONCE UPON a time, the Internal Revenue Service proclaimed that its mission was "to collect the proper amount of tax revenue at the least cost, serve the public by continually improving the quality of our products and services and perform in a manner warranting the highest degree of public confidence in our integrity, efficiency and fairness." Today's mission statement says nothing about cost containment or efficiency.
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