Thousands of IRS workers called back without pay

(17 Jan 2019) The partial government shutdown that began Dec. 22 caused roughly 420,000 federal employees to work without pay. This week, the IRS said it will recall thousands of workers to handle tax returns. (Jan. 17)

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Federal workers in Kentucky protest shutdown

(10 Jan 2019) Employees from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other federal agencies in Kentucky took to the streets to vent their anger at the federal government shutdown. (Jan. 10)

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Furloughed IRS worker describes shutdown’s impact on her life

For the past 13 days, IRS worker Nora Brooks been furloughed, worrying about whether she’ll need to seek a second job. The agency requires pre-approval to avoid conflicts of interest, but there’s no one in the office to sign off.

Divorces Are About To Get A Lot Messier When The Ball Drops On 2019 (HBO)

For married couples thinking about divorce, the end of 2018 means more than just finding someone new to kiss at midnight. Under the GOP’s tax overhaul, divorce agreements finalized after January 1, 2019 will no longer be eligible for a 75-year old tax deduction for alimony payments. But those settled before the new year will be grandfathered in under the old rules, potentially saving tens — if not hundreds — of thousand dollars over the life of a divorce settlement.

According to Jacqueline Newman, a partner at the matrimonial law firm Berkman, Bottger, Newman & Rodd, LLP in Manhattan, the holidays are usually a sleepy time for matrimonial attorneys. “You know I always say you never want to serve someone a summons in their stocking,” But with so much on the line, some lawyers are scrambling — and maybe even canceling their vacation — to get these deals inked before the ball drops.

The new tax laws might also affect the way divorce is negotiated in the future. Under the old rules, The deduction meant that alimony would cost less to the person paying for it than it was worth to the person receiving it. That incentivized more generous alimony agreements.

The new rule flips things around. Now, people who get alimony won’t have to pay taxes on it, but alimony payers won’t be able to deduct the payments from their income. In other words, paying alimony just got more expensive. According to Congressional estimates, the IRS will reap 6.9 billion dollars in new tax revenue over the next ten years from eliminating the deduction. But the people paying those taxes aren’t necessarily who you think.

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Tax Professor: IRS can reopen old tax returns

(3 Oct 2018) An NYU Law School professor says the IRS can reopen old tax returns if fraud is suspected. Tax law professor Daniel Shaviro said the taxing agency can challenge old returns on the merits and can also assert penalties if they find ‘outright fraud.” (Oct. 3)

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AP Top Stories December 14 A

Here’s the latest for Thursday, December 14th: IRS says Republican plan will save taxpayers money; Kentucky state lawmaker dead in apparent suicide; Moore not conceding, waiting for final vote count; Wintry weather in Michigan.

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The Government Handout Republicans and Democrats Like

While some people dread tax season, millions of American workers look forward to the direct cash transfer they receive from the IRS each year to top off their income.

The program, known as the Earned Income Tax Credit, has surprisingly conservative roots. Along with the smaller Child Tax Credit, the credit more children out of poverty than any other government handout and has become an area Democrats and Republican can kind of agree on.

Take a look at how the Earned Income Tax Credit affects people’s lives in New York’s 15th Congressional District in the South Bronx, where more people receive the payout than in any other part of the country.

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VICE News’ ‘FOIA Terrorist’ Jason Leopold Testifies Before Congress

VICE News investigative journalist Jason Leopold has used the Freedom of Information Act to break stories on hot-button issues. He was asked to testify before the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform to discuss the law’s dire need of reform and problems with compliance.

The two-day hearing included testimonies from five journalists, five members of transparency organizations, and FOIA officials from the IRS, Departments of Justice, State, Homeland Security, and Treasury. Several members of the Oversight Committee, including Chairman Jason Chaffetz, said they will draw up the testimony to improve a FOIA reform bill making its way through Congress.

Watch “On The Line: Jason Leopold Discusses Uncovering Government Secrets” – http://bit.ly/1GhEKuk

Read “Releasing Osama Bin Laden’s Porn Stash: The Public’s Heroic Battle with the CIA Continues” – http://bit.ly/1QrS0oj

Read “The FBI Discussed an ‘End-Game’ for a US Citizen Killed in a Drone Strike” – http://bit.ly/1QrSn20

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