The U.S. Corporate Tax Rate

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Is the U.S. Corporate Tax Rate the Highest in the World?

There is a popular belief that the current corporate tax rate in the country is very high, and a reduction of the prevailing rate will stimulate investments which will have a wide range of positive effects on the economy. Those who support this theory are referring to the current rate which stands at 39.1% (the highest in the industrialized world). According to proponents, this income tax rate is putting U.S. corporations at a competitive disadvantage. But is there more to the story?

Income Tax rates by Country based on OECD 2005...
Income Tax rates by Country based on OECD 2005 data. “OECD Tax Database”. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development . . Retrieved 2007-01-30 . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The truth is that US companies pay the highest corporate tax rate, but the vast majority of them have perfected the art of not paying it. According to official government records, the amount of corporate tax collected by the government has reduced significantly over the years. The ratio of the corporate tax paid to the total pre-tax profit earned by US corporations is the lowest in history.

A recent report by the CTJ (Citizens for Tax Justice) had some shocking revelations. The organization analyzed the federal income taxes and pre-tax profits of 288 Fortune 500 corporations that recorded huge profits for the five years leading up to the year 2012. The following are some of the findings:

While the federal corporate tax rate stands at 35%, the 288 most profitable companies only paid a tax rate of 19.4% over the 5-year period. What is more shocking is that General Electric, Boeing, Verizon and Priceline.com did not pay any federal income tax over this period. 93 corporations (33.3% of those analyzed) paid a tax rate of less than 10% over this 5-year period.
Of the 288 Fortune 500 firms, 111 paid at most zero percent taxes for at least one year during this five year period. What’s interesting is that these corporations had a pre-tax profit of $227 billion, but paid no taxes. Whatever, the corporate tax rate in the country, the big companies usually find ways of paying less than they are required to.

IRS Forms To File Back Taxes

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IRS Forms To File Back Taxes

Even if one is certain there are no mistakes in the forms when following federal tax procedures, a little shiver goes down a taxpayers spine at the very thought of a letter arriving from the IRS. The Internal Revenue Service blundered recently when the office sent penalty notices to business owners who had requested an extension in filing tax return Form 5500 to file back taxes. An error in programming caused the mistake regarding the required Form 5558, the Application for an Extension of Time to File Certain Employee Plan Returns, before filing Form 5500. Normally, taxpayers are penalized if the Form 5500 is late or unfinished. However, the notice to those taxpayers who filed the proper forms in the right order received the penalty notice, CP 283, Penalty Charged on Your 5500 Return.

Legal research
Legal research (Photo credit: gwilmore (I HATE THE NEW LAYOUT!))

A letter of explanation concerning the inaccuracy was instituted November 8th to IRS employees. Citizens received a penalty notice before the Form 5558 had an opportunity to post to the accounts. Therefore, letters of explanation were prepared while telephone assistors and tax examiners were instructed to apologize to callers. Penalties were removed in all cases, up to five if the caller was a person with multiple plans or clients. If the person was responsible for more than 5 accounts, they were requested to solicit their abatement in writing. The Internal Revenue Service accepted responsibility for the penalty notice to the taxpayers and the charges were removed. It seems filing back taxes can be simple most of the time, but one small computer error can create a fiasco of work.

700 IRS Workers Owe Millions In Back Taxes

700 IRS Workers Owe Millions In Back Taxes

A report released Wednesday has revealed that nearly seven hundred IRS employees (about five percent of the ninety-thousand Internal Revenue Service contracted workers) owe a combined $5.4 million in back taxes.

The report says that it is the responsibility of the IRS to make sure contractors are current and do not need to file back taxes. Incidentally, most of these workers are not enrolled in payment plans, despite the fact that this should make them ineligible for employment by the IRS.

The IRS is the only federal agency that requires its employees, including contractors, to comply with federal tax statutes, which means they must file on time and enroll in a payment plan if they are not completely paid up.

The report did say that the IRS is thorough in checking for compliance with new hires, but needs to improve on its monitoring of its workers’ adherence to federal tax laws throughout their employment.

As of June 2012, six-hundred and ninety-one IRS contract workers owed taxes that were not paid when due; three-hundred and fifty-two of them were not enrolled in a payment plan. This brings the delinquency rate to two point six percent. In 2011, by contrast, the average delinquency rate for all federal workers, including retirees, was at three point two percent. At the time, the Treasury Department reported the lowest rate, at one point one percent.

The IRS has stated that it will begin reviewing cases of delinquent taxes, as well as to take additional action “as necessary,” although what this means is still up in the air.

Tax Carnival Ecstasy – October 1, 2013

Good Lord, I'm sure that's Councillor Bill Smi...
Good Lord, I’m sure that’s Councillor Bill Smith from Melrose – unless my eyes deceive me (Photo credit: Ninian Reid)

Welcome to the October 1, 2013 edition of Tax Carnival Ecstasy. In this edition we start with an article from Matt Becker on the deductability of mortgage interest and why it’s not the great tax deal everyone thinks. Bill Smith reports on TurboTax and eHealth working together and the IRS Fresh Start Program. Laura Anderson has some Nanny Tax Myths that you should know about. Hope you enjoy all the articles, bookmark, share, tweet and come back soon.

deductions

Matt Becker presents Is the Mortgage Interest Deduction For Real? posted at Mom and Dad Money, saying, “When people talk about the financial benefits of home ownership, one of the big points they typically make is that the interest paid on the mortgage is deductible. This is only semi-true and in any event is not really the big win that many people claim it is. So today I’d like to run through the reasons why the mortgage interest deduction is not always all it’s cracked up to be.”

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filing

Bill Smith presents TurboTax Is Integrating With EHealth posted at 2013 Taxes, saying, “eHealth, the United States’ predominant private Internet health insurance exchange, has announced that it will enter into a partnership with Intuit Inc..”

retirement

John Schmoll presents Should You Pay Off Debt or Invest in the Stock Market First? posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “There can be a fine balance between paying off debt or investing in the stock market first. The truth is that it’s a personal decision and one that will aid your wealth building, debt reduction and saving for retirement at the same time.”

John Schmoll presents When It Comes To Investing, Be The One Who Dives In Head First posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “Many allow fear to hold them back when it comes to investing in the stock market. However, if you give yourself some practical lessons you can put yourself in better standing to build a retirement portfolio and begin to grow your wealth.”

tax law

Bill Smith presents Tax Help 101: Casualty, Disaster, And Theft Losses posted at 2014 Taxes, saying, “Financial losses incurred because of disasters, casualties, or theft may be tax-deductible.”

taxes

Laura Anderson presents Expert Insights: Nanny Tax Myths with Guy Maddalone of GTM Payroll Services, Inc. posted at eNannySource, saying, “When it comes to employing a nanny, it’s important to know what’s true and false. Guy Maddalone, founder and president of GTM Payroll Services, Inc. and household payroll and tax expert, provides some important insight that can help separate fact from fiction.”

Bill Smith presents IRS Fresh Start Program posted at 2012 Taxes – Free Tax Filing Options, saying, “There is a new system called the IRS Fresh Start Program which aims to make it easier for people to pay back taxes and avoid a lien coming against them. There are three major parts to the IRS program.”

tips

Bill Smith presents Guidance For Personal Finance That Can Save These Days posted at 2012 Tax – Free Tax Filing Options, saying, “The government has become a popular source of security but real financial security is found at home when you reduce debt and have a savings.”

Bill Smith presents Free SCORE Tax Tips posted at 2010 Tax, saying, “Having your own small business can be a rewarding experience. There are many aspects that can be difficult to accomplish on your own though.”

That concludes this edition.  Submit your blog article to the next edition of tax carnival ecstasy using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

How To File A Tax Extension

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How To File A Tax Extension

Each year, millions of people find that they are unable to file their taxes in time for the April deadline.  While the IRS can be very unforgiving about some aspects of their collections, one thing that they do make available for all tax payers is a tax extension available for several months.  You can use TurboTax 2013 software in order to take advantage of this tax extension.

IRS Form 1040X, 2005 revision
IRS Form 1040X, 2005 revision (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

E-File First

Begin by using the TurboTax 2013 software to actually file you taxes, putting in as much information about income, securities, investments, and deductions that you are able to, even if it is only a smidgen.  You want to do this now so that there are no surprises you may have missed once you sit down to do the full job.  Once you have that done, find out when you are able to finish the extension to the closest date.  Log into TurboTax 2013 software and either e-file an extension or print out the paper copy.

Paper Or Digital

While most people might be more comfortable with filing their tax extension by mail, you can do so digitally with the TurboTax 2013 software.  In fact, since this process is instant, it is not recommended that you file an extension by mail since it will take a few days to reach the IRS offices and runs the risk of becoming overdue if it is not postmarked by April 15th.  Once you have sent it in, you have until October 15th of 2013 to fill out the full tax form.

Tax Carnival Ecstasy – April 15, 2013

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Welcome to the April 15, 2013 edition of Tax Carnival Ecstasy. In this final edition for the 2013 tax season we have a number of good articles beginning with one from John Schmoll on last minute tax deductions for those that still need to file. Bill Smith has a post on the popularity of Turbo Tax for online tax filing. And if you are wondering the status of your tax refund since you have already filed and not seen a check from the IRS in the mailbox, KC Beavers covers finding the status of your refund in a great piece. Hope all the articles are helpful, make sure to bookmark, like on Facebook, tweet, and come back for additional tax information throughout the year.

deductions

John Schmoll presents Looking For Last Minute Tax Deductions? Try Making a Ringtone About Yourself! posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “It’s the end of tax season and people that are waiting til the last minute are commonly looking for deductions to take. Here’s a look at some of the crazy ones celebrities have tried to get past the IRS.”

Tax Day, New York City
Tax Day, New York City (Photo credit: @superamit)

filing

Bill Smith presents Checking Your Tax Refund Status After Using TurboTax 2013 posted at 2010Taxes, saying, “After filing your taxes with TurboTax 2013, you’ll immediately begin wondering about the status of your refund.”

Bill Smith presents United Way Offers Free Tax Preparation To Qualified Earners posted at 2012 Tax – Free Tax Filing Options, saying, “It is that time of year again; time to get out your tax documents, records, and W2s and do your taxes.”

Bill Smith presents The Benefits Of Using TurboTax 2013 To File Your Taxes posted at 2012 Taxes – Free Tax Filing Options, saying, “If you have never used Turbo Tax before, you need to consider filing your taxes with this computer program this year.”

Bill Smith presents Top Tax Scams To Avoid With Turbo Tax 2013 posted at 2014 Taxes, saying, “Using Turbo Tax 2013 is a good way to avoid tax scams in the first place, seeing as how you can e-file your paperwork with confidence that it will go directly to the IRS.”

taxes

KC Beavers presents Where Is My Tax Refund? posted at Generation X Finance, saying, “So your taxes should be done and filed by now. Now one of the most common questions we ask is where is my refund?”

Bill Smith presents TurboTax Continues To Grow In Popularity posted at 2011 Taxes, saying, “Millions of people utilize TurboTax in order to file their income taxes annually. In fact, Intuit recently reported that sales for its products have increased since last year.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of tax carnival ecstasy using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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