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When is a church not a church?

NPR reporter John Burnett and investigator Samantha Sunne examine the finances of Christian TV network Daystar.
At NPR's request, the Trinity Foundation, a watchdog group in Dallas that monitors Christian broadcasters, compiled a list of the nation's 30 leading evangelist broadcasters. Twenty-two of them are designated churches, meaning they don't have to report anything to anybody. Of those, two-thirds have churches, while a third of them — including Daystar — hold no regular services.

posted by audi alteram partem on Apr 2, 2014 - 44 comments

Miami Tax Vice

Beware of Gangsters Filing Tax Returns. Florida gangbangers have found a new path to illicit riches: tax refund fraud.
posted by gottabefunky on Jan 10, 2014 - 25 comments

THE FORM OF FORMS

Everybody's got to start somewhere, right? So why not enjoy Charity Scanvenger Hunt organizer and Supernatural star Misha Collins' excruciatingly earnest acting debut in the 1999 educational film NO BRAINERS ON TAXES.
posted by The Whelk on Oct 25, 2013 - 25 comments

Post-Windsor

The Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service announced today that it will recognize same-sex marriages for the purpose of filing federal taxes, even if the couple lives in a state that does not recognize their marriage. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Aug 29, 2013 - 110 comments

Duckworth Destroys Dude

Braulio Castillo began winning hundreds of millions of dollars worth of contracts with the IRS within months of founding his technology company Strong Castle in early 2012.. [more inside]
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt on Jun 26, 2013 - 82 comments

Who Audits The Auditors?

On Friday afternoon, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) apologized to conservative non-profit 501(c)4 groups for singling them out for heightened scrutiny during the 2012 campaign season. While the abuses were initially blamed on "low-level" workers in the agency's Cincinnati office, new questions were raised Saturday with a report that senior IRS officials were aware of the practice as early as 2011. That senior IRS officials knew of the politically-selective practices "seemingly contradicts public statements by the IRS commissioner." [more inside]
posted by BobbyVan on May 11, 2013 - 366 comments

Important Changes to Federal Tax Form 1080-VQ.Ω8

ATTENTION: The IRS has made important changes to Federal Tax Form 1080-VQ.Ω8. Please review the document below and familiarize yourself with the revisions.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Apr 11, 2013 - 26 comments

IRS Claims Authority to Read Your E-Mail Without A Warrant

The ACLU reports that the IRS claims in an internal document that it has the authority to access citizens' online communications without a warrant. The IRS claimed in a 2009 document that "the Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as email messages stored on a server, because internet users do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications." It still retains that position even after the 2010 case of US v Warshak which determined that citizens have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper on Apr 11, 2013 - 50 comments

It's just a one-time fee that you pay annually

As the tax deadline approaches in the United States, ProPublica investigates why the promise of free and simple tax filing has yet to be fulfilled.
posted by antonymous on Mar 26, 2013 - 61 comments

No state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws

Should A Church Be Treated Differently By The IRS From Other Non-Profits? The Freedom from Religion Foundation has sued the IRS claiming unequal treatment. Secular non-profit companies must file numerous and costly forms and reports to maintain their non-profit status. Religious companies even those that duplicate the functions of the secular non-profit are exempt from such requirements. The FFRF asks (pdf) that the laws be applied equally. Previously
posted by 2manyusernames on Jan 1, 2013 - 156 comments

FFRF to IRS: Do your job, assholes!

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (previously, previously) has announced that it is suing the IRS over it's apparent unwillingness to enforce the rules against religious electioneering, banned by the The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
posted by sarastro on Nov 14, 2012 - 88 comments

Art’s Sale Value? Zero. The Tax Bill? $29 Million.

What is the fair market value of an object that cannot be sold? When art dealer Ileana Sonnabend passed away in 2007 at the age of 92, she left her children an art collection estimated to be worth $1,000,000,000. Over a forty year career, Sonnabend, along with her first husband and business partner Leo Castelli, worked with many of contemporary art world's best known artists, including Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg & Andy Warhol. One of the inherited paintings, Robert Rauschenberg's Canyon has become the center of a dispute between the Sonnabend's children and the I.R.S.
posted by R. Mutt on Jul 22, 2012 - 91 comments

Wonder where your taxes went? Well, here you go.

Your 2010 Federal Taxpayer Receipt. "In his State of the Union Address, President Obama promised that this year, for the first time ever, American taxpayers would be able to go online and see exactly how their federal tax dollars are spent. Just enter a few pieces of information about your taxes, and the taxpayer receipt will give you a breakdown of how your tax dollars are spent on priorities like education, veterans benefits, or health care." [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on Apr 15, 2011 - 76 comments

Secrets of the Tax-Prep Business

"Customers wanting a RAL paid Jackson Hewitt a $24 application fee, a $25 processing fee, and a $2 electronic-filing fee, plus 4 percent of the loan amount. On a $2,000 refund, that meant $131 in charges—equivalent to an annual interest rate of about 170 percent—not to mention the few hundred bucks you might spend for tax preparation."
posted by vidur on Apr 14, 2011 - 71 comments

The Loophole Artist

Jonathan Blattmachr, one of the country's leading estates and trusts experts, feels that helping his clients reduce their tax liability helps the IRS close loopholes that he and his colleagues use. As with most attorneys, there are some clients who weren't happy with his work, but Mr. Blattmachr pushes on with his efforts.
posted by reenum on Dec 29, 2010 - 18 comments

Single-engine plane crash in Austin, Texas

This morning, in Austin, Texas, a Piper Cherokee single-engine plane [was] crashed into an office building partially occupied by the IRS. It appears to be the work of an individual, but the story keeps getting weirder. The suspected person may have also burned his house down this morning.
posted by fiercecupcake on Feb 18, 2010 - 236 comments

Living on $500,000 a Year

But most years were pretty close to $24,000. Despite his high income, he was not able to save or, as he said, “amass capital.” Fitzgerald reported every dollar he had entered in his ledger. He was impeccably honest in his reporting. But Fitzgerald did press tax conventions on some occasions. On his 1924 tax return, he deducted $2,450 as a business expense for a “trip to Europe for the purpose of obtaining material for stories, etc.” The American Scholar examines F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tax returns.
posted by geoff. on Oct 23, 2009 - 13 comments

Tax Trouble at Treasury

Timothy Geithner is an experienced financial leader (previously). He is President Obama's pick to run the Treasury Department, which includes the Internal Revenue Service. The problem is that Mr. Geithner did not pay more than $30,000 in taxes, even his employer reminded him to do so. Now his nomination may be in jeopardy. Is Mr. Geithner the new Zoe Baird?
posted by Slap Factory on Jan 14, 2009 - 63 comments

Now my advice for those who die, declare the pennies on your eyes.

Tax Info for Musicians. Musicians and taxes don’t seem to mix very well. Taxes and administrating the business of music are often last on the list of concerns for the working musician. The above link gives some helpful tips on what to look for and some simple dos and don'ts. Also, here's some information on the often confusing Section 179 Deduction and a list of common deductible business expenses
posted by psmealey on Dec 28, 2007 - 19 comments

County Migration

This map displays county-to-county migration data for 2000-2005 from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. In, out, staying put, median household income. [via]
posted by tellurian on Aug 16, 2007 - 19 comments

Virtual Economies

As virtual worlds economic activity and populations grow, the importance of Real Money Trade comes to the fore. When does fraud inside game worlds become illegal? when do earnings from online worlds become taxable? [discussion], and what happens when real day traders get interested? [more inside]
posted by MetaMonkey on Oct 21, 2006 - 25 comments

The New Secular Jihad

The New Secular Jihad. Together the Patriot Pastors flanked by warrior Ken Blackwell are fighting an apocalyptic clash between the forces of righteousness and the hordes of hell. "Make sure that when the shootin' starts, all of the enemy is in front of you."
posted by Otis on Mar 2, 2006 - 18 comments

1040s make me hot.

e-file ... FREE-file. Yes, TurboTax too. via Tom Martino's radio show
posted by WolfDaddy on Mar 28, 2005 - 15 comments

Outplay, outlast and what was that other one?

"Survivor" winner Richard Hatch didn't declare his million bucks to the IRS. He'll be arraigned Jan 24.
posted by CunningLinguist on Jan 18, 2005 - 53 comments

The Apparat

The Apparat: George W. Bush's back-door political machine -- "It's anti-democratic, anti-Constitutional, and is working to create a one-party America"

Consider this article from Media Transparency regarding how "hundreds of tax-exempt organizations of the far right have been exploiting the twilight zone of campaign and IRS regulations for three decades -- receiving billions of dollars in grants and contributions to wage ideo-political warfare for far-right ideas, causes, and Republican candidates."

Might it already be too late to stop this juggernaut?
posted by mooncrow on Mar 19, 2004 - 34 comments

IRS fraudulent?

Rumors abound about the legality of the IRS, and about people who've managed to avoid paying income taxes based on the lack of legality of the IRS itself. Is any of this real, or simply people trying to make a buck selling a book or two? And if the IRS is fraudulent, what can a citizen without massive fundage do to fight it?
posted by woil on Aug 25, 2003 - 30 comments

Karl Frank Kleinpaste

Karl Frank Kleinpaste is on trial defending himself for tax evasion claiming that he lives in the 'Democratic Republic of Pennsylvania' and is therefore not duty bound to pay federal income tax. Some think that this will not go very well for him while others encourage the masses to do the same.
posted by Raichle on Nov 21, 2002 - 28 comments

To those who have much, more will be given; to those who have little, more will be taken away.

To those who have much, more will be given; to those who have little, more will be taken away. The NY Times (mefi/mefi) has uncovered the abuse of an IRS policy - established in 1996, ostensibly to aid widows and orphans - by some of the wealthiest Americans to avoid income and estate taxes altogether. Yet again, only in the land where the individual comes before all else!
posted by luriete on Jul 27, 2002 - 35 comments

Supreme Court OKs IRS to estimate tips.

Supreme Court OKs IRS to estimate tips. The IRS can now use estimates of employees' tips in its calculations of what businesses owe in payroll taxes (the dreaded FICA), the Supreme Court said yesterday. The estimates of cash tips -- which are nearly impossible to track directly -- can be based on recorded credit card tips. The IRS said they don't plan to audit servers themselves -- but the effect on restaurants could be chilling. "Seven out of 10 restaurants are small businesses, many of which operate with slim margins. Quite frankly, this decision could mean the difference between a restaurant staying in business or closing its doors," said Peter Kilgore, general counsel and senior vice president of operations for the National Restaurant Association in Washington.
posted by me3dia on Jun 18, 2002 - 27 comments

IRS missing over 2,300 agency computers, Identification badges, surveillance gear etc.:

IRS missing over 2,300 agency computers, Identification badges, surveillance gear etc.: A few months back there was another hoopla over missing computers in FBI. Do the internal security policies in federal agencies need a major overhaul or are these simply isolated instances that are more of an exception than the rule?
posted by justlooking on Jan 9, 2002 - 9 comments

Congress Will Hold Hearing: Is Income Tax Legitimate?

Congress Will Hold Hearing: Is Income Tax Legitimate? Robert Schulz’s We The People Foundation announced that the Justice Department and the U.S. Congress had committed in writing to appear in a recorded public meeting with IRS representatives. There they will officially answer charges challenging the legal jurisdiction of the IRS and the illegal enforcement of U.S. income tax laws against U.S. citizens.
posted by dagny on Jul 23, 2001 - 31 comments

Another problem with the alternative minimum tax.

Another problem with the alternative minimum tax. One of the problems with this tax was discussed back in May when it was realized that the AMT would substantially cut into the tax rebates of many. Now there is a new twist: People who did not cash out stock options before the downturn and are now sitting on a tax bill larger than all their assets combined.
posted by Nothing on Jun 19, 2001 - 6 comments

Looks like the Internal Revenue Service is trying to soften their image with a cutesy design of their Web site. Are you buying this? I'm not!
posted by Sal Amander on Jun 15, 2001 - 12 comments

OK, Maybe I don't get the $300 tax rebate after all.

OK, Maybe I don't get the $300 tax rebate after all. More than one-quarter of all American adults will not get a tax rebate this year. Altogether, nearly 40 percent will not get the full amount of $300 for individuals and $600 for couples. Nationally, the study shows, 34 million American adults, or 26 percent, will get no rebate, and another 17 million, or 13 percent, will get less than the full rebate. This sucks. Why am I not surprised.
posted by tcobretti on Jun 11, 2001 - 45 comments

Something else tax-related...
There is NOW a genuine effort in Congress to eliminate the income tax! House Resolution (H.J. Res. 45 -- The Liberty Amendment) sponsored by heroic congressman Ron Paul, that would repeal the 16th Amendment and free us from direct taxation, which is one thing the Constitution originally guaranteed, before it was vandalized by unscrupulous politicians early in the last century, who promised the income tax would hit only "the rich" (where have you heard that before?) and would never be more than a few percent. Politicians have such senses of humor. Anyway, YOU can help Rep. Paul's effort to repeal the income tax: join the petition to the U.S. House of Representatives and encourage everyone you know to do the same. This is a real opportunity, so if you oppose the income tax, here's your chance to do something concrete and effective (and still easy) to help the fight against it. Time is a factor, so please do it today.
Found on deuceofclubs.com, an amazingly witty site where a person can lose countless hours of their life at, reading all sorts of non-tax-related mayhem.
posted by lizardboy on May 26, 2001 - 13 comments

Dave Barry caught by the long arm of the law.

Dave Barry caught by the long arm of the law. The Pulitzer-winning humorist, who every year around this time puts out a column bemoaning income taxes, just found out he's being audited. Coincidence?
posted by OneBallJay on Mar 29, 2001 - 9 comments

Proposed IRS rule could limit the freedom to link.

Proposed IRS rule could limit the freedom to link. The US Internal Revenue Service is proposing a rule that might make it inadvisable for not-for-profit organizations to provide links on their Web sites to any political site. The IRS is proposing to interpret any link to a political site from the pages of a nonprofit as evidence that the nonprofit is "engaging in political activity" and thus in danger of losing its 503(c) status.
posted by lagado on Feb 5, 2001 - 8 comments

cisco and microsoft didn't pay federal taxes last year.

cisco and microsoft didn't pay federal taxes last year. it seems it has something to do with paying employee stock options instead....
posted by rebeccablood on Oct 9, 2000 - 6 comments

Ever wonder what to do about all of that money you embezzeled? Now you know.
posted by jeremy on Mar 9, 2000 - 2 comments

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