Another Day, Another Impeachment Hearing for IRS Commish

Although it has been demonstrated that numerous things Commissioner Koskinen testified to congress have proven to be false, he will likely not face any consequences for his actions.  Regarding the attempts to comply with a 2013 congressional subpoena to turn over to congress all communications from Lois Lerner during the time period of the targeting scandal, he told congress in the summer of 2014 that thousands of employee hours and millions of dollars had been spent in the effort to comply with the subpoena.  When in fact, virtually nothing was done to comply with it.  The IT technology chief issued a preservation order to preserve all emails, but that direction never went to those responsible for recycling (erasing) old hard drives and back up tapes.  When the Inspector General drove to that office in Martinsburg Virginia and requested related information, they received some back up tapes with roughly 1,000 emails from Lois Lerner.  They told the IG that they had never received any communication from anyone regarding the need to preserve anything related to the targeting scandal.  Here’s a link that discusses the timeline for the destruction of evidence relating to the congressional subpoena. So, what happened to the two employees blamed for destroying 422 back up tapes containing the information in the subpoena?  Absolutely nothing.  They have both been transferred to different positions but still work at the IRS.  It appears the only people capable of holding crooked politicians accountable are the voters.

California tampon tax survives due to Governor Brown’s veto

Citing fiscal concerns, Governor Brown vetoed a bill that would have ended the sales tax on tampons and other feminine supplies.  This bill, as well as another bill to end sales tax on diapers, although passed unanimously by the legislature did not survive the governors veto.  Another bill which would have conformed to a federal law granting tax relief from cancellation of debt income through a short sale or foreclosure of someone’s home was also vetoed.  So CA can’t afford to help struggling young mothers with diapers or feminine products.  Nor can they afford to give tax relief to those who lost their homes, but hey,  we have been promised that someday we will have a bullet train.

The Gig Economy: how is it taxed?

Many people have turned recently to providing services or renting their houses or cars to provide extra income through internet based sites such as AirBnB, Uber, taskrabbit etc.  IRS reminds us that this extra income is taxable and should be reported.  In general all income is taxable unless specifically excluded by statute.  On the IRS website, they have a page dedicated to providing info on the shared economy.  It is also imperative to know what deductions you are entitled to on your tax returns in relation to the income.  What to deduct and where on your return to deduct it varies greatly by your exact circumstances.  You can contact us or another competent tax professional such as an Enrolled Agent in your area to address these issues.