The IRS Can Now Create its Own Online Free Tax Filing System

· Andrew Orr · Link

On Monday the IRS announced changes to its deal with the tax filing industry. For years the agency was prohibited from creating its own free tax filing system, like other countries do. In exchange for not competing, the tax industry promised to make free versions of its software if you make below a certain amount of income. But companies like Intuit and H&R Block added code to their web pages to make it harder for their free products to appear on Google. But now it all changes.

“The improved process will make Free File stronger and give taxpayers another reason to consider this valuable software option,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement. The agency hopes the changes will make the free option more accessible for taxpayers in the 2020 filing season, he said.

Emmanuel Macron Says its Crazy That Apple Gets Tax Haven

· Andrew Orr · Link

Apple with bags of money

French President Emmanuel Macron says it’s crazy that companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google get a “permanent tax haven status.”

The reference to ‘tax haven status’ relates to practices used by Apple and others to funnel profits on European sales through Ireland, and then to claim large deductions for R&D costs incurred in the US. There have also been accusations that Apple assigns most of its European profits to a subsidiary which exists only on paper and which pays no taxes anywhere.

You Could Get a TurboTax Refund if you Make Under $34,000

· Andrew Orr · Link

If you make less than US$34,000 per year, you could get a TurboTax refund if the company made you pay them when you filed your taxes.

If you are one of the millions of Americans who made under $34,000 last year, you should have been able to use a free version of TurboTax. If TurboTax directed you to a paid version, it’s worth giving the company a call.

“I called today and they are issuing a refund on my credit card,” one reader said. “I just had to mention ProPublica.”

Thanks to lobbying by corporations like TurboTax, the IRS doesn’t do our taxes for us like other countries.

Apple Offers $9.7 Million to Cupertino for Transportation

· Andrew Orr · Link

Apple Logo

After the city of Cupertino agreed to hold changes to a business tax that would have cost Apple over US$9 million, the company has offered US$9.7 million on five transportation projects for cyclers and pedestrians.

[Last year’s proposal] would have generated $10 million in annual revenue, most which would have come from Apple, the city’s largest employer with 24,000 workers…The city decided to postpone a ballot measure to change the business tax until 2020, giving them time to work with Apple and other businesses on private funding to relieve commuter traffic. City staff have been meeting with Apple representatives once every two weeks since October.

Connect with a CPA Who Will Do Your Taxes and Optimize Your Returns for You: $89

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Visor Basic Tax Filing

Our friends at Stack Commerce have put together a deal for us with Visor, for a basic tax filing that includes one “complication,” specifically stock sales, cryptocurrency-related issues, or self-employment income. Visor pairs you with a dedicated tax professional to guide you to maximum tax savings and prepare your tax return. Our deal is for $89. Check the deal listing for details.

Did You Know the IRS Offers Free Tax Filing?

· Andrew Orr · Link

Private tax companies don’t want you to know this, but if your income is below US$66,000 the IRS offers free tax filing software. If your income is above US$66,000 you can still file for free, but you’ll have to do it manually with fillable forms. However, thanks to the long government shutdown this year, tax returns will end up being late.

Deep Dive on Apple's Tax Announcement, Jeff and Bryan Hypocrisy, and Apple Security - ACM 445

· Bryan Chaffin · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

Apple made some major announcements about taxes, investments, and the company’s five year plan for contributions to the U.S. economy, and Bryan and Jeff take  a deep dive into what it all means. They also examine their own potential for hypocrisy in criticizing Apple’s smarthome strategy. The cap the show with a listener comment about the Mac App Store security bug.

Apple Goes Tax-free in New Zealand - TMO Daily Observations 2017-03-20

· Jeff Gamet · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Apple is a master of making profits, and an expert and keeping its money out of government hands. Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Butts join Jeff Gamet to offer their thoughts on Apple’s tax practices in New Zealand and other countries.