Tax Refund

The IRS needs more than more people. TPC’s Howard Gleckman reports on that sentiment, shared among a broad range of experts, including Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo, former IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti, former IRS Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson, and former senior Treasury official Natasha Sarin, at this week’s Donald C. Lubick Symposium. The IRS needs not only effective technology and a well-trained workforce, but also a cultural makeover to improve service and compliance. Howard concludes, “The authors of the [IRS] strategic plan seem to know that. If only the politicians could catch up.”        

On Capitol Hill and beyond, today and next week. The House Ways & Means Committee will hold a field hearing today on the state of the American economy, focusing on the South. The panel will hold two hearings next Wednesday, April 26, on Social Security and tax-exempt hospitals. It will also hold a hearing next Thursday, April 27, on accountability and transparency at the IRS with IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel.

An IRS employee seeks whistleblower protections. A special agent reportedly involved in the federal investigation into Hunter Biden’s taxes is seeking protection to disclose information about the probe to Congress. Hunter Biden’s taxes have been under federal investigation since 2018.

Fox News can deduct some of its $787.5 million settlement with Dominion. Lever News estimated that the company could reap as much as $213 million in tax savings. That’s because US tax law generally allows a share of settlement fees to be deducted as a cost of doing business. The New York Times reported that Fox’s stock had not reacted strongly to the news, a signal that the settlement may be less costly to the corporation than initially thought. 

Los Angeles won’t spend “mansion tax” revenue just yet. Legal challenges to the voter-approved “mansion tax” are unresolved, so the city will allocate only $150 million of the funds raised by Proposition ULA. The measure levies a 4 percent tax on properties sold or transferred for more than $5 million and a 5.5 percent tax on properties sold or transferred for more than $10 million. The tax took effect this month to fund the construction of more affordable housing.

What’s to become of New York State’s budget?  Democratic lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul are not elaborating on plans for higher tax rates on upper-income New Yorkers. An increase had been discussed as a possibility, but the idea is not on the table right now. The state budget is now three weeks late and is not expected to be finalized this week. Gov. Hochul has opposed increasing the personal income tax, as have Republicans. 


For the latest tax news, subscribe to the Tax Policy Center’s Daily Deduction. Sign up here to have it delivered to your inbox weekdays at 8:00 am (Mondays only when Congress is in recess). We welcome tips on new research or other news. Email Renu Zaretsky at [email protected].

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