Tax Refund

“A new sheriff in town.” The IRS has announced that Guy Ficco will be the new IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) Chief, effective April 1. Ficco is the current Deputy Chief and has been with the IRS for 29 years. He will succeed James Lee, who announced retirement at the end of this month. Ficco will oversee a global staff of over 3,200 CI employees, the majority of whom investigate crimes involving tax, money laundering, public corruption, human trafficking, drug trafficking, cybercrime, and terrorism financing.

Lawmakers ask the IRS not to subject Arizona’s tax rebate to federal income tax. US. Reps. David Schweikert (R), Greg Stanton (D), and Juan Ciscomani (R) of Arizona, in a letter to IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel, asked the IRS to reverse its plan to tax the “Arizona Families Tax Rebate.” They “urge the IRS to reconsider its determination and provide expedited relief to compliant Arizonan taxpayers who have already filed their 2023 tax returns.”

Treasury to increase outreach to local governments about clean energy tax credits. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, in an appearance at an electric vehicle battery factory in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, announced the department’s effort to increase its consultations with local governments about clean energy tax credits available through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). TaxNotes reports (paywall) that efforts will focus on 150 cities with a population of at least 20,000 and a poverty rate of 20 percent or higher and that have experienced a decline in their population. The IRS allows municipalities and tax-exempt organizations to claim a rebate upon completion of an eligible project.

Wisconsin Supreme Court rules that a Catholic charity’s services are not “primarily for religious purposes.” The Catholic Charities Bureau, an organization in Superior, Wisconsin, argued that it was exempt from paying unemployment tax because it is a religious organization and, therefore, tax-exempt. But the state’s high court ruled that its work helping people who are older, have low incomes or have disabilities is secular. Its decision notes, “They offer services that would be the same regardless of the motivation of the provider.” The organization will appeal to the US Supreme Court. The dispute over the Wisconsin unemployment tax exemptions is the first of its kind.

Illinois Supreme Court declines to hear mansion tax case. Opponents of the Bring Chicago Home referendum do not want to raise taxes on high-end property sales in Chicago. Next week, voters will be able to vote on a ballot measure that would authorize the Chicago City Council to increase the tax on sales of million-dollar properties in Chicago, while lowering the tax rate for less expensive properties.

Some Florida high school students are helping prepare taxes. Fifteen William T. Dwyer High School students, after completing 50 hours of training, are now helping taxpayers file their taxes. Their efforts are possible through a partnership with the United Way of Palm Beach County’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. All tax returns are checked by an adult before being submitted, but students do the work.


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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