Tax Refund

A stopgap spending bill passed late Saturday night. The continuing resolution funds the federal government at current spending levels until Nov. 17. It includes $16 billion in disaster relief but no new funding for Ukraine or border security. President Biden signed the bill hours before government funding expired. 

Also on Capitol Hill this week. The Senate Budget Committee will hold a hearing Thursday to examine the costs of a government shutdown.

Consultant arrested for leaking IRS data to press. Charles Littleton of Washington, DC, is alleged to have stolen and leaked to a news organization files with private tax information of thousands of the wealthiest in the country. Although ProPublica isn’t named, it’s presumed that Littleton was the source for their expose on how the wealthy minimize their tax bills. He worked as a government contractor for the IRS and faces a maximum of five years in prison.

The taxation of capital income is not race neutral. TPC’s Janet Holtzblatt, Laura Kawano and Robert McClelland highlight the findings from their new report. Using TPC’s enhanced tax model, they find that the current tax treatment of capital favors White families over Black families. families have substantially less wealth on average, and therefore fewer opportunities to take advantage of those tax preferences for capital income. Even after controlling for income and wealth, Black families are at a disadvantage because their asset portfolios are less skewed toward tax-preferred assets.

IRS rolls out identity proofing for FOIA requests. TaxNotes reports (paywall) the agency’s change to its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Public Access Portal. The portal now uses a sign on system that requires identify verification. Aaron Mackey of the Electronic Frontier Foundation told TaxNotes that the requirement is an unnecessary hurdle to accessing public records. The IRS said people “who do not want to participate in online identity proofing can submit their requests through mail or fax.”


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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