Could the government file your taxes for you? A new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research examines the option. The academic study, not conducted at the direction of federal government, can “help inform us on how closely pre-populated returns could mirror taxpayer-reported returns and for whom,” says Dartmouth University’s Bruce Sacerdote. He and his colleagues find that tax returns can be pre-populated accurately for nearly half of taxpayers using existing information available to the IRS.
Ohio’s new income tax cut might raise taxes for many middle-income Ohioans. Multiple analyses of Ohio’s $1.87 billion tax cut enacted in the state budget find that Ohioans making between $29,000 and $62,000 a year will likely have to pay more in income taxes over the next two years. That’s because the budget does not adjust state tax brackets for inflation in those years.
New York City Independent Budget Office: Nix the tax subsidy for Madison Square Garden. The agency reports that the city’s subsidies for Madison Square Garden, run by billionaire James Dolan, have cost taxpayers nearly $1 billion since the mid-1980s. Madison Square Garden received a property tax exemption from the city in 1982 to prevent professional sports teams from leaving. The report says the incentive is no longer necessary since the New York Rangers and New York Knicks are unlikely to earn as much money if they relocated.
In Washington State: Making the long-term care insurance payroll tax optional? A group of Republican lawmakers have proposed making the state’s new long-term care insurance program, WA Cares, and its payroll tax, optional. The 0.58 percent tax went into effect on July 1. Those with private long-term care insurance can already opt out of WA Cares. Supporters of the public program say making it fully optional would effectively end the program. Proponents say taxpayers should be able to choose where their money goes.
India has a new online gaming tax. The nation’s government announced a 28 percent tax on proceeds collected by online gaming companies from their customers. Executives in India’s $1.5 billion online gaming industry say they may have to pass the cost of the tax on to their customers by raising the prices of their games. Before the 28 percent tax, online gaming companies paid a small tax on the fees they charged customers when playing online with real money. Now, the 28 percent tax will apply to the entire amount collected from players in every game.
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