Tax Refund

To avoid a shutdown, a stopgap measure is in the works for September. Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told his conference last week that House Republicans plan to take up a short-term stopgap funding measure next month to avoid a partial government shutdown. The legislation would extend government funding until early December. So far, the House has passed only the Military Construction-Veterans Administration measure. McCarthy says the House will consider more spending bills after Congress returns from its recess on Sept. 12.

A better-resourced IRS gains support amid continued GOP resistance. The Hill reports that the American Bar Association and National Treasury Employees Union have given their “thumbs up” for a “souped up” IRS. Congressional Republicans remain skeptical of the plan for a bigger IRS budget.

Should we pay somebody to help us file our individual income tax returns? Nearly 86 million individual income tax returns were filed electronically by paid preparers. Another 61 million returns were filed online, mostly with paid commercial tax prep software. TPC’s Howard Gleckman argues that “taxpayers, policy analysts, journalists, and lawmakers all have normalized the idea of having to effectively pay a tax for the ability to pay your taxes. This seems…wrong.”

Colorado’s pot tax revenues last year surpassed alcohol and cigarettes. The state collected $280 million in cannabis tax dollars in its 2022-2023 fiscal year, while alcohol taxes generated $56 million in revenue, and cigarette taxes generated $234 million in revenue. Even though annual revenue from marijuana sales has decreased significantly over the past two years, the Legislative Council Staff report notes marijuana taxes are still contributing more funds to Colorado’s budget than other regulated substances. 


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