IN THE NEWS

Tax

NEWS
March 11, 2014 | By Bob Warner and Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writers
An unprecedented backlog of roughly 20,000 property-tax appeals is delaying millions of dollars in tax payments to the city and School District, the latest development in the ongoing warfare between the Nutter administration and the Board of Revision of Taxes. Several board members appeared to be holding out for a pay increase to work harder at their jobs, and City Council is poised to give them the boost, to $70,000 a year. Philadelphia voters approved a City Charter change in 2010 to abolish the BRT, a longtime patronage haven whose seven members are appointed by the city's judges, typically from a short list approved by Democratic Party leaders.
NEWS
March 10, 2014 | By Bob Warner and Troy Graham, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
An unprecedented backlog of roughly 20,000 property-tax appeals is delaying millions of dollars in tax payments to the city and School District, the latest development in the ongoing warfare between the Nutter administration and the Board of Revision of Taxes. Several board members appeared to be holding out for a pay increase to work harder at their jobs, and City Council is poised to give them the boost, to $70,000 a year. Philadelphia voters approved a City Charter change in 2010 to abolish the BRT, a longtime patronage haven whose seven members are appointed by the city's judges, typically from a short list approved by Democratic Party leaders.
NEWS
March 8, 2014 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mayor Nutter couldn't have put the need for school funding in starker terms. In his budget address Thursday, he called public education the "paramount issue" facing City Council. Later he described getting more money for the schools as "a fight for the future of this city. " But his own spending plan offered no new revenue streams for schools, relying instead on two proposed taxes with uncertain fates to come up with the $195 million the School District has asked for. Education advocates were quick to say the city had "shortchanged" children again, and Nutter acknowledged that his initial budget was a bit light.
NEWS
March 8, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
It has been a mantra of American business for years - lower the tax rate on multinational corporations to boost their competitive edge and spur the economy in the United States. But a University of Pennsylvania law professor argues in a new study that cutting taxes for multinationals might not achieve the desired result. Professor Chris William Sanchirico says the reason has relatively little to do with whether wealthy Americans and U.S. companies spend additional profit reaped from U.S. tax cuts.
NEWS
March 3, 2014 | BY JENNY DeHUFF, Daily News Staff Writer dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
CITY CONTROLLER Alan Butkovitz says tax revenues for the current fiscal year are about $16.5 million below budgeted projections, and the city's top money manager said that could make trouble for the upcoming budget and five-year plan. Butkovitz blames the weather. "Philadelphia's slowdown in economic activity corresponds with similar concerns across the United States, that the cold weather and snowstorms could be a significant factor," he said. "With Pennsylvania's yearly revenues also falling short by 0.3 percent, it's a trend that's leaning toward the possibility that the city's lower tax revenues are a result of the harsh winter.
NEWS
February 28, 2014
AS MUCH AS you may loathe tax season, there are people who rejoice during this time of year. They see it as prime time for picking people to victimize. Unscrupulous folks know that taxpayers are eager for ways to get a large refund. They love the complexity of the tax code, which gives them the opportunity to trick people into letting their guard down. Every year, the Internal Revenue Service highlights the low-down and dirty by putting out its list of top 12 tax scams. "Scams can be sophisticated and take many different forms," IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said.
BUSINESS
February 28, 2014 | By Erin E. Arvedlund, Inquirer Columnist
Are your children or grandkids filing tax returns for the first time? Ken Yoder, tax manager at the Philadelphia-based accounting firm ParenteBeard, offers tips for novice tax filers. As the April 15 deadline for individual tax filings approaches, Yoder suggests the following: Review annual income. For first-time filers, such as new college graduates, review your annual income. Then sit down with your parents or an accountant to determine if you make enough to file taxes. It doesn't matter how old you are; your income - not your age - determines when you should begin filing.
NEWS
February 27, 2014 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
DELANCO The New Jersey Economic Development Authority has offered Dietz & Watson Co. $30.8 million in tax credits to rebuild a meat storage plant in Delanco destroyed by fire last year. Officials of the Philadelphia-based cold-cuts company did not return requests for comment Tuesday, or indicate if they were considering offers from other states for assistance to rebuild. The blaze started on the roof of the firm's main distribution plant early Sept. 1, and took 11 area fire companies two days to bring under control.
BUSINESS
February 26, 2014 | By Erin E. Arvedlund, Inquirer Columnist
Believe it or not, if you are older or make $52,000 a year or less, the Internal Revenue Service can help you file your taxes - for free. The IRS has two volunteer programs to help those who make $52,000 a year or less file their taxes: One is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the other is the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program, both of which offer free help for qualified taxpayers.   VITA IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income-tax-return preparation and electronic filing.
BUSINESS
February 24, 2014 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
In the run-up to tax day, April 15, when returns are due to the IRS, you may have to unwind some of the complicated new tax rules - and fend off a few tax scams. Here is some help. The IRS last week issued its annual list of "dirty dozen tax scams" and said identity theft and phone scams lead the list. Many of the scams are perpetrated by tax filers, for example, claiming false expenses or exemptions. In the case of fraud-by-phone, the IRS says, "scams include many variations, ranging from instances where callers say the victims owe money or are entitled to a huge refund.
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