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IRS Releases FY 2014 Data Book

March 26, 2015 Comments off

IRS Releases FY 2014 Data Book
Source: Internal Revenue Service

The Internal Revenue Service today released the 2014 IRS Data Book, a snapshot of agency activities for the fiscal year.

The report describes activities conducted by the IRS from Oct. 1, 2013, to Sept. 30, 2014, and includes information about returns filed, taxes collected, enforcement, taxpayer assistance, and the IRS budget and workforce among others. The 2014 Data Book contains charts that show trends, such as the decline in the number of audits and the decline in telephone and in-person tax assistance and increases in the use of online resources and volunteer tax assistance.

During fiscal year 2014, the IRS collected almost $3.1 trillion in federal revenue and processed almost 240 million returns. About 65 percent of all returns were filed electronically. Of the 147 million individual income tax returns filed, 84 percent were e-filed. Over 116 million individual income tax return filers received a tax refund, which totaled over $330 billion. The IRS examined less than 1 percent of all tax returns filed. About 3 percent of all individual tax returns examined resulted in additional refunds.

The IRS provided taxpayer assistance through 437 million visits to IRS.gov and assisted over 69 million taxpayers through its toll-free telephone helpline or at walk-in sites.

IRS Has Refunds Totaling $1 Billion for People Who Have Not Filed a 2011 Federal Income Tax Return

March 20, 2015 Comments off

IRS Has Refunds Totaling $1 Billion for People Who Have Not Filed a 2011 Federal Income Tax Return
Source: Internal Revenue Service

Federal income tax refunds totaling $1 billion may be waiting for an estimated one million taxpayers who did not file a federal income tax return for 2011, the Internal Revenue Service announced today. To collect the money, these taxpayers must file a 2011 tax return with the IRS no later than Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

“Time is running out for people who didn’t file a 2011 federal income tax return to claim their refund,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “People could be missing out on a substantial refund, especially students or part-time workers. Some people may not have filed because they didn’t make much money, but they may still be entitled to a refund.”

The IRS estimates half of the potential refunds for 2011 are more than $698.

Are the Federal Reserve’s Stress Test Results Predictable?

March 13, 2015 Comments off

Are the Federal Reserve’s Stress Test Results Predictable? (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Financial Research

Regulatory stress tests have become a key tool for setting bank capital levels. Publicly disclosed results for four rounds of stress tests suggest that as the stress testing process has evolved, its outcomes have become more predictable and therefore arguably less informative. In particular, projected stress losses in the 2013 and 2014 stress tests are nearly perfectly correlated for bank holding companies that participated in both rounds. We also compare projected losses across different scenarios used in the 2014 stress test and find surprisingly high correlations for outcomes grouped by bank or by loan category, which suggests an opportunity to get more information out of the stress tests through greater diversity in the scenarios used. We discuss potential implications of these patterns for the further development and application of stress testing.

TIGTA Testimony: “Tax Schemes and Scams During the 2015 Filing Season” (Senate Finance Committee)

March 12, 2015 Comments off

Testimony: “Tax Schemes and Scams During the 2015 Filing Season” (PDF)
Source: Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee)

Tax scams are nothing new. For at least the last decade, the IRS has provided the public with information about what it sees as the “Dirty Dozen” tax scams on its website. These scams range from offshore tax avoidance to fake charities and inflated refund claims. Compiled annually, the “Dirty Dozen” lists a variety of common scams that taxpayers may encounter. However, many of these scams peak during the filing season as people prepare their returns or utilize the services of paid preparers.

The 2015 filing season has unfortunately brought more of the same. However, there are two tax scams in particular that are among the most pernicious and dangerous. They have proven to be surprisingly effective and fast ways to steal taxpayers’ money, and in this fast-paced electronic environment, the money can be gone before the victims ever realize they have been scammed.

The phone impersonation scam has proven to be so large that it is one of my agency’s top priorities, and it has also landed at the top of the IRS’s “Dirty Dozen” tax scams this year.

The lottery winnings scam we are seeing this filing season is a continuation of an older scam. It starts with an e-mail or telephone call stating that you have won the lottery and in order to collect the winnings, you need to send money to prepay the tax to the IRS.

Systemic Importance Indicators for 33 U.S. Bank Holding Companies: An Overview of Recent Data

March 4, 2015 Comments off

Systemic Importance Indicators for 33 U.S. Bank Holding Companies: An Overview of Recent Data (PDF)
Source: Office of Financial Research, U.S. Department of the Treasury

This brief analyzes new data about the nation’s most systemically important bank holding companies — financial institutions whose failure could pose the greatest threat to the international financial system.

Statistics of Income Bulletin: Winter 2015

March 4, 2015 Comments off

SOI Bulletin: Winter 2015
Source: Internal Revenue Service

Sole Proprietorship Returns, 2012
For Tax Year 2012, taxpayers reported nonfarm sole proprietorship activity on approximately 23.6 million individual income tax returns, a 0.5-percent increase from 2011. Profits rose to $304.9 billion in 2012, a 7.9-percent improvement over the previous year. In constant dollars, total nonfarm sole proprietorship profits increased 6.0 percent in 2012. Profits as a percent of business receipts rose 1.1-percentage points to 23.4 percent, resulting in the highest level during the 25-year period, 1988 through 2012.

Foreign Recipients of U.S. Income, 2011
US.-source income paid to foreign persons, as reported on Form 1042-S, totaled $568.5 billion for Calendar Year 2011. This represents an increase of 1.9 percent from 2010. Withholding taxes on this income fell by 11.9 percent to $8.9 billion in 2011. Almost 90 percent of all U.S. source income paid to foreign persons was exempt from withholding tax. The residual U.S.-source income subject to tax was withheld at an average rate of 15 percent.

Individual Tax Returns Filed by Dependents, 1987–2011
The goal of this article is to help customers, who use individual tax data published in Statistics of Income’s annual publications, separate the data collected from tax returns filed by dependents (dependent returns) from the data collected from all individual tax returns. Prior to the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (TRA86), all taxpayers received the benefit of taking a personal exemption, including those claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return. Separating tax returns filed by dependents from all returns claiming a personal exemption would be difficult to determine for years prior to TRA86. For that reason, the figures and tables in this article include only post-1986 tax data.

Partnership Returns, 2012
The number of partnerships and partners in the United States continued to increase for Tax Year 2012. Partnerships filed more than 3 million tax returns for the year, representing more than 25 million partners. The real estate and leasing sector contained nearly half of all partnerships (49.1 percent) and just over a quarter of all partners (28.9 percent).

IRS Completes the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2015

February 19, 2015 Comments off

IRS Completes the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2015
Source: Internal Revenue Service

The Internal Revenue Service wrapped up the 2015 “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams today with a warning to taxpayers about aggressive telephone scams continuing coast-to-coast during the early weeks of this year’s filing season.

The aggressive, threatening phone calls from scam artists continue to be seen on a daily basis in states across the nation. The IRS urged taxpayers not give out money or personal financial information as a result of these phone calls or from emails claiming to be from the IRS.

Phone scams and email phishing schemes are among the “Dirty Dozen” tax scams the IRS highlighted, for the first time, on 12 straight business days from Jan. 22 to Feb. 6. The IRS has also set up a special section on IRS.gov highlighting these 12 schemes for taxpayers.

See also: IRS Warns Tax Preparers to Watch out for New Phishing Scam; Don’t Click on Strange Emails or Links Seeking Updated Information

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