The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) on Jan. 8 published a document titled “List of Expiring Federal Tax Provisions 2016-2025.” (JCX-1-16) As described by JCT, the document provides a listing of federal tax provisions (other than those providing time-limited transition relief after the repeal of an underlying rule) that are currently scheduled to expire in 2016-2025. It includes references to the applicable section of the Code or other applicable law. For purposes of compiling the list, JCT considered a provision to be expiring if, at a statutorily specified date, the provision expires completely or reverts to the law in effect before the present-law version of the provision. The document is available at jct.gov/publications.html?
A new survey, designed to assess and illustrate how the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act’s (FATCA) early implementation has affected individual U.S. taxpayers living abroad, found that such Americans “generally feel that the FATCA negatively impacts their professional pursuits and compliance is burdensome.” The survey was conducted this past summer by the University of Nevada in conjunction with the American Citizens Abroad Global Foundation. 81% of respondents said they strongly agree with the statement that U.S. tax law is more complicated than the tax law of their country of residence; 78% strongly feel that complying with U.S. tax law puts them and/or their businesses at a disadvantage to other people working in their country of residence; and 84% strongly believe that U.S. tax law has become more complicated in recent years. A series of questions about FATCA elicited the following responses – 71% of respondents said they strongly agree with a statement that the law has increased the complexity of their tax returns; 71% said they strongly believe that it has put them at a disadvantage compared to other people living in their country of residence; and 86% strongly agree that the law needs to be reworked to allow Americans overseas access to banking services and that FATCA should include a “Same Country Exception” (i.e. no reporting requirements for accounts held in the country of residence). Responses to the survey came from individuals living in more than 60 countries with Canada, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Australia and France being the most common countries of residence. The survey results can be found at unr.edu/Documents/business/
The 2015 tax filing season “went smoothly,” both in general and as it relates to the individual shared responsibility and the premium tax credit (PTC) provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a Jan. 8 letter to Congress. However, there were some troublesome points raised in Koskinen’s letter which was focused on ACA-related matters. According to the commissioner, IRS has been projecting that some 4.8 million taxpayers need to file a return with Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit, to claim the PTC or reconcile the advance premium tax credit (APTC) they received. Approximately 3.5 million taxpayers have filed Form 8962 and 3.3 million of those taxpayers reported the APTC. These taxpayers reported a total of approximately $11.3 billion in APTC of the approximately $15.5 billion the Marketplaces paid out in 2014. “IRS continues to evaluate this discrepancy and conduct compliance activities as appropriate,” Koskinen said. He also made note of a problem associated with low-income taxpayers. Approximately 7.9 million taxpayers reported they made individual shared responsibility payments. Of these, an estimated 313,000 low-income taxpayers reported a payment “when it appears that they should have claimed a health care coverage exemption,” Koskinen said. Koskinen’s letter can be accessed at irs.gov/pub/newsroom/irs_
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Jan. 6 published a document titled “Revenue in 2015: An Infographic.” CBO defines revenues as “funds collected from the public that arise from the government’s exercise of its sovereign powers.” The infographic is located at cbo.gov/sites/default/files/