Monthly Archives: March 2012

Justice Department Files Tax Fraud Suit Against Instant Tax Service

Justice Dept LawsuitEarlier in the year, we wrote about Instant Tax Service (ITS) and the troubling practices at their franchises across the country. It seems the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) also took notice, and has now filed suit, accusing ITS of “deliberately ignoring systemic and pervasive fraud by ITS franchisees.”

DOJ filed complaints against ITS headquarters in Dayton, OH and franchises in Chicago, Indianapolis, Las Vegas and Kansas City, KS. Read the rest of this entry

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House Budget Plan: Mixed-Up Priorities

The House-proposed budget takes aim at many work supports

A new U.S. House budget plan for federal FY2013 is short on many specifics, but its general point is clear: rapidly accelerating cuts in crucial supports for low- and moderate-income families, pushing more into poverty.  Congress already had agreed to a decade’s worth of deep cuts as a result of its debt-ceiling negotiations last year.

However, the FY13 proposal unveiled this week by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan would slash a wide variety of priorities far more deeply over the coming decade, ranging from Pell Grants to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps).   Read the rest of this entry

House Champions Request $15 Million for VITA Funding in FY13

Rep. Becerra

Congressman Xavier Becerra

While it seems as though our recent victory – sustaining VITA Grant funding at $12 million for FY2012  – was just yesterday, the work to ensure VITA funding in FY13 is already well under way. You may recall that the President’s FY13 budget proposal included a steady $12 million for Community VITA, and now 38 VITA champs in the House of Representatives have put in a request to the House Appropriations Committee for $15 million in the coming fiscal year.

Last week, Congressman Xavier Becerra of California wrote a letter to Chairwoman Jo Ann Emerson and Ranking Member José Serrano, the leaders of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, requesting the increase in VITA funding in order to support the growing needs of the program. Read the rest of this entry

Back to School: Group Files Suit to Stop Continuing Education and Exam Requirements for Paid Preparers

Quality Control

Stronger regulations will mean higher quality tax returns

This week, a group called the Institute for Justice filed suit against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for new regulations being implemented regarding paid tax preparers.  The self-described “libertarian, civil liberties, public interest law firm” says the regulations are unfair to paid preparers. We disagree. Read the rest of this entry

Rothstein Testifies Before Congress on Prepaid Cards

David Rothstein

NCTC Board Member David Rothstein testified this afternoon before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. On behalf of Policy Matters Ohio and New America Foundation, Rothstein testified on his research and knowledge of the prepaid debit card market, particularly as it pertains to the low- and moderate-income families we serve each tax season.

As David says in his testimony, the prepaid debit card market is “relatively new, but already large.” Last week, we pointed out the trend of state governments utilizing prepaid debit cards – sometimes exclusively – to issue tax refunds.

Here is the full text of David’s testimony:

Read the rest of this entry

Tallying State Tax Credit Efforts

Tax Credits for Working Families“You can’t tell the players without a scorecard,” according to the old baseball expression. Even in public policy work – where the stakes run much higher than a spring-training ballgame – a tally sheet can really help with keeping things straight, tracking and anticipating policy developments.

Tax Credits for Working Families has assembled two brief and helpful overviews of state-level action on such measures as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC): Read the rest of this entry