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Prepaid debit cards already have enough controversy surrounding them, and this latest bit of news about tax refunds being frozen for prepaid debit card users isn't going to do any favors for the industry.

Several news outlets, including ABC News, are reporting that the reason for this "funds freeze" is because the IRS is teaming up with the financial industry to crack down on tax fraud.

The problem is, of course, is that this is affecting the nation's poorest Americans...and they are finding that they have very little recourse.

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The federal administration has been taking a number of initiatives in order to reduce the corporate practice of tax inversion. However, statistics indicate that these initiatives are not having the required effect.

Tax inversion refers to the practice of a company moving its legal base offshore while retaining most operations in the US. According to the Wall Street Journal, companies are continuing to move base to lower-tax destinations overseas, and are taking over US companies after doing so. They are taking advantage of lower tax rates in these tax havens. Typically, in these lower-tax havens like Ireland, corporate tax rates are in the mid-teens. That is in sharp contrast to the United States corporate tax rate, which hovers at 35%.

Not only are these companies saving on the taxes that they have to pay because they have now shifted legal base overseas, but they also enjoy profits from the mergers that they're able to bring about from their overseas bases. A number of companies have overseas bases that are used to save on taxes.

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Gamblers have been eligible to pay taxes on their winnings for years, and must pay taxes on each dollar that they win on all kinds of gambling. That includes not just slot machines in casinos, but also winnings on sports bets.

 

At a slot machine, only winnings above $1200 must be reported to the IRS. However, the Internal Revenue Service has admitted that it is toying with the idea of lowering that limit to $600. Predictably, that has generated outrage in the gambling community. It's not just gamblers who are opposing those proposals. The casino industry is also opposing that lowered threshold for reporting earnings at slot machines.

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Posted on in IRS Scams

We're in the 2014 tax season, and as with every year, this year too, it's important for taxpayers to look out for some of the most common scams out there. The Internal Revenue Service, as it does every year, is warning taxpayers once again to be careful and lookout for tax-related scams that are very often perpetrated using the IRS name.

There are several tax-related scams out there, and these usually emerge in tax season. From e-mail refund schemes that pose as the IRS, to telephone calls from IRS impersonators, taxpayers this year are likely to be targeted through a number of such frauds.

One of the most important things to know to avoid a tax-related scam is that the Internal Revenue Service, a federal agency, does not contact taxpayers by e-mail, and ask them for personal or financial data. If you receive any kind of electronic message, which includes e-mails, text messages, or any private message on your Facebook or Twitter accounts, you can rest assured that this is not the Internal Revenue Service contacting you. Besides, when the Internal Revenue Service contacts you, it does not ask you for personal financial information like your passwords, your personal identification number, and access information for your credit cards and bank account.

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Tagged in: IRS Tax Scam

Smartphone users, who have downloaded the Internal Revenue Service's tax help app, now have an update that promises to enhance user experience, and make it easier for taxpayers to monitor key features.

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced the update to its IRS2Go Mobile app, which comes just in time for the tax season. New features that are included with the new update include a feature that allows taxpayers to track the status of his or her tax refund. The feature is easy to use, and any smart phone user will find the status tracker very useful, because it allows him to follow the tax return through the entire process. That makes it very convenient, especially because you may need the funds, and it helps to have a tracker that allows you to know exactly when you can expect that refund in your bank account.

According to the Internal Revenue Service Commissioner, the new update to the IRS2Go mobile app gives taxpayers more features that allow them to get the information that they need quickly, conveniently and around the clock. The smart phone app was introduced during the 2011 tax season, and has been downloaded at least 3.5 million times. The app is available for download on the iPhone and iPod Touch, as well as on Android devices.

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