income tax returns: 5% more income tax returns filed this year


NEW DELHI: Income tax returns filed this year have risen by about 5 per cent to nearly 6 crore as more businesses and entities filed annual income statements.

Over 5.95 crore income tax returns (ITRs) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 (2019-20) were filed by January 10, the Income Tax Department said.

The ITR filing deadline for individuals ended on January 10 while for companies it is till February 15.

The tax department in a tweet said 5.95 crore ITRs for Assessment Year 2020-21 were filed till January 10, 2021, as compared to 5.67 crore ITRs filed for the previous Assessment Year by September 10, 2019.

The total returns for 2019-20 are 33.35 lakh higher than the previous year as total ITRs filed stood at 5.61 crore on the last date which was August 31, 2019.

“We gratefully acknowledge the efforts of our taxpayers & tax professionals,” it said sharing the data of ITRs filed for AY2020-21 up to January 10, 2021.

An analysis of the data showed that filing of tax returns by individuals for 2019-20 has slowed in the current year, while filing by businesses and trusts has increased.

Over 2.99 crore ITR-1 were filed till January 10 this year, lower than the 3.11 crore filed till September 10, 2019.

ITR-1 form is filed by resident individuals having income less than Rs 50 lakh in a year.

Over 1.49 crore ITR-4 were filed till January 10, as compared to 1.29 crore filed till September 10, 2019.

Returns in ITR-1 Sahaj are filed by individuals whose total income does not exceed Rs 50 lakh, while form ITR-4 Sugam is meant for individuals, Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs) and firms (other than Limited Liability Partnership) having a total income of up to Rs 50 lakh and having presumptive income from business and profession.

Over 46.12 lakh ITR-2 (filed by people having income from residential property, capital gains and foreign assets) were filed till January 10. ITR-5 (filed by LLP and Association of Persons) filings stood at 10.50 lakh, while ITR-6 (by businesses) filings were at 4.72 lakh.

Last year, ITR-6 filings till September 10, 2019, were 49,398. ITR-5 filings were 5.89 lakh.

ITR-7 (filed by persons having income derived from property held under trust) filings stood at 1.46 lakh till January 10, 2021, as compared to 65,298 last year.

Due to difficulties faced by taxpayers owing to the pandemic, the government pushed the deadline for filing ITR thrice — first from the normal deadline of July 31 to November 30, 2020, and then to December 31, 2020.

On December 30 last year, the government extended the deadline to file ITR for individuals by 10 days to January 10 and for businesses till February 15.

The Income Tax Department on Monday rejected demand for further extension of the deadline for filing returns where audit is required beyond February 15.

“CBDT passes order u/s 119 of Income-tax Act, 1961 in F No. 370153/39/2020-TPL dt 11th January, 2021, disposing off the representations for extension of due date for filing of Audit Report u/s 44AB, in compliance with the order of hon’ble Gujarat High Court dt 8th January, 2021,” the department had said in a tweet.

This was in response to the Gujarat High Court order dated January 8 in the case of the All India Gujarat Federation of Tax Consultants versus Union of India directing the finance ministry to look into the issue of extension of due dates for filing of audit report under Section 44AB of the Income Tax Act.

As per the provisions of the Act, the due date for filing of the audit report under Section 44AB is one month prior to the due date of filing of ITR which is January 15, 2021.



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Morrison government tax relief package has given $7 billion to Australians


New treasury analysis has demonstrated the Morrison government’s tax relief package has helped put an extra $7 billion in the pockets of nearly eight million Australians in the last six months, according to Sky News political reporter Trudy McIntosh.

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Tax cuts gave $8million more cash over summer in spending boost for economy


Eight million workers had an extra $760 in their pocket over the last six months thanks to tax cuts kicking in as part of a plan to encourage spending during the coronavirus pandemic.

New data compiled by the Australian Taxation Office, shows a total of $5.9 billion flowed back to 7.8 million earners nationally through the low- and middle-income tax offset in the six months to January. The offset, also known as the “lamington”, gives these income earners up to $1080 back in their pay over the year.

Tax cuts were one of the major features of the 2020-2021 federal budget.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Households further benefited from $1.1 billion in tax savings over this period due to the stage two tax cuts being brought forward in the federal budget. These changes lifted the top threshold of the 19 per cent tax bracket to $45,000 from $37,000 and increased the 32.5 per cent tax bracket’s top threshold to $120,000 from $90,000.

The 2020-21 federal budget fast-tracked the stage two tax cuts to put money back into the economy as activity dropped during the pandemic due to restrictions, uncertainty and hardship. About 11.6 million people were expected to get a tax cut in 2020-21. Forecasts made in the budget documents at the time said the cuts would boost GDP by $3.5 billion this financial year and $9 billion in 2021-2022.

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Using Tax Preparer to File Taxes May Delay Your Coronavirus Stimulus Check


If you used the services of an online tax preparer to file your taxes, your coronavirus stimulus check may be delayed.


3 min read


This story originally appeared on ValueWalk

The IRS has already started sending the stimulus checks to eligible people. The process of sending checks is expected to be smoother this time, but is unlikely to be without issues. One such issue that may delay your coronavirus stimulus check is if you used the services of an online tax preparer to file your taxes.

This may delay your coronavirus stimulus check

The IRS started sending out stimulus checks last week, and many have already received the payment in their bank account. However, the IRS and major tax prep software companies admit that stimulus checks may be delayed for some people.

Many people for whom the IRS had direct deposit information started getting their stimulus checks from last week. On the other hand, many who were waiting for their payment and checked their payment status on the IRS “Get My Payment” tracker, were surprised to see a different bank account listed under their name.

Such an issue primarily arises for those who use tax preparer services for filing their taxes. Many taxpayers use “Refund Transfer” services, which enables them to make the payment for the tax preparer from the tax refund itself. This is a good option for those running short of money and time.

For this process to work, the tax preparer creates a new temporary bank account to receive the refund. Once the IRS sends the refund in this account, the preparer takes their cut and transfers the balance (if any) to the filer. The bank account is then closed. However, the IRS has this closed bank account on file, and this leaves some taxpayers in limbo.

What does the IRS say about it?

Such taxpayers will still get their payment, but it may be delayed. They may either get the payment via paper check, or in the form of a credit on their 2020 taxes next year. In case the IRS mails you a paper check, it could take up to four weeks to arrive. In its updated guidance, the IRS has asked people to “watch your mail carefully for a check or debit card.”

The IRS has also acknowledged this issue in an online FAQ page. “Because of the speed at which IRS issued this second round of payments, some payments may have been sent to an account that may be closed or no longer active,” the agency says.

Further, the agency also notes that such payments would “bounce” back to the agency as the financial institutions “cannot hold and issue the payment to an individual when the account is no longer active.”

NBC News, citing a banking industry source, claims that this issue could impact as many as 14 million people. A point to note is that it is not a new issue, and many people experienced it at the time of the first stimulus checks as well.

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Prince estate owes another $32m in tax after being undervalued by half, US officials say | Ents & Arts News


The estate of pop star Prince owes another $32.4 million (£23.7m) in taxes after his executors undervalued it by around 50%, US officials say.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) believes the singer-songwriter was worth $163.2 m (£119.3m) when he died, nearly double the $82.3m (£60.2m) valuation submitted by Comerica Bank & Trust, the estate’s administrator.

Documents filed in a US tax court show the discrepancy centres on Prince’s music publishing and recording interests.

Image:
Fans lay flowers and memorials at the nightclub where Prince got his start in Minneapolis Minnesota

Tax collectors are also demanding a $6.4m (£4.7m) fine, described as an “accuracy-related penalty”, citing a “substantial” undervaluation of assets, the documents show.

Estimates of Prince’s net worth have varied wildly from $100m (£73.1m) to $300m (£219.3m) since his death following a fentanyl overdose at the age of 57 in April 2016.

As the star did not leave a will, deciding what to do with his money has become one of the largest and most complicated probate court proceedings in the history of the US state of Minnesota.

Prince’s six sibling heirs have grown increasingly unhappy, particularly as the estate has doled out tens of millions of dollars to lawyers and consultants.

Comerica and its lawyers at Fredrikson & Byron in Minneapolis maintain their estate valuations are solid.

Comerica sued the IRS this summer in US Tax Court in Washington, DC, saying the agency’s calculations are riddled with errors.

Musician And Recording Artist Prince Dies At 57
Image:
Musician And Recording Artist Prince Dies At 57

“What we have here is a classic battle of the experts – the estate’s experts and the IRS’ experts,” said Dennis Patrick, an estate planning attorney at DeWitt LLP in Minneapolis who is not involved in the case.

Valuing a large estate, Mr Patrick added, “is way more of an art than a science”.

Comerica, a Dallas-based financial services giant, has asked the tax court to hold a trial.

That could lengthen the time needed to settle matters and generate more legal fees at the expense of Prince’s heirs, Mr Patrick said.

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U.K. Eliminates the Tampon Tax


In 2015, the government established the Tampon Tax Fund, which allocated 47 million pounds raised from the tax on period products to charities working with vulnerable women and girls.

In January 2019, Gemma Abbott, the director of the British nonprofit Free Periods, said the group had started a campaign threatening the government with legal action, saying a lack of access to menstrual products affected a child’s educational experience.

Two months later, the government changed course, she said.

Since last year, the British government’s initiative to make period products more accessible has also included putting free sanitary products in schools, colleges and hospitals.

Ms. Abbott said she and Free Periods were trying to hold the government accountable for the initiative, especially about funding it and getting more schools and colleges to sign up.

Over the last few years, governments around the world have revised measures on sanitary products.

In November, Scotland became the first country to make period products available for free. Last year, Germany officially changed its stance on menstrual products by declaring them essential, and reducing their tax rate after they had long been classified as “luxury goods.”

Australia, which also once considered the products a “luxury,” and Canada, India and Malaysia have also abolished the tax.

In the United States, 10 states since 2016 have eliminated the tax: California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Utah and Washington, said Jennifer Weiss-Wolf of the organization Period Equity.



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Start spreading the dues – New York v the Zoom tax | United States




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Kushner pardon revives ‘loathsome’ tale of tax evasion, sex – Long Island Business News


Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called it “one of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes” he ever prosecuted as U.S. attorney.

After Charles Kushner discovered his brother-in-law was cooperating with federal authorities, the wealthy real estate executive and father of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared, hatched a scheme for revenge and intimidation.

Kushner hired a prostitute to lure his brother-in-law, then arranged to have the encounter in a New Jersey motel room recorded with a hidden camera and the recording sent to his own sister, the man’s wife. 

The scheme didn’t work. Kushner later pleaded guilty to tax evasion and making illegal campaign donations in a case tailor-made for tabloid headlines.

On Wednesday Trump pardoned Kushner as part of a late-hour clemency spree during the final days of his presidency that has included a slew of campaign aides and allies, among them four of the six Trump associates convicted in the Mueller investigation. He has granted clemency to nearly 50 people in the last week.

The White House in its announcement cited Kushner’s charitable work since he completed his sentence in 2006 as the reason he deserved clemency.

“This record of reform and charity overshadows Mr. Kushner’s conviction and 2 year sentence for preparing false tax returns, witness retaliation, and making false statements” to the Federal Election Commission, the White House said, adding that Kushner’s case had been championed by Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, and others.

Not mentioned: Kushner’s relationship to Jared Kushner, the senior Trump adviser who is married to Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka, and who, inspired by his father’s time in prison, pushed Trump to back criminal justice reform legislation and has been an integral part of the administration’s clemency efforts.

Christie did not respond to a request for comment on Trump’s decision to pardon a man he’d sent to prison. But Christie, who headed Trump’s transition and has informally advised the president for years, has made clear that he believes the senior Kushner deserved it.

“Mr. Kushner pled guilty. He admitted the crimes,” Christie told PBS last year as he promoted a book that blamed the younger Kushner for his firing from Trump’s transition team. “And so what am I supposed to do as a prosecutor? I mean, if a guy hires a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, and videotapes it, and then sends the videotape to his sister to attempt to intimidate her from testifying before a grand jury, do I really need any more justification than that?”

He added: “I mean it’s one of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes that I prosecuted when I was U.S. attorney. And I was U.S. attorney in New Jersey.”

Kushner eventually pleaded guilty to 18 counts including tax evasion and witness tampering. He was sentenced in 2005 to two years in prison — the most he could receive under a plea deal, but less than Christie had sought.

Kushner also agreed to pay $508,900 to the FEC for violating contribution regulations by failing to obtain an OK from partners to whom more than $500,000 in contributions were credited.

He has since resumed his career in real estate, including purchasing the famed Watchtower complex along the Brooklyn Bridge, the former headquarters for the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The younger Kushner has talked openly about how deeply his father’s imprisonment impacted his life. He was in his early 20s and a law and business school student in the mid-2000s when his father was sentenced and suddenly found himself having to run the family’s businesses while shuttling back and forth on weekends to see his father in Alabama.

“When you’re on the other side of the system, you feel so helpless,” Jared Kushner said in 2018. “I felt like, I was on this side of the system, so how can I try to do whatever I can do to try to be helpful to the people who are going through it” and deserve a second chance.

But Charles Kushner told The New York Times in 2018 that he wasn’t interested in clemency, saying he “would prefer not to have a pardon” because it would garner publicity.





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MPs back workers salary cut, halts Covid tax relief


Economy

MPs back workers salary cut, halts Covid tax relief


MPs in a past session. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Lawmakers last evening defied pressure from manufacturers, employers and business lobbies and passed the Treasury-backed Bill that will see the tax reliefs introduced in the wake of Covid-19 scrapped from January 1.
  • MPs approved the Tax Laws (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 2020 at a special session called to fast-track debate and approval of the proposed law that seeks to reinstate the higher taxes.
  • The Bill now waits the signature of President Uhuru Kenyatta to become law, which will cut workers net pay in a year when employers are not likely to increase salaries to protect earnings hit by the pandemic.

Workers, households and businesses are staring at a tough new year after MPs voted to end income and value-added tax cuts imposed to cushion Kenyans from the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

This will see workers earning more than Sh50, 000 monthly take a cut on their net salaries after the Treasury widened the income tax bands to soften the blow from withdrawal of reliefs introduced in April to cushion households and businesses from the economic shocks of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The cost of basic goods like detergents, cooking oil, electricity, airtime and services such as pay TV subscriptions will go up with the reinstatement of the higher VAT, putting pressure on inflation.

Lawmakers last evening defied pressure from manufacturers, employers and business lobbies and passed the Treasury-backed Bill that will see the tax reliefs introduced in the wake of Covid-19 scrapped from January 1.

MPs approved the Tax Laws (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 2020 at a special session called to fast-track debate and approval of the proposed law that seeks to reinstate the higher taxes.

The Bill now waits the signature of President Uhuru Kenyatta to become law, which will cut workers net pay in a year when employers are not likely to increase salaries to protect earnings hit by the pandemic.

“This is a very big debate and we would rather stand here to say people should pay taxes that existed prior to Covid-19 than to take the populist route that people should pay zero or reduced tax because government must provide services,” Gladys Wanga, who chairs the Finance and National Planning committee said.

“We have approved these amendments and call on you to take the path that is not populist to ensure that government has sufficient revenues to service projects, pay bursaries and develop infrastructure in schools to ensure social distancing,” the Homa Bay Woman Representative said.

The MPs backed the committee’s position. The Treasury had raised an alert over delays in paying civil servants’ salaries and threatened to suspend undisclosed critical services amid a cash crunch triggered by the coronavirus economic hardships.

Tax collections for the first five months to November dropped by Sh100.72 billion to Sh527.7 billion due the coronavirus-related disruptions.

The passage of the Bill means that VAT will return to 16 percent from 14 percent while businesses will pay corporate tax of 30 percent instead of 25 percent.

The maximum personal income tax will be reinstated to 30 percent from the current 25 percent.

Small traders like salons and groceries will also start paying tax at the rate of three percent from one percent of their gross sales when the Covid tax reliefs are scrapped.

The tax reliefs were aimed at lowering the cost of basic items while providing workers with additional income to spur consumption and boost retailers’ flagging sales.

This was the first time in seven years that Kenya will be reducing VAT after including more commodities under this tax category in 2013. Raw foods are exempted from the tax.

Salaried workers will get up to Sh4,856 monthly after the State widened the income tax bands, but this will not be adequate to cover for higher taxes for those earning more than Sh50, 000.

Kenya is slowly recovering from effects of the infectious disease, which led to job cuts and unpaid leave for retained staff as profitable firms fell into losses.

A number of institutions, including Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) and Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) as well as top accounting firms PwC and KPMG petitioned MPs to extend the tax reliefs.

“You are creating taxes that will drive out all businesses. You are going to finish the remaining companies,” KAM’s Job Wanjohi said, adding the Bill will kill the “goose that lays the golden egg.”

Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek) said it was “irrational and unacceptable to revert to higher taxes as if Covid-19 ended three to six months ago.”

The Treasury says the tax reliefs introduced in the wake of Covid were no longer sustainable owing to persistent revenue collection shortfalls amid a subdued economic activity which affected the implementation of government programmes.

The decision to end the tax reliefs came amid fears that Kenya had bowed to pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to scrap them to protect the country’s revenue collection targets.

The IMF had urged the government to reinstate the higher taxes once the impact of Covid-19 eased, stating that the cuts would cost the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and compromise the State’s ability to deal with emergencies and spending on development projects.



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