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What Does $350 Million in IRS Budget Cuts Mean for Taxpayers?

Lifestyles - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 1:04pm
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - Back in December of 2014, Congress passed a spending bill that will fund the government through September of 2015. That's good, right? No government shut-down. However, this spending bill includes yet another funding haircut for the IRS, which is probably going to make your life a little worse this tax season. This "haircut" means roughly $350 million in spending cuts.

So, how might that affect you this tax season? Well, for one thing, your odds of getting through to the IRS Help Line while you're still in your youth have gone from slim to none, now that IRS funding has been reduced to 3 percent less than last year and $1.5 billion below the president's requested amount. National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson was predicting before the cuts that 2015 would bring us the "worst filing season" in years. No crystal ball is needed to see that administering more than 40 new provisions under the Affordable Care Act for the first time this year is going to call for more IRS staff standing by to answer questions, not fewer.

In December, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told reporters that, in the last four years, the IRS budget has been cut by approximately $1.2 billion, and its staff reduced by about 13,000. IRS's $11.3 billion budget for 2014 was 7 percent below the level appropriated in 2010. On top of frustrating taxpayers in need of answers, Koskinen predicts that the reductions in staff will result in nearly $2 billion in uncollected revenue this year.

If the idea of hanging on hold with the IRS for hours isn't appealing to you, this may be the year for you to join the nearly 60 percent of U.S. taxpayers who hire a paid preparer. Licensed preparers know the intricate and constantly changing tax laws, regulations and codes, and how they can be applied for your benefit to save you money.

Enrolled agents, America's tax experts, are required to complete IRS-approved annual continuing education, ensuring that they have the most up-to-date strategies to make sure you pay only what you owe and get any refunds you are due. Enrolled agents not only specialize in tax preparation and tax planning, they can also represent you before the IRS.

Find an enrolled agent in your area on the "Find an EA" directory at www.naea.org.

Skull may shed light on humans' path from Africa

CNN World - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 1:02pm
Neanderthals, meet modern humans. Modern humans, say hello to Neanderthals.
Categories: International News

U.S. cracks down on shady '0%' loan companies

Business News - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 1:01pm
Federal regulators are cracking down on smarmy companies that promise to lend people cash with zero interest, without disclosing important details that often cost vulnerable borrowers big bucks.

The week in 32 photos

CNN World - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 12:53pm
Categories: International News

The week in 32 photos

CNN - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 12:48pm
Categories: National News

Anti-Muslim rant disrupts event

CNN - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 12:46pm
The "Texas Muslim Capitol Day," an event organized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, was interrupted by protesters.
Categories: National News

Adventurer climbs icy Niagara Falls

CNN - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 12:45pm
Most visitors to Niagara Falls consider it a place for romance. Ice climber Will Gadd thinks of the famous falls as a spot for adventure.
Categories: National News

Civil War ship being pulled from river

CNN - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 12:45pm
The deepening of the shipping channel in Savannah, Georgia, won't be dredging up just mud and sand.
Categories: National News

Jack Ma loses $1.4 billion in a day

Business News - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 12:41pm
Read full story for latest details.

Texas banker: Let the reckless oil companies die

Business News - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 12:37pm
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MSU Women’s Tennis Hosts UAB Saturday

Bulldog Beat - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 12:34pm
STARKVILLE, Miss. – After hitting the road for the first time last weekend at the Ivy League Kick-off, the Mississippi State women's tennis team (3-1) will return home on Saturday, hosting UAB (0-1).

The changing culture of Saudi Arabia

CNN World - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 12:33pm
After the death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud, CNN's Nic Robertson describes the changing culture of the Middle Eastern heavyweight.
Categories: International News

Anheuser-Busch is a 'Super' stock

Business News - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 12:26pm
Will the Seattle Seahawks repeat? Will Tom Brady finally win his fourth Super Bowl? (He can't beat my New York Giants in the big game. Heh!)

Europe hints at Greek bailout extension

Business News - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 12:24pm
Europe held out an olive branch to Greece's new anti-austerity government Friday by hinting it may extend massive financial aid beyond the end of February.

Jay-Z to buy music streaming Aspiro for $56 million

Business News - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 12:16pm
In the music world, buying a tech startup is all the rage these days.

Robot surgery inspired by space travel

CNN World - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 11:58am
How a pioneering brain surgery robot took its design from a robotic arm on the International Space Station.
Categories: International News

Eddie Murphy returns to SNL after 30 years

CNN Entertainment - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 11:48am
He's back!
Categories: Entertainment News

24 Additional Softball Games to Air on SEC Network+

Bulldog Beat - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 11:01am
After having announced previously that eight of its 56 games will be aired on the SEC Network, Mississippi State softball will have an additional 24 games air live on SEC Network+ in 2015.
Championship Preview and Predictions New England vs. Seattle 2/1 6:30 (ET) University of Phoenix...
Mountain Pine at Ouachita Jr. Boys: Ouachita 58, Mountain Pine 30 Sr. Girls: Mountain Pine 51,...
With the exception of Malvern High School, everyone is in action on Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015....
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