Sweeping tax legislation enacted in 2017 implemented many changes affecting the average taxpayer, including a lowering of rates, increasing the standard deduction and limiting the deductibility of mortgages and state and local taxes. Each taxpayer’s situation is different, but for the millions of additional taxpayers who will no longer need to itemize, tax returns should…

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Public service programs at the heart of taxpayer empowerment

Right now, all across the country in churches, libraries, schools and community centers, thousands of volunteers are hard at work at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs providing free tax preparation assistance to people in need. Each tax season, 95,000 independent volunteers donate their personal time to 4,000 community tax…

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With filing season in full swing, many of us have already begun submitting our tax returns to the IRS. Truth be told, it’s not a time many of us look forward to. Like skipping dessert or going for a checkup, filing taxes is something we do because we have to, not because we want to….

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Leading researchers, practitioners and policy experts on the social safety net and tax policy gathered to discuss how households experience income volatility and ways current policies help or hinder families predict and plan for tax obligations and windfalls. The conversation included insights from research published by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center “Income Volatility: New Research…

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While Congress debates tax reform, and the need to truly simplify the tax code for average taxpayers, we highlight two programs aimed at helping taxpayers in need of assistance to prepare and file their taxes for free. All across the country, in churches, libraries, schools, community centers and other public meeting halls, thousands of Volunteer…

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It’s tax time again.  While it may not be everyone’s favorite time of the year, for millions of Americans it also means refund time.  And, with tax reform now at the top of the national agenda, it’s also worth remembering that the annual tax filing ritual has tremendous potential benefits. In fact, direct citizen engagement…

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The federal tax-filing season opened on January 23, and more than 150 million Americans are expected to submit a return by this year’s April 18 deadline. Although the tax code remains complicated, the annual review of income and expense reporting should be business as usual for most Americans. Still, taxpayers, their representatives, and advisors should…

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With the April 18 tax filing deadline just hours away, you might assume that the very wealthy and those with diverse investment portfolios are likely to have the most complicated tax returns. And that those with smaller incomes and a more straightforward financial situation have a pretty simple time of it. But in many cases,…

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Complex Families and Complex Taxes: How Has Growing Complexity in Families Made the Tax Filing Process More Complicated

An expert panel discusses new research highlighting changes in the family structure and how this complicates tax filing. Read the full report from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center: Increasing Family Complexity and Volatility: The Difficulty In Determining Child Tax Benefits Hosted by The Tax Policy Center; Urban Institute – Brookings Institution General Support Provided by the Intuit…

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Wouldn’t it be great if low- and moderate-income families could file their tax returns at no cost? They can. It began back in 2002, when the then-Commissioner of the IRS Charles Rossotti formed a public-private partnership with the technology industry to create IRS Free File. The common goal of this alliance: to help reduce the…

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