Tax & Accounting News

TaxBuzz Top 5 - IRS Makes Direct File Permanent, Trump May Face $100M IRS Tax Bill & More

TaxBuzz Top 5 - IRS Makes Direct File Permanent, Trump May Face $100M IRS Tax Bill & More

Each Friday, TaxBuzz brings you the top five tax and accounting headlines you need to know from the workweek. We know life can get busy and you don't always have time to scroll through your news feed to stay informed.

We weed through all of the week's stories to showcase the most important updates in the tax and accounting world.

1. IRS Makes Direct File a Permanent Option for Taxpayers

Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The IRS has announced that Direct File, an online platform for filing federal tax returns, will become a permanent option starting in the 2025 tax season. Following a successful pilot in 2024, where 140,803 taxpayers in 12 states used Direct File, the IRS plans to expand the service to include more tax situations and states next year.

In an official release, IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel shared the benefits of Direct File, stating, “The clear message is that many taxpayers across the nation want the IRS to provide more than one no-cost option for filing electronically.”

User feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with 90% rating their experience as excellent or above average. The IRS will continue to analyze data and gather feedback to improve the service, aiming to make tax filing easier and more accessible. By making Direct File permanent, the IRS aims to offer taxpayers more options, enhance user experience, and support its digital transformation efforts. Additional details about the 2025 expansion will be announced in the coming months.

2. Trump May Owe $100 Million+ in Taxes After IRS Audit

Former President Donald Trump may face an IRS bill exceeding $100 million after a government audit revealed he allegedly double-dipped on tax losses related to a Chicago skyscraper. This audit, initially reported by The New York Times and ProPublica, scrutinized Trump's financial activities and public filings over several years. The findings come as Trump, yesterday convicted on all 34 counts in his New York felony "hush money" trial, attempts a political comeback.

According to Politico, the audit claims Trump deducted losses on the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago twice. Initially, he reported $658 million in losses in 2008, deeming the property “worthless.” However, in 2010, he transferred the property to another holding company he controlled, reporting an additional $168 million in losses over the next decade. If the IRS audit concludes against Trump, he could owe more than $100 million, including penalties.

Trump's son, Eric, stated that the IRS inquiry “was settled years ago, only to be brought back to life once my father ran for office. We are confident in our position.”

3. Efforts to Reign in Georgia Business Tax Breaks Fall Short

Photographer: Jose Vaquerano/Getty Images

Georgia lawmakers vowed to rein in tax breaks for businesses this year, but their efforts came to nothing. Governor Brian Kemp (R) vetoed a two-year pause in a sales tax exemption for building and equipping computer data centers, following intense lobbying to preserve the tax break.

Kemp’s veto illustrates the difficulty of eliminating established tax breaks. “Any time you create a carve-out in your tax code, you then create a self-interested lobby around it,” said Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, in an Associated Press piece shared by U.S. News & World Report.

Kemp wrote that vetoing House Bill 1192 was necessary because businesses had already made plans using the exemption, and an abrupt freeze would undermine investments made by high-technology data center operators and stakeholders.

Georgia's situation mirrors similar disputes in other states, such as Virginia and Arkansas, where the increasing number of data centers is sparking backlash. Environmental groups in Georgia also seek to curb the tax exemption, citing concerns about the environmental impact and increased fossil fuel emissions from new natural gas plants needed to support the data centers.

3. North Carolina Officials Downgrade State's Projected Revenue

North Carolina officials downgraded the state's projected revenue surplus through mid-2025 by $430 million due to lower than expected April 15 individual income tax payments following recent business tax changes. Despite this, the state anticipates nearly $1 billion more in revenue, according to an Associated Press article shared by U.S. News & World Report.

Economists from Governor Roy Cooper's administration and the state's Republican-controlled legislature had predicted a $413 million surplus for the year ending June 30, leading to an additional $1 billion in the next fiscal year. However, the new forecast shows a reduced overage of $188 million this year and $799 million next year.

The revision resulted from higher-than-expected personal income tax refunds and lower final payments due to a 2022 tax change allowing certain corporations and partnerships to pay state taxes, causing some duplicate payments. “Fortunately, this adjustment is a one-time event,” a state budget office memo stated.

Governor Cooper emphasized that the economic outlook remains positive and urged legislators to prioritize public school investments over private school vouchers. Senate leader Phil Berger mentioned that GOP leaders are considering the feasibility of widespread tax rebates this year.

5. Roger Ver, "Bitcoin Jesus," Fraud and Tax Evasion Documents Unsealed

Credit: Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty Images

Documents pertaining to Roger Ver, known as "Bitcoin Jesus" for his early adoption of bitcoin, have been unsealed. Forbes shared details of the court filings, which include indictments for mail fraud, tax evasion, and filing false tax returns. According to the Department of Justice, the indictment, unsealed in federal court this month, was initially filed on February 15, 2024.

The charges allege that Ver, an early bitcoin investor, renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2014 and failed to report capital gains from the sale of his assets, including bitcoin, to avoid paying an "exit tax." Ver is accused of concealing the true number of bitcoins he owned and providing false information to his tax preparers, resulting in substantial underreporting of his assets and income.

Prosecutors claim that Ver's actions caused the IRS to lose at least $48 million. Despite the indictment being filed earlier, Ver was arrested in Spain this weekend, and the U.S. is seeking his extradition.

Ver's attorney, Bryan C. Skarlatos, expressed disappointment over the arrest and maintained that Ver always intended to comply with his tax obligations. Ver, who recently released a book, "Hijacking Bitcoin: The Hidden History of BTC," has denied any wrongdoing.

Which headline this week most interests you?

Feature Image Credit: Zach Gibson/Stringer/Getty Images

share this post
Search for matches...
Rebekah Barton

Rebekah Barton

Rebekah's search engine optimization career began completely by accident as a college student. Over the course of her career so far, she has "grown up" with the SEO industry, from writing content while juggling classes to managing her own teams of writers and overseeing SEO strategy in subsequent roles. She is excited to bring her passion for high-quality content to CountingWorks, Inc.

Recommended Professionals

In the face of economic uncertainty, TaxBuzz is the industry's most up-to-date tax information.

Join 60,000 who get our weekly newsletter. No spam.

Need help selecting a firm?

Use our specialized search engine and get matched to the best accounting and tax firm for your needs.

Related Posts

Latest Posts