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TaxBuzz Top 5 - IRS to Launch Free File Program, Amsterdam Tourist Taxes Spike, & More

TaxBuzz Top 5 - IRS to Launch Free File Program, Amsterdam Tourist Taxes Spike, & 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, State Officials Extend Tax Deadline In California

Credit: DSZC/Getty Images

Earlier this week, the IRS extended the tax deadline for most California taxpayers from October 16 to November 16. This extension is a result of last winter's natural disasters, which initially pushed the due dates to October 16. Now, individuals and businesses in most California counties have an additional month to file their 2022 returns and settle any tax obligations.

Notably, Lassen, Modoc, and Shasta counties are NOT INCLUDED in this extension. For comprehensive details, refer to the IRS disaster relief page.

The California Franchise Tax Board soon followed suit, also extending the state deadline. The FTB website provides additional information.

2. IRS to Test New Free File System In 13 States Next Year

Beginning in 2024 -- for tax year 2023 -- the IRS will test its new free file system in 13 states. CNN notes that the pilot program for the platform, known as Direct File, will be "very limited in scope...Only taxpayers in those 13 states with specific, eligible tax situations will be able to participate."

The states involved in the pilot are all nine states that don't levy a state income tax -- Alaska, Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming -- plus Arizona, California, Massachusetts, and New York.

In July 2022, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced a five-year plan to improve the overall American taxpayer experience. Amid the news that the tax agency was shifting its focus to improve its services the introduction of The Tax Filing Simplification Act of 2022. The new free file system played a key role in this legislation, which was heavily backed by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

It is worth pointing out that the plan for a federally-backed free file system has faced backlash, so it is sure to be a hot-button issue when the pilot program officially launches.

3. Minnesota County Accidentally Charges Taxpayers Twice

Credit: Davel5957/Getty Images

Residents of Ramsey County, Minnesota -- population 552,352, and home of the state capital, St. Paul -- should check their bank accounts to ensure they were not charged twice for recent property tax payments. 

Per a report from CBS, "an issue with CORE, its electronic payment vendor, led to a total of 678 residents and businesses being charged twice" for property taxes that were due between September 29 and October 2. The payments were debited on October 13 and amount to over $3.75 million.

Refunds are expected to be issued promptly. If you were impacted by this glitch, you can contact 651-266-8500 for assistance.

4. Wisconsin Gov. Expected to Veto $2 Billion Tax Cut Package

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (D) is expected to veto a $2 billion tax cut package that was recently passed by the state's Republican-controlled Senate. 

According to the Associated Press, this package comes after Republicans failed to pass a $1 billion plan that the governor "called on them to pass in a special session last month and instead put forward an income tax cut that Evers has already vetoed." Per the AP, a spokesperson for Evers's office called the latest legislation an “embarrassing response” and a “completely unserious proposal.”

The outlet also noted that all Democrats and Republican Senator Steve Nass voted against the bill.

Evers and state legislators have been at odds for months over income tax cuts and funding for child care services. Earlier this week, the governor announced that he would use $170 million in federal pandemic relief money to fund the Child Care Counts program through June 2025.

5. Amsterdam to Charge Highest Tourist Tax In Europe In 2024

Credit: Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

Amsterdam is among the popular cities in Europe for U.S. travelers -- and it's about to get more expensive. Beginning in 2024, the Dutch capital will instate the highest tourist tax on the European continent. 

USA Today reports that the new rate will also rank as the fourth highest globally, and is intended to deter "rowdy" travelers. Overnight visitors to the city will now pay a 12.5% tax, which is a substantial increase from the existing 7% levy.

In a statement, deputy mayor of finance, Hester van Bueren, stated, "This allows us to address the consequences of overtourism and direct additional resources to keeping the streets clean and solving acute problems in neighborhoods and districts."

Which headline this week is most interesting to you?

Feature Image Credit: Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

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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.

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