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TaxBuzz Top 5 - IRS Warns Taxpayers to Beware of Fake Charities, Portland "Homeless Tax," & More

TaxBuzz Top 5 - IRS Warns Taxpayers to Beware of Fake Charities, Portland "Homeless Tax," & 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. Tax Preparers Need to Apply For or Renew PTINs

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With the end of the year approaching, it's time for tax preparers to apply for or renew their Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTIN). Forbes notes that all PTINs expire on December 31 of the calendar year for which they are issued. All 2023 PTINs will expire on December 31, 2023. 

Therefore, if you intend to prepare taxes for others for pay in calendar year 2024, there's no time like the present to begin the renewal process. The IRS notes that any person "who prepares or assists in preparing federal tax returns for compensation must have a valid 2024 PTIN before preparing returns. All enrolled agents must also have a valid PTIN."

The cost to renew or obtain a PTIN will be $19.75 in total for 2024. This is a notable reduction. In 2023, the price was $30.75 And, Forbes shared, in 2010 the rate was a minimum of $63.

2. 1.9 Million Alabama Residents to Receive Tax Rebate

1.9 million Alabama residents -- a large proportion of the state's approximately 5 million people -- are set to receive one-time tax rebates beginning in November. Huntsville news network CBS 19 shared that funds are a result of May 2023 legislation, and will yield $150 rebates for single filers and $300 dollars for married couples. 

Frank Miles, Alabama Department of Revenue, spokesperson told the outlet, “The state had a bit of a surplus. I think part of it was the federal funds they got. I do believe that some revenue also increased over that time, so for whatever reason they had a surplus… In order to help the average taxpayer in Alabama, here’s a little something to hopefully get your holiday started off well."

To qualify, taxpayers must have filed a state return for 2021 on or before October 17, 2022.

3. Portland "Homeless Tax" Could Bring $1 Billion Revenue Boon

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Portland, Oregon has been experiencing a homeless crisis for several years. In May of this year, city officials confirmed that the city was dealing with "chronic homelessness," as about 7,500 people across the metro area were unhoused.

Now, the voter-approved "homeless tax" could help combat this issue by bringing in nearly $1 billion in unexpected revenue over the next six years. According to a new report from OPB, the levy -- which expires in 2031 -- is now estimated to bring in approximately $437 million annually by 2029. This is an increase from an initial estimate of $250 million a year.

The original approximation would have brought in $1.5 billion for regional homeless service programs. Now, that estimate has nearly doubled to $2.4 billion -- meaning city officials may have an extra billion dollars to assist those in need.

This tax was approved voters in 2020, with revenue coming from two sources: A 1% income tax on individuals earning more than $125,000 a year and a 1% tax on net income for businesses earning over $5 million in revenue annually. The funds are distributed evenly among Oregon's Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties.

4. IRS Warns Taxpayers to Beware of Fake Charities

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a warning for taxpayers to beware of fake charities as we head into November. Between the holiday season, including Giving Tuesday, and numerous humanitarian crises worldwide, there is a great deal of potential for scammers to try to capitalize on vulnerable, but well-meaning, individuals. 

In an official release, the IRS noted:

“ ”


Those who wish to make donations should use the Tax-Exempt Organization Search (TEOS) tool on to help find or verify qualified, legitimate charities.

With the TEOS, people can:

  • Verify the legitimacy of a charity
  • Check its eligibility to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions
  • Search for information about an organization's tax-exempt status and filings

5. Nebraska Gov. Launches Search For Tax Property Tax Administrator

Credit: Georgeta Olaru/500px/Getty Images

Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen has launched a statewide search for a new property tax administrator. The Governor's Office shared that the opening follows the retirement of Ruth Sorensen, who was appointed to the role in 2007, by then-Governor Dave Heineman. Ms. Sorenson's last day on the job will be November 22, 2023.

Applications can be submitted through 5:00 p.m. CST on Friday, November 10. Interested parties can apply on the Governor’s website or by mail to: Office of the Governor, P.O. Box 94848, Lincoln, NE 68509-4848.

While it is likely that the post will be awarded to a Nebraskan, residents of other states can also apply.

Which headline this week most interests you?

Feature Image Credit: Luís Henrique Boucault/Getty Images

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Rebekah Barton

Rebekah Barton

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