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TaxBuzz Top 5 - Trump Tax Return Leak, Americans Fail to Pay Record Amount to IRS, & More

TaxBuzz Top 5 - Trump Tax Return Leak, Americans Fail to Pay Record Amount to IRS, & 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 Consultant Admits to Leaking Trump Tax Returns

Credit: Joe Raedle/Staff/Getty Images

Yesterday, October 12, former IRS contractor Charles Littlejohn, 38, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty to disclosing tax return information without authorization. Specifically, Littlejohn leaked details from former President Donald Trump's tax return documents. 

In an official release from U.S. Department of Justice, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said, "By using his role as a government contractor to gain access to private tax information, steal that information, and disclose it publicly, Charles Littlejohn broke federal law and betrayed the public’s trust. In every case, the Department of Justice is committed to following the facts wherever they lead and holding accountable those who violate our laws.”

In July and August 2020, Littlejohn stole tax return information from thousands of the wealthiest individuals in the United States. IRS officials did not detect his actions at the time. Littlejohn subsequently sold the stolen personal details to news organizations. 

He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 29, 2024.

2. Americans Fail to Pay Record $688 Billion In Taxes

In tax year 2021, Americans didn’t pay an estimated $688 billion in taxes due. Per the Wall Street Journal, this is the largest shortfall in history.

The Internal Revenue Services has indicated that they have plans to reduce this number due to new audits and enforcement protocols. An official release notes that these efforts are "projected to generate an additional $63 billion on tax year 2021 returns, resulting in a projected net tax gap of $625 billion."

The agency also noted that these current projects "cannot fully represent noncompliance" in specific cases, including potentially illegal offshore financial activities, some cryptocurrency behaviors, and some types of corporate income. Federal authorities are working on ways to better monitor these sorts of tax noncompliance.

3. IRS Says Microsoft Owes $29 Billion In Back Taxes

Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In keeping with the IRS's commitment to crack down on wealthy individuals and corporations that have avoided paying taxes, the agency has notified Microsoft that it owes approximately $29 billion in back taxes. 

The software giant, founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975, disputes the claim and says it will contest the IRS in court, if needed. According to a CNBC report, the allegations involve the company's profits in specific counties and jurisdictions between 2004 and 2013.

“Microsoft disagrees with these proposed adjustments and will pursue an appeal within the IRS, a process expected to take several years,” Microsoft said in its filing. “We believe we have always followed the IRS’s rules and paid the taxes we owe in the U.S. and around the world.”

4. Ohio House Passes Property Tax Relief Bill

The Ohio House of Representatives passed the Ohio Homeowners Relief Act by a narrow margin this week. The bill, introduced by Thomas Hall (R-Butler County) and Adam Bird (R-Clermont County) in May, is designed to modify the processes the Tax Commissioner uses to conduct property tax sales assessment ratio studies.

Hall told Butler County's Journal-News, “This critical legislation came as a result of recent increases in property valuations, all resulting in steep property tax increases throughout several Ohio counties …,” Hall said. “There is no doubt that this projected increase would hurt the vast majority of my constituents.”

The bill, known as HB187, must still pass the Senate and be signed into law by the Governor before being enacted.

5. Feminine Hygiene Companies Form Coalition to Reimburse "Pink Tax"

Credit: Liudmila Chernetska/Getty Images

Multiple companies that manufacture feminine hygiene products have banded together to reimburse buyers for the so-called "tampon tax" or "pink tax."

The "Tampon Tax Back Coalition" website states: 

21 states still tax period products as “non-essential goods,” meanwhile products like Rogaine and Viagra are considered medical necessities....

...we have come together as collaborators, rather than competitors, to collectively take a stand against the tampon tax. The #TamponTaxBack initiative was started by August in May of 2023, and within just a few months, this coalition was built to expand its impact.

So if you’re buying from any of the participating brands (August, Cora, DIVA, Here We Flo, The Honey Pot, LOLA, Saalt, Rael), we’ll reimburse you for any tampon tax you pay.

Visit the group's official website to learn more about getting reimbursed.

Which of these headlines are you most interested in?

Feature Image Credit: Joe Raedle/Staff/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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