Inside these posts: Income tax

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Tax deadline arrives, 96M have already filed

You had three extra days to file your taxes this year, but the time has finally come to hand over your paperwork to Uncle Sam. The IRS has already processed nearly 96 million tax returns this season, according to the agency’s latest filing statistics. That’s a 2.8 percent increase from this same time last year. Get the full story »

White House unveils ‘receipt’ for taxes you pay

On the eve of tax day, the White House unveiled a new online tool that estimates how much of an individual’s taxes pay for things such as war, NASA and the interest on the deficit.

However, the online calculator obscures how much of an individual’s tax dollars goes to a controversial expense that Republicans have been railing about — bailing out government-owned mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — by lumping it with other expense such as commerce, transportation and government administration. Get the full story »

Taxpayers plan to save, pay bills with refunds

More taxpayers this year are choosing to save rather than spend.

A survey by job website CareerBuilder found that 46 percent of taxpayers who will receive tax refunds plan to use them to pay off bills, down from 56 percent who had those intentions last year. Meanwhile, 36 percent plan to put the funds into their savings accounts, up from 34 percent last year. Get the full story »

Most tax audits done by mail

Of the more than 1.6 million Americans who were slapped with audits last year, 78 percent dealt with correspondence audits, while only 22 percent were asked to come in for an in-person examination. Get the full story »

April 12 this year’s tax freedom day

This year’s “Tax Freedom Day” was pushed back three days to April 12 because of rising income taxes that accompany rising income, the Tax Foundation said.

With Americans spending an average of 28 percent of their income to pay federal, state and local taxes this year, they will need to work 102 days — more than three months — to earn enough to pay their tax bill. Get the full story »

Tax preparers don’t always get FAFSA right

Beware if you turn to an expert with your FAFSA, or the college financial aid form that many parents are now rushing to complete before February and March deadlines.

The typical tax professional that helps you with your tax return may not be equipped to maximize your financial aid. In fact, your tax preparer might inadvertently undermine your chances of getting aid.

Jackson Hewitt sues H&R Block over ‘false’ ads

Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. sued H&R Block Inc to stop a new advertising campaign that it said misleads customers about tax refund loans and disparages Jackson Hewitt’s competence. Get the full story »

New Jersey campaign courts Illinois business

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in ad targeting Illinois businesses.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration thinks there’s business to be had — from Illinois.

The governor is launching an ad campaign encouraging businesses in Illinois to relocate to the Garden State. An official announcement from the Christie administration is planned for Tuesday, when ads will start appearing in newspapers and on radio stations in major Illinois cities like Chicago and Springfield. Get the full story »

Northern Trust CEO: Ill. must tackle spending

The chief executive of Chicago’s biggest homegrown bank says the city’s business community expected the state to hike taxes, but that the Illinois legislature needs to also quickly address spending that’s contributing to deep budget deficits.

Illinois’ corporate income tax rate recently rose from 4.8 percent to 7 percent. Earlier this week Northern Trust Corp. said it expects the tax hike to reduce its earnings by about $4 million a year. Get the full story »

Ill. tax hike to cost Northern Trust $13.5M in ‘11

On the heels of disappointing fourth-quarter earnings that drove its stock down 5.7 percent Wednesday, Northern Trust Corp., Chicago’s biggest locally headquartered bank, said the recently announced hike on Illinois business taxes will reduce its profits by an estimated $4 million a year starting in 2012.

“If it doesn’t get vetoed, and we don’t think it will,” Northern Chief Financial Officer William Morrison said during an hour-long conference call to discuss fourth quarter results. Get the full story »

Gov. Quinn signs income tax increase

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn today signed a major income tax increase the Legislature passed earlier this week.

Treasury program gives tax refund on a debit card

The U.S. Treasury said on Thursday it is launching a pilot program to deliver income tax refunds on debit cards for low- and moderate-income people who do not have traditional bank accounts.

The Visa prepaid debit cards are designed to allow these taxpayers to receive their refunds much faster than with a paper check and avoid high fees for cashing those checks at currency exchanges or payday loan stores. Get the full story »

Illinois business leaders bristle at tax hike plan

Caterpillar is one of Illinois' biggest employers. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, file)

Illinois companies hit by an extended economic downturn say the state’s proposed remedy to its own financial crisis — a beefy tax increase — will deplete investment in local businesses, trigger job losses and force companies to leave the state.

The state is home to some of the biggest and best-known U.S. companies, including three components of the Dow Jones industrial average — Boeing, Caterpillar and McDonald’s.

An income tax increase that passed the Illinois Legislature Wednesday would raise the individual income tax rate temporarily to 5 percent from 3 percent and the corporate tax rate to 7 percent from 4.8 percent. Get the full story »

Tax deduction for mortgages may be in jeopardy

Nearly a century after coming into existence, the mortgage deduction may face a day of reckoning. Although out of the spotlight while the lame-duck Congress thrashes to an end, the mortgage deduction issue is likely to resurface next year when the new Congress — including a lot more deficit-hawk Republicans — takes over.

In part, the hoary deduction has a target on its back as a result of policymakers rethinking the whole issue of homeownership. In the wake of the havoc that followed the latest housing bust — a calamity that still shadows the U.S. economy and will for years to come — it’s no longer so clear that near-universal homeownership should be a paramount goal. Get the full story »

Obama signs bill extending Bush tax cuts

President Barack Obama signed into law a huge, holiday-season tax bill extending cuts for all Americans on Friday, saluting a new spirit of political compromise as Republicans applauded and liberals seethed. The benefits range from tax cuts for millionaires and the middle class to longer help for the jobless. Get the full story »