Friday, February 22, 2013


House Bill 386 was passed by the 2012 Georgia General Assembly and provides for a new method of taxation for certain motor vehicles effective March 1, 2013.

Effective March 1, 2013 House Bill 386 removes both sales tax and annual ad valorem taxes for vehicles purchased March 1, 2013 and thereafter, replacing them with a single, one-time TITLE AD VALOREM TAX.
Calculated as a percentage of the vehicle’s FMV (fair market value), the new tax rate will be 6.5% of FMV for vehicles purchased 03/01/13 through 12/31/13, increasing to 6.75% for vehicles purchased 01/01/14 through 12/31/2014, to 7% for those purchased 01/01/15 and beyond.
For more information regarding the new Title Ad Valorem Tax, please visit the Georgia Department of Revenue’s FAQ page by clicking the following link:
·         If you purchase a vehicle on or after March 1, 2013, you will pay the new Title Ad Valorem Tax to the Tag Office in your County of residence at the time of title application & registration.

·         The title tax is not annual, and is charged only when the vehicle is re-sold and titled.

·         PLEASE NOTE:  The new Title Ad Valorem Tax will apply to vehicles purchased from a dealership as well as those purchased from an individual (private sales).

·         The new title tax is based on a percentage (6.5% in 2013) of the vehicle’s fair market value, not the sales price, as determined by the Georgia Department of Revenue.


·         Citizens who purchase a vehicle in the State of Georgia between January 1, 2012 and February 28, 2013 may be eligible to opt-in and pay the new “Title Ad Valorem Tax” on the vehicle during the opt-in period of March 01, 2013 thru December 31, 2013. 

·         Qualifying citizens who choose to opt-in will receive a credit (up-to the Title Ad Valorem Tax amount) for sales tax paid when the vehicle was purchased, as well as any previously-paid annual ad valorem taxes.  Any balance remaining after the credit is applied would need to be paid to opt-in.

 If choosing to opt-in, please be sure to bring all pertinent documentation from the vehicle’s purchase (purchasing agreement, bill of sale, etc) when you visit our office to pay.

·         Those wishing to do a cost estimate prior to determining to opt-in may do so by using the Georgia Department of Revenue’s Cost Estimator, found on their website via the following link:
To opt-in please visit Forsyth County Tax Assessors between March 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013 at either of their locations:
OFFICE HOURS: 8:30am - 5:00pm, Monday-Friday (excluding holidays)
PAYMENT OPTIONS: Cash, Check, Debit Card ($1.00 convenience fee for debit card transactions)
PHONE:  770.781.2112
1092 Tribble Gap Rd
Cumming, GA 30040 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

IRS allows truncated taxpayer ID numbers in effort to curb identity theft


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15 common words that are (probably) made up | Articles | Home

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$100 bill's new facelift goes awry - CNBC TV

updated 12/6/2010 2:47:42 PM ET

$100 bill's new facelift goes awry—CNBC


A significant production problem with new high-tech $100 bills has caused government printers to shut down production of the new notes and to quarantine more than one billion of the bills in huge vaults in Fort Worth, Texas and Washington, CNBC has learned.

Initially scheduled for release in February of 2011, the new bills were announced with great fanfare by officials at the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve in April.

At the time, officials announced the new bills would incorporate sophisticated high-tech security features, including a 3-D security strip and a color-shifting image of a bell designed to foil counterfeiters.

But the production process is so complex, it has instead foiled the government printers tasked with producing billions of the new notes.

An official familiar with the situation told CNBC that 1.1 billion of the new bills have been printed, but they are unusable because of a creasing problem in which paper folds over during production, revealing a blank unlinked portion of the bill face.

A second person familiar with the situation said that at the height of the problem, as many as 30 percent of the bills rolling off the printing press included the flaw, leading to the production shut down.

The total face value of the unusable bills, $110 billion, represents more than ten percent of the entire supply of U.S. currency on the planet, which a government source said is $930 billion in banknotes. For now, the unusable bills are stored in the vaults in "cash packs" of four bundles of 4,000 each, with each pack containing 16,000 bills.

Officials don't know exactly what caused the problem. "There is something drastically wrong here," a person familiar with the situation said. "The frustration level is off the charts."

Because officials don't know how many of the 1.1 billion bills include the flaw, they have to hold them in the massive vaults until they are able to develop a mechanized system that can sort out the usable bills from the defects.

Sorting such a huge quantity of bills by hand, the officials estimate, could take between 20 and 30 years. Using a mechanized system, they think they could sort the massive pile of bills, each of which features the familiar image of Benjamin Franklin on the face, in about one year.

The defective bills – which could number into the tens of millions, potentially representing billions of dollars in face value – will have to be burned, they say. American taxpayers have already spent an enormous amount of money to print the bills.

According to a person familiar with the matter, the bills are the most costly ever produced, with a per-note cost of about 12 cents – twice the cost of a conventional bill. That means the government spent about $120 million to produce bills it can't use. On top of that, it is not yet clear how much more it will cost to sort the existing horde of hundred dollar bills.

Officials say they remain optimistic that the majority of the 1.1 billion bills will eventually be cleared for circulation.

The problem with the new hundred-dollar bills has remained largely hidden from public view, despite a press release issued by the Federal Reserve on Oct. 1 that announced "a delay in the issue date" of the new bills and cited "a problem with sporadic creasing of the paper."

The redesigned bills are the first $100 bills to feature Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's signature. But to stave off a cash crunch as existing $100 bills deteriorate and can't be replaced, the Federal Reserve has ordered renewed production of the current-design $100 bills, which feature Bush Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's signature and do not have the new security features.

Officials say that is an important step, because there are 6.6 billion $100 notes in circulation at any given time, and they wear out quickly. Reprinting the current design bills will prevent any disruption in the global circulation of US currency.

The production of American banknotes is a convoluted process. The paper is manufactured by Crane & Company, which has continually supplied the government since 1879. Design and production of the bills is handled by the Department of Treasury and its Bureau of Engraving and Printing. But the currency is actually issued by the Federal Reserve, which is why the bills are emblazoned with the phrase "Federal Reserve Note."

Anti-counterfeiting measures
The new $100 note is the latest denomination of U.S. currency to be redesigned with special anti-counterfeiting features. Treasury first introduced the redesigned $20 note in 2003 and has also redesigned the $50, $10 and $5 notes.

The government says that more than a decade of research and development went into the new security features on the redesigned $100.

The bill features a blue, three dimensional security strip that pictures bells that change to 100s as the strip is tilted. The ribbon is woven into the paper, not printed on it, which is why it is the focus of speculation as a potential cause of the paper creasing problem on the printing presses. The note also features another color-shifting image, of a bell inside an inkwell. The bell shifts color from copper to green as the bill is tilted.

As part of the rollout effort for the new $100 bills, the government set up a website explaining the changes, which can be seen at this website.

After they were printed, officials discovered that some of the new bills have a vertical crease that, when the sides of the bill are pulled, unfolds and reveals a blank space on the face of the bill. At first glance, the bills appear completely printed, but they are not.

Officials have mixed views on what caused the problem, and who is responsible for it. "This is not about assigning blame," said one. But another person familiar with the matter said finger-pointing has already begun. "The Fed's very unhappy, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is taking a beating unnecessarily," the person said. "Somebody has to pay for this."

© 2012 CNBC, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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CNBC special report: The coffee addiction

CNBC special report: The coffee addiction

Today coffee is something more than a drink — fancier, tastier, pricier. It's a magic elixir that satisfies our collective craving and our addiction to caffeine. By CNBC's Scott Wapner.

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Happy Birthday, Income Tax

Happy Birthday, Income Tax

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.  [U.S. Constitution, 16th Amendment]

On February 3, 1913, Delaware became the 36th state to ratify the 16th amendment to the Constitution, which authorized the US Income Tax.  With 75 percent of the states in agreement (at the time, there were 48 states in the U.S.), the amendment became the law of the land.

Many legal scholars think that the Supreme Court erred when it struck down an earlier income tax and that it would have reversed itself if Congress had tried again.  So it's possible that the 16th amendment was unnecessary, but it did settle once and for all that the income tax is constitutional (except for a small group of tax protesters, who willfully ignore an overwhelming body of case law).

Immediately after ratification of the amendment, Congress created the first income tax.  The declaration form was four pages long, including instructions, and the top rate was 7 percent.  The tax applied only to  rich people: The personal exemption for single filers in 1913 was $3,000, equivalent to almost $70,000 in 2012; the exemption for couples was $4,000, or $93,000 in 2012$.

Incomes were also much lower back then.  In consequence, only 358,000 returns were filed in 1913.  (The IRS has a wealth of historical statistics about the income tax here.)

Nobody held tailgate parties to celebrate the income tax centenary nor did anyone lip sync the National Anthem on its behalf.  People do not love the income tax–at best they tolerate it.  It is complex, inefficient, unfair, and it is the biggest tax in a federal revenue system that has not come close to paying for federal spending for more than a decade.

But it's not as unpopular as Congress.  AEI economist Karlyn Bowman has produced a fascinating compendium of surveys of public attitudes toward taxation dating back to 1937.  The last time Americans were asked about the fairness of various federal taxes, 53 percent rated the income tax as fair to very fair.  Only payroll taxes and sin taxes (excise taxes on beer, wine, and cigarettes) rated higher.

What's more, most people's complaint is not that they pay too much federal income tax, but that the rich do not pay their fair share.  And most people think that the federal government wastes a lot of the money it collects.  In a 2005 survey, people were asked, "What bothers you more – how much you pay in taxes or how your taxes are spent?"  71 percent said that they were more concerned about spending than their tax burdens. Nonetheless, in September 2011, only 26 percent of respondents said they would favor lower taxes if it meant fewer public services.

The fact is that people mostly like the things that the income tax helps pay for–roads, courts, national defense, national parks, clear air and water and safe food, and a significant share of health programs for the elderly–even if they wish all those programs could be provided more efficiently.

A case in point: the major expansion of the income tax occurred because we needed to finance World War II.  Americans supported that unprecedented rise in tax burdens–when the income tax went from a "class tax" to a "mass tax"–because they overwhelmingly supported the war against fascism.  Although there's no way of knowing this with certainty, World War II might  have come out much differently if the United States were still reliant on excise taxes and tariffs as its primary source of revenue.

Americans mostly seem to favor a progressive tax system–and the income tax is highly progressive.  And they mostly do not want to leave a huge pile of debt for their children and grandchildren.

Winston Churchill once said that "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

The income tax is like that.  So I guess it's appropriate that our very imperfect democracy has a very imperfect individual income tax as its primary source of revenues.

Happy birthday, income tax.

Len Burman is coauthor with Joel Slemrod of Taxes in America:  What Everyone Needs to Know.

Follow me on twitter.

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Post Office to Change Mail Delivery Service

Post Office to Change Mail Delivery Service

Starting in August, the U.S. Postal Service will no longer deliver first-class mail on Saturdays. First-class mail includes bills, catalogs, letters, cards and other general correspondence.

Packages and express mail will still be delivered Saturdays.

Mail will still be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays, and Post Office locations currently open on Saturdays will remain open.

The change in service is expected to save the Postal Service $2 billion dollars annually.

The Postal Service is an independent government agency and does not receive tax money to support its operations. It relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

If you would like more information about the new mail delivery schedule, you can send questions and comments to the U.S. Postal Service.

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How Does the American Taxpayer Relief Act Affect You?

How Does the American Taxpayer Relief Act Affect You?

President Obama signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act on January 2, 2013. This new law addresses many of the "fiscal cliff" policies that were debated by Congress at the end of 2012. Learn about the law and how it could affect you.

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Federal Debt Basics

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