The $858-billion package includes a one-year extension on a tax credit that pays 45 cents per gallon for ethanol blended into gasoline, a move that’s estimated to cost about $6 billion. Congress also extended a tariff on foreign-made ethanol. Industry officials say the credits help ethanol stay competitive with oil and preserve jobs tied to ethanol plants.
The major national ethanol subsidy — called the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit, or VEETC — pays 45 cents per gallon to ethanol blenders. Ethanol supporters estimate that leads to a 4.5 cent per gallon decrease at the pump.The tax-cut package also extends credits for small ethanol producers and owners of alternative fuel vehicles. And it keeps a tariff of 54 cents per gallon on ethanol made outside the United States.
The IRS has recently added fraud involving the fuel tax credit to the list of frivolous tax claims being put forth by individuals and businesses. The credit has very defined criteria and applies generally to farmers and fisherman who use fuel for off-highway business purposes. There are some individuals who are trying to claim the credit when in fact their occupation or income level makes the claim unreasonable. If you attempt to claim a tax credit or refund, and it is not justified, you can be liable for up to $5,000 in penalties.
The tax credit is a possibility under the right, and narrowly defined circumstances. Basically, it works like this:
A federal excise tax is imposed on gasoline ($.184 per gallon), clear diesel fuel ($.244 per gallon), and clear kerosene ($.244 per gallon). The amount of these taxes may be credited or refunded if these fuels are used in many types of off-road uses. Common off-road uses include use as heating oil, use in stationary engines, use in non-highway vehicles, and use in separate engines mounted on highway vehicles. Continue reading
IRS has issued proposed regs designed to expand the making of electronic tax deposits. The regs would eliminate the use of paper-based federal tax deposit (FTD) coupons after 2010. The existing rules for making electronic deposits would otherwise generally remain unchanged.
Currently, taxpayers whose aggregate annual deposits of certain taxes exceed $200,000 are generally required to use Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) to make FTDs. Taxes taken into account in determining whether the $200,000 threshold has been met include withheld income and FICA taxes, corporate income and estimated taxes, certain taxes imposed on tax-exempt organizations, taxes withheld on nonresident aliens and foreign corporations, estimated taxes of certain trusts, FUTA taxes, and excise taxes, as well as others. Once taxpayers exceed the $200,000 threshold, they have a one–year grace period before being required to use EFT, and then they are required to use EFT in all later years even if their deposits fall below the threshold. The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) is the EFT system currently used by IRS to collect FTDs. Continue reading
WASHINGTON — As year end approaches, the Internal Revenue Service today strongly encouraged paid tax return preparers to register now for their new or renewed Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs) to avoid any last-minute rush.
Starting Jan. 1, 2011, use of the PTIN will be mandatory on all federal tax returns and claims for refund prepared by a paid tax preparer. Individuals who, for compensation, prepare all or substantially all of any federal tax return or claim for refund must use PTINs. Paid preparers must apply for a new or renewed PTIN through the new sign-up system at www.irs.gov/taxpros. Continue reading