GAO: IRS needs an IT update ASAP. In a recent analysis of the IRS’s information technology environment, the Government Accountability Office determined that about 33 percent of the agency’s applications were considered legacy and out-of-date. Some apps are between 25 and 64 years old, and some software is up to 15 versions behind the latest iterations. These old programs will continue to contribute to security risks, unmet mission needs, staffing issues and increased costs, the report says. GAO nine recommendations are described here.
Medicare’s financial mess is bigger than you think. TPC’s Gene Steuerle argues that Congress needs to address the financial aspect of Medicare reform more broadly. Funding for the program comes from 15 different revenue sources, which runs counter to the trust fund’s logic of requiring Congress to strike a balance between how much it wants to pay providers and how much it wants to collect from taxpayers. “Yeah [Congress] it’s just trying to rig the system one more time… it may just add to its long-term funding conundrum.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis could soon take over Disney’s tax zone. The company has managed the Reedy Creek Improvement District for more than 50 years, tax yourself to cover the cost to provide water, power, road and fire services to the area around its Orlando theme parks. In retaliation for Disney’s opposition to DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, the governor threatened to dissolve the district. Instead, by way of compromise, state lawmakers have proposed changing its name to the “Central Florida Tourism Oversight District” and allowing the governor to appoint the district’s five board members. The legislation could be put to a vote during a special two-week session that began this week.
Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi proposes tax cuts and simplification. This week he unveiled a plan that reduce individual and corporate taxes for $546 million annually. It would reduce the top individual rate from 33 to 30 percent and the marginal corporate rate from 37.5 percent to between 17 and 33 percent, depending on the size of the corporation. Puerto Rico’s oversight board and Congress would have to approve the measure.
Massachusetts legislator introduces tax credit for subscriptions to local newspapers. A state representative wants give taxpayers a $250 credit for their subscriptions to community-based media outlets that produce “original content derived from primary sources and related to news and current events” and employ at least one local journalist residing in the community. Northeastern University journalism professor Dan Kennedy questioned whether the proposal would be “more symbolic than substantive.”
In the UK, there is no increase in windfall tax. Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said he will not increase UK windfall tax about oil and gas companies. The opposition Labor Party has called for tax increases after Shell and BP posted record profits. The tax remains at 35 percent. Labor would prefer it to be as high as Norway’s rate of 78 percent, retroactive to 2022.
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