Automated Filing, Tax Relief, And Sanctions

Study: IRS could prepare up to 48 percent of all tax returns. A new National Bureau of Economic Research paper finds the IRS could accurately pre-populate between 41 to 48 percent of individual income tax returns, between 62 and 73 million returns, using current-year information returns and the prior-year 1040. Researchers from Treasury, Dartmouth College, and the Minneapolis Fed used a large, national sample of tax year 2019 returns to evaluate the hypothetical policy. They also found that pre-populated returns could identify $9 billion in refunds due to 12 million (22 percent) of 2019 non-filers.

Texas voters amend the state constitution to cut property taxes. On Saturday, voters approved a measure to lower school taxes paid by homeowners 65 and older or with a disability, starting in 2023. Voters also increased the homestead exemption, which reduces the taxable value of a primary residence, retroactive to last Jan. 1.   

Floridians will enjoy tax relief, too. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed what he called “the largest middle-class tax relief package in the history of the state” on Friday. Consumers will get ten sales tax holidays over the coming year, beginning with a month-long gas tax holiday in October.  

US Treasury announces North Korea sanctions. On Friday, Treasury announced sanctions on Blender, an online cryptocurrency tool used by North Korea to steal and launder virtual currencies. It laundered $20 million from a $620 million heist led by Lazarus Group, a North Korean cyber operations unit the US already sanctioned. 

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