March 12, 2020: Tax News Roundup

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This week we have Intuit introducing a tax management platform, coronavirus cash transfers, the IRS announcing tax relief for tornado victims in Tennessee and much more. Check it out below.

IMF says governments should offer cash transfers, tax relief to ease coronavirus effects

Government policymakers will need to implement “substantial” targeted fiscal, monetary and financial market measures to combat the economic impact from the rapidly spreading coronavirus, International Monetary Fund chief economist Gita Gopinath said on Monday.

In a blog posting on the IMF’s website, Gopinath said her top recommendations involved putting cash directly into the hands of households and businesses. Broad interest rate cuts may instill confidence but would be effective in stimulating activity only once business conditions normalize, she added.

“Households and businesses hit by supply disruptions and a drop in demand could be targeted to receive cash transfers, wage subsidies, and tax relief, helping people to meet their needs and businesses to stay afloat,” Gopinath wrote. Continue reading.

Washington Senate votes to exempt menstrual products from retail sales tax

The Washington state Senate approved a bill Saturday to exempt menstrual products from the retail sales tax. The Senate voted 49-0 to approve SB 5147, which moves to the House.

A health impact review of the bill found that it would “likely increase affordability of access to and use of menstrual hygiene products, which would likely improve health outcomes and decrease health inequities by socioeconomic status for individuals who menstruate.” Continue reading.

Virginia General Assembly approves higher gas tax, speed cameras and cellphone ban

Drivers in Virginia will probably pay more at the gas pump starting this summer after lawmakers voted to raise the state gas tax for the first time in more than three decades.

The legislation, which Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is expected to sign, would add Virginia to the dozens of states across the country that have raised the tax in recent years to make up for losses in revenue because of lower gas prices and the proliferation of more fuel-efficient vehicles, among other things. Continue reading.

Intuit introduces tax practice management platform with Karbon

Intuit, maker of QuickBooks, has harnessed the popular app Karbon to create the new Intuit Practice Management, planned to be available for tax year 2020. With it, tax professionals will be able to navigate Intuit ProConnect Tax Online and Lacerte to scope work, automate data collection, scale client onboarding, anticipate bottlenecks and automate recurring work.

Karbon is a practice management solution and advanced work and communications platform designed to enable a collaborative place for accounting firms and professional services to manage workflows, communicate with teams and more. Continue reading.

IRS announces tax relief for victims of Tennessee storms

At least 24 people have been reported dead, dozens were injured, and tens of thousands were left without power following a series of storms in early March. The National Weather Service reported that at least six tornadoes hit middle Tennessee, including one with winds up to 175 mph (280 kph), reaching EF-4 strength.

In response, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that victims of the Tennessee storms will have until July 15, 2020, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. Continue reading.

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Liz Mason is a serial entrepreneur, a giant nerd, and an involved accounting vanguard. She is the Founder of High Rock Accounting, Rebel Rock Accounting, TheDepartment.Tax, and a few other related brands. Liz speaks on a national stage, guests stars on podcasts, and writes frequently. To further her passion for the advancement of the accounting profession, Liz currently serves as a Xero National Ambassador and as the Content Strategist for Tax Practice News. Liz started her career in tax at Grant Thornton (at 20) and automated a portion of her job landing her in the national tax practice. She spent a decade in large public accounting firms working on highly technical tax consulting before branching off on her own. Liz utilizes her creativity and passion at her company to uproot traditional practices and replace them with innovative concepts. She finds joy in efficient technology and her core belief is that everyone and everything can continuously improve (she says "be better" too often). When Liz isn't planning world domination in accounting, she is a die-hard skier, down for any adventure, plays the ukulele, reads everything, and has a good sense of humor. If you're looking for her, you can find her traveling the world and enjoying new food and cultures with her young son. Follow Liz and High Rock Accounting on Twitter at @LizzyNorMa and @HighRockCPAs.