IRS needs more staff to help tax filers

first_img“It cannot answer the phone calls it currently receives, much less the phone calls it can expect to receive in light of tax reform, without adequate funding.”Indeed, the new tax law could prompt a wave of confusion that the IRS is ill-prepared to handle.The agency estimates it needs about $500 million just to change computer programs, update forms, write new regulations and answer questions stemming from the bill.After the 1986 tax reform, agency call volume spiked, and the number of returns that required corrections also ticked up, and it is fair to expect the same now. Though the IRS has tried to improve its phone service recently, even before the tax law passed it anticipated that fewer than half of callers would obtain help from a live person this year.Given the complexity of the new law, many people will have questions that are more than basic.“Taxpayers who want to learn about how the tax law affects them are left searching about 140,000 web pages on IRS.gov or turning to paid professionals,” Olson wrote. Worried that you won’t be able to fill out your returns correctly under the new tax law?Do not take it out on the poor IRS employee who could not answer your tax question, even after you spent a half-hour on hold.Blame the GOP-led Congress, which, in its anti-IRS fervor, has driven the agency into the ground. It has become one of the most reliable traditions in contemporary Washington.Every year, the national taxpayer advocate explains that under-funding the IRS makes the tax filing process unnecessarily miserable for those who follow the law, while rewarding those who flout it.And every year, the Republican-led Congress decides to keep the tax system unnecessarily miserable for the law-abiding and easier on the lawbreakers.“Funding cuts have rendered the IRS unable to provide acceptable levels of taxpayer service, unable to upgrade its technology to improve its efficiency and effectiveness, and unable to maintain compliance programs,” national taxpayer advocate Nina Olson wrote in her annual report to lawmakers. Categories: Editorial, OpinionThe following editorial appeared in The Washington Post.Hate the Internal Revenue Service?center_img While the taxpayer advocate argued that the IRS could do more with less, there is no doubt that underfunding is a key driver of the dysfunction.Congress has cut the agency’s budget by some $300 million since 2009, a bit under 3 percent.During that time, lawmakers have saddled the IRS with responsibility to oversee the phase-in of a new health-care law and, now, a major tax overhaul. Can’t the IRS — and the Americans it is supposed to serve — just cope?“On the surface, it appears ‘customers’ (taxpayers) don’t have a choice about seeking another tax agency to work with — there are no competitors to which they can move their ‘business,’” Olson wrote.“In fact, however, there is a competitor, and it is the lure of noncompliance. If the IRS isn’t going to provide you the assistance you need in the manner you need it, then why bother complying with the tax laws?” More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Kingston District Council to Dispose of Surplus Dredger

first_imgThe Kingston District Council, South Australia, has agreed to dispose of its original cutter suction dredger following a unanimous decision at their September meeting. In making this decision, Mayor Kay Rasheed said that “it simply came down to the fact that the vessel is no longer able to be effectively utilized.”Given the significant increase and change in material accumulation, primarily the seagrass wrack within the Maria Creek, the original dredge is not capable in successfully removing this material, according to the council.This is compounded by the fact that there is no engineering or specifications on the vessel and the environmental impact is unable to appropriately be assessed by the relevant authorities.Disposing of the dredger will provide an opportunity to consolidate marine assets and operate only one, particularly given the council’s current position to focus on a long-term sustainable solution for the boat launching facility at Maria Creek.Mayor Rasheed indicated that this process took a step forward at the September meeting, with the council agreeing to proceed to Stage 1 – detailed concept design.This follows receipt of Tonkin Consulting’s scope of work brief which will see the council seeking quotations for a scientifically proven concept design for alterations to the existing structures.last_img read more

Rowe Park Rumbles for Maiden GOtv Boxing Mini

first_imgIn a bid t to provide more frequent opportunities for boxers for them to get the requisite number of fights to make them eligible for sub-regional, continental and international title bouts, Flykite Promotions has birthed GOtv Boxing Mini.According to the CEO of the promotion company, Jenkins Alumona, “Our boxers have, despite the best efforts of GOtv Boxing Night, inadequate opportunities to fight and build their fight records, which they need to become eligible for international titles. GOtv Boxing Night Mini, which will be staged with more frequency than the main event, will address this challenge.”Meanwhile, boxers billed to fight at the maiden edition of GOtv Boxing Night Mini have been talking tough ahead of the event billed to hold today at the Rowe Park Sports Complex, Yaba, Lagos. Rilwan “Real One” Oladosu, who is billed to take on Ola Adebakin in a national lightweight challenge, declared himself ready, willing and able to see off his opponent without fuss.“I am unstoppable. Tell Adebakin that he will see hell. I don’t even need to exert myself. I’m sufficiently prepared and he’d feel the full force of my preparation,” he said.The lesser known Adebakin, however, responded that while he was an underdog, he would show Oladosu that underdogs could bite and dangerously, too. He bragged that he would inflict on the WABU champion his first defeat as a professional.  “Real One might be better known, but that will count for nothing when we step into the ring. He isn’t familiar with me, but  I know him well, including his weaknesses. I’m ready to exploit this and put him where he belongs: on the canvas,” he bragged.WABU welterweight champion, Rilwan “Baby Face” Babatunde, is also in war mood,  issuing a strong warning to his opponent, Dennis “The Range” Mba. He said he had seen media reports quoting Mba as threatening him with defeat, something for which he would make him pay. “I’ve seen him boast in media reports, but he’ll be sorry at the end of the fight. He’d be treated like every other opponent who’s been foolish enough to face me,” he raved. Waheed “Showmax” Shogbamu and Semiu “Jagaban” Olopade have similarly swapped boasts, with the former vowing to leave his opponent in tears and blood.Also, Ogunsemilore, who is billed to take on take on Omowunmi “Mummy’s Pet” Akinsanya in a national super featherweight challenge, said she expects to win the bout and improve her fight record.“I am well prepared for this fight and I am primed to ensure Akinsanya continues to remain a “Mummy’s Pet” in the ring. I really need the win in order to show that my nascent boxing career is really progressing,” she said.Meanwhile, organisers of the maiden edition of GOtv Boxing Night Mini, have assured fans going to the event today of adequate security.Speaking on the event, Alumona, said necessary arrangements had been put in place to ensure the safety of the boxers, officials and the fans at the event venue.“Preparations have been put in place regarding top-level security. This is the inaugural edition of GOtv Boxing Night Mini and it is important that from this very edition we prioritise the security of everyone who will be at the venue,” he said. Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Official: Aston Villa sign Carlos Sanchez

first_imgAston Villa have completed the signing of midfielder Carlos Sanchez from Elche on a four-year deal.The Colombia international joins Paul Lambert’s side on the eve of their opening game of the Premier League season at Stoke City as they look to improve on a 15th-placed finish in 2013-14.And the 28-year-old admitted he is looking forward to plying his trade in England after seeing compatriot and former Villa striker Juan Pablo Angel succeed on his arrival in the Midlands.”I’m delighted to be here, it’s something I have always dreamed of and it is very important for me to be here at Aston Villa, not only for me but for my family as well,” he told the club’s official website.”It was always my aim to play in this country and in this league and I know Villa well as Juan Pablo also played here. I began to watch Villa games when he came in 2001. He was a goalscorer who was very important to this club and I followed his time here because he was always scoring goals.”Lambert has praised the midifielder’s eye for a tackle as he looks to add some steel to his side ahead of the new season. “He does the simple things really well and he’s excellent at spotting the danger, dealing with it and keeping it simple. His physical strength, too, is something we will benefit from in the middle of the pitch and his role will be a really important one for the team,” he said.”We’ve beaten other teams to bring him here to Villa and I’m delighted as we needed someone of his ilk to come in. He’ll be an excellent player for the club.”Sanchez started four out of five games for his country in the World Cup in Brazil and moves to Villa Park after just one season in La Liga with Elche.last_img read more

Bombers edged by Wellington at AA Boy’s Basketball Championships

first_imgThe J. Lloyd Crowe Hawks took it on the chin again at the B.C. High School AA Girl’s Basketball tournament in KamloopsNotre Dame outscored the Hawks 32-5 in the first half en route to a 77-27 decision on Day two of the tournament.Maddie Van Horn and Angela Hamilton scored eight and seven points, respectively, to lead the Hawks.Crowe is back on the court Friday in consolation play against Abbey Christian of Abbotsford.Game time is 9 a.m.Cats overwhelmed by Glen Lyon Norfolk Mount Sentinel Wildcats saw Glen Lyon Norfolk of Victoria scored 33 first-quarter points to blast the Kootenay reps 88-36 at the B.C. High School A Boy’s Basketball event at the University of the Fraser Valley.Devon Kabatoff led the Cats with 12 points while Joe Roshinsky was name the Cats game MVP. Tyler Radelja scored a game-high 27 points to lead Wellington from Vancouver Island to a 69-60 win over the L.V. Rogers Bombers on Day two at the B.C. High School AA Boy’s Basketball Championships Thursday in Kamloops.The loss drops the Bombers to 0-2 in the 16-team tournament.The game was close throughout with Wellington holding quarter leads of 15-13, 38-31 and 55-49.Jesse Zak and LVR Player of the game Matt Zukowski each led the Bombers with 20 points.LVR now meets Charles Hayes in consolation round action Friday.Hawks drop second straight at Girl’s AA tournamentlast_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast, February 13, 2019

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Windy conditions dominate as we start off today, bringing colder air in over the state. We continue to see light snow over the northern part of the state, and that snow will be ending by midday in most area. We won’t rule out fresh coating to half an inch this morning in areas from US 30 northward, but that snow will be ending from west to east. Lake effect snow will be likely in northern Ohio, particularly in NE Ohio, where we could see another 1-4 inches with the lake enhancement. Blowing snow may also end up being more of a problem than fresh snow in many northern areas today. We should see partly to mostly sunny skies across the rest of the state today, and that same sky condition will funnel in behind the snow as it ends in the north. Wind should subside this afternoon. We stay mostly sunny tomorrow, but chilly. On Friday, we see clouds increasing statewide. A southern track for the low pressure system we have been talking about all week is starting to take shape. However, it also is delaying its arrival just a bit, so clouds build through the day in the south, while the northern half of Ohio likely turns out rather nice for most of the day .We can see snow start to develop in far southern parts of the state late Friday evening toward midnight and then continues trough mid morning Saturday. The current track keeps most of the southern half of the state in light snow, and the heaviest action will be near the Ohio River. Right now we would put most of the snow in a coating to 2 inch range, and say near the river, particularly in south central Ohio, 2-6 inches. The heavier moisture laden part of the system stays just south of the state line.  Cold air stays behind this system. Windy and colder for the balance of Saturday, with partly to mostly sunny skies emerging. On Sunday, clouds are back, and we will see some light snow. We expect a coating to 2 inches over 70% of the state from Sunday midnight through early morning Monday. However, later Monday we try to turn out mostly sunny and cold for President’s Day. We still expect some sub-zero lows for the morning of Presidents day. Tuesday the 19th clouds increase. Snow develops in central parts of the state mid to late afternoon with rain farther south. Then the snow spreads north through the overnight and into Wednesday. On Wednesday snow will be ending, but not before leaving some additional accumulation in the far northern part of the state. We think that most of the northern two thirds of the stat can see 1”-3” of snow combined for the Tuesday-Wednesday AM period, and areas from US 30 northward may add another coating to an inch early Wednesday before the snow ends. The map at right shows potential snow totals from this event. Keep in mind this is a week out…and plenty can change. Clouds will give way to sun for the balance of Wednesday. Thursday and Friday turn out mostly sunny. In the extended period, a quick burst of snow can fall in the overnight next Friday night into early Saturday, bringing a coating to 3 inches to the northern part of the state, nothing south. Then we see rain from Sunday afternoon through Monday, with liquid equivalent precipitation totals of .25”- .75” and coverage at 90%. Colder air follows that system, and we could see snows over the northern part of the state for late the 26th and again late the 27th.last_img read more

The Spin Masters

first_imgThis World Cup is for the batsmen. A par score for the top teams is going to be 300 runs in 50 overs, and even that is going to be tough to defend when two quality sides meet. The Netherlands did well to score 292 against England, but, as far as I am concerned, it will take more than just a good total for any of the bottom four teams to cause an upset in this Cup.S SreesanthThe India vs Bangladesh game was a great start to the World Cup. It had an atmosphere of a “big game” to it. India were under pressure, having been knocked out of the last World Cup by Bangladesh, but Virender Sehwag was able to alleviate that pressure by hitting the first ball of the innings for a boundary, and from then on, he and India never looked back. Sehwag made a huge statement with his 175, which made this World Cup come alive for me. Virat Kohli at No. 4 scored a century and made it look easy. He will be a high-class player for India in the future. The Indian batting looks long and strong to me, but I couldn’t understand some of the bowling decisions. India’s bowling strength lies in its spinners and I would rather see R. Ashwin or Piyush Chawla play than a third seamer. Even though I like S. Sreesanth very much as he is a character, one-day cricket is about keeping calm and being thoughtful. Sreesanth needs to mature more as a person and as a cricketer. I would pick Ashwin or Chawla instead, especially for the clash against England on February 27.The fielding in this World Cup so far hasn’t been top class and both India and England will need to improve on this score. England seemed to have lost the plot in the last 15 overs of the Netherlands innings with dropped catches and wrong field placements. They need to plan better for their biggest group clash in this tournament when they meet India at Bangalore.advertisementOne doesn’t know how the Bangalore pitch will behave but England will no doubt prefer the conditions in Bangalore over Kolkata. I like the fact that England have opted for the Kevin Pietersen-Andrew Strauss opening combination. That’s a message to Pietersen that England looks up to him as a great player and need him to fire for the team to have a chance at lifting the Cup. The right-left-handed opening combination can be a huge asset as the fielding side will always be under pressure if the duo build a long partnership. England’s batting order looks strong, but it’s their bowling combination that they need to work on. They would probably want Mike Yardy at the cost of a pacer.Sri Lanka looked every bit as solid at home in their one-sided clash with Canada. With their opening pair of Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan, who are dashing one-day openers, followed by the class and experience of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, and the finishing abilities of Angelo Mathews in the middle order, theirs is a very strong batting line-up. Canada really didn’t have a chance.Australia look strong and though they beat Zimbabwe comfortably, they look like one batsman short without Michael Hussey who is injured. Mitchell Johnson bowled well and is a match-winning all-rounder in one-day cricket, and along with Shane Watson, Australia have two leading all-rounders in this World Cup. Zimbabwe have recently been a more consistent performer at the international level. They have had quality players in the past and also have a good production line for the future. Their combination of captain Elton Chigumbura and coach Allan Butcher is working well. I will not be surprised if they cause an upset in this tournament.The format of the World Cup is much too long to funnel out the bottom teams and I welcome the plan to have eight top teams and two “minnows” in the next edition, though it might not go down well with those teams that don’t make it. But that will make cricket more exciting for fans and sponsors.I am looking forward to the match at Bangalore. May the best team win, as long as it’s England.- Nasser Hussain is a former captain of the England cricket team. Syndicated by Sporting Excellencelast_img read more