Taxes

The old saying goes, "Nothing is certain except death and taxes." But the Affordable Care Act has added a new wrinkle.

For many policyholders, the ACA has introduced a good deal of uncertainty about their tax bills. That has led to surprise refunds for some and higher-than-expected tax payments for others.

FRANKFORT — In his final State of the Commonwealth address, Gov. Steve Beshear celebrated many of his major policy accomplishments during his tenure and called on lawmakers to continue moving the 2015 session toward job-creation initiatives.

The over-riding theme of Wednesday evening’s address was Beshear’s advocacy for workforce development in Kentucky, and the four ways he says he’s strengthened it: early childhood development, education reform, affordable healthcare, and low taxes.

The Internal Revenue Service has warned of tax season chaos if Congress fails to pass a series of breaks by the end of November. The so-called tax extenders include everything from deductions for school teachers who buy classroom supplies to faster depreciation for business equipmentent.

From NPR: Almost nobody is paying the use tax. It’s for all those online purchases you didn’t pay state sales tax for last year. In fact, accountants are about the only ones who went through the trouble of sifting through all their receipts to calculate it.

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It’s tax day and a busy one at the Kentucky Revenue Department. State Division of Individual Income Director Bruce Nix says some 1.3 million state tax returns have already been filed, but another 400,ooo could arrive today.  For taxpayers who need more time, Nix says filing for an extension with the IRS is all that’s required in Kentucky.

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One week from today is the tax filing deadline. More than one million of the expected 1.8 million Kentucky returns have been filed and processed. 

Pamela Trautner in the Kentucky Finance Cabinet said the vast majority of taxpayers are filing their returns electronically.

“Electronic filing has grown in popularity since Kentucky implemented that in 2003,” she said. “I think that year there were 50 percent who filed online. Last year there were 77 percent.”

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April 18 is National Tax Freedom Day, the point at which Americans will have earned enough money to pay this year's tax obligations at the local, state and federal levels. Elizabeth Malm is an economist with the Washington-based Tax Foundation. She said Americans this year will work five days later than in 2012 to pay all their taxes.

From NPR: Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is doing his best to eliminate income taxes in his state. But to get rid of the old he’s going to have to do something radically un-Republican: raise other taxes.

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A new report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy shows a big gap between Kentucky’s income levels on who pays taxes. The report says Kentucky’s top 1 percent income bracket pays roughly 5 percent of the state’s income, while the bottom 20 percent pays 9 percent.

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Although the tax agreement preventing the fiscal cliff has passed in both the House and Senate, Kentucky congressmen remain divided on the issue. In the Senate, minority leader Mitch McConnell who was heavily involved in the negotiations voted yes while small-government proponent Rand Paul voted no. Kentucky’s representatives in the House were also equally divided. Both Democrats Ben Chandler and John Yarmuth along with Republican Harold Rogers supported the tax increase on the wealthiest of Americans. Republicans Ed Whitfield, Brett Guthrie and Thomas Massie all voted against the measure.

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