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Tax Refund

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BUSINESS
March 3, 2010
The number of consumers willing to spend their tax refunds to treat themselves is up slightly from a year ago, according to a retail trade group. About 13 percent of Americans expecting a refund said they plan to put the money toward a major purchase such as a television, furniture or car, according to the survey from the National Retail Federation. That figure is up from 11 percent in 2009. The most common uses for tax refunds, however, remain more mundane: paying down debt, building savings, and meeting daily living expenses, the survey said.
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NEWS
By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | March 24, 2014
An Anne Arundel County program that withholds tax refunds from people with outstanding warrants - and last year enticed hundreds of people to turn themselves in - could be expanded to Baltimore and possibly even statewide. The idea, tried by county Sheriff Ron Bateman, has produced impressive results. Last year, his office sent letters to 446 people with warrants, saying refunds wouldn't be mailed until they settled their legal issues. The result: 345 people - 77 percent of those notified - turned themselves in, including some who faced criminal charges for assault, drugs and prostitution.
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BUSINESS
By Susan Harrigan and Susan Harrigan,Newsday | December 31, 2006
Consumer advocates are upset about a type of tax refund-related loan they say is being marketed earlier and more widely than ever. The loans, arranged by tax preparers in partnership with banks, are based on the size of a consumer's expected tax refund. Called "pay-stub" loans because the refunds are estimated by looking at a recent paycheck, they are a variation of traditional refund anticipation loans. Those products aren't available until late January or early February, when employers send out W-2 forms reporting final wages, taxes withheld and other important information.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | May 19, 2013
When Anne Arundel County Sheriff Ron Bateman first suggested withholding state tax refunds from people who have open warrants nearly three years ago, critics said it was a foolish pursuit. "One of the criticisms I got was, 'How many criminals have jobs where they are going to get a tax refund?'" he recalled. He couldn't say. Now he can. "There were 396," he told the County Council during a recent budget hearing. This past tax season - the first with the program fully in effect - that's the number of letters the state comptroller's office sent, telling people if they wanted their money, they'd have to clear their open Anne Arundel County warrants.
BUSINESS
By Lorene Yue | May 30, 2004
If you are one of the millions of taxpayers who got a refund this year, you've probably been chided for giving the federal government an interest-free loan. You may view that refund, which has averaged $2,063, as an automatic savings plan, but it doesn't earn you a cent in interest. And if you would rather mind your own money, then you will want to reduce how much your employer withholds in federal taxes from your paycheck. At www.irs.gov, they'll do the calculations for you. You'll need a recent pay stub and your last income tax return.
NEWS
By David Nitkin and David Nitkin,SUN STAFF | September 4, 2001
THOSE FEDERAL tax refund checks -- the most tangible early accomplishment of President Bush -- are landing with a predictable thud in the mailboxes of Maryland's predominantly Democratic political leadership. When asked at his Texas ranch last month what he intended to do with his $600, Bush said he would make a charitable donation. It's the right thing to do, he said, after it was pointed out that his plans would not stimulate the economy as much as the consumer spending he had promoted.
BUSINESS
By Michelle Deal-Zimmerman and The Baltimore Sun | July 27, 2011
I'm so obsessed with taxes that I should probably run for office. I won't bother. I might have to sign a pledge or something. But with the focus in Washington so firmly fixed on the debt ceiling, the airline tax debacle is likely to continue for days or weeks. Here's a Q&A to help fliers understand tickets and taxes. What federal taxes do I pay when I purchase an airline ticket? The government collects a variety of taxes on airfares. These include a 7.5-percent airline ticket tax, a 7.5-percent tax on the sale of frequent flyer miles, a $3.70 per segment fee, a $16.30 international arrival/departure tax and an $8.20 departure tax for flights between Alaska/Hawaii and the U.S. mainland.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Luke Broadwater | April 13, 2011
The Associated Press is apologizing after running a fake story this morning that claimed General Electric was giving millions of dollars to the federal government to make up for its failure to pay taxes last year.  "The AP did not follow its own standards in this case for verifying the authenticity of a news release," said AP Business Editor Hal Ritter . The AP fell victim to a prank, when the organization received a fake press release...
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | November 10, 2011
A bill to withhold the tax refund from anyone wanted on an open criminal warrant in Anne Arundel County will return to the General Assembly for a second attempt at passage. The measure would create a one-year local trial, but proponents say it has the potential to lead to a statewide program. It would force people with unserved warrants in the county to choose between turning themselves in or forgoing tax refund dollars. The county sheriff hopes people will be hungry for the money.
NEWS
By Eric Siegel and Eric Siegel,SUN STAFF | August 26, 2000
A 27-year-old Baltimore man was sentenced yesterday in federal court to 18 months' probation for fraudulently cashing $24,061 in tax refund checks intended for others, in a case stemming from what investigators have described as a major IRS blunder. U.S. District Judge Andre M. Davis ordered William S. Broaddus III of the 3200 block of Cliftmont Ave. to serve 10 months of his sentence on home detention and to repay the money to the federal treasury. Broaddus pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud as part of an agreement with prosecutors.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | March 17, 2013
Law enforcement officials are watching a test program in Anne Arundel County that entices people with open criminal warrants to turn themselves in — so they can get their state tax refunds. Thus far, the results of dangling a refund as bait have stunned the sheriff who pitched the one-year pilot project. "If I had gotten 10, that would be good, too. But 134? That's huge," said Sheriff Ron Bateman. "It's baseball season, and this is a grand slam. " Under the measure adopted last year, and which went into practical effect with the current tax season, the comptroller's office blocks Maryland tax refunds of residents of Anne Arundel County, and others, who have unserved warrants in Anne Arundel.
NEWS
By Andrea Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | February 8, 2013
Money's a good motivator, Anne Arundel County Sheriff Bateman said Friday. A state law that just took effect has the Comptroller's Office withholding Maryland tax refunds of residents of Anne Arundel County or people who have an outstanding warrant in the county. In the first week, 110 letters were mailed, and 10 people turned themselves in or otherwise cleared up their warrant situation, the sheriff said. "It's easy fishing,” said Bateman,  who had approached Comptroller Peter Franchot with the idea.
BUSINESS
Jamie Smith Hopkins | July 10, 2012
It looked so odd: Two sets of homeowners in Howard County seemed to be getting property-tax credits that added to their bill, rather than subtracting. When I stumbled upon them in a database of Howard property taxes that we'll (fingers crossed) have online for you all to search later this month, I stared blankly at the pair. It had to be a mistake, right? Right. Howard County officials, investigating after I inquired, said the stealth tax labeled as a homestead credit was a miscalculation by the state Department of Assessment and Taxation that got by the county's finance department.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, Annie Linskey and Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | June 29, 2012
High-earners in Maryland will feel a financial pinch as employers start withholding more money from paychecks to accommodate the higher income tax rates approved by the General Assembly in May and signed into law by Gov.Martin O'Malley. The tax increase is one of hundreds of new laws taking effect with the July 1 start of the state's fiscal year. Several major environmental changes are in store, including a doubling of the "flush fee," curbs on developments that use septic systems and a requirement that the state's largest communities impose fees to clean up polluted storm-water runoff.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | April 15, 2012
Anne Arundel County Sheriff Ronald S. Bateman says he has a plan for an innovative crime tool that plays on criminals' greed by making them turn themselves in before they can collect tax refunds. At Bateman's urging, the General Assembly signed off on a bill —awaiting Gov. Martin O'Malley's signature — that will allow the state to withhold refunds for people with outstanding arrest warrants in the county. Bateman says he hasn't seen such a program anywhere else. "I came up with the idea because I know greed is a close first or second to the root of all crimes," Bateman said.
NEWS
November 17, 2011
Editor: I think most would agree Harford County Executive David Craig's decision to give a bonus to Harford County teachers is most appropriate and deserved.  What raises concern, however, is whether Mr. Craig has the authority to use public funds in such a manner? We as Harford county tax payers paid more tax than was necessary to fund the county's budget which resulted in a tax surplus. Can the county executive utilize that surplus of public funds to give bonuses to his county employees?
NEWS
November 17, 2011
Editor: I think most would agree Harford County Executive David Craig's decision to give a bonus to Harford County teachers is most appropriate and deserved.  What raises concern, however, is whether Mr. Craig has the authority to use public funds in such a manner? We as Harford county tax payers paid more tax than was necessary to fund the county's budget which resulted in a tax surplus. Can the county executive utilize that surplus of public funds to give bonuses to his county employees?
NEWS
By From staff reports | September 12, 2000
In Baltimore City Man pleads guilty in illegal cashing of IRS refund checks A former hairdresser admitted yesterday cashing more than $500,000 in corporate tax refund checks mistakenly mailed in 1998 to the St. Paul Street rowhouse where he lived. Amos Cedric Benning Jr., 25, now of Columbia, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of federal bank fraud. He was charged in one of two criminal cases that grew out of what investigators described as an exceptional blunder by the Internal Revenue Service.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | November 10, 2011
A bill to withhold the tax refund from anyone wanted on an open criminal warrant in Anne Arundel County will return to the General Assembly for a second attempt at passage. The measure would create a one-year local trial, but proponents say it has the potential to lead to a statewide program. It would force people with unserved warrants in the county to choose between turning themselves in or forgoing tax refund dollars. The county sheriff hopes people will be hungry for the money.
BUSINESS
By Michelle Deal-Zimmerman and The Baltimore Sun | July 27, 2011
I'm so obsessed with taxes that I should probably run for office. I won't bother. I might have to sign a pledge or something. But with the focus in Washington so firmly fixed on the debt ceiling, the airline tax debacle is likely to continue for days or weeks. Here's a Q&A to help fliers understand tickets and taxes. What federal taxes do I pay when I purchase an airline ticket? The government collects a variety of taxes on airfares. These include a 7.5-percent airline ticket tax, a 7.5-percent tax on the sale of frequent flyer miles, a $3.70 per segment fee, a $16.30 international arrival/departure tax and an $8.20 departure tax for flights between Alaska/Hawaii and the U.S. mainland.
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