Daily Tax Update - March 13, 2014: Unemployment Extension Deal Reached in Senate

UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSION DEAL REACHED IN SENATE:  A group of ten senators announced today an agreement to reauthorize emergency unemployment insurance benefits for five months. According to the group, “The proposal is fully paid-for using a combination of offsets that includes extending ‘pension smoothing’ provisions from the 2012 highway bill (MAP-21), which were set to phase out this year, and extending customs user fees through 2024. The bill also includes an additional offset allowing single-employer pension plans to prepay their flat rate premiums to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.” The bill must pass a 60-vote threshold to overcome a filibuster.

IRS PROVIDES UPDATE OF FREE FILE PROGRAM:  The IRS said that more taxpayers are filing their returns from their home computers this year compared to last year.  According to the IRS, “More than 27 million taxpayers have filed their tax returns from home computers so far this year, an increase of almost 6 percent compared to last year.”  The IRS added, “[T]he IRS reminds people that they can prepare and e-file their federal tax returns online for free through Free File at IRS.gov. Free File has an option for almost everyone, either through brand-name software or online fillable forms. . . .  The total number of individual income tax returns e-filed so far this year is 62.2 million. E-file includes both returns filed from home computers and returns e-filed by professional tax return preparers.”