The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

January 4, 2013

From NASCAR to rum, the 10 weirdest parts of the 'fiscal cliff' bill

(Continued)

9. Crack down on tax cheats… in prison

The Internal Revenue Service has long worked with state and federal prisons to tamp down on fraud among prisoners who are filing tax returns. Yet as more and more states have been contracting out their jails and prisons to for-profit companies, the IRS has had difficulty sharing its data with private contractors. Never fear, section 209 of the fiscal cliff bill addresses this concern and allows the IRS to share its files with private prisons.

10. Provide incentives for commuters to take the bus or train

Hey, not all of the lesser-known aspects of the fiscal cliff deal are seedy giveaways to big corporations. There's also a small tax break that gives people incentives to take mass transit. (This provision was originally part of the 2009 stimulus but expired last year.)

For the past year, the tax code has subsidized driving to work over taking transit. If you drove, your employer could cover up to $240 per month in parking expenses tax-free. If you took the bus, your employer could only cover $125 in expenses per month tax-free. The two benefits have now been set at equal levels once again for 2012 (retroactively) and 2013. There's some evidence that this change will induce more people to take transit to work, though it will cost $220 million.

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee