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December 2010


Rapid growth from 2000 to 2010 has given Texas more political power. With the recent release of the 2010 Census, Texas is set to gain four additional seats in Congress in 2012. This marks the seven consecutive decade in which the state has shown a population increase.

The Census is used to shape state legislative seats and allocate the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. With growth in the South and West averaging about 14 percent, states in those regions are set to gain the most additional representation in Congress. 

Texas population numbers:

2000                20,851,820

2010                25,145,561     

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As was expected, the House on Thursday, (12/16) passed the hotly debated Tax Relief Act by the vote of 277-148.  The bill has conditions that will cover the estate tax, expiring tax cuts, expired tax provisions and an AMT patch.

The bill temporarily reinstates the estate tax, with an estate tax rate of 35% and an estate tax exemption of $5 million (adjusted for inflation after 2011). TSCPA sent letters to all Texas member of Congress in February 2010, asking them to deal with the estate tax legislation.

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The IRS, on Monday, issued final policy rules requiring some corporations to file a Schedule UTP, disclosing their uncertain tax positions when filing a return.

In January, the IRS announced that it would expect certain corporate taxpayers to annually disclose uncertain tax positions. The IRS is considering whether to extend UTP reporting to other taxpayers beyond those noted for 2011 or later years.

TSCPA’s Federal Tax Policy Committee issued comments to the IRS on these proposed regulations on May 27, 2010.

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IRS ReIeases 2011 Mileage Rates


The IRS released on Friday the standard mileage rates for use in 2011 (Notice 2010-88). For business use of an automobile after Dec. 31, 2010, the rate is 51 cents a mile; for medical or moving expenses, 19 cents a mile; and for services to charitable organizations, 14 cents a mile. This represents a slight increase in the rates for business and medical and moving mileage but no change for charitable miles.  For tax year 2010, the rates were 50 cents, 16.5 cents and 14 cents, respectively.

Deficit Panel Issues Final Report w/ Major Tax Changes

A 59-page proposal from the co-chairmen of the White House’s deficit-reduction commission, which they labeled “The Moment of Truth,” calls for sweeping changes in how the country spends money and collects taxes.

Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson, who head the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, issued their final report in which they proposed changes that would affect almost everyone, from wage earners, to people who put gasoline in their cars or hope one day to collect Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid. It would cut 200,000 federal government jobs by 2020, roughly 10% of the workforce, and trim defense spending.

The proposal would achieve nearly $4 trillion in deficit reduction through 2020, reduce the deficit to 2.3% of GDP by 2015, overhaul the tax code, cap government revenue at 21% of GDP and reduce debt to 40% of GDP by 2035, the co-chairmen said.

Among the major tax changes would be limiting mortgage interest deductions to a maximum mortgage of $500,000 on the primary residence only, treating dividend and capital gain income as ordinary income and providing certain credits as an offset to the lost deductions.

While this is a long way from becoming law, the potential impact is significant.

To read the entire report, go to: