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Taxpayers face overloaded IRS as filing season opens Monday

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Taxpayers face overloaded IRS as filing season opens Monday

WASHINGTON — Count 30-year-old Ethan Miller among that subset of Americans who are actually eager to file their taxes once income tax filing season opens on Monday.

The financial planner who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, is looking forward to claiming the new deductions that will come from buying a home. He also wants to get a jump on a tax season that promises to bring lots of extra headaches and delays for filers this year.

“I’m trying to get a head start on my taxes as much as possible,” Miller said, adding that he is not too nervous about forecasts of extra delays because he will file online and will not be waiting for too big a refund.

Plenty of other filers, though, may be in for more heartburn.

An IRS worker shortage, an enormous workload from administering pandemic-related programs and stalled legislation that would have given the agency billions of dollars for more expeditiously processing returns will combine to cause taxpayers pain this filing season.

“The IRS right now has unacceptable backlogs and the customer service that people are receiving is not what the American public deserves,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged Friday. “The agency has not been equipped with the resources to adequately serve taxpayers in normal times, let alone during a pandemic.”

She stressed that the problems predate the Biden administration and she urged understanding for beleaguered workers already saddled with huge backlogs. “It’s going to take some work, it’s going to take some time and I think people need to understand that they need funding,” Psaki said.

Agency officials are already warning filers that “in many areas, we are unable to deliver the amount of service and enforcement that our taxpayers and tax system deserves and needs,” as IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig put it earlier in the month.

Delays in processing are to be expected — especially because the IRS says it still is working through 2020 tax returns.

During the 2020 budget year, the IRS processed more than 240 million tax returns and issued roughly $736 billion in refunds, including $268 billion in stimulus payments, according to the latest IRS data. In that same time frame, 59.5 million people called or visited an IRS office.

Donald Williamson, an accounting and taxation professor at American University in Washington, said he expects “weeks and weeks” of IRS delays in 2022.

“You can blame Congress or the IRS. I imagine they’re trying to do the right thing but it just adds to further complexity,” he said. “My advice in 2022 is file early, get started tomorrow and try to put your taxes together with a qualified professional.”

Williamson said he advises his clients to file electronically, and those who expect hefty refunds in the tens of thousands should expect greater delays. Most backlogged returns were filed on paper and are amended returns.

Deadlines to file have been extended in the past two years due to the pandemic. It is unclear whether this year the agency will offer similar leeway to taxpayers.

There will be plenty of new issues to navigate this year.

For example, individuals who are eligible to claim the child tax credit and have gotten advance payments throughout the year may get a smaller refund than they normally would see.

People who did not get stimulus checks that they were qualified for as part of the pandemic relief package might yet be able to claim a “ recovery rebate credit ” on their taxes.

On Thursday, the IRS released a list of “ Top 5 Things to Remember,” with suggestions for taxpayers on what documents to pull together and what to do if their 2020 returns still have not been processed.

The IRS anticipates that most taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days of when they file electronically, barring any issues with processing their return.

But plenty of pitfalls remain, in part due to staffing troubles at the IRS.

Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union that represents IRS workers, said the agency “has a hard time recruiting because they’re up against Burger King or McDonald’s,” which offer similar pay without requiring workers to “deal with confusing rules and regulations.”

As of Thursday, the agency’s careers website listed at least 180 open jobs, including clerks and tax examiners paid as little as $11 an hour. Of those, 42 positions were open to the public; most were available only to internal applicants.

A hoped-for $80 billion infusion for the agency was included in versions of President Joe Biden’s proposed package of social spending programs but that stalled on Capitol Hill.

Reardon said the IRS “is in a lot of trouble in terms of how it is effectively able to carry out its mission and that has to be rectified.”

“I think clearly the taxpayer gets the brunt of this,” he said, adding that IRS workers get “the brunt of that blame under horrible circumstances.”

Associated Press writer Aamer Madhani contributed to this report.

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Correction window for NEET UG 2022, Steps to edit your Application

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NEET UG Aspirants appeal to President, NTA, education ministry to postpone exam

Correction window for NEET UG 2022, Steps to edit your Application

The National Testing Agency (NTA) will give NEET UG aspirants a one-time opportunity during which they can edit particulars filled in the application form and re-upload some documents.

NEET 2022 application form correction window will be available on neet.nta.nic.in. Schedule for this has not been announced by NTA.

It reads: “Ensure that correct data is submitted in the online application. Any correction pertaining to the photograph and signature of the candidate will be intimated through e-mail/SMS and the same will be available in the candidate’s login account. Other permissible corrections can also be carried through log-in account only during the schedule fixed for the same. Candidates may ensure clear photographs and signatures are uploaded. Thereafter, no request for correction(s) will be entertained except when the window for correction in all fields opens”.

Application process for NEET 2022, after extension, ended on May 20.

The UG medical entrance test is scheduled for July 17. The test will be held offline, in pen and paper mode.

NEET UG Aspirants appeal to President, NTA, education ministry to postpone exam

The post Correction window for NEET UG 2022, Steps to edit your Application appeared first on JK Breaking News.

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With Adley Rutschman in Baltimore and ‘blue skies ahead,’ eyes turn to Grayson Rodriguez, next wave of Orioles’ prospects

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With Adley Rutschman in Baltimore and ‘blue skies ahead,’ eyes turn to Grayson Rodriguez, next wave of Orioles’ prospects

A day after top prospect Adley Rutschman made his Orioles debut, Executive Vice President and general manager Mike Elias offered a reminder that more are coming as the organization continues to trend upward in the next stage of its rebuild.

“We’ve got blue skies ahead of us,” Elias said Sunday morning in the Orioles’ dugout at Camden Yards. “We’ve got a No. 1 farm system. We’ve got a young, talented major league team. We have payroll flexibility. We’re past the pandemic, and there’s gonna be more and more people coming into the ballpark. We’re gonna be renovating this place. There’s a lot to look forward to.”

Perhaps chief among those is the arrival of more prospects around Rutschman. The Orioles could’ve possibly had back-to-back debut days at Oriole Park, but No. 2 prospect Grayson Rodriguez instead started for Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday. He threw 87 pitches during his prior start — the same eighth-ranked prospect Kyle Bradish reached in his last Triple-A outing before being promoted — but Elias was clear the Orioles feel there remain steps to be taken for the game’s top pitching prospect.

Rodriguez, 22, posted a 2.65 ERA with a 38.5% strikeout rate in his first eight Triple-A starts, pitching beyond the fifth inning three times after doing so only once in 2021. The Orioles want to be able to let him loose in the majors, Elias said, while also building up his innings this year so that he can pitch without restrictions in 2023.

“When he comes up here, we want him to be able to go and pitch and help the team and not handcuff the team, and we’ve got to be super careful with the workload for this kid just because of who he is,” Elias said. “He’s getting close to a full build-up. We just want to see him keep going on the track that I feel like he’s been on. The last two or three outings have been markedly better in terms of stuff, location, delivery. I think his last outing was kind of vintage Grayson, which was exciting. And I’m watching each one of his starts very carefully, and I know we are as an organization.

“Grayson is one of the most important pitchers in baseball, and we want to make sure that we’re handling that responsibly.”

He did not offer specifics on what they feel Rodriguez must do to reach the majors, which has been standard. Only after Rutschman reached the majors did Elias say that the three straight games he caught for Norfolk from Tuesday to Thursday were what showed the organization he was ready after missing time with a strained strained tricep.

The timing allowed Rutschman to play his first game at home, where a raucous but modest crowd cheered his every move. Orioles manager Brandon Hyde compared the atmosphere to what he saw as a coach with the Chicago Cubs’ fan base when they first promoted eventual Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player Kris Bryant.

“Once that box was checked, we figured it was a live ball,” Elias said. “And then looking at the schedule, Yankee Stadium didn’t seem like a great option for a debut. And it just seemed he was ready, and this weekend made the most sense. And now, he will get the experience of going to play in Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park, which is cool for him because that’s life in the [American League] East and then come back for a nice homestand around Memorial Day, so I think the timing worked out as well as it could have given that we were constrained by his injury.”

The Orioles are also managing an injury comeback with No. 3 prospect DL Hall, a left-hander who is routinely showing upper-90s velocity in his return from a stress fracture in his pitching elbow. In three starts since joining Norfolk, Hall, 23, has a 6.52 ERA but has struck out more than 30% of the batters he’s faced.

“He’s got stuff that I think Triple-A is going to be speaking to him about, meaning the hitters there, and you saw the line last time, some walks,” Elias said. “His stuff is unbelievable. He’s been healthy. He looks great. He’s throwing harder than ever, but he’s doing it with ease and efficiency.

“He looks excellent. I think that the mixture of good and bad that we’ve seen in his performance so far in Norfolk is exactly what I would have expected, and I think that he’s ahead of sort of schedule and expectations in terms of where he came into the year, and this is all good stuff, healthy stuff that we’re seeing from him.”

Elias also provided updates on a trio of prospects all recovering with hamstring strains.

Outfielder Heston Kjerstad hasn’t played a professional game since the Orioles drafted him second overall in 2020. He was diagnosed with myocarditis (heart inflammation) shortly after he signed with Baltimore then suffered a left hamstring strain this spring as he finally appeared to be at full health.

Elias said Kjerstad, 23, will begin playing in extended spring training games “as soon as next week,” with the possibility he plays in Florida Complex League games when those begin next month.

“Our goal is to get him to [Low-A] Delmarva this summer,” Elias said. “I don’t know exactly when that’s gonna happen. But he’s doing well with the hamstring and the other stuff that he’s been through.

Last week, outfielder Yusniel Diaz suffered a recurrence of a right hamstring strain that cost about three weeks earlier this season. When on the field, he’s performed well for Norfolk, posting a .934 OPS. Once ranked the Orioles’ top prospect after coming to Baltimore in the Manny Machado trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Diaz, 25, has missed time with lower body injuries each of the past three minor league seasons.

“I don’t know what to say other than that it stinks,” Elias said. “It’s tough news. Once you have those, sometimes they get more susceptible to recurrence, and he’s a twitchy, explosive guy, and this stuff happens, but it’s really putting a hamper on his ability to get on a roll and make himself relevant for the major league team. I’m not ruling anything out, but this is a big setback timewise, and we’ll just keep working with him and get him back out there, and hopefully, maybe in the second half, he can get up here because his time’s overdue.”

Triple-A second baseman-outfielder Terrin Vavra, 25, is fully recovered from his right hamstring strain and is in a build-up period, Elias said. He’ll go to a lower affiliate for a rehab assignment before rejoining Norfolk.

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78,000 pounds of infant formula arrives in US

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78,000 pounds of infant formula arrives in US

By MICHAEL CONROY

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Enough specialty infant formula for more than half a million baby bottles arrived Sunday in Indianapolis.

The formula, weighing 78,000 pounds (35,380 kilograms), was being transported by military plane, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One as President Joe Biden flew from South Korea to Japan.

It is the first of several flights carrying infant formula from Europe expected this weekend to relieve the deepening shortage in the U.S. The flights were authorized by Biden.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was in Indianapolis to greet the arrival of the first shipment in Indianapolis.

The Biden administration — which has struggled to address a nationwide shortage of formula, particularly hypoallergenic varieties — has dubbed the effort “Operation Fly Formula.” The crisis follows the closure of the nation’s largest domestic manufacturing plant in Michigan in February due to safety issues.

The White House has said 132 pallets of Nestlé Health Science Alfamino Infant and Alfamino Junior formula was to leave Ramstein Air Base in Germany for the U.S. Another 114 pallets of Gerber Good Start Extensive HA formula were expected to arrive in the coming days. Altogether, about 1.5 million 8-ounce bottles of the three formulas, which are hypoallergenic for children with cow’s milk protein allergy, are expected to arrive this week.

Indianapolis was chosen because it is a Nestle distribution hub. The formula will be offloaded into FedEx semitractor-trailers and taken to a Nestle distribution center about a mile away where the company will do a standard quality control check before distributing the supplies to hospitals, pharmacies and doctor’s offices, according to an administration official on site.

Air Force planes are transporting the initial batch of formula because no commercial flights were available this weekend.

The flight was the first of several to provide “some incremental relief in the coming days” as the government works on a more lasting response to the shortage, Brian Deese, director of the White House National Economic Council, said Sunday.

Reese told CNN’s “State of the Union” that Sunday’s flight brought 15% of the specialty medical grade formula needed in the U.S., and because of various actions by the government, people should see “more formula in stores starting as early as this week.”

Longer term, he said, the U.S. needs more formula providers “so that no individual company has this much control over supply chains.”

Under “Operation Fly Formula,” the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services are authorized to request Department of Defense support to pick up overseas infant formula that meets U.S. health and safety standards, so it can get to store shelves faster, according to the USDA.

Alfamino is primarily available through hospitals and home health care companies that serve patients at home.

U.S. regulators and the manufacturer, Abbott Nutrition, hope to have its Michigan plant reopened next week, but it will take about two months before product is ready for delivery. The Food and Drug Administration this week eased importation requirements for baby formula to try to ease the supply crunch, which has left store shelves void of some brands and some retailers rationing supply for parents nervous about feeding their children.

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