Congress wants to prevent IRS from expanding its free online tax filing

first_img Share your voice Tags Kimberly White/Getty Images Democrats and Republicans in Congress are pushing to ban the Internal Revenue Service from creating a free system for filing taxes, according to a new report. Last week, members of the House Ways and Means Committee passed bipartisan legislation called the Taxpayer First Act, which prevents the IRS from creating an online tax filing system. For years, companies like Intuit, which makes TurboTax, and H&R Block have lobbied to keep the IRS from making its own free online system because it would threaten their profits, according to a ProPublica report published Tuesday.     Taxpayers with incomes below $66,000 are eligible to file their taxes for free as part of a partnership between the IRS and Intuit, H&R Block and other companies. But only 3% of Americans do so every year, according to MarketWatch. The bill essentially maintains the status quo. Currently, the IRS has agreed to refrain from making its own filing system as long as a group of tax filing companies provide their free services to taxpayers making below the threshold income. Those companies are members of an industry group called the Free File Alliance. There have been several congressional efforts to make the deal between the IRS and the Free File Alliance law, according to ProPublica. The tax preparation industry has heavily lobbied in support of these efforts, with Intuit and H&R Block giving a total of $6.6 million in part to the IRS deal, according to the report. Rep. Richard Neal, a Democrat from Massachusetts and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, reportedly received $16,000 in contributions from the two tax preparation companies during the last two elections.CNET was unable to verify those contributions.”We regularly engage with policymakers on matters that would benefit taxpayers, including the Taxpayer First Act, which would improve and modernize IRS service,” a representative for H&R Block said. “We are proud of our work to provide free tax filing services to millions of taxpayers through the Free File Alliance.”The IRS didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Intuit didn’t directly address a request for comment on the ProPublica article, but pointed CNET to information on taxes including a company post.First published April 9 at 3:37 p.m. PT.Update, April 10: Adds Intuit’s response. Commentscenter_img Software 5last_img

People pay final tributes to Golam Sarwar

first_imgPeople pay final tributes to the dainik Samakl editor Golam Sarwar. Photo: UNBPeople from all walks of life paid their final tributes to vernacular daily Samakal editor Golam Sarwar, who died at a Singapore hospital on Monday night, at Central Shaheed Minar in the city on Thursday.The body of the veteran journalist Sarwar, also the president of Editors’ Council, was taken to the Shaheed Minar around 10:00am and was kept there until 12:30pm, reports UNB.From the Shaheed Minar, Sarwar’s body was taken to the Jatiya Press Club where journalists paid their tributes to him before his last janaza there after Zohr prayers.The mortal remains of the senior journalist will be buried at Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals’ Graveyard after Asr prayers today, Thursday.Earlier, his body was taken to his workplace at Tejgaon Industrial area around 9:00am where his colleagues paid last respects to their late editor and his third namaz-e-janaza was held at the field of Bangladesh University of Textiles adjacent to Samakal office.Sarwar breathed his last around 9:25pm (Bangladesh time) on Monday while undergoing treatment at Singapore General Hospital.He was 75.last_img

Washington DC Metro Area Career Fair

first_imgTop employers hiring for Sales, Customer Service, Retail, Financial Services, Management, IT and Government positions will be available at the Washington D.C. Metro Area Career Fair.  Professional Dress is required and bring additional copies of resume. Admission is free. This event will be held on July 20 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Renaissance Hotel, 999 9th Street. For more information, visit

An Ode to Nataraja

first_imgKnown globally for their rare excellence and perfection of technique, Raja and Radha Reddy complete 50 years in the art of Kuchipudi this year. The duo is solely responsible to help bring the Indian classical dance form of Kuchipudi to the cultural map of the world. “I m very proud and happy, this is the happiness that we get after completing 50 years in the divine art of Kuchipudi. It’s not only me, but Radha, Kaushalya and my 2 daughters are very proud of the moment,” says Raja Reddy. Trained by eminent Kuchipudi dancers, Sri Vedantam Prahlada Sarma and Sri PVG Krishna, for Raja Reddy, the love for kuchipudi came at an early age and Radha followed his path after their wedding. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThey became the first Indian dancers to perform at the International Dance Festival of Avignon in France and Salzburg (Austria) and the Festivals of India in the USA, UK and Bangladesh. In Japan, the Reddys were two of the twenty –two star dancers from across the world invited to perform at The All-star Ballet Gala Festival.For the last 20 years, ‘Natya Tarangini performing arts,’ established by Raja Radha Reddy has been organizing its annual “Parampara Series – The National festival of Music and Dance” to promote the Indian dance and music. As Padma Shree and Padma Bhushana Raja Radha Reddy complete their 50 years of service to the field of Indian classical dance form – Kuchipudi; they attribute their success to Lord Shiva on the occasion of Mahashivaratri on February 24. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveRaja Radha Reddy and Kaushalya Reddy are organising an ode to Nataraja – an all night concert series at the Natya Tarangini Performing Arts Centre, which had been formed forty years ago by the Reddys in order to train innumerable Indian classical dance lovers around the world.Mahashivaratri is the most important festival for the devotees of Lord Shiva. The festival has been accorded a lot of significance in Hindu mythology. It says that if a devotee sincerely worships Lord Shiva on the auspicious day of Shivratri then that person is absolved of all sins and attains moksha. Known as “Black Shiva” all over the world, Raja Reddy said, “During my childhood, we used to sing and dance for the whole night in the praise of Lord Shiva and we want to maintain our country’s tradition in the national Capital as well and this is the reason of our celebration on the occasion of Mahashivaratri.” The Mahashivratri concert will be presenting gems of classical dance and music such as Raja Radha Reddy, Ashwini Bhide, Rajendra Gangani, Aditi Sharma, Vagesh, Yamini and Bhavana Reddy and many talented youth from the field of dance and music as they perform Shiv Aradhana at the NatyaTarangini building premises in Saket at 8:30 pm. The featured artists will be dedicating their performances to Lord Shiva by showing different aspects of his existence in the form of various episodes of Lord Shiva’s leelas such as NeelKantha showing how he consumed poison to save people during samudra manthan; or the story of a boy whose life was protected by Shiva.last_img

Apple to Samsung Hey Nice Chips

first_img 1 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. This story originally appeared on Reuters South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd will be the main supplier of processors powering Apple Inc’s next iPhone, Maeil Business Newspaper reported on Monday, citing unidentified sources in the semiconductor industry.Samsung will be responsible for around 75 percent of the chip production for the next iPhone, the South Korean newspaper said.The newspaper did not say how much the contract is worth and what other company will be supplying Apple. Samsung will make the chips from its factory in Austin, Texas, according to the report.A Samsung spokeswoman said the company does not comment on market speculation. Apple could not be immediately reached for comment.(Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Ryan Woo) January 26, 2015 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now »last_img

96 of developers believe developing soft skills is important

first_imgSoft skills have been high on the tech agenda for a while now. This was largely down to the stereotypical (and unfair) image of the IT team as quiet, uncommunicative and awkward. But it is also related to broader changes in tech. Today, more people have a stake in software related projects. Product and project managers, even financial managers, will have their work impacted by software. That means everyone’s communication around it is so important. This year’s Skill Up report clearly highlights that developers are aware of how valuable soft skills really are. A huge 96% of respondents said they believe that developing soft skills is important: The Skill Up 2018 report will be available to download on Monday 4 June. Perhaps this isn’t that surprising. We all know how much of a difference effective communication can make on a project. Without good communication, the technical bits of work become even harder. Why soft skills are important to developers working today If we go back to the stereotype of the ring-fenced IT team, it’s not hard to see why soft skills are so valued by business leaders and management figures. It’s almost as if trainers and consultants and management have conspired, saying ‘we need these engineers to be more like us’. But whatever the management industry want from tech pros, it’s clear that the real advantage of developing soft skills are for developers themselves. Here are just a few reasons why soft skills are so important for developers: It makes collaboration easier. You can’t of course, collaborate if you don’t communicate. And in today’s Agile-centric software world, clear communication is crucial. When you’re working to tight deadlines, being clear about your challenges and problems is vital. Soft skills can change how you focus on problems. Communication changes the way you understand problems. It changes the way they are framed. For example, is the database issue simply a technical issue, or is there a wider point about what the knock on effect for the user will be? There’s usually a number of technical solutions, but to select the best one, you often need a frank and clear discussion about the impact different decisions might make. Soft skills open up your career path. When you develop your soft skills you find that you occupy a subtly different role within your team or even within your organization. You become more visible to other people – maybe even more trusted. That can only be a good thing. At a superficial level it’s about status; but more importantly it allows you to push forward your own interests. How often have you found your opinions and ideas discounted or ignored? Yes, maybe your ideas were just really bad, but maybe you just didn’t quite communicate them properly. Similarly, soft skills are also essential for anyone networking. True, networking is rarely anyone’s favorite pastime, but doing it well could do wonders for your future. Also, meeting people is sometimes fun! Good people do exist! It makes work more enjoyable. Work isn’t going to be great every day. But anyone who’s worked in a job they hate will probably know that communication challenges are often at the root of their dissatisfaction. Of course, sometimes other people are the problem. But if you can keep up your end of the bargain, you’ve done all you can. And if you can start to help other people develop soft skills then you’re well on your way to becoming an important and valuable leader. You learn more when you communicate. This really comes back to collaboration, but it’s a little more specific than that. When technology changes so quickly and there are so many options out there – from what you learn to how you learn it – engaging with others can be so important. This might just be about the conversations you have with colleagues. But it’s also the wider conversations you take part in within a given community. Perhaps you contribute to a forum, or maybe just like tweeting – either way you’re not only playing an important role in the community, you’re also pushing your knowledge and understanding forward. The reasons why soft skills are important could be huge. And given 96% of developers believe it to be important, it would seem that no one really needs convincing. However, it is important to see how soft skills impact different parts of your job, and even your life. Yes it’s about writing great emails, but it isn’t just that. Yes it’s about learning how to network at conferences but it’s also much more than that. You can’t have great technical skill without soft skills The bottom line is that it’s hard to be a great technician without soft skills. It’s possible, but very rare. Nothing technical happens in a vacuum – technical things are always about people. Forget management speak and training courses: that, really, is the one thing you need to remember. Read next Soft skills every data scientist should teach their read more

8 Reasons why architects love API driven architecture

first_imgEveryday, we see a new architecture popping up, being labeled as a modern architecture for application development. That’s what happened with Microservices in the beginning, and then all went for a toss when they were termed as a design pattern rather than an architecture on a whole. APIs are growing in popularity and are even being used as a basis to draw out the architecture of applications. We’re going to try and understand what some of the top factors are, which make Architects (and Developers) appreciate API driven architectures over the other “modern” and upcoming architectures. Before we get to the reasons, let’s understand where I’m coming from in the first place. So, we recently published our findings from the Skill Up survey that we conducted for 8,000 odd IT pros. We asked them various questions ranging from what their favourite tools were, to whether they felt they knew more than what their managers did. Of the questions, one of them was directed to find out which of the modern architectures interested them the most. The choices were among Chaos Engineering, API Driven Architecture and Evolutionary Architecture. Source: Skill Up 2018 From the results, it’s evident that they’re more inclined towards API driven Architecture. Or maybe, those who didn’t really find the architecture of their choice among the lot, simply chose API driven to be the best of the lot. But why do architects love API driven development? Anyway, I’ve been thinking about it a bit and thought I would come up with a few reasons as to why this might be so. So here goes… Reason #1: The big split between the backend and frontend Also known as Split Stack Development, API driven architecture allows for the backend and frontend of the application to be decoupled. This allows developers and architects to mitigate any dependencies that each end might have or rather impose on the other. Instead of having the dependencies, each end communicates with the other via APIs. This is extremely beneficial in the sense that each end can be built in completely different tools and technologies. For example, the backend could be in Python/ Java, while the front end is built in JavaScript. Reason #2: Sensibility in scalability When APIs are the foundation of an architecture, it enables the organisation to scale the app by simply plugging in services as and when needed, instead of having to modify the app itself. This is a great way to plugin and plugout functionality as and when needed without disrupting the original architecture. Reason #3: Parallel Development aka Agile When different teams work on the front and back end of the application, there’s no reason for them to be working together. That doesn’t mean they don’t work together at all, rather, what I mean is that the only factor they have to agree upon is the API structure and nothing else. This is because of Reason #1, where both layers of the architecture are disconnected or decoupled. This enables teams to be more flexible and agile when developing the application. It is only at the testing and deployment stages that the teams will collaborate more. Reason #4: API as a product This is more of a business case, rather than developer centric, but I thought I should add it in anyway. So, there’s something new that popped up on the Thoughtworks Radar, a few months ago – API-as-a-product.  As a matter of fact, you could consider this similar to API-as-a-Service. Organisations like Salesforce have been offering their services in the form of APIs. For example, suppose you’re using Salesforce CRM and you want to extend the functionality, all you need to do is use the APIs for extending the system. Google is another good example of a company that offers APIs as products. This is a great way to provide extensibility instead of having a separate application altogether. Individual APIs or groups of them can be priced with subscription plans. These plans contain not only access to the APIs themselves, but also a defined number of calls or data that is allowed. Reason #5: Hiding underlying complexity In an API driven architecture, all components that are connected to the API are modular, exist on their own and communicate via the API. The modular nature of the application makes it easier to test and maintain. Moreover, if you’re using or consuming someone else’s API, you needn’t learn/decipher the entire code’s working, rather you can just plug in the API and use it. That reduces complexity to a great extent. Reason #6: Business Logic comes first API driven architecture allows developers to focus on the Business Logic, rather than having to worry about structuring the application. The initial API structure is all that needs to be planned out, after which each team goes forth and develops the individual APIs. This greatly reduces development time as well. Reason #7: IoT loves APIs API architecture makes for a great way to build IoT applications, as IoT needs read more

Go homebased and get a bigger share of your commission survey

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Go home-based and get a bigger share of your commission: survey Tuesday, March 13, 2018 Share Posted bycenter_img A recent nationwide survey of home based agents funded by The Travel Agent Next Door and conducted by an independent research company shows that the majority of home-based agents are earning more than they did working in a bricks-and-mortar agency.No doubt this is a major contributing factor to the growth of the home-based retail travel industry here in Canada, following the trend in other markets including the UK and the U.S. According to the survey an estimated 37% of travel agents in Canada are now independent, home-based contractors.A significant 61% of agents reported that they earned 10% – 30% more than in the past working at a bricks-and-mortar location, and 23.5% said they are earning 30%+.The second annual independent nationwide survey of Canadian hosted travel agents, conducted in January 2018, tripled in response size, making the results much more meaningful than the previous year.The survey results also show that 85% of home-based agents have the opportunity to earn 50% or more of the available commission and 47% said they can earn 75% or more of the available commission.The majority of home-based agents surveyed, 72.6%, said they earn a greater share of commission as a home-based agent compared to working in a travel agency.When asked to rate their current compensation package with their host agency, 73.7% said they were ‘mostly to 100% satisfied’, and 25.4% said they were 100% satisfied with their compensation.The survey also explored the costs to agents to join host agencies, beyond the monthly or annual fees. Most agents are getting most services covered by their base fee.The survey also asked agents about the monthly website fee they pay to their host agency. About eight out of 10 (79%) of agents who responded to this question said they don’t pay a monthly fee for their website.When asked if they pay a monthly marketing fee to their host agency, 82% of agents who responded to this question said they do not pay an additional marketing fee to their host agent because it is included in their monthly fee.The survey also asked the question: ‘What is the invoicing fee you pay to your host agency?’ More than 85% of the agents who responded to this question do not pay an invoicing fee to their host agency. Tags: Sphere, The Travel Agent Next Door, Trend Watch Travelweek Group last_img