The next round of stimulus checks will reportedly resemble the initial May delivery with the same 160 million Americans receiving aid, according to reports. The funds could arrive as soon as next month in a plan being worked out by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — if Congress can approve the proposal before its recess.
The details of the checks would include: Individuals earning up to $75,000 would receive a $1,200 payment for themselves and $500 for their dependent children, couples earning up to $150,000 would also qualify, and the payment amounts phase down for singles earning up to $99,000 or $198,000 as a couple — just like the May aid.
“We’re talking about the same provision as last time, so our proposal is the exact same proposal as last time,” Mnuchin said to The Hill.
This bill would result in the IRS pouring nearly $300 billion into the economy, via direct deposits and mailed checks. While this would help Americans, a big question stands: Will this proposal be approved before the Senate recess starting August 10 and lasting into mid-September?
The House approved a proposal, the Heroes Act, in May to send out the second round of checks. Republicans raised concerns over the price tag — over $3 trillion — and McConnell has reportedly been working on different methods in the Senate for weeks.
This new proposal is expected to be detailed on Thursday after a meeting between McConnell, Mnuchin, and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was held, where the administration and Senate Republicans reached an agreement. The aid bill will include the second round of checks and funding to schools to assist in recovering from the pandemic.
One feature that won’t make it in the bill is a cut in payroll taxes — a big point of contention after President Trump continually expressed his support for the cuts.
Mnuchin said the cuts won’t be included as in would take longer to negotiate and the checks need to get sent out.
The stimulus and school aid are expected to be finalized Thursday. Whether Congress can approve the bill before going on break, has yet to be seen.
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Swiss Bank Admits to $5.6 Billion Tax Evasion Scheme, Settles for $120 Million
Banque Pictet, the private banking arm of the Pictet Group based in Switzerland, has admitted to conspiring with U.S. taxpayers to hide billions of dollars from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in over 1,600 secret bank accounts. The Justice Department revealed on Monday that Banque Pictet has agreed to pay over $120 million in restitution to the U.S. Treasury as part of a settlement.
The bank’s involvement in the tax evasion scheme spanned from 2008 through 2014, during which it conspired with American taxpayer clients to conceal more than $5.6 billion of the approximately $20 billion in U.S. assets. This led to an evasion of around $50.6 million in U.S. taxes, according to prosecutors.
Of the $5.6 billion concealed, the funds were distributed across 1,637 accounts, implicating more than 40% of the total 3,736 private accounts owned by U.S. taxpayers held by the bank. Banque Pictet reportedly assisted its American clients in hiding their undeclared accounts through various means, including the formation and administration of offshore entities. Undeclared accounts were then maintained in the names of these entities on behalf of U.S. taxpayer clients.
Jim Lee, Chief of IRS Criminal Investigation, emphasized the importance of the case in sending a strong message to those attempting to hide assets and income offshore. Lee stated, “This case should provide a clear message to others who try to hide their assets and income offshore. Offshore tax evasion is a priority for IRS Criminal Investigation.”
The settlement underscores the ongoing efforts by U.S. authorities to combat tax evasion and sends a clear warning to financial institutions and individuals involved in such illicit activities. As regulatory scrutiny intensifies globally, financial institutions face increasing pressure to ensure compliance with international tax laws and prevent their involvement in tax evasion schemes.
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