Your Guide to State, Local, Federal, Estate + International Taxation

Is funding all that is required to fix the IRS?

Let me tell you, right now, that the customer service experience when dealing with the IRS is not pleasant. Even if you are a tax professional. Nina Olson was talking to Congress on Friday, May 19th and maintains that an adequately funded IRS is the solution to improvement with customer service. Perhaps funding is part …

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New tax rules for partnerships

What if you bought into a partnership today and discovered you would be responsible for a portion of an IRS tax adjustment attributable to a year prior to your investment? Seems a bit unfair? New partners need to be aware of how this new tax law change will affect their investment and what sort of …

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Did you make a taxable gift recently?

First, what’s a gift? A gift in tax code parlance is a transfer of property or money to another individual without receiving “full” consideration in return. You can gift directly or in “trust”. So what constitutes a taxable gift? Gift tax is owed when you gift “too much” to other persons since gift tax is …

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Can I expense my luxury hotel room?

Can you expense your luxury hotel room? At first blush to the above question, your first response is “No.” After all, in order to be deductible, business expenses must be ordinary and necessary. And what is ordinary and necessary? No one exactly knows for sure – but generally, ordinary can be thought of as something …

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HSA tax advantages, 2018 contribution amounts released

In recent times, we have seen an explosion of activity regarding Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). In 2006, total HSA assets were valued at roughly $1.7 billion, and as of January 2017 they’re estimated to be $41 billion. The most intriguing aspect of these accounts is that the contributions are both tax-deductible and tax-free. The only …

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Passive activity loss? Clarity in a fuzzy world

Regardless of what is being said in the news these days, the last major tax reform in the United States took place back in 1986. One of the key components of that reform was the addition of so-called Passive Activity Loss rules (PAL, though they are oftentimes not your pal). These rules are simple in …

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Hurricane preparedness week: what the IRS wants you to know

This week is Hurricane Preparedness Week and the start of the Atlantic hurricane season will soon be upon us. The IRS has taken the occasion to remind us of some things we might not normally consider in preparation for such an event. Much of this advice also applies to other natural disasters such as earthquakes …

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What’s a third party designee for taxes?

The April 18 tax deadline has come and gone. Tax returns have been filed and now it’s just a waiting game for the refund. The IRS website says that a typical refund should be received within 21 days if e-filed and 6 weeks if mailed. What happens if it has been longer? Well, the IRS …

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Update: new overtime rule moving along

The United States House of Representatives recently voted to pass an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that gives private-sector employees the option of selecting compensatory time off in lieu of cash for overtime wages. In the measure generally backed by Republicans but opposed by Democrats, an employee will be able to choose …

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Potential AMT risk for foreigners selling U.S. real estate

As the U.S. housing market continues to improve, many property owners are able to take advantage of the increase in property values and higher asking prices when they decide to sell. As such, sellers need to be aware of the tax implications when selling a home. Nonresident aliens especially need to be aware of their …

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