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

Bipartisan Budget Bill 2015: Major Change to Social Security

It’s hard to guess where the tax law is headed, and nearly impossible to predict the direction of Social Security. Social Security is a topic that is widely debated in politics, as well as in the homes of millions of Americans. One of the only arguments that both parties from left to right can agree …

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IRS Lost Computers & Bungled Windows Update

A recent government report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration detailed the failings of the IRS’s project to upgrade all of its computers from Windows XP and all servers away from Windows Server 2003. Microsoft decided to end its mainstream support for Windows XP in April of 2009. Two years later, in April …

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Stopping the Bleeding…California MyFTB being Upgraded

With the IRS and large retailers getting hacked, the California Franchise Tax Board is hoping to do better with security and is doing an identity verification upgrade to the MyFTB system . Taxpayers and tax practitioners who have existing accounts on MyFTB can continue to use those accounts during the upgrade but no new accounts …

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No Social Security Changes in the Wage Base for 2016

The Social Security Administration announced that there will be no automatic increase in 2016 since there was no increase in the Consumer Price Index from the third quarter of 2014 to third quarter of 2015. With this said the tax rate for Social Security will stay the same at 6.20% and the maximum taxable earnings …

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Freeports? What’s the Use (Tax)?

Art investors in the United States that are looking for a tax haven may not have to look very far anymore. Fritz Dietl has opened a fine arts storage facility in Delaware to keep investors’ artwork closer to home. These facilities are known as freeports. It is no surprise that spending millions of dollars on …

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Is Your Crowdfunding Account Going to Cost You?

With the growing popularity of crowdfunding, many of you are probably wondering about the tax implications that comes with it – and if you’re not, maybe you should be. There are no strict rules yet, but here are some general guidelines. Websites such as gofundme.com and causes.com that raise money for charitable causes, lend your …

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Turning Age 70 1/2 and Required Minimum Distributions

When it comes to taxes, reaching age 70 ½ is an important milestone. That’s because you have to start taking annual required minimum distributions from your traditional IRAs when you reach age 70 ½. And if you’ve already retired from your company, you also must begin making withdrawals from your company retirement plan as well. …

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Tax Plans of Presidential Candidates

With the presidential race heating up, many candidates have finally given us tangible tax plans to mull over. Here are a few from some of the top polling candidates. These are listed in no particular order. If your favorite candidate isn’t listed, either they haven’t released a plan or they weren’t polling high enough for …

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Badges of Fraud

Okay, let’s get this part out of the way first. This blog is NOT to help you commit fraud (just have to clarify this), but to help you understand what the IRS “flags” or declares “Badges of Fraud”. My fraud examination professor always joked (a joke, but clearly not a joke joke, you know what …

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Accountant Beware: How to Choose a Preparer Wisely

Having trouble finding a good accountant? The IRS can help! The IRS has a directory online that has a list of over 666,000 credentialed tax professionals. Each preparer listed has a valid 2015 Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). The information you can find regarding each professional includes name, addresses and contact information. The list of …

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