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

Timing Rules for SEPs and SIMPLE-IRAs Part II

For the most part, SEPs (Simplified Employee Pensions) and SIMPLE (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees)-IRAs live up to their billing as easy ways to set aside tax-favored retirement funds for employees and employers. However, contribution rules for these plans are not necessarily straight-forward. To read part I of this post dealing with SEPs, click …

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Timing Rules for SEPs and SIMPLE-IRAs Part I

For the most part, SEPs (Simplified Employee Pensions) and SIMPLE (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees)-IRAs live up to their billing as easy ways to set aside tax-favored retirement funds for employees and employers. However, contribution rules for these plans are not necessarily straight-forward. SEP plans: Business owners can set up and fund their SEP …

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Supreme Court Decides Severance Pay is Subject to FICA Tax

In a unanimous decision (with Justice Kagan recused), the Supreme Court, reversing the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, has held that severance payments that were made to involuntarily terminated employees and that weren’t tied to the receipt of State unemployment insurance, are subject to tax under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). The Court easily …

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The Evolving Affordable Care Act – Health Insurance

Yesterday morning, President Obama announced that 2014 sales of previously-canceled individual health plans that don’t meet ACA standards would be allowed to be issues and stay in force for another year. The change will offer a temporary “fix” to the millions of consumers whose policies have been canceled or altered as a result of healthcare reform. …

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Foreign Tax Credit – Individuals

If your investment portfolio includes holdings outside of the U.S., it is not uncommon to see foreign taxes withheld on the foreign sourced income it generates.  Generally, you may claim a credit for foreign taxes if the following four tests have been met: 1. The tax must be imposed on you 2. You must have paid or …

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IRS Matching – Better Success than Online Dating?

No IRS has not gotten into the online dating biz.  While I’m sure they tax it, matching couples is a bit beyond their scope. But IRS does share a very distinctive characteristic with online dating.  Try as they might, they don’t always get it right when it comes to making a good “match”. As many …

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Abandonment May Be A Good Thing – Get Rid of Capital Call Payments

Tired of making those capital call payments on an investment partnership that may never recover its value? Consider abandoning it. If the value is depressed and recovery is nowhere in sight, why continue to throw money at it. By abandoning the investment, not only do you get the tax loss now, but it may be …

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New Reporting for Certain Ponzi Scheme Losses

Financial headlines in the last several years have been filled with stories of investors whose losses have occurred as a result of Ponzi Schemes.  In 2009 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission identified 20% of the fraud cases they investigated as Ponzi schemes.  Investment News reported that 9,244 billion in losses from Ponzi schemes were …

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Assessing Your Assessment the Wrong Way

Tax assessments are formally recorded on a record of assessment in accordance with Internal Revenue Code Section 6203.  The assessment is made by an assessment officer signing the summary record of assessment per Treasury Regulation section 301.6203-1.  The summary record of assessment must “provide identification of the taxpayer, the character of the liability assessed, the …

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Of Baseball and Senators

This is not technically tax related, unless you stretch the fact that Senator John McCain was at the same baseball game as my family on August 12th.  He has had a hand In Tax legislation for decade’s worth of my career. But the exciting part was seeing the joy on my oldest daughter’s face when …

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