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

Safeguard Your Refund – Choose Direct Deposit

Direct deposit is the fast, easy and safe way to receive your tax refund. Whether you file electronically or on paper, direct deposit gives you access to your refund faster than a paper check. Here are four reasons more than 80 million taxpayers chose direct deposit in 2012: 1. Security.  Every year the U.S. Postal …

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Real Estate Professional – Would You Really Qualify

In a recent Tax Court case, the court concluded that a taxpayer, who also engaged in a consulting activity, wasn’t a real estate professional for purposes of the passive activity loss (PAL) rules. He failed to show that more than half of the personal services that he performed during the year were performed in real …

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More changes coming to form 990

The 990 is an annual informational reporting return that nearly all not-for-profit organizations must file with the IRS on an annual basis. It provides various information on the filing organization’s mission, programs, and finances. The 990 received a serious overhaul by the IRS a few years ago, and they’re still making changes to this day. …

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Special Opportunity for Charitable IRA Rollover Gifts

H.R.8, the “American Taxpayer Relief Act” provides a special opportunity for Charitable IRA Rollover Gifts in 2012 if they are made in January of 2013.  The new tax law which has been signed by the President extends the Charitable IRA Rollover through December 31, 2013. This means that Donors age 70 and ½ or older …

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Income Taxes – A Long Road Traveled

As news comes in this morning of our almost leap over the fiscal cliff, you may ask, “How did we get here and has it always been this complicated?” Well, President Lincoln signed the first revenue-raising measure to help pay Civil War expenses in 1862.  The measure created a Commissioner of Internal Revenue and the nation’s first …

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Inherited IRAs … no 60 day rollover window!

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) have many rules, and the penalties for failing to follow the rules can be painful. The taxpayer Elizabeth Beech found this out the hard way with her inherited IRA. Elizabeth Beech inherited an IRA from her deceased mother. In 2008, Ms. Beech took a $35,348 distribution from the IRA. She took …

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Related party rentals – what’s the big deal?

As long as the tax code has been in place, people have looked for ways to shift income, reduce their liability and increase their cash flow. And, as an owner of a small business, rent expense has been an area that has allowed some creative accounting. However, the IRS has taken notice of this area …

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When are legal settlements taxable?

According to the IRS, “all income is taxable from whatever source derived, unless exempted by another section of the Code” (IRC Section 61). How does that affect monetary awards in legal settlements? Awards and settlements can be broken into two separate groups to determine whether they are taxable or not. The first includes claims relating …

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Quickbooks Online

I have a client that has been using the desktop version of QuickBooks since 2000 and is thinking about making a switch to QuickBooks Online.  They asked me how the online version compares to the desktop version.  The truth was that I had used both versions for what I needed from a tax reporting perspective, …

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What are intangible assets?

By definition, intangible assets consist of items that are not tangible. In other words, these items are not able to be touched or seen even though money may have been paid to purchase them. Some common examples include: Goodwill Patents Copyrights Trademarks Organization Costs Loan Fees Intangible assets can be developed over a period of …

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