What happens if I die without a will?

In Season 6, Episode 5 of Parks and Recreation, Ben Wyatt tells Ron Swanson “If you die and you don’t have a real will, most of what you own will go to the government”. While in certain cases there is a sliver of truth to that statement, in Ron’s situation it would not apply. Now …

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Court ruling holds decedent’s estate liable for FBAR penalties

Dean Danielson was a U.S. citizen who formed a corporation called Sugar Creek in the 90’s. The company was in the business of selling Swiss annuities, and he opened two foreign bank accounts (one in Canada and one in Lichtenstein) in the company’s name. In the years 2006 through 2009, the amounts in those bank …

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Could Prop 105 save Prop 208 from being repealed?

As you have probably heard, Arizona Proposition 208 has been called and passed. There has been a lot of commentary surrounding the passing of Proposition 208, from people who approve and disapprove of the proposition. Individuals who disapprove have been looking into repealing the proposition due to the surcharge of 3.5% additional tax on the …

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Loans from an IRA – Can you take them?

We see a lot of questions regarding loans from an IRA account. The short answer is you are not allowed to take a loan from an IRA or IRA-based plans such as SEPs, SARSEPs and SIMPLE IRA plans. You also are not permitted to roll over an outstanding loan balance from a retirement plan into …

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Substantiating Noncash Charitable Contributions

Giving to charity can be very rewarding. It not only helps the community but can also provide a benefit on your tax return. Charitable contributions are reported on Schedule A as itemized deductions on your individual tax return. The following might help clarify any information needed in order to claim noncash contributions. When asked to …

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Did You Hire An In-Home Teacher? You Might Be A Household Employer!

With the rise of COVID-19, many families have had to switch to online or home school learning for the safety and wellbeing of their children. Kudos to all of the parents out there right now – I cannot begin to imagine the hardships and challenges this year must have brought. One choice that many parents …

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COVID scammers texting promises of additional stimulus payments

We all know the saying about “death and taxes”, but sometimes it seems like scams should be added to that list. Every year, and probably even more frequently than that, scammers are coming up with clever new ways to trick taxpayers out of their personal information, money or both. In a year like 2020, the …

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Stolen wallet? Now what?

If you become a potential or actual victim of identity theft outside the tax system or believe you may be at risk due to a lost or stolen purse or wallet, questionable credit card activity or questionable activity on your credit report, etc., the IRS encourages you to contact them at the Identity Protection Specialized …

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Score a 2020 Arizona Tax Credit

Doing an Arizona tax credit donation is a great way to receive a dollar for dollar reduction on your Arizona state tax while also giving to charitable organizations you feel strongly about. Generally, any donation claimed as an Arizona tax credit is not deductible on the federal return. However, there is an exception if your …

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Social Security benefits gets a bump for 2021

Good news! The Social Security Administration just announced a 1.3% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increase for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for 2021. More than 64 million people collecting Social Security payments will see the increase in January 2021, with increased SSI payments to more than 8 million beginning December 31, 2020. For …

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