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House and Senate lawmakers have started their August recess, leaving pending tax legislation for after Labor Day. In past years, September has been a busy month for tax legislation and this year is likely to be the same. Before leaving Capitol Hill, lawmakers took actions in several areas related to tax reform.


The IRS remains focused on an issue that doesn’t seem to be going away: the misclassification of workers as independent contractors rather than employees. Recently, the IRS issued still another fact sheet “reminding” employers about the importance of correctly classifying workers for purposes of federal employment taxes (FS-2017-9). Generally, employers must withhold income taxes, withhold and pay social security and Medicare taxes, and pay unemployment tax on wages paid to employees. They are lifted of these obligations entirely for independent contractors, with usually the only IRS-related responsibility being information reporting on amounts of $600 or more paid to a contractor.


A recent Tax Court decision and pending tax reform proposals have intersected in highlighting how stock sales can be timed for maximum tax advantage. The taxpayer in the recent case (Turan, TC Memo. 2017-141) failed to convince the Tax Court that he timely made an election with his broker to use the last-in-first-out (LIFO) method to set his cost-per-share cost basis for determining capital gains and losses on his stock trades on shares of the same company. As a result, he was required to calculate the capital gain or loss on his stock trades using the firm’s first-in-first-out (FIFO) “default” method, which, in his case, yielded a significant increase in tax liability for the year.


Country-by-Country (CbC) reporting is part of a larger initiative by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) known as the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project. CbC reporting generally impacts large multi-national businesses. Because CbC is part of BEPS it is important to be familiar with the core concepts.


An eligible taxpayer can deduct qualified interest on a qualified student loan for an eligible student's qualified educational expenses at an eligible institution. The amount of the deduction is limited, and it is phased out for taxpayers whose modified adjusted gross income (AGI) exceeds certain thresholds.


As an individual or business, it is your responsibility to be aware of and to meet your tax filing/reporting deadlines. This calendar summarizes important tax reporting and filing data for individuals, businesses and other taxpayers for the month of August 2017.


Although individual income tax returns don't have to be filed until April 15, taxpayers who file early get their refunds a lot sooner. The IRS begins accepting returns in January but does not start processing returns until February. Determining whether to file early depends on various personal and financial considerations. Filing early to somehow fly under the IRS's audit radar, however, has been ruled out long ago by experts as a viable strategy.


During economic downturns, many people often look for ways to supplement their regular employment compensation. Or, you may be engaging in an activity - such as gambling or selling items on an online auction - that is actually earning you income: taxable income. Many individuals may not understand the tax consequences of, and reporting requirements for, earning these types of miscellaneous income. This article discusses how you report certain types of miscellaneous income.

The end of the 2009 year will also spell the end of many tax breaks for both individuals and businesses. Some of these tax breaks are "temporary" credits and deductions that Congress typically extends for another year or two at the last moment. Other sunsetting provisions are relatively new, with no previous track record on their being extended. In either case, however, the unfamiliar economic climate in which our nation finds itself makes predicting whether Congress will find the funding necessary to extend any particular tax break this time around, beyond 2009, a matter of guesswork. The following is a list of important tax breaks expiring at the end of 2009.

Health care reform continues to dominate Congress' fall agenda but lawmakers also have many other tax bills to address before the end of the year. On the table are bills to extend some popular but temporary tax breaks, estate tax reform and more. It is an ambitious agenda that has some lawmakers predicting that they will be working right up to the end of the year.

As the end of 2009 approaches, it is a good time to start year-end tax planning. Between now and December 31, 2009, there is time to put in place some tax saving strategies. Many of these strategies are familiar ones; others are tailored to these challenging economic times.

The saver's credit is a retirement savings tax credit that can save eligible individuals up to $1,000 in taxes just for contributing up to $2,000 to their retirement account. The saver's credit is an additional tax benefit on top of any other benefits available for your retirement contribution. It is a nonrefundable personal credit. Therefore, like other nonrefundable credits, it can be claimed against your combined regular tax liability and alternative minimum tax (AMT) liability.

A consequence of the economic downturn for many investors has been significant losses on their investments in retirement accounts, including traditional and Roth individual retirement accounts (IRAs). This article discusses when and how taxpayers can deduct losses suffered in Roth IRAs and traditional IRAs ...and when no deduction will be allowed.

Tax deadlines have long broken out of the mold of being exclusively set at April 15 for individuals and March 15 for businesses, generally with no important dates falling in between. From September through November of this year, recent tax legislation and IRS programs have created a handful of important new deadlines that may be easy to miss without a list. Some old dates, too, have a few new wrinkles.

If you use your home computer for business purposes, knowing that you can deduct some or all of its costs can help ease the pain of the large initial and ongoing cash outlay. In today's economic climate, many individuals may be working more from home than commuting to the office. The deduction rules related to home computer costs can be complicated; some of the complexities are derived from situations in which the computer is used partly for personal use and partly for work purposes.

Health care reform continues to elude Congress as lawmakers struggle to find ways to pay for its estimated $1 trillion cost. The House is poised to pass a massive health reform bill, America's Affordable Health Choices Act (H.R. 3200), which includes a surcharge on higher income individuals. The Senate, however, is unlikely to pass its version of health care reform before Congress' August recess. A final bill is not expected to pass Congress until the fall or maybe later.

You may have done some spring cleaning and found that you have a lot of clothes that you no longer wear or want, and would like to donate to charity. Used clothing that you want to donate to charity and take a charitable deduction for, however, is subject to a few rules and requirements.

Employers commonly use per-diem allowance arrangements to reimburse employees for business expenses incurred while traveling away from home on business. Each year, the IRS publishes per-diem rates for travel within the continental U.S. The per-diem rates for meals, lodging and incidental expenses can be used instead of using your actual expenses. There are two approved methods for substantiating your per-diem expenses, including the "high-low" method (found in IRS Publication 1542). This article is intended to help you calculate your per-diem travel expenses under the "high-low" method.

There are a number of advantages for starting a Roth IRA account, the most important being that all the investment earnings grow tax-free, and qualified distributions are tax-free. Additionally, you can continue to make contributions to your Roth after you turn 70 ½ and are not subject to the required minimum distribution rules. Currently, only individuals who have a modified adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $100,000 and/or who do not file their return as "married filing separately" can convert their traditional IRA to a Roth.

No. Many individuals may be considering buying a new home in 2009 as home prices continue to drop in many areas across the country. They may also be wondering if they can claim the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit before actually purchasing the home. Although this might generate a refund you could use as a down payment, the IRS will not allow you to claim the credit in advance of a purchase.

You've just filed your 2008 tax return and the last thing you likely want to think about is the next filing season. However, it never hurts to have a leg up, and with the end of filing season and the 2009 tax year well underway, now is a great time to take a look back and learn some lessons from this filing season that can undoubtedly help you next year. The following is a list of top lessons individuals can learn from this year's filing season in anticipation of filing their 2009 returns for next year.

While the past year has not been stellar for most investors, the tax law in many instances can step in to help salvage some of your losses by offsetting both present and future taxable gains and other income. Knowing how net capital gains and losses are computed, and how carryover capital losses may be used to maximum tax advantage, should form an important part of an investor's portfolio management program during these challenging times.

The IRS has released the numbers behind its activities from October 1, 2007 through September 30, 2008 in a publication called the 2008 IRS Data Book. This annually released information provides statistics on returns filed, taxes collected, and the IRS's enforcement efforts.

The IRS is moving quickly to issue guidance on the many tax incentives for individuals and businesses in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (2009 Recovery Act). Since Congress passed the multi-billion dollar stimulus package in February, the IRS has released guidance on the extended net operating loss (NOL) carryback for small businesses, the new Making Work Pay credit, the enhanced first-time homebuyer tax credit, the new COBRA subsidy, and the new sales tax deduction for motor vehicles.

If you have completed your tax return and you owe more money that you can afford to pay in full, do not worry, you have many options. While it is in your best interest to pay off as much of your tax liability as you can, there are many payment options you can utilize to help pay off your outstanding debt to Uncle Sam. This article discusses a few of your payment options.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 (ARRTA) provides more than $75 billion worth of tax benefits for business for 2009 and 2010, in addition to numerous individual tax breaks. This article highlights some of the valuable tax breaks for businesses in the new law.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 (ARRTA) is loaded with various tax incentives for individuals for 2009 and 2010. Among the individual tax breaks in the new law are incentives for homeownership, help for the unemployed and employed, as well as education assistance and tax breaks for taxpayers with children. This article provides an overview of the major individual tax incentives provided by the ARRTA.

Even though gas prices have gone down from their record highs six-months ago, many people are looking for ways to save on their energy costs. The Tax Code provides a number of energy tax incentives to encourage individuals and businesses to invest in energy-efficient property and also in alternative sources of energy. One of those incentives is the Code Sec. 25C residential energy property tax credit for individuals.

Many taxpayers are looking for additional sources of cash during these tough economic times. For many individuals, their Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is one source of cash. You can withdraw ("borrow") money from your IRA, tax and penalty free, for up to 60 days. However, the ability to take a short-term "loan" from your IRA should only be taken in dire financial situations in light of the serious tax consequences that can result from an improper withdrawal or untimely rollover of the funds back into an IRA.

Happy New Year! As 2009 gets underway, and you prepare for the 2008 filing season, it's important not to overlook a number of valuable tax planning opportunities that apply right away to the 2009 tax year. Here are 10 considerations for tax planning as 2009 starts.

If you are finally ready to part with those old gold coins, baseball cards, artwork, or jewelry your grandmother gave you, and want to sell the item, you may be wondering what the tax consequences will be on the disposition of the item (or items). This article explains some of the basic tax consequences of the sale of a collectible, such as that antique vase or gold coin collection.

With the economic downturn taking its toll on almost all facets of everyday living, from employment to personal and business expenditures, your business may be losing money as well. As a result, your business may have a net operating loss (NOL). Although no business wants to suffer losses, there are tax benefits to having an NOL for tax purposes. Moreover, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 temporarily enhances certain NOL carryback rules.

In a period of declining stock prices, tax benefits may not be foremost in your mind. Nevertheless, you may be able to salvage some benefits from the drop in values. Not only can you reduce your taxable income, but you may be able to move out of unfavorable investments and shift your portfolio to investments that you are more comfortable with.

With the U.S. and world financial markets in turmoil, many individual investors may be watching the value of their stock seesaw, or have seen it plummet in value. If the value of your shares are trading at very low prices, or have no value at all, you may be wondering if you can claim a worthless securities deduction for the stock on your 2008 tax return.

Education continues to become increasingly expensive. The Tax Code provides a variety of significant tax breaks to help pay for the rising costs of education, from elementary and secondary school to college. Some people are surprised at what is available these days, as the dust settles on tax rules that have been in transition now for a number of years. A good place to start educating yourself on these education-related tax incentives - to help yourself or a member of your family better tackle the rising expense of education - is right here.


The IRS allows taxpayers with a charitable inclination to take a deduction for a wide range of donated items. However, the IRS does provide specific guidelines for those taxpayers contributing non-cash items, from the type of charity you can donate to in order to take a deduction to the quality of the goods you contribute and how to value them for deduction purposes. If your summer cleaning has led, or may lead, you to set aside clothes and other items for charity, and you would like to know how to value these items for tax purposes, read on.

If you've made, or are planning to make, a big gift before the end of 2009, you may be wondering what your gift tax liability, if any, may be. You may have to file a federal tax return even if you do not owe any gift tax. Read on to learn more about when to file a federal gift tax return.

Like the Internet itself, the correct deductibility of a business's website development costs is still in its formative stages. What is fairly clear, however, is that it is highly unlikely that any single tax treatment will apply to all of the costs incurred in designing an internet site because the process encompasses many different types of expenses.

Only "qualified moving expenses" under the tax law are generally deductible. Qualified moving expenses are incurred to move the taxpayer, members of the taxpayer's household, and their personal belongings. For moving expenses to be deductible, however, a move must:

The small business corporation (S corp) is one of the most popular business entities today, offering its shareholders the flow-through tax treatment of a partnership and the limited liability of a corporation. The S corp has become an even more prominent entity in the small business community, in part, because the IRS has relaxed certain requirements for electing S corp status. A small business corporation does not need to elect to be treated as an S corp each year to maintain S corp status.

If you use your car for business purposes, you may have learned that keeping track and properly logging the variety of expenses you incur for tax purposes is not always easy. Practically speaking, how often and how you choose to track expenses associated with the business use of your car depends on your personality; whether you are a meticulous note-taker or you simply abhor recordkeeping. However, by taking a few minutes each day in your car to log your expenses, you may be able to write-off a larger percentage of your business-related automobile costs.

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In order to be tax deductible, compensation must be a reasonable payment for services. Smaller companies, whose employees frequently hold significant ownership interests, are particularly vulnerable to IRS attack on their compensation deductions.


If someone told you that you could exchange an apartment house for a store building without recognizing a taxable gain or loss, you might not believe him or her. You might already know about a very valuable business planning and tax tool: a like-kind exchange. In some cases, if you trade business property for other business property of the same asset class, you do not need to recognize a taxable gain or loss.