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December 05, 2011
Congress' Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (the so-called "super committee") failed to reach an agreement by its November 23 deadline after weeks of sparring over the Bush-era tax cuts. The Budget Control Act of 2011 created the bipartisan super committee in August and instructed it to develop proposals to reduce the federal budget deficit by November 23. The super committee held many meetings and reportedly debated several proposals, all behind closed doors, to reform the Tax Code and entitlement programs. In the end, however, Democrats and the GOP remained far apart on taxes and entitlement programs and announced they could not agree on a final proposal.
November 29, 2011
Tax legislation took a small step forward in October with passage of three trade agreements and a related trade bill. Although relatively minor, the tax provisions are the first to pass Congress with support from Democrats and Republicans. Against this backdrop of cooperation, however tense negotiations continue over more expansive tax proposals, such as individual and corporate tax reform.
November 22, 2011
Job-hunting expenses are generally deductible if you are not searching for a job in a new field. This can be useful in a tough job market. It does not matter whether your job hunt is successful, or whether you are employed or unemployed when you are looking.
November 15, 2011
In light of the IRS's new Voluntary Worker Classification Settlement Program (VCSP), which it announced this fall, the distinction between independent contractors and employees has become a "hot issue" for many businesses. The IRS has devoted considerable effort to rectifying worker misclassification in the past, and continues the trend with this new program. It is available to employers that have misclassified employees as independent contractors and wish to voluntarily rectify the situation before the IRS or Department of Labor initiates an examination.
November 08, 2011
The IRS recently announced that inflation is increasing many dollar amounts in the Tax Code for 2012. For taxpayers, the inflation adjustments may help reduce their overall tax liability in 2012.
October 13, 2011
Many tax benefits for business will either expire at the end of 2011 or become less valuable after 2011. Two of the most important benefits are bonus depreciation and Code Sec. 179 expensing. Both apply to investments in tangible property that can be depreciated. Other sunsetting opportunities might also be considered.
October 10, 2011
2011 year end tax planning for individuals lacks some of the drama of recent years but can be no less rewarding. Last year, individual taxpayers were facing looming tax increases as the calendar changed from 2010 to 2011; particularly, increased tax rates on wages, interest and other ordinary income, and higher rates on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends.
September 30, 2011
The IRS has adopted final regulations with respect to the allocation by a partnership of foreign income taxes. The final regulations are intended to improve the operation of an existing safe harbor rule. This safe harbor rule, under Reg. §1.704-1(b)(4)(viii), determines whether allocations of creditable foreign tax expenditures (CFTEs) are deemed to be in accordance with the partners' interests in the partnership.
September 22, 2011
Adoptive parents may be eligible for federal tax incentives. The Tax Code includes an adoption tax credit to help defray the costs of an adoption. Recent changes to the adoption tax credit make it very valuable.
September 19, 2011
Taxpayers can request a copy of their federal income tax return and all attachments from the IRS. In lieu of a copy of your return (and to save the fee that the IRS charges for a copy of your tax return), you can request a tax transcript from the IRS at no charge. A tax transcript is a computer print-out of your return information.
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