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June 04, 2012
Hopes for a pre-election resolution to the fate of the Bush-era tax cuts, extenders and other tax incentives are quickly fading as summer approaches. This year is increasingly looking like a replay of 2010, the last time the Bush-era tax cuts were facing imminent expiration. The White House, the Democratic-controlled Senate and the GOP-controlled House all have different opinions on the fate of these tax incentives and negotiations, which have been few and far between, and have quickly bogged down. One solution, which is being talked about more and more, is a temporary extension of the tax cuts. While this would punt the issue to the next Congress, it does little to ease taxpayers' concerns about tax planning in a climate of constant uncertainty.
June 03, 2012
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, reoccurring tax reporting and filing data for individuals, businesses and other taxpayers for the month of June 2012.
May 30, 2012
IRS Commissioner Shulman recently announced he plans to leave his position when his five-year term ends in September 2012. Speaking before the National Press Club this past April, Shulman also took the opportunity to review IRS progress during his tenure within numerous strategic areas, including computer technology modernization, tax return preparer standards, and offshore tax evasion. He urged the IRS to continue building on those improvements.
May 25, 2012
The U.S. government has been tightening its scrutiny of taxpayers who use foreign financial accounts to circumvent U.S. tax law. Last year the Treasury department imposed new requirements on taxpayers with financial interests in or signature authority over a foreign financial account, including a bank account, brokerage account, mutual fund, trust, or other type of foreign financial account. Many taxpayers must now report information related to the foreign financial account to the IRS on a yearly basis by filing the “FBAR.”
May 22, 2012
The IRS has issued proposed “reliance” regulations that allow an employee’s deduction for local lodging that is business-related. Although the proposed regulations are technically not fully effective until published as final regulations, they allow taxpayers to deduct local lodging expenses under Code Sec. 162 (trade or business expenses) if the statute of limitations has not expired for the year of the deduction. In effect, the new rules are effective immediately.
May 15, 2012
The family partnership is a common device for reducing the overall tax burden of family members. Family members who contribute property or services to a partnership in exchange for partnership interests are subject to the same general tax rules that apply to unrelated partners. If the related persons deal with each other at arm's length, their partnership is recognized for tax purposes and the terms of the partnership agreement governing their shares of partnership income and loss are respected.
May 14, 2012
After three days of oral arguments in March, the Supreme Court is deciding the fate of the Pension Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and its companion law, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (HCERA). Not only do the new laws impact health care, they contain numerous tax provisions, many of which have yet to take effect. The Supreme Court may uphold the laws, strike them down in whole or in part, or decide that the case is premature. The Supreme Court is expected to render its decision in June. In the meantime, a quick checklist of the tax provisions in the two laws reveals how extensively they impact individuals, businesses and taxpayers of all types.
May 08, 2012
Proposals to reform retirement savings plans were highlighted during an April 2012 hearing by the House Ways and Means Committee. Lawmakers were advised by many experts to move slowly on making changes to current retirement programs that might discourage employers from sponsoring plans for their workers. Nevertheless, it is clear that Congress wants to make some bold moves in the retirement savings area of the tax law and that likely it will do so under the broader umbrella of general "tax reform." While tax reform is gaining momentum, it is unlikely to produce any change in the tax laws until 2013 or 2014. Considering that retirement planning necessarily looks long-term into the future, however, now is not too soon to pay some attention to the proposals being discussed.
May 01, 2012
Your 2011 tax return has been filed, or you have properly filed for an extension. In either case, now it's time to start thinking about important post-filing season activities to save you tax in 2012 and beyond. A few loose ends may pay dividends if you take care of them sooner instead of later.
April 18, 2012
A disregarded entity refers to a business entity with one owner that is not recognized for tax purposes as an entity separate from its owner. A single-member LLC ( "SMLLC"), for example, is considered to be a disregarded entity. For federal and state tax purposes, the sole member of a SMLLC disregards the separate legal status of the SMLLC otherwise in force under state law.
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