Lowrance Law, LLC

Hey, this is great.  Get some help in buying a new car.  IRS announces:

The Internal Revenue Service announced today, IRS Announcement, that taxpayers who buy a new passenger vehicle this year may be entitled to deduct state and local sales and excise taxes paid on the purchase on their 2009 tax returns next year.

“For those thinking about buying a new car this year, this deduction may give them a little more drive to make their purchase this year,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “This deduction enables taxpayers to buy now and get cash back later on their tax returns.”

The deduction is limited to the state and local sales and excise taxes paid on up to $49,500 of the purchase price of a qualified new car, light truck, motor home or motorcycle.

The amount of the deduction is phased out for taxpayers whose modified adjusted gross income is between $125,000 and $135,000 for individual filers and between $250,000 and $260,000 for joint filers.

IRS also alerted taxpayers that the vehicle must be purchased after Feb. 16, 2009, and before Jan. 1, 2010, to qualify for the deduction.

The special deduction is available regardless of whether a taxpayer itemizes deductions on their return. The IRS reminded taxpayers the deduction may not be taken on 2008 tax returns.

Super buys

Bill Lowrance

No legal opinion here.

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Switzerland, Austria and Luxembourg agreed to share secret banking information in cases of tax evasion on Friday.  Basically, these havens are agreeing to the OECD standards on financial information sharing.   Of course, this is not an open season on the bank and financial information.  These countries will consider various requests from other countries for banking information on a case by case basis. 

The IRS has information sharing agreements with many tax havens, or as they like to call themselves–offshore financial centers.  None of the countries, however, automatically turn over bank or financial upon a request from the IRS.  There is a lot more to the process and procedure.  Using various laws and procedures, the person or business subject of the request can delay or stop the requests.  When I was a trial attorney for the Office of Chief Counsel, IRS, International Division I was involved in many local countries court proceeding challenging the IRS request.  Some challenges are successful.

Anyway, read the NY Times story on the recent Swiss agreement:

The Swiss government bowed to pressure on Friday and agreed to conform to international standards on exchanging information in suspected cases of tax evasion, but it maintained that its principle of banking secrecy was in tact.

Two other countries, Austria and Luxembourg, announced steps to fend off a global crackdown on tax evasion by offering concessions before a meeting of leaders from the Group of 20 nations in London at the start of next month.

Read the whole story Click Here NYT

In another story, the Cayman Islands “Leader of Government Business,” Kirk Tibbets, announced that he and others from the Caymans met with US Congress to brief new members about the Cayman’s laws, positions and cooperation in sharing information under various agreements:

Part of the press release said:  “[Purpose] to brief new members of key House and Senate committees about the quality of Cayman’s regulatory and international cooperation regimes, with specific reference to our longstanding and effective arrangements with the United States, and to glean any available intelligence on the US position in relation to the April G20 Summit.

My colleagues and I covered, between us, 30 meetings over two days. The people we met were receptive to what we had to say and appeared to have no particular ‘anti-Cayman’ – or even ‘anti- offshore’ – agenda. That is not to say that there are not those members of Congress who do, but they do not appear to reflect the majority sentiment. What came through most forcefully was that the policy environment in Washington is very fluid at the moment, and most of people’s energies and attentions are, understandably, taken up with the US economy, budget and financial system.”

Read the whole press release: Click Here

Bill Lowrance
No legal opinion here

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New Posts Coming

March 8, 2009

Now that tax season is here, I want to get back to writing more interesting tax facts, articles and information.  My law practice is busy and taking my time t away from the luxury of writing for this blog. International and domestic tax enforcement will be very active in the future.  I will write about this soon […]

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