Posts Tagged ‘Tax’
Thursday, March 31st, 2011
On March 22, 2011 I gave a lecture for the Fairfax Bar Association (Fairfax Bar) Tax and Family Law Section at the Fairfax County Courthouse on key issues of Divorce Taxation that supplied Continuing Legal Education Credit for all Virginia attorneys present. The event was very well attended. My presentation on divorce taxes, which may seem boring to some, was spiced up with unusual tax court opinions, anecdotes and humorous comments. I did not include a lot of Internal Revenue Code citations, though they did form the basis for my talk. Rather my goal was to explain a complex tax area in a clear, understandable manner.
The attendees left with a fresher, more accurate perspective of how to handle the realities of the divorce process in light of the client’s best tax interest. Topics included: filing status, alimony, child support, retirement benefits, the distribution of property, and other tax topics to include in a property settlement agreement such as household employer taxes, the kiddie tax, child tax exemptions and child tax credits.
Tomorrow I will upload the power point for the tax talk I gave, as well as the written foundation for the talk for your benefit. I am happy to discuss your particular divorce tax situation with you. Feel free to contact me by email, by telephone, or by mail. Please see the contact page on my website for the details.
Lowrance Law LLC
703 506 1600
Disclaimer: No legal opinion here.
Wednesday, October 7th, 2009
The IRS is reminding everyone that there are special, limited deductions for state and local sales and excise taxes paid on the purchase of new cars, light trucks, motor homes and motorcycles. The deduction is available on new vehicles purchased from Feb. 17, 2009, through Dec. 31, 2009. In states that don’t have a sales tax, the law provides a deduction for other taxes or fees paid. This deduction is available whether or not a taxpayer itemizes deductions on Schedule A.
The deduction is limited to the taxes and fees paid on up to $49,500 of the purchase price of an eligible vehicle. The deduction is reduced for joint filers with modified adjusted gross incomes (MAGI) between $250,000 and $260,000 and other taxpayers with MAGI between $125,000 and $135,000. Taxpayers with higher incomes do not qualify. See IRS information at IRS Announcement
Check the IRS Video on You Tube at http://tinyurl.com/ydg9q69
Lowrance Law LLC
No legal opinion here
Wednesday, February 11th, 2009
If someone works for you, are they an employee or independent contractor? For an employee, you must withhold the usual taxes–social security, federal and state withholding, medicare and unemployment. The employee pays part of the withholding and you pay additional amounts. For an independent contractor, you pay a flat amount. No taxes, social security or other amounts are withheld. A small business paying employees pays a salary and also additional social security, medicare and unemployment taxes. It costs the small business more money to have employees working than to have independent contractors working.
So, as a business owner you decide to classify all your workers as independent contractors so that you do not have to withhold taxes, social security, medicare and unemployment taxes. Smart thinking, right? Well, maybe not so smart. The IRS has started an agency wide employment tax program that addresses worker classification and other employment tax issues, meaning you can look for more IRS enforcement in the future relating to worker classification.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), TIGTA, recently reported that misclassification of employees as independent contractors affects millions of workers and contributes to ever increasing the tax gap. When an employee is misclassified, tax revenues are not reported or paid and the burden of uncollected taxes shifts to other taxpayers. Read Full Report Here
The IRS’ most recent estimate of the tax gap is approximately $345 billion. The employment tax portion of this figure due to under reporting is estimated to be about $54 billion with an estimated $1.6 billion being attributable to worker misclassification. However, the $1.6 billion estimate is based on Tax Year 1984 data. The IRS conducted a preliminary analysis of Fiscal Year 2006 operational and program data and found that under reporting attributable to misclassified workers is likely to be markedly higher than the $1.6 billion.
All this means is that the IRS sees significant losses in tax collection and will be instituting worker classification programs in the near future.
In my next post, I will tell you how the IRS decides if your worker is an employee or an independent contractor.
This post is not legal advice nor is it tax advice.
Tuesday, January 6th, 2009
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is the only government entity that conducts internal audits the IRS. Well, now you can read the most recent interesting report that covers their audit April 1, 2008 through September 30, 2008. The report is TIGTA’s semiannual report to Congress.
There are some “blockbuster” (technical tax term) statements and recommendations in the report.
TIGTA says that IRS must focus on closing the Tax Gap noting that IRS does not consistantly assess penalties or penalize taxpayers for making false statements when filing returns. TIGTA recommends that IRS expand its enforcement efforts. As I have predicted before, along with other tax experts, in the future IRS will be increasing enforcement efforts. In fact, Chief Counsel, IRS, is looking for more attorneys, see Click Here
TIGTA said: “Now, more than ever, the IRS must focus efforts to close the Tax Gap – the difference between the amount of tax that taxpayers should pay and the amount that is paid voluntarily and on time. In audits conducted over this reporting period, TIGTA found that the IRS has neglected to consistently assess penalties on non-compliant businesses and individuals. Additionally, TIGTA noted that the IRS generally does not penalize taxpayers for making false statements when filing official tax forms. The IRS must aggressively address the lack of taxpayer compliance and hold those in violation accountable for their actions.”
Read the whole report: Click Here
Wednesday, December 17th, 2008
The annual “More Tax Than You Want To Know” is now available via the IRS website. Publication 17 explains everything you need to know about your taxes, returns and filing. See Publication 17
From IRS News:
“The IRS has placed its comprehensive tax guide for individuals on IRS.gov, updating it for tax year 2008. The updated on-line version of IRS Publication 17, “Your Federal Income Tax,” contains more than 900 interactive links.
Publication 17 has been updated with important changes for 2008, including information on the new recovery rebate credit, new first-time-homebuyer credit, and an additional standard deduction for real estate taxes. It has been published annually by the IRS for more than 65 years and has been available on the IRS Web site since 1996.
As in prior years, the publication provides information on how to file an individual tax return, what to include as income, how to calculate capital gains and losses, how IRAs and other expenses can affect how much income to report, whether to take the standard deduction or itemize, and how to figure taxes and credits.”
Printed copies of Publicaiton 17 will be available in January 2009.
All the good year to you.
Lowrance Law LLC
Monday, December 15th, 2008
The IRS announced that it is hiring senior level Economists and Internal Revenue Agents (International Examiner, Financial Products & Transactions Examiner, and Team Member/Domestic Agents for entry on duty in March and April 2009. This is another indicator that the IRS will be stepping up enforcement efforts in 2009 and subsequent years. Special emphasis will be on international transaction including offshore bank accounts, offshore trusts, offshore income and other cross border transactions.
IRS Announcement: See Whole Article Here
“Do you have a specialty in tax administration? Do you have family, friends, or neighbors with this expertise who might be interested in joining the Internal Revenue Service? If so, look no further—the Large and Mid-Size Business (LMSB) Division of the Internal Revenue Service has challenging positions available now!
LMSB is seeking to fill 100 technical GS-11, GS-12, and GS-13 positions nationwide, including Economists and Internal Revenue Agents (International Examiner, Financial Products & Transactions Examiner, and Team Member/Domestic Agent) with entry on-duty dates planned for March and April 2009. To view more details and apply for these vacancies, visit the Office of Personnel Management Web site for IRS jobs at: http://jobsearch.usajobs.opm.gov/a9trirs.asp . Select “Economist” or “Internal Revenue Agent” under Occupational Series and click on Search for Jobs.”
Lowrance Law LLC
Thursday, November 13th, 2008
The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 contains two provisions that provide tax benefits for businesses. The first provision increases the limit up to which a business can expense property purchased and placed in service during its 2008 tax year. The second provision provides an additional 50 percent special depreciation allowance for property acquired and placed in service during calendar year 2008.
Unlike the economic stimulus payments that millions of individuals have already received, the tax benefits for businesses are not automatic; businesses must act to take advantage of the new provisions by purchasing qualifying property.
The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that businesses stand to lower their 2008 tax bills by roughly $45 billion as a result of the two business provisions in the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008; these provisions accelerate into 2008 the tax benefits that otherwise would not have been available until future years.
See IRS Small Business