No Penalty Despite Taxpayer’s 5th Amendment Claim

- By : jquinn

  Some folks we’ve run into have a hard time with the questions on the individual tax return regarding the existence of foreign bank accounts.  “None of their business!” claim some, even though the law says that it sure is. So here comes taxpayer Youssefzadeh who asserted his 5th amendment protection against self-incrimination in objecting

Don’t Forget to Sign the Darned Return!

- By : jquinn

So you go through all the hassle of getting your records together and getting that return assembled, but at the eleventh hour, you send that joint return to the Revenooers without having your spouse sign the darned thing. Bad Karma – as learned the hard way by taxpayers Mr. and Mrs. Reifler, who the Tax

When is IRA Contribution Deductible?

- By : jquinn

Not really a trick question – the law permits deduction of an IRA contribution in the tax year it is actually made – with one little modification:  you can still deduct your 2015 contribution, f’rinstance, if you deposit it no later than April 15, 2016. So here come taxpayers Mr. and Mrs.  Stephen J. Dunn

Lois Lerner Skates

- By : jquinn

No surprise here – Obama’s Justice Department declared, just the other day, that IRS (in the person of the now famous Lois Lerner) really did nothing nefarious in its myriad investigations and scrutiny of various nonprofit “Tea Party” groups relative to their tax exemption applications.  Obama’s boys have decided that there will be no charges

Good News/Bad News From Low Inflation Rate

- By : jquinn

If there’s anything good that may have come from Obama’s actions (or inactions, as the case may be) lately it’s the fact that inflation is little or none in the last year or so. The bad news, of course, is that Social Security recipients can expect zero in the way of a raise, next year,

Some Recent Development Which May Affect You

- By : jquinn

So, we’re into the last quarter of the tax year – no time like the present to start your tax planning, and enhance your awareness of some recent changes in the rules.  A few items of importance, starting with some provisions of the recently enacted “Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of

Busy September Tax Court

- By : jquinn

The Tax Court was quite busy in September – particularly in hammering taxpayers with a “nice try, but no cigar” conclusion to their cases.  Three in particular: In Ronald C. Fish v. Commissioner, the taxpayer tried one which has been pled to us on many occasions by beleaguered taxpayers:  deduction on the 1040 of losses

Tangible Asset Expensing Limit Set to Expire

- By : jquinn

Many folks have come to know and love the Internal Revenue Code’s “Section 179” deduction.  Under this rule, tangible personal property which would otherwise be capitalized and depreciated over several years can be written off in full in the year the property is purchased and placed in service. And indeed, the deduction has been quite

“Kiddie Tax” Nuisance

- By : jquinn

Recall that some dependent children must file a Form 8615 with their tax return, and subject unearned (generally, investment) income to income taxation at his parents’ tax rate.  The form must be filed for any child who meets all of the following conditions: The child had more than $2,000 of unearned income. The child is

Judge Hammers Obama On Privacy Fishing Expedition

- By : jquinn

  A Federal judge, last week, ordered the Revenooers to turn over the records of any requests from the White House which may have sought taxpayer private info in recent times. Judge Amy Berman Jackson said IRS cannot simply refuse on the basis of confidentiality laws. “This court questions whether Section 6103 (of the Internal

Court Slaps Private Foundation: Private Inurement

- By : jquinn

A recent decision of a district court in the District of Columbia agreed with the Revenooers, who actually revoked the tax exempt status of a foundation because some of its activities resulted in extraordinary benefits (“private inurement,” to use the vernacular of the bureaucrats) to the entity’s founder’s family. Seems a decedent’s estate gave about

Ninth Circuit Liberalizes Mortgage Deductibility For Unmarrieds

- By : jquinn

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (our jurisdiction) recently reversed the Tax Court and potentially handed unmarried mortgage debtors a significant windfall. The panel’s decision involved the debt limit provisions – recall that the Internal Revenue Code has long allowed taxpayers to deduct interest on up to $1 million of home acquisition debt and $100,000

“Beware of Scammers”, Warn Revenooers

- By : jquinn

Apparently taking note of ever-increasingly blatant tactics foisted upon we and thee by scammers, IRS recently issued a new warning to taxpayers. These thieves, you see, pop up by telephone, emails and letters on authentic-looking letterhead, in an effort to trick taxpayers into providing personal financial information, or scare folks into making a payment to

IRS Commish Seat Getting Hotter

- By : jquinn

If you listen to U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, anyway. Judicial Watch recently announced that Sullivan has threatened to hold IRS Commissioner Koskinen (and Justice Department attorneys!) in contempt of court after IRS failed to produce status reports and recently obtained emails of Lois Lerner.

Hillary Coming After Your Capital Gains!

- By : jquinn

Hold on to your wallets, you Dems out there.  Here comes Hillary – after all of us, actually, and not just you! Last week she made known her plan to significantly increase the tax on long term capital gains for we and thee!  It’s currently 20% (plus, of course, the Obama exaction of another 3.8%