Sep 062012
 
IRS To Offer Relief To Taxpayers Affected By Hurricane Isaac

Following recent disaster declarations for individual assistance issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the IRS has announced that it will extend tax relief to individuals and businesses affected by Hurricane Isaac.  As of now, affected taxpayers in Louisiana and Mississippi will be eligible to receive tax relief. Currently, IRS filing and payment relief applies to the following localities: In Louisiana: Ascension, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist and St. Tammany parishes; In Mississippi: Hancock, Harrison, Jackson and Pearl counties. Other locations may be announced in the coming days based on additional damage More…

Aug 212012
 
Tax Tips For Charitable Giving

Contributing money and property to a charitable organization is one of the ways that a taxpayer can support a charitable cause while simultaneously reducing their income tax burden.  However, in order for the donation to be tax-deductible, certain conditions must be met.  The IRS recently put forward the following tips for taxpayers regarding the deductibility of donations. 1. Tax-exempt status – Contributions must be made to qualified charitable organizations in order to be deductible.  Be sure to ask the charity about its tax-exempt status, or check IRS.gov for the Exempt Organizations Select Check (a/k/a Publication 78), an online search tool More…

Apr 272012
 
IRS Files Lien Against Anna Nicole Smith’s Estate For Back Taxes

The Estate of Anna Nicole Smith is finding out the hard way that taxes are as certain as death.  It seems that the IRS has filed a lien against the late Ms. Smith’s estate seeking back taxes in the amount of $289,123.48.  Smith, a former actress, model, and playmate, passed away on February 8, 2007, from an accidental prescription drug overdose.  At that time she had been locked in a longstanding legal battle with the estate of her late husband, Texas oil billionaire J. Howard Marshall.  The Smith estate would ultimately go on to lose this contest. A review of More…

Apr 202012
 
Helpful Pointers For Taxpayers Who Missed The Filing Deadline

Inevitably, there will be some taxpayers who were not able to meet the Tuesday, April 17 deadline for filing their income taxes.  Here are some tips for minimizing the damage: File as soon as is practical: People often wonder whether they should file their federal income tax returns if they think that they do not owe anything or if they do not have the money to pay the taxes that are due.  Usually, it is a good idea to file the return in both of these instances.  This is because there are benefits to filing your return, even if you More…

Apr 162012
 
Last Minute Tips For Tax Filers

Income tax returns are due by the end of Tuesday, April 17.  Here are a few helpful tips to ensure that your filing runs smoothly. Double check all of your numbers, especially when submitting a paper return.  This includes all mathematical calculations as well as any identifying numbers such as your social security number, tax ID, or address and bank account and routing numbers. Make sure you follow the proper submission procedure.  Sign and date the return (both spouses must sign if married filing jointly) and be sure to submit your filing to the proper address if you are mailing More…

Feb 172012
 
IRS Releases 2012 List Of The  “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams

Once again, tax season is upon us and the IRS has issued the annual “dirty dozen” tax scams. Topping this year’s list is identity theft.  In response to growing identity theft concerns, the IRS has declared its intent to embark on a comprehensive strategy that is focused on preventing, detecting and resolving identity theft cases as soon as possible.  In addition to the law-enforcement crackdown, the IRS has stepped up its internal reviews to spot false tax returns before tax refunds are issued and has been working to help victims of the identity theft refund schemes. The entire list is More…

Feb 022012
 
Citibank Airline Miles Fiasco Illustrates The Difficulty In Determining “Taxable Income”

It’s tax season, which means our mailboxes are filling up with W-2s, 1099s and other tax forms provided to the IRS in order to enlighten them as to just how much income we will have to declare.  We are trained to expect these statements from employers, banks, and brokerage houses, but now it seems that Citibank customers may have an extra surprise in store for them this year.  Citibank is sending 1099-MISC forms to customers who received thousands of “free” airline miles in return for opening a new account and is notifying the Internal Revenue Service that these miles represent More…

Jan 052012
 
IRS Extends Deadline To File 2011 Income Tax Returns

In a pleasant turn of events, the IRS has announced that taxpayers will have two extra days to file their tax returns for their 2011 income taxes. Taxpayers will have until Tuesday, April 17 to file their 2011 tax returns and pay any tax due.  This is because April 15 falls on a Sunday, and Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in the District of Columbia, falls this year on Monday, April 16.  The Emancipation Day holiday celebrates the day in 1862 when President Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act, which freed about 3,100 slaves in the district.  According to federal law, More…

Dec 232011
 
New Form 1099 Rules For 2012

The IRS will implement new rules in 2012 that will likely affect most businesses.  Changes have been made to the reporting rules for IRS form 1099, the form used to report various types of income other than wages, salaries, and tips (for which Form W-2 is used instead).  This form generally applies to independent contractors and business suppliers, and does not affect those who are full-time employees. The new regulations will require the issuance of 1099 forms for nearly all payments over $600 to a business’ suppliers, not just those payments made to independent contractors.  This includes items like commissions, More…