Oct 082012
 

Last week, the Florida Supreme Court unanimously ruled that foreigners and out-of-state residents may qualify for the homestead exemption from property taxes found in the Florida Constitution when their home is the permanent residence of a dependent who is eligible for the homestead exemption. The case involved David and Ana Andonie, who migrated to Florida from Honduras on investment visas, and were denied a 2006 homestead exemption on their $1 million home despite the fact that their three minor children were born in Miami, were U.S. citizens, and had never resided outside the State of Florida.  The Miami-Dade Property Appraiser More…

Sep 142012
 
Amazon To Begin Collecting Sales Tax In California, When Will Florida Get Its Due?

Beginning this Saturday, September 15, 2012, online retailer Amazon.com will begin collecting sales tax for orders made in the State of California.  This will mark an end to a long fight between the internet sales giant and one of the largest states in the union. For years, Amazon relied on the 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision of Quill Corp. v. North Dakota to justify not collecting and paying state sales tax.  In that case, the Quill Corporation sold office equipment and supplies by soliciting business through catalogs and flyers, advertisements in national periodicals, and telephone calls.  Its annual national sales More…

Sep 072012
 
Church May Have Violated IRC By Endorsing Romney For President

St. Raphael Catholic Church of El Paso Texas appears to have violated the IRC by endorsing Mitt Romney in its bulletin.  “I am asking all of you to go to the polls and be united in replacing our present president with a president that will respect the Catholic Church in this country,” the entry in the church’s August 5 bulletin says. “Please pass this on to all of your Catholic friends.” 501(c)(3) organizations are strictly prohibited for engaging in political activity under several provisions of the IRC.  The rules that apply with respect to lobbying activities are set forth in More…

Jul 112012
 
Questions Abound Regarding IRS’ Ability To Enforce Healthcare Law

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled affirmatively on the new healthcare law and its most controversial measure, the individual mandate, the IRS must prepare to enforce the new legislation while still maintaining its customary obligation of collecting the taxes necessary to run the federal government.  Some have called into question if the problem-stricken agency can handle this new obligation, as well as whether the IRS has maintained adequate transparency in preparing for the role. As the IRS seeks funding to build a system to oversee the healthcare mandate, Republicans suspect the agency is already diverting resources away from More…

Jun 282012
 
Supreme Court Upholds Healthcare Law By Finding Individual Mandate Qualifies As A Tax

In a surprising conclusion to a constitutional challenge that has gripped the nation for the past two years, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts joined with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan today to uphold the linchpin of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”), President Barack Obama’s healthcare bill, the individual mandate requiring citizens to carry insurance or pay a penalty.  The court held the mandate valid under the authority granted to Congress under Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution “to lay and collect Taxes” to provide for the “general More…

Jun 042012
 
Supreme Court Rules That Cities Have The Ability To Forgive Future Tax Payments Without Violating Equal Protection

In a case that could impact the future tax policy of municipal governments, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that the city of Indianapolis did not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when it decided to forgive future property tax obligations for certain taxpayers, but refused to the refund the payments made by other taxpayers for the same assessments. In the case of Armour v. City of Indianapolis, the high court ruled by a 6-3 vote that authorities in Indianapolis had not violated the Constitution in their handling of a special sewer tax More…

Apr 302012
 
Supreme Court Deals Blow to IRS In Tax Shelter Case

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the IRS in a decision that may prevent the collection of $1 billion from people who used a tax shelter that was popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s.  In United States v. Home Concrete & Supply, LLC, the Court found that Section 6501(e)(1)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code, which extends the limitations period for the government to assess a deficiency against a taxpayer, does not apply when a taxpayer overstates the basis in property that he has sold, thereby understating the gain received from the sale. The general rule is that the More…