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The IRS’ Power to Fish for Records

Taxpayers often do not want the IRS to have access to their information. This is understandable. The IRS has had problems keeping taxpayer information confidential. Take the case of Ward v. United States, 973 F. Supp. 996 (D. Colo. 1997). In that case, the IRS director and agent disclosed the taxpayer’s information in a live […]

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Avoid Tax by Returning Pay

There are times when a business structure or transaction no longer makes sense. This may be due to a change in the business environment, such as swings in the economy or unexpected gains or losses. It can also arise due to a change in the owners’ personal circumstances, such as a divorce or death of […]

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Worker Reclassification: Degree of Control

The Groundhog Day movie from the 90’s starring Bill Murray portrays a news anchorman who lives the same day over and over again. He is stuck in a loop. Each day starts the same way. Bill tries to alter his conduct and he interacts with different people throughout the movie. The other characters act and […]

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Avoiding Gift Taxes With Formula Clauses

Congress has slowly upped the amount that can be transferred free of estate and gift taxes. This amount has changed over time. It was $1 million in 2003. It is now just over $11.5 million in 2020. This means that many people do not need to worry about estate and gift taxes. Estate and gift […]

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Deducting Interest for More than One Home

The mortgage interest deduction seems simple enough. The Code provides a deduction for mortgage interest that is paid during the year. It starts with a broad grant: There shall be allowed as a deduction all interest paid or accrued within the taxable year on indebtedness. Then these 18 words in a single sentence are followed […]

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Tax Planning for Contingent Loans

Tax is often about timing. Timing issues are those where the taxpayer defers the requirement to pay taxes to a later date. Preferably a later date that is many, many years in the future. The hope is that the taxpayer can retain the amounts that would have been paid in tax today and use the […]

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Is Homeless a Requirement for an IRS Payment Agreement?

Indifference. It is generally defined as “lack of interest, concern, or sympathy.” Those who are unfortunate enough to work with the government employees to resolve a case or matter often have a profound understanding of this term. This is true of just about every government function–be it local, state, or federal. When it comes to […]

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Limited Partner Subject to Self-Employment Tax

When it comes to tax law, there are quite a few known-unknowns. These are tax questions that have been raised tangentially in court cases and rulings, but have not been fully answered. These situations confuse taxpayers. Tax practitioners are often asked to provide answers. The answers from tax practitioners often differ, as practitioners have different […]

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Tax Court Clarifies Employee Tool Plans

Prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) of 2018, it was common for employers to simply pay employees more and leave it to the employees to deduct their employee business expenses on their personal income tax returns. The TCJA limited the employee’s ability to deduct employee business expenses. Many employers responded by adopting […]

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Fixing Trust Fund Recovery Penalties

The public may not be fully cognizant of this, but, the IRS is in the business of processing information and making decisions. It accomplishes this by siloing work on tax returns and accounts. The siloed work is intended to allow the IRS to process and make consistent decisions based on a very large volume of […]