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Articles Houston Tax

Avoiding Tax Penalties for Bookkeeper’s Mistakes

Taxes are computed based on accounting records. Accounting records are often complied by bookkeepers who have no tax training or experience. The bookkeepers may not intend to provide tax advice. Their work product may be used to prepare tax returns, however. The tax return preparer may move the numbers from the bookkeeper’s profit and loss…Continue…Continue readingAvoiding Tax Penalties for Bookkeeper’s Mistakes

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Articles Houston Tax

How to Challenge Payroll Taxes

Payroll tax disputes can be more difficult to resolve with the IRS than some other types of taxes. This is largely due to the IRS’s notice of deficiency process. The IRS’s notice of deficiency is the final notice the IRS sends before it assesses or records a tax as being due. The notice is required…Continue…Continue readingHow to Challenge Payroll Taxes

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Articles Houston Tax

Enough is Enough, But An Amended Tax Return is Not

The process for reporting taxes can be more difficult than discerning whether a tax provision applies. This complexity stems from the level of information is required to be reported. The IRS reporting requirements continue increase every year. The IRS’s decision to require partnership tax capital accounts is an example. Why is that information required and…Continue…Continue readingEnough is Enough, But An Amended Tax Return is Not

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Articles Houston Tax

Fixing Self-Directed IRA Errors

There are ways to structure transactions to avoid income taxes. Creative taxpayers and tax attorneys have used qualified retirement accounts for this purpose (the tax savings from ESOPs is an example). One has to be careful when structuring transactions involving these qualified plans. Given the flexibility in the rules and the absence of financial advisors,…Continue…Continue readingFixing Self-Directed IRA Errors

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Articles Dallas Probate

Probate & Below Market Rental Property

The “too good to be true” lease. It’s the month-to-month lease agreement for a friend. It’s the lease that charges below-market rent. What happens to the real estate subject to this type of lease when the owner dies? What should you do if you are the personal representative and this property is part of the…Continue…Continue readingProbate & Below Market Rental Property

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Articles Houston Probate

Drafting Agreements in Probate Cases

The beneficiaries and heirs of a probate estate are not stuck with the distributions set out in the decedent’s will or by Texas intestacy laws. The beneficiaries and heirs can agree among themselves to some other distribution scheme. This usually involves negotiating and recording the agreement in a family settlement agreement. A carefully drafted settlement…Continue…Continue readingDrafting Agreements in Probate Cases

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Articles Probate San Antonio

Probate Court Cannot Order Executor to Act

Our Texas probate laws provide for independent administrations. The term “independent administration” means a probate that has very little court supervision or involvement. The “independent executor” is left to themselves to know and follow the law. This is why many executors prefer to serve as dependent administrators. They prefer having the court make the difficult…Continue…Continue readingProbate Court Cannot Order Executor to Act

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Articles Dallas Probate

Failing to Notify Heirs of a Probate Case

Our legal system is based on the idea that each party to a lawsuit should be notified of the suit. This ensures that they can protect their interests or defend themselves against the suit. With probate cases, this involves personally serving citation. This notice process is mentioned in several sections of the Texas Estates Code.…Continue…Continue readingFailing to Notify Heirs of a Probate Case

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Articles Houston Probate

Nonresident Executor Subject to Texas Jurisdiction

Many courts shifted to online zoom hearings when the COVID virus situation started. This includes probate courts in Texas. This makes sense. Many probate hearings require witnesses. The witnesses are usually friends and acquaintances of the deceased. As with the deceased, generally, they are usually older. They may be more susceptible to have a strong…Continue…Continue readingNonresident Executor Subject to Texas Jurisdiction

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Articles Probate San Antonio

About Selecting the Probate Court

There are times when you want to have a local judge or court decide a case. This can help if the court is familiar with the local circumstances or the parties. It can also help if there is a similar fact pattern that one knows the judge or court has considered previously or if the…Continue…Continue readingAbout Selecting the Probate Court