Archive for Income Tax

Paying Too Much CGT? Pravin Gordhan’s Tax Rate Reprieve

Hugo van Zyl

During February 2016 the beleaguered South African Minister of Finance, Minister Pravin Gordhan, made a serious attempt to balance government’s books.

Gordhan was called back after Minister Nene was removed from his position, by President Zuma early December 2015. The true reason for this politically motivated musical chairs, appointing three ministers in less than 4 days, remains a mystery. Point is Nene was removed and Gordhan had to step in and rescue the cash flow and ensure the country did not face junk status.

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IRS Provides Tax Relief to Houston Area Storm Victims; Tax Deadline Extended to Sept. 1

David Green

Texas storm victims, including those in the Houston area, will have until Sept. 1, 2016 to file their returns and pay any taxes due, the Internal Revenue Service announced today. All workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization also qualify for relief. Read more

What You Need to Know about Taxable and Non-Taxable Income

David Green

All income is taxable unless a law specifically says it isn’t. Here are some basic rules you should know to help you file an accurate tax return:

Taxable income. Taxable income includes money you earn, like wages and tips. It also includes bartering, an exchange of property or services. The fair market value of property or services received is normally taxable…. Read more

Earned Income Credit & Other Credits

Debra Thompson

Millions of Americans forgo critical tax relief each year by failing to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a federal tax credit for individuals who work but do not earn high incomes. Taxpayers who qualify and claim the credit could pay less federal tax, pay no tax or even get a tax refund.

Last year, an estimated 21 million taxpayers received approximately $37.5 billion in EITC. However, the IRS estimates Read more

AVOID PENALTIES – Get Income Tax Extension Requests Filed & Estimated Income Taxes Paid


Remember your US Income Tax extension request is ONLY for additional TIME to FILE your tax forms, your income tax payments, estimated or otherwise, are still due April 18th 2016.

Most US Taxpayers forget that income tax payments are due in April, even if an extension request for more time to file the forms has been accepted.  Resist the urge to bury your head in the sand, penalties quickly add up. Read more

CRA Forms T1134 and T1135 Often Missed by Canadian U.S. Real Estate Investors


The T1134 and T1135 are a sample of Canadian foreign information returns like the U.S. 8938, 5471 or 8865.

A number of Canadians are investing in the U.S. real estate market with a U.S. limited partnership whose limited partners are solely Canadian residents and the general partner is a U.S. C corporation whose shareholders are also Canadian residents.

For those who want limited liability protection, this type of Read more

Is Your “Business” Actually A Hobby?


You may have started a home-based business and now it is tax time and you don’t know what to do. You’re operating a business, so your expenses are deductible, right? Not. So. Fast.

If you’re not making a profit, the IRS may regard your business as a hobby. If this happens, you may not be able to deduct your losses. You would still report the income from the hobby activity, but it would be Other Income on line 21 of the Read more

Tax Issues For A Marijuana Business – Legal And Illegal


In recent years, the use of medical marijuana has been on the increase. Indeed, at least 24 states plus the District of Columbia have made medical marijuana legal with more likely to follow. Can the widespread sale of recreational marijuana be far behind? It is already legal for recreational use in four states plus DC. This is not about whether or not marijuana should be legal for medical or recreational use, it is about the tax hurdles faced by businesses that sell marijuana. Read more

Limitation period for objection not running where Notice of Assessment


The Canadian Income Tax Act provides a time period in which one may appeal a notice of assessment or reassessment. It is not unusual for a taxpayer not to have received the NOA. Although the taxpayer should advise CRA of any change in addresses or to correct an incorrect address on file, this case was decided on the premise of the lack of communication to the taxpayer of CRA’s assessment of tax payable for a taxation year.

Per CCH report on recent cases: Read more

Who gets to claim the children on their taxes?


Incident to a divorce, one question that must be settled between the two spouses is “Who gets to claim the children on their taxes?” It is most commonly thought that reference to the divorce decree (Qualified Domestic Relations Order or QDRO). However, this may not be the case.

Under IRS rules children of unmarried parents are claimed as dependents on the custodial parent’s return. The custodial parent is determined strictly by a time test. The qualifying child must have the same principal place of residence as the taxpayer for more than half the year if the taxpayer is to qualify as the custodial parent. Read more

Double Trouble! Employment Taxes & The Trust Fund Recovery Penalty


Lord, hou schulde God approve that you robbe Petur and gif is robbere to Poule in ye name of Crist?”

John Wycliffe, Selected English Works, c. 1380

In medieval England, the Christian Peter and Paul were two peas in a pod. They were both apostles and both martyred in Rome. They even shared the same feast day (June 29). So, the idea behind the phrase “robbing Peter to pay Paul” is that the victim and payee are similar in wisdom and stature (to borrow a phrase). The modern-day equivalent is taking a cash advance from one credit card to make the minimum payment on another one, assuming that they both have a similar interest rate. Read more

Colorado Tax Update & Top 10 Hacks To Streamline the Filing Process

John Dundon

My friends at the Colorado Department of Revenue Tax Division have been hard at work amending and repealing several different personal and corporate income tax regulations with a handful of notable mentions for non-residents and part year residents alike.

The updated guidance on determining credits for taxes paid to other states maybe worth a look. Of interest to me is that the year in which the income is actually earned by the taxpayer rather than the year it was paid is the reporting year.  This is a sneaker that can be huge for certain folks and is why we “plan” for transitions in our life as best we can.

What is of concern to me and will be monitored to the best of my ability is that mere presence in Colorado directly or indirectly via a pass through entity impacts source income. Read more