TaxConnections


 

Archive for Income Tax

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

New Developments – Tax Credits For 2015

Harold-Goedde

1. Earned income (EITC).

Taxpayers with no children it is $503, with one child $3,359, two qualifying children $5,548, three qualifying children $6,342 but are subject to AGI phase­outs. The recent tax law makes permanent the increase of $5,000 in the phase­out amount for joint filers scheduled to expire after 2017. The law also makes permanent the increased 45% credit percentage for taxpayers with three or more qualifying children. Under prior law, both increases had been available only through 2017. It also makes permanent the reduced earned income threshold of $3,000. The law makes the following provisions permanent:

(a) Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Required. The EITC is denied with respect to any taxable year for which the taxpayer has a TIN that has been issued after the due date for filing the return, including extensions. Read more

The Exclusion Amount Of The Gain From The Sale Of Your Main Home

If you sold your home during the year and made a gain, you may be able to exclude all of that gain from your taxable income. To qualify for this tax benefit, the home sold must have been your principal residence. You can exclude from your taxable income, the gain from the sale of your main home, of up to $250,000 ($500,000 if filing a joint return). To qualify for this exclusion, however, all of the following must be true:

• You owned the home for at least 2 of the last 5 years (the ownership test).
• You lived in the home as your main home for at least 2 of the last 5 years (the use test).
• You did not exclude gain from the sale of another home during the 2-year period ending on the date of the sale. Read more

FATCA 2015 Roundup: It’s All Serious Business!

TaxConnections Member Manasa Nadig

A lot has been written about the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act {FATCA} in the past year. As this year comes to a close and I write up this post, I wanted to give you all, my dear readers a synopsis at your finger-tips, a round-up, if you will of some major FATCA events for 2015:

1. FBAR Deadlines Changed:

On July 31, 2015 President Obama signed the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 into law, which modified the due date of several key forms for Americans with foreign income and Americans living abroad. That includes the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, or Form 114, colloquially known as the FBAR.

Any U.S. person with a financial interest in, or signatory authority over, foreign financial accounts must file the FBAR, if at any time, the aggregate value of their relevant foreign account or accounts exceeds $10,000. An account over Read more

Tax Return Tips For Your 2015 Tax Returns

John Stancil

As The United States Tax Code gets more complex, one would think that the number of individuals utilizing a paid preparer would be on the increase. However, that is not the case. More and more individuals are filing their own returns. I see at least two reasons for this. The individual tax return market can be viewed as consisting of two segments – very simple returns with no itemized deductions or other complications in the return and more complex returns utilizing multiple tax schedules and tax forms. As the standard deduction increases, more taxpayers are taking the standard deduction, so their tax return is fairly simple to prepare. Adding to the simplicity of the return is the second factor – availability of inexpensive or free preparation software. Since these typically guide the taxpayer in preparation, the task becomes even simpler.

However, taxpayers of all stripes should be aware of certain factors involved in filing their returns. I have provided my “Ten Best Tips for Filing your Return.” These tips can be useful for those preparing their own returns, but they can also guide the taxpayer using a CPA or other professional preparer in assembling their information for the preparer.

• File tax returns on time, even if you cannot pay now. You will be assessed a penalty and interest for failure to pay, but you will avoid the failure to file penalty. This penalty is 5% per month of the amount of taxes owed, up to 25%. If you don’t owe, there shouldn’t be a penalty. Read more

Which 1040 Is The Right One For You?

TaxConnections Member Barry Fowler

When Benjamin Franklin said that nothing is certain but death and taxes, he managed to name two of the things that people loathe and fear the most. One of the things that makes taxes so unpleasant is obviously the fact that you have to hand over some of your hard-earned money to the government, and the other is that it can be so difficult to figure out how to fill out the forms – and which one to use.

The rule of thumb for choosing your personal income tax form is to try to go with the one that is easiest to understand, but that being said, you also need to be sure that it is the one that is correct. The government provides three forms – the 1040, the 1040A, and the 1040EZ – and all are meant to help you pay the amount that you owe. But each form has a different purpose, and if you choose the wrong one, it can end up meaning that you either pay more than you owe or end up having to pay fines for not paying enough. Read more

Tax Return Due Dates and Some History

Several federal bills enacted in 2015 included tax changes. One of these was P.L. 114-41 (7/31/15), the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act. Given the title, we might think that any tax change involved transportation, such as the gasoline excise tax. Wrong! This bill does not increase the gasoline excise tax. Its main purpose is to transfer money from the general fund to the Highway Trust Fund because our gasoline excise tax of 18.4 cents per gallon is insufficient to fund the HTF (and more fuel efficient cars means we buy less gas each year).  [I’ve blogged on this a few times – here, for example.]

One of the tax change in P.L. 114-41 is to change due dates of certain returns, starting mostly for the 2016 tax year. The purpose is improved administration of our tax system. For example, one change is to move the due date for a Read more

2015: Year End – Tax Planning For Individuals, What To Expect!

It’s November! I am always surprised by it’s arrival and the realization that it’s year-end tax planning time. The shortened day-light hours seem to make that certain without a doubt. So let’s roll-up our sleeves, get down to work and fine-tune possible last-minute strategies for lowering your 2015 tax bill.

Tax Brackets: Let’s take a quick look at the 2015 tax brackets, you will see from the table below that the top tax rate of 39.6% will apply to incomes over $$413,200 (single), $464,851 (married filing jointly and surviving spouse), $232,426 (married filing separately), and $439,000 (heads of households):

The 3.8% net investment income tax and/or the 0.9% Medicare surtax will also apply if you Read more

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