Tag Archive for Internal Revenue Code

Did You Know That President Obama Could Obtain Donald Trump’s Tax Returns?

Ron Marini

In this presidential election, the Republican candidate Donald Trump steadfastly refuses to release his tax returns. This has caused political blogs to have a lively discussion regarding whether President Obama could request Donald Trump’s tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)?

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Reporting A “Treaty-Based Position”—Internal Revenue Code S. 6114 Using Form 8833

John Richardson

The United States has many tax treaties with many nations. As a general principle the “savings clause” prevents Americans abroad from having the benefit of treaty provisions. That said, there are situations where a U.S. citizen abroad can benefit from the specific provisions of a specific treaty.

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Changing Taxation-Based Citizenship Through Regulation, Not Law

John RIchardson

This post is a continuation to my recent post: “The Internal Revenue Code does not explicitly define “citizen”, “citizenship” or require “citizenship-based taxation“.

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U.S. Citizens Are Subject To U.S. Taxation Wherever They Live In The World

John Richardson

It is widely understood that the United States Internal Revenue Code requires that  “U.S. citizens” are subject to U.S. taxation wherever they may live in the world. Although this is true, the Internal Revenue Code:

  • Does NOT explicitly say that U.S. citizens are subject to U.S. taxation on their world income wherever they reside; and
  • Does NOT explicitly define the term “citizen” or “U.S. citizen”. (This contrasts with the the terms: “U.S. Person”, “Permanent Resident”, “Substantial presence”, etc. that ARE explicitly defined in the Internal Revenue Code.) This means that the starting point for the definition of “U.S. citizen” is in the 14th Amendment of the Constitution and the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.

Some thoughts on each of these points…

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Are Legal Expenses Tax Deductible?

Barry Fowler40

A frequent question that arises is whether legal expenses are deductible. The answer to that question can be both yes and no and can be complicated depending upon the nature of the legal expense.

The Internal Revenue Code (IRC), which is the body of tax laws written by the United States (U.S.) Congress and approved by the president in office at the time the law is created, tells us that except as otherwise expressly provided, such as itemized deductions, no deduction shall be allowed for personal, living, or family expenses. The IRC also says that, in the case of an individual, deductions are allowed for all of the ordinary and necessary expenses paid or incurred during the taxable year:

For the production or collection of taxable income; Read more

The Service Issues New Administrative Authority Governing TPR De Minimis Safe Harbor Limits for Small Businesses


On November 24th of 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (hereinafter the “Service”) streamlined the compliance for the Tangible Property Regulations (hereinafter “TPR”) for small businesses by increasing the safe harbor threshold for deducting certain capital items from $ 500 to $ 2,500 under IRS Notice 2015-82. The scope affects businesses that do not maintain an Applicable Financial Statement (hereinafter “AFS”) such as an audited financial statement. It applies to amounts spent to acquire, produce or improve tangible property that would normally qualify as a capital item.

The new $2,500 threshold applies to any such item that is substantiated by an invoice. As a result, small businesses will be able to immediately deduct expenditures that would otherwise need to be spread over a period of years through annual depreciation deductions. The new $2,500 threshold takes effect starting with tax year 2016. Read more

National Taxpayer Advocate Report To Congress Released

TaxConnections Picture - Tax Bulls Eye 3 - square

On 1/14/15, Nina Olson, the National Taxpayer Advocate released her required annual report to Congress about problems with the tax system. As noted on the NTA website, the key parts of this 700+ page report are:

Most Serious Problems Legislative Recommendations Most Litigated Issues Volume 2: TAS Research and Related Studies

Some key points noted include:

• Tax law complexity (here + Executive Summary)
• The need to put taxpayer bill of rights into the Internal Revenue Code (here)
• Problems due to inadequate funding of the IRS (here + Executive Summary) Read more

Research Basics – Authority and Methodology Part 2 of a 6 Part Series on Research

TaxConnections Picture - BooksLet’s do a quick review of the levels of authoritative research sources for the IRS. We are always being told that IRS pubs are not binding or authoritative in scope by the IRS so when we do research we need to dig deeper. The pubs are handy for helping the layman understand the process and they have some pretty good examples and formula computations. But you always need the underlying internal Revenue Code (IRC) for the pub. The IRC is the Holy Bible for the IRS. It gives them their cans and cant’s. It gives them their authority and also limits that authority. It is from whence all things income tax flows. If the IRC is the Bible then the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) is the how-to manual.

The authority on this subject, and the person who I strive to emulate, is Peter J. Scalise. His article, Tax Research Techniques, used with his permission, is the basis for the rest of this post.

• Step 1: Establish the facts and circumstances (Joe Friday Style: Just the facts, Ma’am!)

• Step 2: Determine all tax issues (even if the IRS hasn’t brought them up yet)

• Step 3: Identify the specific authorities involved: (who are YOU dealing with?)

Statutory Authority – The Internal Revenue Code (IRC)

Administrative Authority Read more