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Tag Archive for Tax Court

No Gift Tax On Transfer Of Property To Trusts, Italian Ruling

Marco Rossi

In its ruling n. 21614 of October 26, 2016 Italy’s Supreme Court considered the issue of the application of the gift tax upon the transfer of property to a trust. The issue arises under the provisions of Law n. 262 of October 3, 2006, which reinstated the gift tax. Article 2 of Law 262, at paragraph 45 and 49, while providing on the scope of the newly reinstated gift tax, refers to “legal arrangements having the effect of creating constraints or limitation on the use, enjoyment and disposition of property”, for the final benefit of a person of for a specified purpose.

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Tax Court Upholds Penalties On Expat’s Failure To Disclose

Ephraim Moss

In a new decision, the Tax Court upheld heavy penalties imposed by the IRS on a U.S. expat taxpayer who failed to report his ownership in two foreign corporations. The decision certainly serves as a cautionary tale for expats – the IRS is serious about foreign reporting and the U.S. court system has its back.

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Court Finds Couple Willfully Failed To File FBAR

Ephraim Moss

If you thought FBAR penalties were more bark than bite, a recent U.S. District court case is sure to change your mind.

In United States v. August Bohanec et ux, USDC CD Ca., No. 2:15-cv-04347 (December 2016), the Court found that the taxpayer’s failure to file the FBAR was willful and affirmed the IRS’s enhanced FBAR civil penalty, i.e., a fine equal to the greater of $100,000 or 50% of the balance in their unreported accounts.

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Hobby VS Business Loss – A U.S. Tax Court Case Ruling

Harold Goedde

A loss from a legitimate business activity is fully deductible against other income. If the loss exceeds income, it can be carried forward to offset business income in future years. If an activity is deemed a hobby by the IRS, a loss cannot be deducted. The IRS has many criteria for determining whether an activity is a hobby or a business [See the author’s article on hobby losses for details].

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Children’s Dependency Exemptions

Harold Goedde

This article will discuss the requirements to claim a child as a dependent and the requirements for a non-custodial parent to claim an exemption. It also discusses the ”tie breaker” rule, voluntary release of the exemption by the custodial parent to the non-custodial parent, and a recent Tax Court decision that dealt with this issue.

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How To Protect Yourself From The IRS On Travel Expense Mileage – Free Mile Tracking App

Kat Jennings

The IRS has stringent rules regarding taxpayers. In the case of using your business car for work, you must be able track everything perfectly. If you don’t, the IRS will not allow you to deduct expenses.

If you plan on deducting the miles you drive to attract and meet prospective clients, you would have to keep an accurate record of your travel. This would include:

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Seven Individuals Sentenced To Prison For Online Fraud Scams

William Byrnes

Seven defendants were sentenced for their roles in online fraud schemes involving counterfeit checks, “mystery shopper” websites and work-from-home scams. Funso Hassan, 27, of Ibadan, Nigeria, and Anthony Shane Jeffers, 44, of Maryville, Tennessee, each pleaded guilty on April 12, 2016, to one count of conspiracy to commit identity theft and theft of government property and one count of use of mail and an interstate facility to distribute proceeds of a racketeering activity.

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Filed Joint Return But Spouse Did Not Sign?

Tax Court Did Not Consider To Be A Valid Return

In Reifler, TC Memo 2015-199TC Memo 2015-199, the Tax Court recently held that a joint return not signed by the wife was not a valid return and, as a result, imposed the failure-to-file penalty. In so doing, it rejected the taxpayer’s arguments that the return was valid either because it substantially complied with the valid return rules or because the wife intended to file a joint return and tacitly consented to the filing of a joint return.

Signatures on a tax return not only verify that a return has indeed been filed by the person indicated on the front page of a Form 1040 but also certify that all the statements in the tax return are made under penalty of perjury and are true, correct, and complete to the best of Read more

Flying Over International Waters And In U.S.? Flight Attendant Denied Exclusion

Recently in Rogers case, the DC court affirmed the Tax Court’s decision that a flight attendant who performed some duties in and over the U.S. and international waters could not exclude all of her wages under IRC 911 as foreign earned income.

The taxpayer worked as an international flight attendant based in Hong Kong. She performed in-flight duties and some pre-departure and post-arrival work and was generally paid according to her flight time. She received vacation time and benefits, and could receive guarantee pay for work that she would have performed on flights that were canceled. When she received guarantee pay, she was required to remain in Hong Kong awaiting reassignment to another flight. The airline provided the taxpayer with an apportionment of her estimated duty time between minutes spent in or over foreign Read more

SB/SE Issues Memo Outlining Changes To The Limitations Period For Cases Going To And Coming From IRS Appeals

This article was co-authored by Randall Brody, EA of Tax Samaritan. I wish to acknowledge his keen insight and invaluable contributions to this article.

Picture this. You receive a notice of determination from the IRS informing you that you owe more tax than you reported on your tax return. As is usually the case, the IRS issues a 30-day letter, advising you that you have 30 days to request Appeals consideration of the case.

But a new interim guidance issued by the IRS might make waiting for such a letter the equivalent of “waiting for Godot.” Why? This new guidance severely restricts the rights of certain taxpayers from seeking redress of their disputed tax determinations in Appeals, by Read more

Beware! Your Hobby Business Could Land You In Tax Court

Your hobby business could land you in Tax Court – avoid IRS pitfalls by how you structure your small business.

Many people successfully develop a hobby into a going concern and actually receive income from it. That income must always be reported and taxes paid on that money regardless of your situation. If you leave that hobby as a hobby, under the tax law, you are not allowed to deduct any of the losses incurred by activity in that hobby. That is the reason most people turn their hobbies into businesses once they start making money.

When Are Hobby Losses Deductible?

By showing that your pursuit of your “hobby” is an activity engaged in for profit, you may be Read more

New Developments (As of December 23, 2014)

Recently, there have been several important IRS and court opinions affecting various areas of taxation.

A. Distribution of benefits to estate beneficiaries.

An executor was aware that the estate would owe significant taxes but instead of distributing the assets to the beneficiaries, he had the estate distribute money to himself and other heirs. As a result, the estate did not have enough funds to pay the taxes. The IRS put a lien against other property owned by the executor. The executor appealed the IRS decision to a Pennsylvania District court. The court upheld the IRS decision stating that the executor is personally liable for depleting the assets of the estate [Stiles, D.C., PA]. Read more

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