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Tag Archive for Tax Problems

“Accidental Americans” Caught In A Kafkaean Trap

Kat Jennings

This article was passed along to us and was originally printed in French for the French magazine L’obs. Due to its dealings with FATCA, we decided to post it for you.

A recent US tax law requires all nationals to report their income. Those who were born by chance in the United States like Fabien live a nightmare.

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Ten Ways to Avoid Problems at Tax Time

Debra Thompson

Looking for ways to avoid the last-minute rush for doing your taxes? The IRS offers these tips.

1.Don’t Procrastinate.Resist the temptation to put off your taxes until the last minute. Your haste to meet the filing deadline may cause you to overlook potential sources of tax savings and will likely increase your risk of making an error.

2.Organize Your Tax Records.Tax preparation time can be Read more

Preventing Tax Problems When Employees Travel

Sending employees on business trips is essential for countless companies and can result in tax headaches for both the employer and the employee if the tax regulations are not adhered to. If the rules are followed, the cost of the employee’s travel will be fully deductible to the employer, with the exception of meals, which are only 50% deductible, and tax-free reimbursement to the employee. In addition, the reimbursement is not subject to FICA or payroll withholding.

On the other hand, if the rules are not followed, the expenses are still deductible by the employer, but the reimbursement must be added to the employee’s taxable wages, subject to both FICA and payroll withholding. Read more

When Do You Need To Hire A Tax Attorney?

In a world of CPA’s, tax preparers, enrolled agents, bookkeepers and accountants, it can be confusing to know when to hire a tax attorney. After all, you’re not hiring a tax lawyer to prepare your annual income tax return. So when and why would you need a tax attorney’s services?

IRS And State Tax Disputes

First and foremost, you need a tax lawyer if you have a dispute with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or any State Tax Agency.

Most tax disputes arise in the form of an audit of one or several past tax returns. If the IRS notifies you of an audit, you should hire a tax attorney immediately. Read more

An Unusual But Effective IRS Collection Tool: The Writ Of Ne Exeat Republica

Congress has given the IRS potent tools to collect taxes. The IRS can impose liens on a taxpayer’s property and can seize it through levy, all without prior judicial authorization. But for taxpayers who attempt to move or keep their assets offshore to circumvent IRS collections – beware of the writ of ne exeat republica.

The writ of ne exeat republica effectively prevents a person from leaving the Court’s jurisdiction and the IRS has demonstrated that where its efforts to seize a taxpayer’s property to collect his past due taxes, the IRS essentially seized the taxpayer instead.

Predictably, it takes some fairly serious misbehavior to lead a court to bar someone from traveling – and that is what happened to Charles and Kathleen Barrett of Colorado. Read more

Freelancer? Avoid These ‘7 Deadly Sins’ At Tax Time

In separate reports, Zen99 and the consumer finance website nerdwallet ranked Los Angeles the best city for freelancers. In 2012, 12% of people in Los Angeles reported themselves as self-employed. Each of these website reports considered housing and health care costs, the percentage of freelancers in an area as factors. Even before the sharing economy began to take off, the entertainment industry and growing tech scene were already strong sources of freelance gigs in L.A.

For freelancers, consultants, actors and other self employed people, life gets complicated come tax time. Digging around for the paperwork to fill out tax forms practically qualify as exercise. Such business people have a nightmare trying to find receipts which is why you should keep track expenses and receipts year round rather than pursuing a paper chase Read more

IRS Agents To Hunt Tax Dodgers Overseas

On a recent airplane trip from the Bay Area to Southern California, I sat beside a distinguished-looking elderly man. I initiated a conversation with him and found out he was a former judge now living in Mexico. We talked about everything, including taxation.

The former judge admitted that he was an American citizen and he and some of his friends have problems sleeping because of Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). So, I asked him what about Foreign Bank Account Reporting (FBAR), as that was more serious than FATCA. But he had never heard about it. I wondered how many people are like the former judge and his friends who can’t sleep at night because of FATCA and who never heard of FBAR. Read more

5 Biggest, Best Homeowner Tax Breaks – Get Them While They Are Still Here!

Leaving off deductions you’re eligible for, such as mortgage interest and property taxes, is leaving money on the table and with tax reform revving up again on Capitol Hill, with the heads of key committees pledging to work toward a simpler and fairer tax code, Congress may be looking to tradeoff these tax breaks with lower tax rates. Sounds intriguing?

Homeownership can pay off big time if you itemize your deductions. Use these five tax breaks to cut what you owe Uncle Sam:

1. Home Office

Do you work at home? Collect a tax break either by using the simplified method explained below or doing some complicated calculations to claim your exact home office expenses. Read more

IRS Extended A Sweetheart Deal On Valentine’s Day To U.S. Taxpayers With Undisclosed Foreign Bank Accounts

On June 18, 2014, the IRS announced major changes in the 2012 offshore account compliance programs, providing new options to help taxpayers residing in the United States and overseas. The changes are anticipated to provide thousands of people a new avenue to come back into compliance with their tax obligations and would largely waive these penalties if taxpayers come forward and show that they didn’t hide the money on purpose.

Separate from United States income tax returns, many U.S. persons are required to file with the U.S. Treasury a return commonly known as an “FBAR” (or Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts; known as FinCEN Form 114), listing all non-US bank and financial accounts. These forms are required if on any day of any calendar year an Read more

Tools And Tactics That IRS Criminal Investigation Division Uses To Gather Information About You

A simple mistake, oversight, or your accountant’s malpractice may trigger an IRS criminal investigation. Specifically, unreported income, a false statement, the use of an impermissible accounting or banking service, or declaring too many deductions are things that could initiate an audit, which could then rise to the level of an IRS criminal investigation.

As you can imagine, the IRS Criminal Investigation Division (“CID”) uses a vast array of tools to investigate a suspected tax evasion case or while conducting a criminal investigation. If you think about it, every employee of the IRS has a single task of ensuring that the IRS tax collections are maximized. IRS Special Agents, who work on the criminal tax cases, are no different. If you file your taxes, their goal is to prove that you may have Read more

The Tax Benefits of Claiming Your Sweetheart on Your Tax Return – Part 2 (Final)

Valentine’s Day is all about that special someone in your life, but have you ever wondered if your date across the dinner table might actually be able to save you money on your tax return or if the two of you now decide to get married, whether you can deduct any portion of the wedding and thereafter pay less in taxes?

In Part 1 of this blog, I discussed what you need to know about who qualifies as a dependent and what you need to know on deducting gifts to your staff.

Can you get a Tax Write-Off for your wedding?

Tax write-offs are usually the last thing a bride and groom think about when planning a wedding. To the surprise of many, however, wedding purchases and/or rentals can Read more

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