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Tag Archive for tax return

2016 IRS Data Book Shows Chances Of Being Audited

Ephraim Moss

The IRS has published the 2016 version of its annual IRS Data Book, which contains statistical information about the IRS and taxpayer activities during the previous year. The IRS Data Book helps illustrate the breadth and complexity of the U.S. tax system. According to the Data Book, during fiscal year 2016 (Oct. 1, 2015 to Sept. 30, 2016), the IRS collected overall more than US$ 3.3 trillion from taxpayers, processed more than 244 million tax returns and other forms, and issued more than $426 billion in tax refunds.

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With The Deadline Closing In, Is It Time To Panic?

Ephraim Moss, tax deadline, fbar deadline

The first quarter of 2017 has come to an end, and this year’s tax due dates are now fast approaching. A quick review of the filing deadlines, however, should help U.S. expats understand that it’s not yet time to push the panic button.

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U.S. Expatriation – Tax Information When Renouncing

Larry Stolberg

Renunciation of U.S. citizenship is an expatriation event requiring the filing of IRS Form 8854 with your tax return for year of expatriation. Renunciation has a fee of US $2,350.

Renunciation is voluntary and requires an appointment for receiving a certificate of loss of nationality.

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Congressional Staffer Sentenced For Failure To File Tax Returns

William Byrnes

A congressional staffer was sentenced to prison today for willfully failing to file an individual income tax return, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo, head of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, and U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente for the Eastern District of Virginia.

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Tax Changes Coming In 2017: What U.S. Expats Need To Know

Ephraim Moss

While the past year did not produce any monumental changes to U.S. tax law, there are a number of noteworthy changes that expats should keep in mind as we enter 2017. We also share a few highlights from President-elect Trump’s current tax plan.

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Are you Using the Correct Private Delivery Service?

John Stancil

Most taxpayers today do not mail their tax returns as the use of e-filing continues to increase. However, some still mail in paper returns, and there are occasions in which correspondence with the IRS must be done through the mail. Most taxpayers utilize the United States Postal Service in these cases. But there are Read more

Planning On Preparing Your Own 2015 Tax Return In Ireland?

For all those individuals currently preparing his/her own 2015 Tax Return, please be aware of the significant changes in Finance Act 2014, especially in the areas of:

1. Research & Development Tax Credits

2. Capital Allowances for the Provision of Specified Intangible Assets

3. Three Year Relief for Start-up Companies

4. Employment and Investment Incentive (EII)

5. Company Residence

R&D Tax Credit

Up to 1st January 2015, Section 766 TCA 1997 provided that the Read more

Biggest Mistakes Made by Tax-Exempt Organizations when Filing Tax Returns

John Stancil

Even though non-profit organizations can be tax-exempt, they are still required to file a return with the IRS. Many individuals, including those associated with non-profit organizations, do not understand the tax obligations of a non-profit organization.

I have compiled a top ten list of mistakes made in regard to taxes for these organizations.

• Not understanding the difference in non-profit and tax-exempt. An organization is a non-profit when it registers with the state as a non-profit organization. This state registration does not confer on it tax-exempt status. The organization must file a Form 1023 with the IRS to apply for, and receive tax-exempt status.

• Not filing a return. Because the organization is tax-exempt, some have a belief that the organization is not required to file a tax return. All tax exempt organizations, with the exception of churches, must file a Form 990 annually with the IRS. 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

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

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

Facing A Huge Gain From A Realty Sale?

If you are contemplating selling real-estate property, there are a number of issues that could impact the taxes that you might owe, and there are steps you can take to minimize the gain, defer the gain, or spread it over a number of years.

The first and possibly most important issue is adjusted basis. When computing the gain or loss from the sale of property, your gain or loss is measured from your adjusted basis in the property. Thus, your gain or loss would be the sales price minus the sales expenses and adjusted basis.

So what is adjusted basis? Determining adjusted basis can sometimes be complicated, but in a simplified overview, it is a dollar amount that starts with your acquisition value and Read more

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