Feature Article

2016 Tax Law Wrap-Up

Congress did finally take action on the “extenders” last December, but it has not done very much this year. Some of the extenders were made permanent, and some were extended for a set period of time, such as two years. The items extended for two years are again expiring on December 31, 2016, and have so far not been extended further, which means we are again faced with uncertainty on these items. Form 1099 As we ... David Mellem, EA

Capitol Corner

Bad Company Ruins Good Morals

As 2016 draws to a close, I’m going to wrap up with a laundry list of items that trouble me (and I’ll omit my thinning hair and expanding waistline—though those also trouble me): security; user fees; Circular 230; and, unavoidably, the election. Let’s take these one at a time. While the Magic 8 Ball has been in the shop for more months than I can count, I’m going out on a limb to prognosticate that the most significant E... Robert Kerr

Tax Court

Can IRS Levy a Taxpayer If It Previously Mailed a Notice of Deficiency to an Address That Was Not the Taxpayer’s Last Known Address

IRC Sec. 6321 imposes a lien in favor of the United States on all property and rights to the property after the demand for taxes has been made and the taxpayer fails to pay the taxes. The IRS must first notify a taxpayer in writing of his or her right to a hearing on the issue of whether the lien is appropriate. A taxpayer may challenge the existence or amount of the underlying tax liability but only if a notice of deficiency was not ... Steven R. Diamond, CPA

Feature Article

Section 174 – Research and Development Credit Revised Regulation Analysis

In 1954, Congress enacted a temporary research and development (R&D) credit codi!ed by Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Sec. 174. "e purpose of the credit is to encourage inventors and companies to pursue research and development of new technologies. Although simple in theory, there have been problems with its implementation. Critics have argued that the credit is confusing as to which expenses qualify as “quali!ed research expenses.”1Darshan Wadhwa, CPA, and John Leavins, CPA

Feature Article

Tax Appointment Worksheet

The Tax Appointment Worksheet is a tool to help you gather the needed information for new and returning clients for the 2016 tax year. This year’s worksheet has been enhanced to reflect the changes in tax law. Now that the American Opportunity Credit is permanent, the need for the proper Form 1098-T and the educational expense evidence is increasingly crucial. Type of plan Amount of contribution Form 1099-... Mary Mellem, EA

Feature Article

Understanding the PFIC Rules and the Implications of Owning Foreign Mutual Funds

While many portions of the U.S. tax code possess confusing and sometimes harsh rulings, the tax rules for passive foreign investment companies (PFICs) are almost unmatched in their complexity and draconian features. Countless times, Americans overseas uncover a startling revelation that the small foreign investment they had made in a non-U.S. mutual fund is now subjecting them to all the significant filing requirements and tax obligat... Michael J. DeBlis III, Esq. and Randall Brody, EA