Keeping a Pandemic at Arm’s Length: A COVID-19 Transfer Pricing Example
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Keeping a Pandemic at Arm’s Length: A COVID-19 Transfer Pricing Example

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting global supply chains – and, as a result, international tax transfer pricing policies – at alarming speeds. Amid this chaos, companies risk making impulsive, short-term decisions with long-term effects. In order to successfully prepare for sign... Kevin Croy, CPA

Impact of COVID-19 on Accounting for Income Taxes
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Impact of COVID-19 on Accounting for Income Taxes

The spread of COVID-19 is impacting businesses around the world. As entities consider the effects of COVID-19 on their global operations, careful consideration is needed in understanding the accounting implications of these developments. The many ramifications of the curr... April D. Little, Ciro Buttacavoli, and Adam Lehmann

An Inquiry Into the Factors Aiding Clemency for Foreign Corporations Requesting Protective Tax Return Filing Deadline Waivers
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An Inquiry Into the Factors Aiding Clemency for Foreign Corporations Requesting Protective Tax Return Filing Deadline Waivers

Foreign corporations (FCs) often have varying degrees of U.S. business activities which in turn subject them to varying degrees of U.S. tax exposure. Anthony (“Tony”) Malik, EA

Reimbursing Employees’ Business Expenses after the TCJA
Payroll Corner

Reimbursing Employees’ Business Expenses after the TCJA

Reimbursing Employees’ Business Expenses after the TCJA The Internal Revenue Code does not require employers to reimburse employees’ out-of-pocket business expenses. Employees were not completely out-of-pocket if their employers chose not to reimburse those costs. The... Alice Gilman

Lessons Learned From the 2018 Tax Season
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Lessons Learned From the 2018 Tax Season

Now that the extended deadlines have passed for 2018 returns, we can take a moment to reflect on the lessons learned throughout a challenging year. Below we have put together five major takeaways we have come across to aid in planning for the 2019 tax year and beyond. To this end, please kee... Megan Bierwirth, CPA

It’s Deja Vu All Over Again: New Tax Forms for 2019
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It’s Deja Vu All Over Again: New Tax Forms for 2019

Form 1040 changed significantly for the 2018 tax season. It is changing again for the 2019 tax year. It appears that the 2017 and 2018 forms had a baby — the 2019 form. In other words, the pendulum is swinging back a bit. Beth Logan, EA. 1040 and 1040-SR The cha... Beth Logan, EA

Demystifying §199A and Rental Activities
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Demystifying §199A and Rental Activities

I read Gil Charney’s analysis of the application of §199A to a rental activity in the September/October 2019 edition of EA Journal (“Your Questions Answered,” pp. 12-13) and I do not agree with it. In that case, I believe the taxpayer clearly qualifies to take the §199A deduction on th... Thomas A. Gorczynski, EA, CTC, USTCP

Minimum Standards for Return Preparers
Capitol Corner

Minimum Standards for Return Preparers

Ten years ago this December, IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman announced the creation of a program to regulate paid tax return preparers. After years of pushing and advocating, IRS had finally picked up the ball and scored a touchdown. Rebecca Hawes

Tax Change Transforms Charitable Giving Landscape
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Tax Change Transforms Charitable Giving Landscape

Donor-advised funds are growing in popularity as a way for individuals and corporations to give to charities. Broad-sweeping changes to the tax code at the end of 2017 sent nonprofits into a state of panic. The doubling of the standard deduct... Kim Moore

Understanding the Complexity and Confusion Over Internal Revenue Code Section 199A
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Understanding the Complexity and Confusion Over Internal Revenue Code Section 199A

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) created a 20 percent qualified business income (QBI) deduction for non-C corporation businesses. On August 16, 2018, the IRS, as part of the rulemaking process inherent to administrative law, opened the proposed ... Christine Kuglin, EA, JD

When Is a State Refund Taxable
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When Is a State Refund Taxable

The TCJA Raises Some Questions. As anyone not living under a rock these last 18 months knows, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) imposed a $10,000 ($5,000 married filing separately) cap on deductions of state and local taxes (SALT)—including income, real estate, property, and s... Gil Charney, CPA/PFS, CFP, CGMA, CMA, MBA

How to Manage Taxpayers Complaints
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How to Manage Taxpayers Complaints

What is the form for reporting customer service-related complaints regarding the Internal Revenue Service? The answer will appear at the end of this article (remember that everyone’s tax problem is an emergency to him!). The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Within the Taxpayer Ad... Cheryl Williams, EA

The Problems with Form W-2c
Payroll Corner

The Problems with Form W-2c

Employees must receive Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, by January 31. More than likely, they glace at their forms and then drop everything off with their tax professional. It is an annual ritual everyone understands. But that is assuming that all the information reported on t... Alice Gilman, Esq.

Feature Article

Does Net Rental Income Quality For the Section 199A Deduction

Does Net Rental Income Quality For The SECTION 199A Deduction? By David M. Fogel, EA, CPA, USTCP One of the changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (P.L. 115-97) was to introduce a new 20 percent deduction for qualified business income. The deduction is intended to benefit taxpayers who have net business income. One of the questions being debated in the tax preparer community... David M. Fogel, EA, CPA, USTCP

Feature Article

Reconstructing Vehicle Mileage Logs

Reconstructing Vehicle Mileage LOGS By Bill Nemeth, EA Most examinations of personal tax returns involving Schedule C self-employment request information on car and truck expenses. IRS recommends contemporaneous mileage logs per IRC §1.274-5T(c)(1), but does not require them. The code makes the point that the records should be created in “close” proximity to the time of the activity. Adequat... Bill Nemeth, EA, NTPI

Feature Article

The Ins and Outs of Day-Care Provider Taxes: Part 1

The Ins and Outs of Part Day-Care Provider Taxes Part 1 By Laura Strombom, EA As the profession adapts to the changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, those who prepare primarily basic returns, such as a 1040 with only a Schedule A, may need to add additional areas to their practices. One strategy is to specialize in an area that will continue to demand expert preparation services.... Laura Strombom, EA, MBA, NTPI

Value Versus Cost: A Payroll Primer
Payroll Corner

Value Versus Cost: A Payroll Primer

Tax and accounting professionals are certainly familiar with the concepts of value and fair market value. For example, the entire cost of employer-provided health insurance is deductible by the employer and the value is equally excluded from employees’ income. Likewise, ... Alice Gilman, Esq.

The Gig Economy
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The Gig Economy

The gig economy is a growing income sector in the world and a growing niche for tax professionals to harvest. Before jumping into this market, it is necessary to know some things about this area of practice. Let’s start with the definition of a gig, per Merriam-Webster: “a job usually for ... Kathryn M. Morgan, EA

Books to Tax in a Snap
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Books to Tax in a Snap

When clients hands over a QuickBooks (QB) file at income tax time, the expectation is you have what you need and tax preparation will be a breeze. Depending on the client, you are either elated or you want to cringe; there is not much in between. It is important for tax preparers to feel ... Geri Bowman, EA, CPA, USTCP

Mitigating Penalties for Filing Incorrect Forms W-2
Payroll Corner

Mitigating Penalties for Filing Incorrect Forms W-2

Forms W-2 were filed with the Social Security Administration (SSA) by January 31, 2019, but that is the end of the story only if all those Forms W-2 are correct. While 100 percent accuracy is always the goal, it is rarely achieved. So, the second part of the year-end pro... Alice Gilman, Esq

The QBI Effect – §199A
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The QBI Effect – §199A

This topic can easily occupy several hours. So, what is all the hype about? Qualified business income (QBI) qualifies a small business to deduct up to 20 percent off its net income. This is income that normally gets reported on Form 1040. This includes sole proprietors, andlords, farmers, p... Ben A. Tallman, EA, USTCP

What Are They Doing with Tax Forms
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What Are They Doing with Tax Forms

Please remember that this article was written in late September based on the draft forms available at that time. Some changes may have occurred between that date and the publishing of this article. Line 7 Wages. Line 21 — Other income. Lines 37 and 38 – adjusted gross income (AG... Beth Logan, EA

Year-end Responsibilities for Payroll
Payroll Corner

Year-end Responsibilities for Payroll

The taxes that have been withheld from employees’ pay during the year, and the employer’s matching Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) contribution, have been reported to the IRS quarterly on Form 941. Everything, except the employer’s matching FICA contribution, mu... Alice Gilman, Esq.

Tax Court

Fraudulent Tax Returns, Penalties, and Amended Tax Returns

Generally, a taxpayer may correct an error in a tax return without incurring interest or penalties by filing an amended return and paying any additional tax due on or before the due date (last day prescribed for filing). An amended return filed after the due date may be accepted, rejected, or ignored by the IRS in its sole discretion. It has been held that where the taxpayer files a false or fraudulent tax return but later... Steven R. Diamond, CPA, USTCP

Feature Article

International Representation: What You Should Know

Return preparation and representation of clients with offshore accounts and assets has become one of the hottest and fastest-growing areas in tax practice. It is a difficult and convoluted world of rules with high stakes that often lack definitive and clear guidance. Before taking on a taxpayer with foreign ties, be sure to read up on what needs to be filed, when it needs to be filed, and what defines “filed.” You will also want to know what ... Mary Beth Lougen, EA, USTCP

Feature Article

2018 Tax Law Changes

This year, we get to deal with many tax changes. Members of Congress, as well as presidential candidates, stated that one of their goals was to simplify the tax code (U.S. Code title 26). And simplification has occurred to some extent with Public Law 115-97, also known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). Congress made some issues simpler while creating at least one new issue that has confused many. Many popular de... David Mellem, EA

Feature Article

The Ins and Outs of Day-Care Provider Taxes: Part 2

IRC Section 162, Trade or Business Expenses Section 162(a) states: In general there shall be allowed as a deduction all the ordinary and necessary expenses paid or incurred during the taxable year in carrying on any trade or business... . In a home daycare, many of the expenses have personal and business elements. Te Audit Technique Guide for child-care providers (ATG for CC) states: The examiner needs to evaluate in a fair a... Laura Strombom, EA, MBA, NTPI Fellow®

Feature Article

I Spy Tax Fraud! Do You?

The word “fraud” conjures up many images, none of which are positive. As Circular 230 tax professionals, we never knowingly jeopardize our credentials while serving clients. Ever cautious, we could, nevertheless, find ourselves representing a client who has engaged in fraudulent activity. Can you recognize the signs of tax fraud? How do you handle a client’s matter with potential or actual fraudulent transactions? According to the Interna... Alan L. Pinck, EA, Ann E. Kummer, EA, CPA

Feature Article

The IRS Revenue Officer: Friend or Foe?

It is likely you will encounter an IRS revenue officer who is difficult, unyielding, and possibly aggressive. You may perceive that the revenue officer's job is to make your and your client’s lives difficult. However, the truth is very different. Sure, a collection case making its way to a revenue officer is deemed serious by the IRS. After all, revenue officers are the IRS’s most experienced and sophisticated collection agents. Their foc... Howard S. Levy, JD

Feature Article

Become Americas Advanced Tax Expert

BECOME AMERICA’S ADVANCED TAX EXPERT BY Mary Sunderland, EA, USTCP & Bill Nemeth, EA Do you want to stand out as a tax practitioner? Are you confident that you offer the latest and best tax advice to your clients? Do you want to grow your business by taking on more complicated tax returns and representation clients? Do you want to know the tax experts in these areas? ... Mary Sunderland, EA, USTCP

Feature Article

Filing Requirements of Americans Abroad

Ownership of passive foreign investment company (PFIC) shares can easily be missed because their ownership is often hidden in security portfolio statements. A company is a PFIC by fulfilling one of two requirements; having at least 75 percent of its income be passive or having at least 50 percent of its assets be investments held for the production of passive income. Passive income includes, but is not limited to, interest, dividends, rents, ... Rainer Fiege-Kollmann, EA

Tax Court

Can a Taxpayer Rely on Tax Preparation Software to Claim Deductions Recommended by the Software?

Barry Leonard Bulakites, Petitioner v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Respondent Many taxpayers prepare their own tax returns, without professional help, by using off-the-shelf retail software programs. These programs often offer recommendations based upon the information that is inputted by the taxpayer and may also provide one-toone answers... Steven R. Diamond, CPA

Feature Article

How Education Can Save You Money on your Income Taxes

Education is perhaps the single best investment that a person can make during his or her life. According to a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, bachelor degree holders earn $1 million more over t heir lifetimes t han high school graduates. The Internal Revenue Service allows several tax benefits that help to defray the cost of education. These benefits are not just for the taxpayer, but they are also for the spouse and/o... Anthony Santullo, EA

Feature Article

Section 165 Casualty & Losses

With the devastating impacts of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria still fresh, we need no reminder that August through October is the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season (which occurs from June 1 to November 30). High winds, heavy rain, tornadoes, and subsequent flooding can all wreak havoc on coastal residents, including destroying billions in property every year for individuals and businesses alike. Taxpayers who live far from the oc... Stephen Mead

Feature Article

An Introduction to the Internal Revenue Manual

As a tax professional, what do you do when you encounter a client who has a problem or an issue which you have limited familiarity with or experience with? Do you prefer the client to another practitioner? Do you contact a colleague (or post a question in a forum) and hope that any advice that you receive will be sound? Or do you tell the client that you will do some additional research on the issue and get back to him? Your course of act... John G. (“Jack”) Wood, EA

Feature Article

Tax Implications of Home Flipping: Dealer Or Investor

With today’s hot real estate market and rapidly escalating property values, many clients are engaging in real estate investing and house flipping. Indeed, there are many reality TV shows and real estate networks dedicated to glamorizing the quick profits that can be made in these activities. What these programs fail to mention are the tax consequences of these transactions. As tax professionals, that’s where we come in... Keith A. Espinoza, EA

Feature Article

Adding Client Value, Divorce

The first in a series on using tax planning to guarantee satisfied clients and grow your business By Beth Logan, EA People think of tax season as running January through April. But most people make their biggest tax mistakes from May through December. There are two reasons for this. First, they aren’t thinking about taxes. Second, there are more days in which to err. This is my tax mantra. If you tell clients this, they ... Beth Logan, EA

Feature Article

Indirect Methods of Proving Income

Did you know the IRS requires its agents to perform a minimum income probe on every audit? And did you know that a minimum income probe can result in the IRS agent using indirect methods of proving income? If you have a client who is being audited—and even if you don’t—it is to your advantage to learn everything you can about indirect methods of proving income. Minimum income probes are discussed as part of the examination process governed... Jo-Ann Weiner, EA

Feature Article

Ethics Rules, Penalties, and the Tax Preparers Engagement Letter

Perhaps one of the most important, but also one of the most overlooked, parts of the 1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return is the section near the bottom of the second page that states: “Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined this return and accompanying schedules and statements, and to the best of my knowledge and belief, they are true, correct and accurately list all amounts and sources of income I received duri... Anthony Santullo, EA

Feature Article

Reading the Internal Revenue Code

Why would anyone subject themselves to reading the Internal Revenue Code? It’s not exactly a spellbinding novel, or even an interesting nonfiction work on your favorite topic, unless your favorite topic is tax law. When most people think of the Code, they think of it as being an impenetrable morass of legalese gobbledygook, more useful as a cure for insomnia than a practical resource for the tax professional. But being able to effecti... Carolyn Richardson, EA

Feature Article

Gambling As a Profession Tax Implication

The thrill of a slot machine jackpot is exhilarating. Waiting for a casino attendant to come and do the legendary “hand pay” (paying the taxpayer at the machine) gets taxpayers’ hearts racing. Most taxpayers get so caught up in the moment that the tax consequence of their winning is a distant thought. It is so distant, in fact, that many taxpayers forget they even received that W2-G and leave it off their tax return. However, when the... Tracy L. Bunner, EA

Feature Article

Preparing For The New IRS Partnership Audit Rules

Partnerships and entities taxed as a partnership, such as certain limited liability companies (LLCs), have become a popular entity choice for doing business over the past 50 years. This tax structure offers business owners significant benefits, including taxation at only the partner level. Another benefit that often goes unnoticed is that very few partnerships are audited by the IRS. Moreover, when the IRS engages in a partnership audit, t... Travis Greaves, JD, Josh Wu, JD

Feature Article

Strategies for Avoiding CP2000 Notices

Let’s start at the beginning. What is a CP2000 Notice, and when is it generated? Here’s what happens. The IRS Automated Underreporter Unit (AUR) matches income reported on individual tax returns with the income that is reported to the IRS from various third parties (e.g., employers, financial institutions, and banks) and recorded in its wage and income transcript file. If there is a difference, the IRS “flags” the tax ... Bill Nemeth, EA

Feature Article

The Adoption Tax Credit and Foster Care Adoptions

Do you have clients who are foster parents? Do you have clients who have adopted from the foster care system? If you have answered yes to either of these questions, you need to know about the Adoption Tax Credit. Many taxpayers who are adoptive parents have been told they do not qualify for the Adoption Tax Credit because they had no expenses. As tax professionals, we often hear our clients say, “My friend told me something different.” Wi... Becky Wilmoth, EA

Feature Article

Affordable Care Act For The 2017 Filing Season

This may be the final year for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The incoming administration has vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare as quickly as possible. With that being said, the purpose of this article is to update you on the ACA changes affecting your clients for the 2017 tax filing season. The changes that began in 2013 are intensifying in 2017. So strap yourself in and get ready for the new changes. Since this article was written in De... Ben A. Tallman, EA, USTCP

Feature Article

Ride Share

Rideshares are a new phenomenon that replaces taxi services. These services use technology as the main apparatus for their business strategy. Customers can now request a ride through a smartphone application that will subsequently ping a driver nearby. Uber Technologies, Inc. started this idea in 2009, which led to numerous other startups. Rideshare services are more efficient than typical taxi cabs and are less expensive for the customer. Fu... Christine Kuglin, EA, Angela Busila, CPA, Brandon Anderson

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

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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

Feature Article

A World Of Alternative Fundraising A World Of Uncertainty

There are many ways our clients seek to get money for their businesses, inventions, or new endeavors. They apply for bank loans, ask family members, dip into personal savings, or in some circumstances, seek the help of venture capitalists. As with most things in life, each option has its plusses and minuses. But now there is a new kid on the block: crowdfunding. What is crowdfunding? According to Oxford Dictionaries.com, it is defined as ... Jeffrey A. Schneider, EA

Feature Article

Gearing Up For Tax Season Promote Your Practice and Your Credential

Autumn is the perfect time to begin promoting yourself and your EA credential in preparation for the upcoming tax season. Many members already know that NAEA provides tools to help them attract new clients and raise awareness of their EA credential, but many may not know that these tools are regularly refreshed. It’s time to take another look. Last year, NAEA formed a new partnership to present the improved “Find a Tax Expert... Gigi Jarvis, CAE

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How to Maximize Penalty Relief For Your Clients

There are a number of ways delinquent taxpayers (your clients) can potentially reduce their overall debt to the IRS. There is the offer in compromise (OIC), that oft-dangled carrot and so-called “pennies on the dollar” settlement that many tax resolution firms pitch to lure negligent taxpayers to their companies. There is an innocent spouse resolution that can prevent one member of marriage from being liable for a tax debt caused by h... Jim Coleman, EA

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The Uncanny Cannabis Controversy

I used to work in a Loew’s Theatre in California during the days of Flower Power, the draft, and the advent of the eighteen-year-old vote. Back then, movie theatres sold cigarettes and other tobacco products. After all, Loews owned the Lorillard Tobacco Company. At the time, word on the street was that Lorillard had trademarked several brand names for marijuana cigarettes, though you can’t find any evidence of that today. We were all very exc... Eva Rosenberg, EA

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Criminal Tax Investigations Proceed with Caution

EACH YEAR, the NAEA National Conference delivers high-quality tax education to enrolled agents and other tax professionals. This year will be no exception! Once again, seekers of top-notch representation and tax preparation education will gather in Las Vegas, NV, at the Cosmopolitan Hotel August 1–3. To give you a sip of the action, we’ve chosen to showcase some of the outstanding education on tap this year. In the following... Theodore (Ted) A. Sinars, JD

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Portrait of a non-filer

What is a non-filer? A non-filer is defined as a person (individual, corporation, estate, trust or partnership) who has met certain thresholds but has yet to file a tax return by the statutory or extended due date. As enrolled agents, we have to figure out how to help these people get compliant. Aft er all, besides making sure our clients do not pay more in taxes than they are required to, part of our job is to make sure that they are complia... Jeffrey A. Schneider, EA

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Classification of Foreign Business Entities under U.S. Tax Law

An elementary question in business international taxation involves ascertaining the classification of foreign entities for U.S. tax purposes. This question emerges whenever a foreign business pursues U.S. economic activity or when a U.S. person establishes a business outside the U.S. While foreign entities enjoy definite classification under the laws of their respective countries of organization, their classification under U.S. tax law may be... Anthony (Tony) Malik, EA, MPAcc

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Streamlined Compliance Procedures for Non-disclosed Foreign Bank Accounts

With the global business environment changing, the world does not seem as vast. Advances in technology have increased awareness of different parts of the world and have made communication cheaper and more efficient. The U.S. citizen is now more mobile than ever before. Additionally, immigrants who may have thought the U.S. was an ultimate destination have begun to move back to their home countries because of equally attractive incomes and lif...

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2015 and 2016 Key Numbers

Single TAX RATES                                                                                                                                           2015                                                              2016 10% bracket tops at 9,225 9,275 15% bracket tops atDavid Mellem, EA

Feature Article

2016 Healthcare Updates

The following is designed to review healthcare changes impacting your clients for the 2016 filing season. The changes that began in 2013 and 2014 are intensifying in 2015. So, strap yourself in and get ready for the latest changes and information that is coming. Since this article was written in the fall of 2015, review of more recent updates is recommended. New Healthcare Coverage Forms for Tax Year 2015 You’ve se... Ben A. Tallman, EA

Feature Article

The Grand Parent Tax

GST is imposed on a direct transfer of property to a grandchild that would otherwise be subject to two levels of estate taxation if first taxed as part of the parent’s estate. It is then transferred from parent to child, taxed as part of the child’s estate, and finally transferred to the grandchild. To ensure that such transfers do not entirely escape two levels of taxation, assets conveyed are subject to GST at the time they are tran... Monica Haven, EA, JD, LLM

Feature Article

Up in the Air with IRD

25 January• February 2016 B January• February 2016 26 In short, IRD is income that had been earned by a taxpayer prior to his death but that had not yet been paid to him. 27 January• February 2016 January• February 2016 28 29 January• February 2016 January• February 2016 30 SOURCE OF INCOME NOTES REGARDING IRD TREATMENT ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE Uncollected sales proceeds from pre-death sales of c... Monica Haven, EA, JD, LLM