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December 2014 Archives

With estate planning, home is where the domicile is

Joan Rivers was a trailblazer. She was the first woman to be appointed permanent guest host of The Tonight Show. She was the first woman to host her own talk show. She was funny in a way women hadn't really been funny before. She was unique, and she was deeply mourned by friends, family and fans when she passed away in September.

What is an 'offer in compromise'?

There are a thousand reasons people fall behind on their taxes. There are medical emergencies; loved ones unexpectedly pass away; car and house repairs drain the savings account -- it can be anything that wipes you out financially or even emotionally. And for some of us, once that deadline passes, it is so much easier to forget about it.

In a tax dispute, is litigation the only answer?

Litigation is never the only answer to a legal problem, and that includes tax disputes. The IRS has just announced a new option for dispute resolution that could reduce the number of cases that go to court: post-appeals mediation. For taxpayers and the government alike, not going to court can save both time and money.

When the IRS comes calling, answer with your attorney

Any person who has had to deal directly with the IRS likely knows that it can be a scary and stressful experience. In fact, even people who have never gone through anything like an audit probably know that dealings with the IRS are generally something they want to avoid.

Plain as the nose on your face: Don't miss common tax deductions

There are so many moving parts to an income tax return that it can be hard to keep track of everything. It isn't unusual for the average taxpayer to be distracted by the difficult details and to miss the easy ones. In some ways, preparing a tax return is like taking a multiple choice test: Knock the easy ones out first, then move on to the ones that require more complicated calculations and documentation.

What is the human element of estate planning?

The majority of parents care a great deal about whether or not their children grow into adults who are defined by character and integrity. Unfortunately, the foundation of “The American Dream” and the most general focus of estate planning processes can sometimes work against this ultimate goal. The simple reality is that beneficiaries of generous estate planning gifts are human. And that human element must be taken into account when parents and other concerned individuals are constructing their estate plans.

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