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April 2015 Archives

If FATCA and FBAR regs combined, would the new regs be FATBAR? p2

We are talking about the Taxpayer Advocate Service's recommendations to simplify reporting under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. The TAS is an independent agency -- helmed by the National Taxpayer Advocate -- that monitors the activities of the IRS. The recommendations in this case came about with the help of American Citizens Abroad and other organizations that look after the interests of U.S. citizens living in foreign countries.

If FATCA and FBAR regs combined, would the new regs be FATBAR?

Since the implementation of reporting rules under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, U.S. citizens living in foreign countries have found that some foreign banks are less than enthusiastic about taking them on as customers. It goes further than just refusing to do business with expatriates: Some banks have closed existing accounts. And it's all because of FATCA's onerous reporting requirements.

A detour down memory's own memory lane

When former President Ronald Reagan died in 2004, the world was, for the most part, aware that he had suffered from Alzheimer's disease for years. Officially, his memory started to fail in the 1990s, long after he had left office. Unofficially -- at the time, at least -- the signs were there while he was in the White House. Some suggest that the onset of Alzheimer's dated back to his first term.

Check your math, check your options before filing your return

Tomorrow is April 15. While we sincerely hope that no one spends the day in a panic and the evening in line at the post office or wrestling with tax prep software in a desperate attempt to make that midnight deadline, we know it will happen. We wonder, though, if it might be wiser to file for an extension than to speed through the tax forms.

Personal representative or executor? Either way, it's a tough job

If you are a movie fan or have a working knowledge of 19th Century novels, the word "executor" may conjure images of a middle-aged or older man, usually a lawyer or a judge, who sits behind an imposing desk in a large leather chair in his richly paneled and book-lined office, reading aloud from a long document. "I, Chesterton Balfour von Aiken, leave all of my property to my nephew Cedric," he intones, adding, after a suitable pause, "To my son, Romsley, I leave nothing."

The IRS may have dibs on your tax refund in Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Imagine that you have been in dire financial straits. Your credit cards are maxed out, you are having trouble finding a job -- the time has come to talk about a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your assets go to a trustee who then uses the money to pay your creditors as much as possible. You can start fresh.

Understanding the Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Income tax season is in full swing, and, as happens every year, some taxpayers will be audited or otherwise drawn into controversy with the IRS. In some cases, disputes can result from inadvertent mistake or intentional obfuscation on the part of the taxpayer. In others, it may be the result of error on the part of the IRS. Regardless of the cause, every taxpayer is entitled to certain protections, called the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

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