Twenty-five years ago, the IRS e-file system became operational nationwide. For the most part, it's been a secure system that protects taxpayers' information, but there have certainly been some bungles -- the latest being the subject of a lawsuit recently filed against the IRS and IRS Commissioner John A. Koskinen.
One tax issue that can be a big one for businesses are deductions. There are a wide range of different deductions that tax law allows businesses to claim. Deduction matters can have a big impact on what a business' overall tax liability is.
In our last post, we began a discussion about business expense deductions. If you're a small business owner, you may have struggled with this issue in the past (or are struggling with it right now). Perhaps the most confusing deductions are those involving expenses and property that are put to both business use and personal use.
If you own a business or are trying to start one, you have probably realized the legal regulations that business owners must abide by are often complex and confusing. Tax compliance alone is complicated enough to make you rethink your decision to be an entrepreneur.
Thanks to media coverage over the last few months, civil asset forfeiture is no longer an unknown term. Many Americans are now aware of this process by which government agencies are allowed to seize assets from an individual even if they are never charged with committing a crime.
A rule change proposed by the IRS could make a weekend in Las Vegas a little less attractive for Bay Area gamblers. The IRS would like to lower a reporting threshold for certain winnings, and casino owners say it would take a large bite out of their bottom lines.
California's same-sex married couples have enjoyed the privileges and responsibilities of legal marriage for a couple of years. With the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court has now extended those rights to GLBT couples in every state. These couples will now have the often frustrating task of navigating state tax and probate laws as legal spouses. Yes, now the state and the federal government recognize the marriage, so filing the annual tax return will be a little easier, but estate and tax planning strategies will have to be reviewed and updated accordingly.
When it comes to disclosing your offshore bank accounts to the IRS, waiting is a bad idea. In June 2014, changes to the IRS's Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program raised the penalty for having offshore assets that the IRS discovers without your voluntary disclosure.
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.
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.