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U.S. Government to Roll Out Resources to Assist Taxpayers with ACA Tax Filings

The Treasury Department and Health and Human Services announced last week that in the coming weeks it will introduce “consumer-friendly” resources for taxpayers to use to comply with the new healthcare rules. Starting this year, taxpayers are facing additional paperwork for this year’s filing, causing concern for taxpayers and their accountants. Tax filers will now have to report whether they had healthcare ...

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The Top Nine Tax Stories to Watch for in 2015, Forbes

Despite all the talk about new changes underway now that Republicans will assume control of Congress and governorships in 31 states, much of the current tax issues will look the same in 2015 as they did in 2014, according to Forbes. Below is a snapshot of the top nine tax stories to watch in 2015: Business Taxes.  Will 2015 be the year of business tax reform? Probably not, according to Forbes, as the Afford ...

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Donating RMDs Saves on Taxes, Other Benefits

Thanks to the U.S. Senate, IRA owners age 701/2 and older have until Wednesday, December 31, 2014, to make a direct transfer from their account to an eligible charity of their choice of up to $100,000 without paying taxes on the distribution. The senate approved the direct rollover in addition to more than 50 other tax provisions as part of the extender’s package on December 16, 2014—just two weeks shy of t ...

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IRS Loses Big in Tax Evasion Trials

  Back in 2007, the IRS and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) were hot on the heels of Switzerland-based mega financial institutions like UBS, Credit Suisse, and Wegelin for assisting wealthy Americans in hiding billions of dollars in foreign accounts. Part of the fallout included the enactment of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) in 2010, which requires all foreign banks to file reports wi ...

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IRS Announces 2015 Tax Adjustments

  The IRS has released the annual inflation adjustments for a number of provisions for tax year 2015, including tax rate schedules, tax tables, and cost of living adjustments for some items. In total, the IRS posted more than 40 updates. You can read them in full here. You can also find an excellent overview of all the changes at Forbes.com through the link below. ...

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Year-End Smart Small Business Tax Moves

  With just six more weeks to go until 2015 is rung in, small business owners and managers can take simple steps now to minimize their tax bill next April, according to business advisory services firm Skoda Minotti. Below are five ideas small business owners and managers can consider from now until December 31: Make those needed office or plant repairs. For the most part, expenses for minor business pr ...

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No Easy Solution for Identity Theft Tax Refunds

  With all it does to prevent fraudulent tax returns, the IRS still paid out $5.2 billion in identity theft refunds in 2013. As if that wasn’t a big enough headache, imagine all the bureaucratic backtracking tens of millions of Americans who had their identity and cash stolen had to go through. Actually, that sum is just an estimate because the General Accounting Office (GAO) says that it’s impossible ...

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Koons v. Commissioner

Key Issues For all of Mr. Koons’ careful estate planning, involving a significant sale and redemption transaction of business operations to provide liquidity and flexibility in his later years, the planning was disrupted by an untimely death—Mr. Koons’. The disruption here highlights the importance of starting early with business valuation input to help avoid a complex confluence of strategic transactions w ...

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Divorce

The Trouble for the Innocent Spouse with the IRS and State Tax Authorities Spouses that unwittingly sign a state or federal tax return may be held joint and severably liable for underpaid taxes. The expanded innocent spouse relief provides potential relief, but that relief takes time and requires extensive documentation. ...

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IRS Proposes New Changes to Cafeteria Plan Elections and Lookback Period

  On September 18, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued two new notices—one proposing changes for when a taxpayer can revoke healthcare coverage in a cafeteria plan and enroll in a plan on the health insurance marketplace exchanges; the second notice proposes an approach for how to measure the lookback period for determining who is a fulltime employee when an employee changes positions withi ...

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CPAs File Class Action Against IRS

  Two CPAs in Washington D.C. have filed a class action lawsuit against the IRS for requiring a yearly registration and related fee in order to maintain a preparer tax identification number (PTIN). The suit, which involves 700,000 practitioners, seeks to recover $150 million in fees that the IRS has collected since the regulation passed in 2010. Four years ago, the IRS put the new rule into effect as a ...

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IRS Rewriting Tax Law?

  Among many legal challenges to the validity of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is Halbig vs. Burwell. The challenge concerns a passage in the statute, when literally read as worded, makes federal tax credits for insurance programs available only to those enrollees in states that have created a state-designed and operated healthcare exchange. Read as it currently exists, the statute does not allow for ...

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AICPA Protests IRS Regulation for Tax Preparers

  The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) recently sent a letter to the IRS calling a proposed “voluntary” certification program for unenrolled tax return preparers “unlawful and improper”. In a recent ruling, Loving, No. 13-5061 (D.C. Cir. 2/11/14), it was held that the IRS does not have the statutory authority to regulate tax return preparers. In the aftermath, IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen, stated ...

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77,000 Banks Turn Over Data under FATCA

  In a windfall for the IRS, 77,000 foreign banks have turned over data on American account holders as part of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The U.S. devised tax law with global reach requires all foreign banks to submit full data on all American accounts with a balance of $50,000 or more. Financial institutions that are non-compliant risk being frozen out of U.S. markets and a 30 per ...

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IRS Names Bitcoin Property, Not Currency

Where the IRS stands on the classification of Bitcoin and the purchases made with it has been ambiguous. There are a lot of questions surrounding the virtual currency, not the least of which is how it factors in tax matters. While Bitcoin operates like real currency in some situations, the fact still stands that it has no legal recognition as currency in any jurisdiction. In spite of this contradiction, the ...

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U.S. Department of Justice Pursues 20K Tax Cheats Shielded by Credit Suisse

You could call it UBS, Part II.  Back in 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) uncovered 4,700 names of American citizens avoiding taxes with the help of Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS.  Most notably, Beanie Babies creator and billionaire, Ty Warner, was caught in the sting that cost UBS $780 million in fines and netted the IRS $6 billion in taxes and fines from a voluntary disclosure program for petr ...

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Top Five Things Missed in Valuing Equity in Most Asset Holding Entities

The days of applying Mandelbaum and referencing a few IPO and restricted stock studies are over. This article addresses what is often omitted from most asset holding entity valuation reports. By failing to include issues like the ones outlined, the resulting adjustments are less empirical and more a "guesstimate". Valuation practitioners and their advisory clients have a duty to the users of our reports to ...

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Valuation of Promissory Notes

It’s not as simple as it seems This article explores the fact that the valuation of a simple debt instrument, such as a promissory note, can be anything but simple. It is observed that the sum of unpaid debt, as well as accrued interest, may well overstate the value of the promissory note. Also covered is whether assets tied to notes need to be valued separately. ...

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IRS Loses Bid to Mandate Continuing Ed for Tax Preparers

While CPAs and tax attorneys must currently meet professional standards for tax preparation and other services, a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has ruled that the IRS has no authority to force continuing education or similar standards on tax preparers.  The case stems from a 2011 IRS proposal of a system that would have established tax preparer registration and re ...

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How to Determine a DLOM for the IRS

Historical perspective and current recommendations The Internal Revenue Service published Discount for Lack of Marketability: Job Aid for IRS Professionals (Job Aid) in August of 2013.  Now, two new books provide  advice on how to prepare a DLOM and which methods valuators  should consider and why.  These will help any business valuation practice, whether working on a DLOM for the IRS or any other purpose. ...

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