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America’s Wealthiest People: Who are they?

Who Are America’s Wealthiest People? Small- and medium-sized businesses are the engines that drive the American economy. An IRS study of everyone who died with a net worth of at least $600,000 (and thus was required to file an estate tax return) showed America’s wealthiest citizens all have one thing in common: they all held significant blocks of stock in closely held private companies.  In a nutshell, the ...

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Tax Court: No Cancellation of Debt Income Despite Form 1099-C –Accounting Today

Roger Russell recaps the decision at Accounting Today. The Tax Court, in a recent summary opinion, ruled that an individual did not have cancellation of debt income in the year that a collection agency issued him a Form 1099-C and stopped its automated collection efforts. The IRS determined a deficiency in David Stewart’s 2008 income tax of $2,138, based on a Form 1099-C issued by the collection agency. The ...

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Seventh Circuit Applies ‘Independent Investor’ Test to Help Determine Reasonable Compensation

Payments an accounting firm characterized as consulting fees were really disguised dividends and should have been taxed as corporate income, the Seventh Circuit held on Thursday. The payments reduced the firm's income to zero, and the court applied the "independent investor" test to recharacterize them as dividends paid to the firm's owners.   Alistair M. Nevius at the Journal of Accountancy, in the article ...

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Sen. Schumer Proposes 30% Tax on Facebook Co-Founder, Others Who Renounce U.S. Citizenship for Tax Purposes

You've probably already read this story—Facebook Co-Founder Renounces U.S. Citizenship in Advance of IPO, Saving Millions in U.S. Taxes —heard about it on the radio, or seen it on TV.   But Paul L. Caron of The TaxProf Blog has done a remarkable job of aggregating all the media responses to the story from about 20+ outlets, and linking to previous posts this week on the developing story.     On Thursday:  B ...

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Add Value to Appraisals. Ask First: “Who’s the Most Important Reader?”

Add Value to Appraisals. Ask First: “Who’s the Most Important Reader?” Rand M. Curtiss explains how appraisals have the most value when consultants have customized and focused them for their most important intended audience. In some cases, that may be a prospective buyer. In other cases, it might be a client auditor—or even the IRS. That can make quite a bit of difference. Here’s why. ...

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Estates & Trusts: Fiduciaries Personally Liable if They Don’t Pay Government Claims First

In United States v. David A. Taylor IRS Lays Down the Law The Wills, Trusts, and Estates Prof blog reports on a recent case demonstrating that if a fiduciary has a duty to pay a claim of the government before paying a debt—or they may be personally liable for the unpaid claims of the government!   Here are some of the case details: David J. Tyler and Paula I. Tyler were a married couple who held real proper ...

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The IRS’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ are Getting Old

The IRS's 'Dirty Dozen' are Getting Old     So opines Gail Perry at AccountingWeb:  I for one am getting pretty bored with the tax scams on this list - they hardly change at all from year to year. It's time for some creative criminals out there to come up with something new. From the comments section: My brother ran a Schedule C Anvil Repair Shop from his garage in order to claim home office deduction, depr ...

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Tax Law Update: Internal Revenue Service extends filing and payment deadlines for estates of decedents dying in 2010

Tax Law Update Trusts and Estates Magazine's David Handler offers a summary of significant IRS updates on a handful of important laws: Internal Revenue Service extends filing and payment deadlines for estates of decedents dying in 2010 — In Notice 2011-76 (Notice), the IRS provided relief for the estates of decedents dying in 2010 (2010 estates). The filing deadline for the Form 706, federal estate and gene ...

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IRS Tax Preparer Requirements

IRS Begins Scheduling Tax Preparer Competency Tests The Internal Revenue Service is moving into the second phase of its tax preparer regulation initiative by beginning next week to schedule the first competency tests for tax preparers, reports Michel Cohn at Accounting Today.  The IRS said Tuesday it is launching the new competency tests for Registered Tax Return Preparers as part of a larger initiative to ...

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Estate-Tax-Basis Form Still Not Available

Estate-Tax-Basis Form Still Not Available Arden Dale at the Wall Street Journal's Financial Advisor blog: A Florida resident in her seventies lost her husband in early 2010. The couple had $8 million, but how much will remain after taxes is still a mystery. The key IRS form has yet to appear since last year’s estate tax law changes. Those changes have created a “practically unsolvable conundrum,” said Renee ...

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Stumped on How to Figure Discounts? The IRS Can Help.

Stumped on How to Figure Discounts?  The IRS Can Help.  The Engineering/Valuation Program DLOM Team at the IRS has posted a job aid on the IRS site. The 112-page guide reviews definitions of marketability and discusses factors that influence it.  The aid illuminates the distinctions between minority and controlling interests.  It offers sample initial information document requests (IDRs). A large section of ...

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Lawyers and Accountants Once Put Integrity First

Lawyers and Accountants Once Put Integrity First So asserts Mark W. Everson, commissioner of the IRS from 2003 to 2007, in an opinion piece for the Sunday NY Times: Three or four decades ago, investors and regulators could rely on these professionals to provide a check on corporate risk-taking. But over time, attorneys and auditors came to see their practices not as independent firms that strengthen the int ...

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