Section 61 of the Tax Code states that “except as otherwise provided in this subtitle gross income means all income from whatever source derived”. Thus, the federal tax law requires taxpayers to pay income taxes on earnings, commissions, rents, royalties, retirement benefits, investment profits, tips, fringe benefits, bonuses and almost anything else of value, unless the Internal Revenue Code specifically provides an exception to the general rule contained in §61. An exception to the general rule is §102 of the Internal Revenue Code.
A capital gain occurs when you transfer or sell a piece of property for more than its acquisition cost. To be more succinct, it’s the profit realized on the sale of a non-inventory asset. Capital gains are realized from the sale of all types of property, both real and personal such as investments and other traditional non-investment types of personal property. In the United States, with certain exceptions, individuals and corporations pay income tax on the net total of all their capital gains.
Taxpayers that itemize deductions on Schedule A, (and file Form 1040) can deduct the cost of state income taxes on their federal tax return. The ability to deduct the full cost of these taxes has its obvious advantages. Taxpayers may either claim such a deduction from state and local income taxes or state and local sales taxes, but not both. Basically, to be deductible, the tax must be imposed on a taxpayer and must have been paid during the particular tax year. Taxpayers that elect to deduct state and local general sales taxes, may use either their actual expenses or the optional sales tax tables.
Here’s a primer for United States taxpayers residing abroad:
U.S. citizens must file a tax return. Any U.S. citizen who earns income of any kind is obligated to file a U.S. tax return every year, no matter where he or she resides in the world. Many Americans, living abroad and in the U.S., find it unfair that the United States is the only country that requires citizens to file tax returns whether or not they are earning income on U.S. shores. This is a leading reason why some Americans are renouncing their U.S. citizenship.
Divorcing couples often wonder who claims the children on their taxes, and in what other ways divorce will affect their taxes. Questions may include which filing status to use after the divorce, and how payments for spousal maintenance and child support to an ex-spouse are treated for tax purposes. Also, inquiries about what happens to assets like the family residence are obviously frequently common.
Married couples have the option to file jointly or separately on their federal income tax returns. Undoubtedly, married couples during tax season have asked each other if they are filing advantageously, whether currently filing jointly or separately. The IRS strongly encourages most couples to file joint tax returns by extending several tax breaks to those who file together. In the vast majority of cases, it’s best for married couples to file jointly, but there may be a few instances when it’s better to submit separate returns.
An offer in compromise (OIC) is an agreement between a taxpayer and the Internal Revenue Service that settles the taxpayer’s tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed. If the tax liabilities can be fully paid through an installment agreement or other means, the taxpayer, in most cases, will not be eligible for an OIC.
In order to be eligible for an OIC the taxpayer must have:
- filed all tax returns;
- made all required estimated tax payments for the current year; and
- made all required federal tax deposits for the current quarter if the taxpayer is a business owner with employees.
The ultimate purpose in filing bankruptcy is to obtain a discharge of most, if not all, of your debts. A bankruptcy discharge releases the debtor from personal liability for certain specified types of debts, i.e., the debtor is no longer legally required to pay those debts that are discharged. The discharge is a permanent order which prohibits the creditors from engaging in any and all forms of collection activity on such debts.