In the first week of May, 2016, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced several actions to strengthen financial transparency and combat the misuse of companies to engage in illicit activities. Treasury announced a Customer Due Diligence (CDD) Final Rule, proposed Beneficial Ownership legislation, and proposed regulations related to foreign-owned, single-member limited liability companies (LLCs). Together, these efforts target key points of access to the international financial system – when companies open accounts at financial institutions, when companies are formed or when company ownership is transferred, and when foreign-owned U.S. companies seek to evade their taxes.
Some deductions like charitable contributions are conducive to tax fraud. These tax-related events are subject to the utmost IRS scrutiny. Therefore, taxpayers are subject to very detailed rules which require them to produce a specified form of documentation as proof of a viable deduction. If they do not provide the requisite paperwork, then no deduction will be allowed, regardless of the availability of other information that may justify the deduction. Taxpayers that make charitable deductions in excess of $250 and fail to provide specific, detailed documentation to the IRS will have their deductions ultimately disallowed.
Employers are required to withhold federal income and payroll taxes from their employees’ wages for payment of payroll taxes such as federal income taxes and FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) taxes, which are held in trust until the employer makes a federal deposit of these amounts. The IRS applies a term, “Trust Fund Recovery Penalty” or TFRP, well-known by employers, to describe the fine for employer’s willful failure to pay over these taxes. Persons responsible for making such payments may be subject to criminal charges for any willful failure to do so. Most TFRP cases involve corporate officers.
Taxpayers earn self-employment income which is net income “from any trade or business carried on by such individual” under I.R.C. §1402. The meaning of “trade or business” is the same as it is under I.R.C. §162. The Supreme Court has “defined a trade or business as an activity engaged in for income or profit and performed with continuity and regularity. Commissioner v. Groetzinger, 480 U.S. 23, 35 (1987).”
There is an exclusion from inclusion of income from the sale of property in self-employment income under IRC §1402(a)(3)(C) which provides:
(3) there shall be excluded any gain or loss—
Owners of Self-Directed IRAs which engage in certain types of “prohibited transactions” or invest in life insurance, foreign investments or collectibles may risk losing the tax-deferred status of their IRA accounts. If the owner (or beneficiary) of an individual retirement account, as described in I.R.C. §408(a), engages in any transaction that is prohibited under IRC §4975, the entire value of the IRA, determined as of the first day of the taxable year for which the account or annuity ceases to be an IRA, is treated as distributed to the IRA owner. See I.R.C. §408(e)(2)(B).
Believe it or not, there are some pet-related expenses which may be deducted from your taxes. Here is a summary of such expenses. And you thought all you were ever going to get out of this relationship was love, affection, and undying loyalty!
Taxpayers may include the expenses of buying, training and maintaining guide dogs used for assistance in cases of either reduced vision or hearing. This may include all necessary food, training, grooming and veterinary care. You may also deduct this expense if you’ve been diagnosed with a physical or mental condition that benefits from the attention of a trained therapy animal. Keep in mind that unless the animal is trained or certified as treatment for a diagnosed illness or condition, the IRS will disallow any deduction.