Monthly Archives: July 2016

State Of New York Lowers Corporate Tax Rate In 2016

In the last few years, the State of New York has attempted to make major reforms to the state’s corporate income tax system. In the spring of 2014, Governor Cuomo signed into law the state’s annual budget which contained many provisions that some experts have said are the most significant in the state since the corporate tax was first enacted in 1944. Many of the new provisions attempt to reduce business tax complexity, while another important change was the simple reduction of the corporate tax rate for New York businesses, thus diminishing their tax burden.

Business Owners, Don’t Forget To Make Your Sales Tax Refunds! – Matter of New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC

This case, Matter of New Cingular Wireless PCS LLC, DTA No. 825318 (N.Y.S. Tax App. Trib., Feb. 16, 2016), presents a fact pattern that reflects the cost to a business owner for failing to make sales tax refunds. Here, New Cingular Wireless, now known as AT&T Mobility (“AT&TM”), improperly collected and remitted sales tax on charges for Internet access. It was then eligible for a refund from the State of New York but applied for such without first actually refunding the over-collected amounts back to customers!  Most importantly, it was not entitled to remedy its error resulting in a cost to the company of $100 million.

The New Tax Scam: Bogus “Federal Student Tax”

In late May of 2016, the IRS issued a warning to predominantly student taxpayers about fake phone calls allegedly from IRS representatives demanding payment for a “Federal Student Tax,” a tax which doesn’t even exist. Despite the April tax deadline occurring over two months ago, IRS impersonators continue to contact students throughout the U.S. using various strategies to trick them into wiring money for failing to pay this fake “federal student tax,” usually threatening to report the student to some law enforcement authority if he or she refuses to pay.

Taxes And Medical Expenses

Taxpayers that itemize​ personal deductions instead of claiming the standard deduction may deduct qualifying medical expenses to the extent that such expenses exceed 10 percent of adjusted gross income (“AGI”). Taxpayers that are 65 years or older, or turned 65 during the tax year, may deduct unreimbursed medical care expenses that exceed 7.5% of AGI. This threshold amount remains at 7.5% of adjusted gross income for these taxpayers until Dec. 31, 2016. I.R.C. §213(f).

Misconceptions And Truths About W-2s, 1099s, and 1095s

There are many misconceptions about IRS tax forms, especially W-2s, 1099s, and of course the new 1095 forms introduced by the Affordable Care Act. This blog will attempt to clarify the misconceptions and truths about these forms but first, some background information.

The IRS requires employers to report wage and salary information for employees on Form W-2, which also reports the amount of federal, state and other taxes withheld from an employee’s paycheck. Another well-known IRS form used to report income is the 1099-MISC (Miscellaneous Income), which reports payments made in the course of business to individuals that are independent contractors, as well as similar payments to sole proprietorships.

Part 2 – What If: Debt Related Life Events And Struggling Taxpayers

If you have any type of financial difficulty, keep in mind that there’s a tax impact to events such as job loss or foreclosure. Such consequences may not necessarily be predominantly negative. For example, if your income decreased, you may be newly eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit or other tax credits, which is a good thing.

Of the utmost importance when facing some financial obstacle is to contact the IRS immediately if you believe that you may have trouble paying your tax bill. Please see our blog You Can’t Pay Your Tax Bill in Full  You Have Options…An experienced and knowledgeable tax attorney may help ease any financial burden. Remember that to avoid additional penalties, you also should always file a tax return even if you are unable to pay.

Part 1 – What If: Job Related Life Events And Struggling Taxpayers

If you have any type of financial difficulty, keep in mind that there’s a tax impact to events such as job loss or foreclosure. Such consequences may not necessarily be predominantly negative. For example, if your income decreased, you may be newly eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit or other tax credits, which is a good thing.

Of the utmost importance when facing some financial obstacle is to contact the IRS immediately if you believe that you may have trouble paying your tax bill. Please see our blog You Can’t Pay Your Tax Bill in Full  You Have Options…An experienced and knowledgeable tax attorney may help ease any financial burden. Remember that to avoid additional penalties, you also should always file a tax return even if you are unable to pay.

What A Mess: The Donald And His Tax Returns

In March, Donald Trump’s campaign published a letter written by his tax attorneys explaining the status of his tax returns, an apparent sore subject for the Donald whenever he is questioned about it by the media. Although the letter is dated March 7, 2016, it wasn’t released by his campaign until twenty-three days later. Regardless, he continues to thumb his nose at the time-honored tradition of presidential nominees disclosing their tax returns at some sufficent time prior to the election.

The Mitigation Provisions Of I.R.C. §§1311-1314

While the IRS uses the mitigation provisions of I.R.C. §§ 1311-1314 to reopen a taxpayer’s closed tax year and assesses tax deficiencies, it hardly facilitates taxpayers in using these provisions in similar fashion when seeking a refund from a closed year. Nonetheless, Congress intended that the mitigation provisions ensure that if certain prerequisites are met, either the government or the taxpayer may secure appropriate relief.

The mitigation provisions of I.R.C. §§ 1311-1314 provide a form of statutory relief and apply in certain limited circumstances to claims that are otherwise barred by operation of law or any rule of law like the statute of limitations. The goal of the mitigation provisions is to place the parties in the position they would have been in if the tax item(s) had been properly treated.

Makric Enterprises, Inc. v. Commissioner: When Tax Mistakes Are Costly

Not knowing the details of a business transaction sounds preposterous on its face, especially when the ignorant taxpayer is the party which formulated the transaction. In the case of Makric Enterprises, Inc. v. Commissioner, TC Memo 2016-44, a failure to make sure that the right corporation was sold as part of the agreement literally proved costly to the taxpayers involved, to the tune of $2,839,780.

This tax matter involved two corporations. One of which was a holding company (Makric Enterprises, Inc.) which owned only one asset, the stock of a wholly owned subsidiary (Alpha Circuits, Inc.). A third party expressed interest in purchasing the business conducted by Alpha.

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