Monthly Archives: April 2017

Trump Will Kill The Estate Tax – Why Does This Matter To You?

Donald Trump has promised to repeal the estate tax. Why does this matter? Well, it really may not matter…for that matter. For the few taxpayers who expect to pay the estate tax, they no longer will have to create tax-exempt organizations to eliminate large sources of tax revenue. For the remainder, it really won’t matter. What will matter is what type of tax rules and regulations replace it.

Trump’s Tax Plan Then And Now, Part 2

Every American taxpayer is waiting to see what specific tax plan Donald Trump will implement as President of the United States. The first part of this blog addressed the differences between Trump’s 2015 proposed tax plan and his current 2016 tax plan. While there are differences, there are, of course, the constants in Trump’s tax proposals, which demonstrate the tax policies that Trump has emphasized as important from the beginning of his presidential candidacy.

Trump’s Tax Plan Then And Now, Part 1

What specific tax plan will Donald Trump implement as President of the United States? Trump’s initial plan released in September 2015, set forth four tax brackets of 0%, 10%, 20% and 25%. In October, just prior to the election, he released a new plan that adopted the House Republicans’ approach using three tax brackets, 12%, 25% and 33%. Either plan seems to adopt aspects of the tax reform pursued by House Republicans, as the president-elect moves closer to the Republicans’ tax agenda. Here’s a look at Trump’s tax plan then and now.

When Do I Need An ITIN?

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service. It is a nine-digit number that always begins with the number 9 and has a range of 70-88 in the fourth and fifth digit. Any individual who has tax filing or payment obligations under U.S. law but is not eligible for a Social Security Number (“SSN”) typically uses an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

IRS Announces 2017 Standard Mileage Rates for Business, Medical and Moving

Taxpayers should know the 2017 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of both fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based solely on the variable costs.

While the 2017 business mileage rate decreased half a cent per mile from 2016, the medical and moving expense rates each dropped 2 cents per mile. Set by statute, the charitable rate remains unchanged. Effective Jan. 1, 2017, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) is:

Tax Professionals Provide Input For IRS Future State

At the end of 2016, as part of a concerted, continuous effort to gather feedback from the tax community and partner groups, the Internal Revenue Service announced that tax professionals attending the Nationwide Tax Forums provided valuable guidance to Future State efforts to improve taxpayer service by highlighting a number of areas of concern.

The 2016 tax forums held by the IRS in five cities held during July, August and September were attended by more than 10,700 tax professionals. IRS Tax Forums are three-day events that are intended to provide tax professionals with the most current information on federal and state tax issues. This information is presented by experts from the IRS and partner organizations through training seminars and workshops.

IRS Declines To Extend Time To Make Late Success-Based Fee Elections

Recently, the IRS Office of Chief Counsel held, in a private letter ruling, that it could not grant a taxpayer’s request for an extension of time to file a safe harbor election under Rev. Proc. 2011-29. This election is related to the treatment of success-based fees incurred in the process of pursuing certain transactions. Under the safe harbor election described in Rev. Proc. 2011-29, the election must be made on an original tax return. The election applies to covered transactions under Treas. Reg. Sec. 1.263(a)-5(e)(3).

Beware Of These Recent Tax Scams

The tax season means a new chance for criminals to place new fraudulent schemes into operation to commit identity theft and refund fraud. As tax professionals, the Thorgood Law Firm has an ongoing commitment to maintaining vigilance for such illegal practices and protecting the sensitive, personal data of our clients.

Every tax season, there is an increase in schemes that target innocent taxpayers by email, by phone and on-line. All taxpayers and tax professionals should be on the lookout for these fraudulent, deceptive schemes.

What Do I Do If My ITIN Expired January 1?

If your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) expired on January 1, 2017, keep in mind that you may still renew your number, but you must renew your number in time to file your 2016 tax return in a timely fashion. Also, there are new documentation requirements when applying for or renewing an ITIN for certain dependents.

This delay in renewal will likely cause some inconvenience. According to the Internal Revenue Service, you may expect the processing of your renewal application and yearly tax return to take a little longer than usual. This, of course, will cause any potential refund to be delayed. An experienced tax professional may assist any individual with the need to renew his or her ITIN.

Beware Of Disclosure And Failure To File Penalties!

Entities such as trusts and exempt organizations face penalties for failing to meet disclosure deadlines or file tax returns. A tax professional qualified with the necessary and required knowledge and experience may assist all taxpayers, whether an individual or business, meet all requirements related to filing and disclosure. Hopefully, this occurs well before any deadline, but even if delinquent, a tax professional’s assistance is valuable, perhaps even more so at this point in time.

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