Filing Status

Who Reports What? Some Data About Uncertain Tax Positions

The Internal Revenue Service keeps statistics based on the data it receives and gathers related to the filing of tax returns. Of course, current statistics are only up to date for the tax year two years prior to the present tax year. In this case, the latest statistics released by the IRS are for the tax year, 2014. In late 2016, the IRS released Schedule UTP, “Uncertain Tax Position Statement” filing statistics for the tax year ended Dec. 31, 2014, showing figures that are consistent with those from past filing years.

The Effects Of Trump’s Tax Plan On Individuals And Businesses

Donald Trump’s most current tax plan promises to save taxes for most individual taxpayers. One way is the elimination of the alternative minimum tax. What are some other ways? Trump’s tax plan:

  • Adapts the current rates for qualified capital gains and dividends to the new brackets.
  • Eliminates the head of household filing status.
  • Eliminates the Net Investment Income Tax.
  • Increases the standard deduction from $6,300 to $15,000 for singles and from $12,600 to $30,000 for married couples filing jointly.

Form 1040, Line 61 And Non-Resident Taxpayers

Like resident taxpayers, U.S. taxpayers living abroad must complete Line 61 under “Other Taxes” and “Health care: individual responsibility” on their Form 1040 or equivalent. For 2016, the IRS will not consider a return complete and accurate if the taxpayer does not report health care coverage for the year, an exemption or a payment. However, U.S. citizens filing as non-residents in foreign countries while covered by an employee health plan, or even by a foreign country’s national health care system, have different considerations when complying with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (“ACA”).

Seven Deadly Tax Sins

7 Deadly Tax Sins

When it comes to the IRS, some bad acts are worse than others.  We have compiled below the top ones to avoid at all costs.  However, if you should find yourself in the middle of one, you should certainly call tax attorneys to get you out of the bad situation (yes, it is a bad situation).

Tax Benefits of Supporting Your Parents

Did you know you could be responsible for your parents’ unpaid bills? Ever heard of Filial Responsibility Laws?  Well, these are laws obligating you to provide financial support for your indigent parents.  Yes, obligated under law.  According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, 21 states across the country (including states like Connecticut, New Jersey and Massachusetts) allow for a civil action to obtain financial support for indigent parents.   At least 12 states may impose criminal penalties on children who refuse to support their parents.  Though rarely enforced, these laws may be dusted off by states looking to save money on Medicaid bills.

Tax Issues for new Widows and Widowers

It’s a traumatic experience to lose a spouse. While there is little that can be done to replace this physical and emotional loss, the Tax Code provides some relief for newly widowed taxpayers. Here is a summary of some of the tax breaks for the newly widowed:

Filing Status

Children And Tax Credits: The Child Tax Credit

The popular $1,000-per-child tax credit was made a permanent part of the tax code by the American Taxpayer Relief Act. Depending upon a parent’s income, the Child Tax Credit is an important and useful tax credit that may be worth as much as $1,000 per qualifying child under the age of seventeen (17). A qualifying child for this credit is someone who meets the criteria of six tests: age, relationship, support, dependent, citizenship, and residence.

Age Test – To qualify, a child must have been age 16 or younger at the end of the applicable tax year.

Qualifying for IRS Innocent Spouse Relief

When married taxpayers file jointly, which is often done because of certain benefits available to couples filing jointly, both taxpayers are jointly and severally liable for the tax and any additions to tax, interest, or penalties that arise from the joint return, even if their marriage is later dissolved. Joint and several liability means that each taxpayer is legally responsible for the entire liability.

Thus, both spouses on a married filing jointly return are generally held responsible for all the tax due even if one spouse earned all the income or erroneously claimed deductions. This is true notwithstanding the provisions of a divorce decree regarding a former spouse’s responsibility for any taxes due on previously filed joint returns. However, in rare cases, a spouse may obtain relief from joint and several liability.

Unsure if you should go with standard or itemize deductions?

Unsure of whether you should use the standard deduction amount, or take the time to itemize deductions? The answer is fairly straightforward; you should itemize deductions if your total deductions are more than the standard deduction amount. Also, you should itemize if you don’t qualify for the standard deduction. Taxpayers should initially calculate itemized deductions and then compare that amount to their standard deduction to determine which provides the greater benefit. A taxpayer may be subject to a limit on some itemized deductions if he or she exceeds the adjusted gross income limits.

Testimonials

Categories