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Recent Blog Posts

IRS May Conduct More Tax Audits for Pass-Through Organizations

 Posted on November 07, 2023 in Tax Audits

Blank-400-x-300-1.jpgFor business owners, taxes are a significant concern. Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to reduce a business’s tax burden by utilizing the deductions that are available. For many business owners, structuring a business as a pass-through entity can provide advantages. Pass-through entities such as partnerships, S corporations, and limited liability companies (LLCs) are popular choices among small businesses due to their flexibility and the pass-through deduction that was put in place by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

However, owners of pass-through entities need to be aware of the risk that they could face tax audits. Recently, the IRS announced that its Large Business & International (LB&I) division would be focusing on large or complex pass-through entities as part of its ongoing effort to address tax evasion. Business owners who are facing IRS audits may want to consider working with an attorney who has experience in cases involving pass-through entities.

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Can Taxpayers Face Penalties for Improper Art Donation Deductions?

 Posted on October 30, 2023 in Taxation Law

Untitled---2023-10-30T103250.410.jpgArt is a passion for many people, and some are fortunate enough to acquire impressive collections over several years. In some situations, a person may wish to donate artwork to charitable organizations. Not only does this allow a collector to give back to his or her community, but it also provides potential tax benefits in the form of deductions. 

However, taxpayers who donate artwork can face penalties if they improperly claim deductions on their tax returns. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) closely scrutinizes these types of deductions due to their potential for abuse and misrepresentation, and it may conduct tax audits in situations where art donations and tax deductions seem suspicious. For taxpayers who wish to donate art or claim other types of deductions, an attorney with experience in tax law can provide guidance and help avoid potential penalties.

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Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts Under the SECURE 2.0 Act

 Posted on October 25, 2023 in Taxation Law

Untitled---2023-10-25T092504.830.jpgRetirement planning is a crucial aspect of ensuring that a person and family will have a secure financial future. There are numerous methods that may be used to save money for retirement and ensure that it will be invested correctly and grow in value. At the same time, it is important to address tax-related issues related to retirement accounts and the distributions that will be received after retirement. 

One option that has gained popularity in recent years is the use of Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts (QLACs). With the passing of the SECURE 2.0 Act, QLACs have become an even more attractive tool for retirement planning. To ensure that these and other tools can be used correctly while minimizing taxes, you may want to consider working with an experienced tax law attorney.

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Can Alternative Dispute Resolution Be Used to Resolve IRS Tax Issues?

 Posted on October 10, 2023 in Taxation Law

Untitled---2023-10-10T100030.887.jpgDealing with tax issues can be a stressful and time-consuming process. When taxpayers encounter disputes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), they may be unsure about their options for resolving these issues or whether they can negotiate agreements that will allow them to reduce the taxes or penalties they will be required to pay. In some situations, there may be methods available to resolve tax issues without going through time-consuming and expensive Tax Court, District Court, or Court of Claims litigation. 

Fortunately, the IRS offers several alternative dispute resolution (ADR) programs that aim to provide taxpayers with more efficient and cost-effective options for resolving their tax disputes. Taxpayers who are looking to settle tax disputes should consider working with an attorney who can provide guidance on the programs that are available and the best steps to take to resolve these concerns effectively.

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New IRS Regulations May Address Monetized Installment Sales

 Posted on September 29, 2023 in Taxation Law

Untitled---2023-09-29T085619.923.jpgBecause of the complicated nature of the tax laws in the United States, there are many methods taxpayers may use to reduce the amount of taxes they are required to pay. While some of these methods are legitimate, there are others that the IRS has identified as abusive tax schemes that could potentially lead to penalties for tax avoidance. Monetized installment sales are one method that has recently been identified by the IRS as a possible form of tax fraud. 

Taxpayers who engage in these types of transactions could face tax audits or investigations by the IRS. Those who need to respond to IRS queries or determine their requirements for reporting transactions should consider working with an attorney who can provide guidance on the applicable tax laws and regulations.

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IRS Extends Time for Pre-Tax 401(k) Catch-Up Contributions

 Posted on September 20, 2023 in Taxation Law

Untitled---2023-09-20T110742.185.jpgTaxpayers who own retirement accounts can often take steps to maximize the amount of money they are able to save and ensure that they will have sufficient financial resources later in life. However, the rules regarding retirement account contributions have changed in recent years, and this has led to some confusion about the types of contributions that may be made and the taxes that may apply. To give taxpayers, employers, and retirement plan administrators more time to adjust to these changes, the IRS is providing a longer transition period before changes in the law will be implemented.

The SECURE 2.0 Act and Catch-Up Contributions for Higher Income Earners

The SECURE 2.0 Act, which was passed in 2022, made some changes to how taxes apply to retirement accounts. One provision of the act addressed catch-up contributions to 401(k) plans and other retirement accounts. These contributions may be made by people over the age of 50 beyond the annual deferral limit. In 2023, the employee deferral limit is $22,500, which is the total amount that can be withheld from a person’s income each year and saved in a 401(k) account. People who are at least 50 years old can contribute an additional $7,500, which is known as a catch-up contribution.

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When Can Taxpayers Be Required to Pay IIR Penalties by the IRS?

 Posted on September 08, 2023 in Taxation Law

Untitled---2023-09-08T151500.790.jpgThere are a variety of tax penalties that may apply when U.S. taxpayers fail to meet their legal requirements for filing tax returns, paying taxes, or reporting information to the IRS. Foreign tax compliance can be an especially tricky issue, since taxpayers who own foreign assets or receive income or gifts from foreign sources may not be aware of their reporting requirements. In some cases, failure to file the proper forms may result in international information return (IIR) penalties.

There is a common conception that IIR penalties are mostly limited to wealthy taxpayers who earn high incomes or own extensive assets. However, this is not the case, and according to the National Taxpayer Advocate, lower- and middle-income individuals and small-to-midsize businesses are more likely to be affected by these types of penalties. 

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What Are the IRS Tax Reporting Requirements for Canadian RRSPs?

 Posted on August 25, 2023 in Taxation Law

Untitled---2023-08-25T122028.592.jpgThere are multiple types of financial assets that U.S. taxpayers may own, and certain requirements must be met when reporting assets and income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Many taxpayers may need to address issues related to retirement accounts or pensions, but when these assets are held in foreign accounts or retirement plans, they will also need to ensure they follow the correct procedures for reporting foreign accounts and assets.

Some of the most common foreign retirement accounts held by U.S. taxpayers include Canadian registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs). The IRS has provided guidance on what forms need to be submitted to report RRSP ownership. Taxpayers may want to consider working with an attorney to address these requirements and determine their options for disclosing RRSPs that had not previously been reported.

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New IRS Policy: No Unannounced Visits to Taxpayers

 Posted on August 08, 2023 in Tax Audits

Untitled-96.jpgFor most taxpayers, a visit, call, or letter from the IRS can be very concerning. If a taxpayer has failed to pay taxes as required, has not reported information correctly when filing tax returns and other forms, or has otherwise failed to comply with tax laws, they can face significant penalties. When a person is contacted by the IRS, this could be a sign that they will face a tax audit, and they may need to address a variety of complex financial issues as they determine how to address issues related to tax compliance. However, the IRS recently announced a policy change that may limit certain forms of contact between IRS agents and taxpayers. Namely, the IRS will no longer make unannounced visits to taxpayers in most situations.

IRS Policy Addresses Safety Concerns and Other Issues

In the past, IRS agents would occasionally visit homes or businesses without contacting taxpayers in advance. During these visits, they would address concerns about unpaid taxes or failure to file tax returns. However, in recent years, IRS agents have faced safety concerns when making these unannounced visits. Law enforcement officials have also noted the increased prevalence of tax scams in which people pose as IRS agents. Because of these concerns, the IRS has put an end to nearly all unannounced visits, effective immediately.

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How Can Changes in Ownership Affect California Property Taxes for Commercial Real Estate?

 Posted on July 28, 2023 in Taxation Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-51.jpgIn California, property taxes can be a significant concern for commercial real estate owners. Depending on the assessed value of a property, these taxes can be very high, and the requirement to pay these taxes may cause financial difficulties for property owners. Due to current trends in California real estate, the value of many properties has plummeted, and some property owners may struggle to meet their obligations. However, this may present an opportunity to reassess the value of a property through changes in ownership. By understanding when the transfer of ownership of a property may affect property taxes, commercial real estate owners may be able to take steps to reduce their tax burden.

Proposition 13 and Property Tax Assessments

Property tax assessments in California are governed by Proposition 13, a law that was passed in 1978. This law set the maximum property tax rate at 1%, and it also limited the amount by which the assessed value of a property can increase from year to year. A property will have a “base year value” that is assessed based on when the property was originally purchased, when construction was last completed, or when the property changed ownership. The assessed value of a property can only increase by 2% per year, regardless of the property’s actual fair market value. 

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