Legislative History as Tax Authority: an Obsolete Concept?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in IRS, Legal, Tax Planning, Taxes

Early in my professional tax career I learned about the concept of legislative history as tax authority. In fact a large part of any legal education is learning to evaluate evidence based on its qualitative characteristics, statutory consideration or local rules. In tax law this hierarchy of authority becomes the logical and legally supportable basis that […]

Adjusting payroll taxes for 2018

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, IRS, payroll, Small Business, Taxes

Once all the political commotion over tax reform settles, what most people care about is “Is my paycheck going up or down?” The problem is complicated by politicians promising a big tax cut on the television news and through social media channels while accountants warn that some people will likely pay more. The end result […]

Want to pay less tax? Start with a review of your last return

Posted Leave a commentPosted in IRS, Small Business, Tax Planning

Effective tax reduction strategies start with a review of you last filed tax return. There are at least three types of tax return reviews: 1) a high level review “Does it make sense given the facts?”, 2) a micro-level review “Did I miss anything or transpose any digits?”. and 3) a tax planning review (How […]

Basics of Taxpayer Representation

Posted Leave a commentPosted in IRS, Taxes

Tax-related stress does not need to remain a burden over the holidays and into the next year. A simple no-obligation discussion can often start the process to a resolution that everyone can handle. From time to time individual and business taxpayers run into complications with the Internal Revenue Service or another tax authority. These issues […]

Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) Update

Posted Leave a commentPosted in IRS, Taxes

The IRS requires that anyone who prepares or assists in preparing federal tax returns for compensation must have a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) before preparing returns. This allows the government to track tax returns by preparer and, in my opinion, has resulted in the decrease of fraudulent or abusive tax returns. In prior […]

A sad but common story of tax trouble

Posted Leave a commentPosted in IRS, Taxes

I read a story of an ordinary middle-income wage earner who received some letters from the IRS, ignored them, wound up having her wages garnished. Then she got scared and did not file her 2016 tax return, making matters worse. We don’t know the original issue that triggered IRS concern (perhaps inadvertently omitted items on […]

Primer on Tax Transcripts

Posted Leave a commentPosted in IRS, Tax Planning, Taxes

In this age we know that information is power. Tax transcripts are increasingly important for providing primary information to efficiently handle federal tax issues. As a tax adviser, I find that the level of federal tax information available to clients is poor and is often dominated by misinformation and misunderstanding. Tax transcripts give us the most […]

Sample Tax Services Agreement

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, IRS, Taxes

Each year I’ve modified my tax services engagement agreement as circumstances and technologies change. This is the current version of the individual tax service engagement agreement. The primary goal of the engagement agreement remains the same: to document our mutual understanding or the work to be performed in a plainly worded format. Thank you for choosing me […]

Signs of further division in tax practice

Posted Leave a commentPosted in IRS, Small Business, Taxes

I recently resigned from a large online group of tax professionals that I had grown to rely upon for daily advice and news. My past work in the tax field has primarily focused on political forecasting (efforts that were not so successful lately, by the way) and small business lobby efforts. My future plans revolve around […]