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 […]

Tax reform: “your results may vary”

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

Investors have cheered the prospect of a tax cut since it first became a reasonable possibility with Trump’s election. The markets reflect that enthusiasm. But now a closer look at the proposed legislation and its uphill battle ahead paint a different picture. First, it is clear that not all large businesses will benefit. Wall Street […]

Eight reasons why we must keep the estate tax

Posted 3 CommentsPosted in News and Politics, Taxes

Update 10/9/2017: It now appears certain that Republicans will abandon their effort to repeal the estate tax due to public accumulated public resistance. It is important for the United States to keep the estate tax in place for a wide range of public policy, social equity and financial reasons. I have long promoted the basic […]

First glance at the Republican tax reform bill

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Tax Planning, Taxes

The Republican tax reform bill has no t yet been released. This blog post is meant as a brief summary of the issues most important to individuals and small businesses as reported by news sources. Significant provisions Individual tax rates are 12%, 25% and 35% and 39.6% The standard deduction would be increased so fewer […]

Five types of tax shelters

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Tax Planning, Taxes

There are five categories of tax shelters that benefit many individual U.S. taxpayers and account for most of the tax savings available to us. Four of those categories of tax shelters are potentially on the chopping block this month with Congressional tax reform discussions. This post is simply a brief overview of the five categories […]

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 […]