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HAPPY 80TH BIRTHDAY, SOCIAL SECURITY!

On August 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act. Today, Social Security provides benefits to about one in five U.S. residents, including retirees, people with disabilities, young children whose parents are deceased or disabled, widow(er)s and spouses. Without changes in Social Security, the system is projected to run out…

The 2015 Income Tax Filing Season: A Tale of Two Cities

The IRS funding was down in fiscal year 2015 about 17 percent from fiscal year 2010 on an inflation-adjusted basis. In addition to its normal duties involved in collecting about 93 percent of Federal revenues, the IRS was tasked this year with implementing major provisions of the Affordable Care Act and the Foreign Account Tax…

Multitasking? Not so Fast

Dictionary.com says that to multitask is “to perform two or more tasks simultaneously.” It might also be described as performing tasks sequentially, switching among tasks before the task at hand is finished. Anyway, I’ve always have had a hard time accepting the validity of the asserted benefits of fast-paced multitasking in the information workplace. So,…

Katy Perry, Travel and Taxes

Got your attention, didn’t I? Katy Perry graced the cover of the July 20, 2015 edition of Forbes. In the magazine’s annual survey, she was named the highest earning entertainer with estimated earnings of $135 million over the 12-month measurement period. The accompanying article portrays her as talented, bright, business-savvy, and intellectually curious. It highlighted…

Accounting TV Shows – That’s What I Am Waiting For!

   A while back, I commented in my blog about a rumored movie in the making that stars Ben Affleck as an accountant with a sideline business – hit man.  The movie doesn’t seem to have made it to the theaters (and may never).   There is just not enough good entertainment featuring the accounting profession.…

Jeb Bush’s Supercharged Retirement Plan

Last week, presidential candidate Jeb Bush released his income tax returns for the last thirty-three years. News outlets sliced and diced the returns to analyze his income, his tax payments, and the significant wealth he has accumulated over the years. What caught my attention were the reports of a vaguely-described pension plan in which he…

RESCISSION: A HANDY TOOL IN THE TAX TOOL CHEST

In the best of all possible worlds, our clients would always consult with us as part of the process of planning a transaction. When that does not happen and the tax consequences of the transaction are not as intended or not those desired, in some cases we can help you avoid the bad tax results…

IRS NQDC ATG – Helpful, Once You Get Through the Initialism

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently updated its Audit Technique Guide (ATG) for Nonqualified Deferred Compensation (NQDC) plans. An NQDC plan is an elective or non-elective plan, agreement, method, or arrangement between an employer and a service provider (an employee or independent contractor) to pay the service provider in the future. NQDC plans do not…

Texas Comptroller: It’s good to do business in Texas. It’s not so good to be poor in Texas.

The Texas Comptroller just released a “50-State Scorecard” that compiled from many different sources a list of 26 different measures involving business climate, tax burdens, entrepreneurial activity, unemployment, population characteristics and more. You can find this compilation of state rankings on the comptroller’s website at http://www.comptroller.texas.gov/fiscalnotes/50states/. On many business-related measures, Texas ranks among the best…

2014 FBARs Must Be Received by Treasury by June 30, 2015 and Other Important Information

The U.S. government has become increasingly concerned about, and focused on, offshore tax evasion. One tool the government has to combat tax evasion is the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FinCEN Report 114, commonly referred to as FBAR). There are strict rules and severe penalties for failure to timely file FBARs. We have…

CRIMINALS OBTAINED INFORMATION ON 100,000 TAX ACCOUNTS THROUGH THE IRS “GET TRANSCRIPT” PROGRAM

The IRS announced last week that criminals had attempted to access about 200,000 accounts in its Get Transcript online application and successfully obtained information from about 100,000 of those accounts. About 23 million taxpayers used the online Get Transcript application this past filing season. What information was available through this IRS application depends on what…

OOPS! BUT IT’S ONLY 800,000 Feb 20

Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) announced that approximately 800,000 taxpayers who received health care coverage through theHealthcare.gov were sent wrong information on their Forms 1095-A.  The “second lowest cost Silver plan” benchmark amount is wrong.  The CMS urges people receiving 1095-A to wait until the first week of March to file…

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