Category Archives: Tax Law

What the GOP is Really Thinking

It’s become increasingly clear who GOP leaders are drafting legislation for as they hurriedly rush to re-write the tax code before the new year. New York Rep Chris Collins said on Nov. 7, 2017, “My donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again.'” Donald Trump told members of the elite 21 Club in Manhattan on Nov. 15, 2016, “We’ll get your taxes down, don’t worry about it.” And Gary Cohn, the White House economic advisor said on Nov. 9, 2017, “The most excited group out there are the big CEO’s about our tax plan.” But even more damning are the comments made by senior lawmakers who showed their disdain for those the plan hurts the most. Senator Orrin Hatch, speaking about health care for children said,  “I have a rough time spending billions and billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won’t help themselves, won’t lift a finger and expect….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

Posted in Tax Law | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Expatriates — Thinking You Don’t Owe Tax?  No Excuse for Late Filing of Tax Returns

Many times I will hear individuals living and working overseas say that they did not file a US tax return because they believed they did not owe any tax.  This is usually based on the assumption that the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE)  and Foreign Housing Exclusion (FHE) benefits of Internal Revenue Code Section 911 will shelter them from owing any taxes.  Many are under the mistaken belief that if their compensation is below the exclusion amounts, they need not file a tax return at all.  This is incorrect.  In order to claim the FEIE and FHE benefits, an election must be made on the individual’s US income tax return. More detail on the FEIE and FHE are here. Others may know they must file a tax return to claim the Section 911 benefits, but will believe that they don’t owe tax or will be due a refund (e.g., based on overpayments of estimated taxes).  On account of such beliefs, the individual may not file a tax return on time or….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

Posted in Tax Law | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Does Your State’s Individual Income Tax Code Conform with the Federal Tax Code?

As the federal government continues to debate tax reform, states, and many taxpayers, are asking an important question: How is my state’s tax code impacted? The exact impacts won’t be known until the federal bill is finalized, but states have a number of things to monitor, as my colleague, Joseph Bishop-Henchman, wrote earlier this month. To understand how federal tax reform would change state tax codes and revenues, we need to explore the idea of conformity. For reasons of administrative simplicity, states frequently seek to conform many, though rarely all, elements of their tax codes to the federal tax code. This harmonization of definitions and policies reduces compliance costs for individuals and businesses with liability in multiple states and limits the potential for double taxation of income. No state conforms to the federal code in all respects, and not all provisions of the federal code make for good tax policy, but greater conformity substantially reduces….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

Posted in Tax Law | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is the IRS Bound by It’s Letters and Notices?

If the IRS sends a taxpayer a letter saying that it will process their refund claim but then it fails to do so, is the IRS bound by its letter? The court recently addressed this in Hawver v. Commissioner, T.C. ….. The post Is the IRS Bound by It’s Letters and Notices? appeared first on Houston Tax Attorney... To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

Posted in Tax Law | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Tax Preparation Software Rankings: TurboTax Is #1

And the Best Tax-Preparation Program Is … (Wall Street Journal), by Tom Herman: Recently, I have been road-testing versions of Intuit Inc.s TurboTax, long the nations top-selling brand, and H&R Block Inc.s TaxCut. … Of the two programs, I prefer….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

Posted in Tax Law | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment