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April 14, 2012

Getting a Big Tax Refund Means You're Doing It Wrong - WSJ

(WSJ) It is one of life's conundrums: If we hate paying taxes, then why do we consistently overpay them, collectively lending Uncle Sam some $300 billion year after year—interest free?

 

This year, as in previous ones, about 75% of individual taxpayers will receive federal income-tax refunds, with the average refund totaling around $3,000. From a purely economic standpoint, this makes no sense.

February 26, 2016

Top 15 Red Flags Triggering an IRS Tax Audit

(MSN Money) Writing off expenses that you kept track of for the past year allows you to lower your tax bill, but utilizing restraint will help you avoid having the IRS question the legitimacy of the deductions and launching a time-sucking audit. 

Playing it safe will help you avoid the headache and stress of an audit. Writing off various expenses can make sense in lowering your taxable income, but here are the top 15 tax breaks that can put an IRS auditor on heightened alert.

February 19, 2016

IRS: Electronic tax scams surge 400%

(USA Today) Email and texting scams designed to trick U.S. taxpayers into providing personal data have surged 400% so far this year, the IRS warned Thursday in a renewed consumer alert.

The schemes involve so-called phishing messages designed to trick taxpayers into believing the emails and texts represent official communications from the IRS, tax software companies or others in the tax industry.

The messages typically ask for data related to tax refunds, filing status, or seek confirmation of personal information, including ordering IRS transcripts or verification of IRS Personal Identification Numbers, the tax agency said.

February 18, 2016

IRS Chief Counsel Notice Highlights Tax Court Procedure Changes Due to PATH Act

(Forbes) What's this item about?The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, which was signed into law on December 18, 2015, affected several Tax Court procedural matters. A recent IRS Chief Counsel Notice addresses some of those changes. Appellate Venue I.R.C. § 7482(b) provides for the specific venue for appellate review of Tax Court decisions. Generally, for a taxpayer other than a corporation, it is the circuit of the taxpayer’s legal residence; if the taxpayer is a corporation, then it’s the circuit of the principal place of business. If not provided for in (b), a catchall provision provides that venue is in the District of Columbia Circuit. Some common cases that were not provided for in § 7842(b) were collection due process cases (known as CDP cases) and innocent spouse cases. Notwithstanding the catchall provision (directing cases to the D.C. Circuit), the IRS and taxpayer counsels historically appealed CDP and innocent spouses to the circuit of the taxpayer’s residence (i.e., following the general rule). See, e.g., I.R.S. Chief Counsel Notice 2015-006. What makes it interesting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...

February 05, 2016

US companies align to control health care costs

(CGMA Magazine) American Express, Verizon, and 18 other companies hope to contain escalating costs for employee health care. Their newest allies: Each other.

A new not-for-profit called the Health Transformation Alliance (HTA) has corralled 20 large US companies into an effort that could rebalance relationships between corporate America and the health supply chain.

“As individual companies, any company in the insurance marketplace can say ‘We’re not going to deal with you,’” said Tevi Troy, vice president for public policy in the new alliance. But “if you’re a big enough organisation, then the pieces of the supply chain will take action.”

Executives have long considered benefits costs a top concern. They were the second-highest challenge for two quarters of 2015, according to the AICPA’s Business & Industry Economic Outlook.

February 16, 2016

7th Circuit Examines Limitation On IRS's Summons Power

(Forbes) The IRS has incredibly broad examination and inspection power. I.R.C. § 7602 allows the IRS to, among other things, “examine any books, papers, records, or other data which may be relevant or material to such inquiry” to ascertain “the correctness of any return, making a return where none has been made, [and determine] the liability of any person for any internal revenue tax . . . .” This power is not absolute, however. A statutory limitation is I.R.C. § 7605(b), which was the focus of the following case.

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