Spend More Make Less?

The IRS outsourced tax collection in an effort to “put a dent in the $138 billion that taxpayers owe the government.”  This action cost the agency $20 million and netted a little over six million in past due monies.  Combined with contractor payments and relatively low collection rates, other cost factors included the streamlined approval of “tax-exempt organizations” as well as lack of funding for better direct (IRS) communication with tax payers.

I.R.S. Paid $20 Million to Collect $6.7 Million in Tax Debts

Repair or Improvement?

What is the difference between a home repair and a home improvement?  As defined by the IRS, an improvement lasts for more than one year and adds value to your home.  There are exceptions, such as when the upgrade is no longer part of your residence.  (Ex. You installed wall-to-wall carpet years earlier and then replaced it with wood flooring.). In cases of fire damage and natural disasters, all work applies, from the smallest repair to the largest addition.  Knowing these details is especially important when you plan to sell your home because it may help reduce the taxes you owe on profit.

Tax differences between home repairs & home improvements

The IRS Always Sends A Bill First

safety-first-283x300Recently there has been a rash of phone scams concerning taxes.  Many people have paid money over the phone, believing that they would be in trouble with the US government if they did not.  As a certified public accountant, I wanted to make sure you understand that the IRS will always send you a letter first.  They do not make cold calls demanding money.  Please read this article to better inform yourself about the scams currently in play, and remember that the IRS will not call you, they will send a bill.

Phone Scams Continue to be a Serious Threat, Remain on IRS “Dirty Dozen” List of Tax Scams for the 2016 Filing Season

It’s Tax Day, Hug Your CPA

Tax-FormToday is one of the most stressful dates for many Americans.  April 15th, Tax Day brings all kinds of worries for those who have waited to complete their tax forms and not sought the help of a CPA.  On the other hand, accountants are just coming to the end of an extremely busy work season.  Maureen Schwartz offers a humorous view of living with a CPA during this time and how best to care for them.  Happy tax season and raise a glass to your and all CPAs in the US this monumental day!  The 10 simple rules of caring for your CPA this busy season

The Dog Ate My Tax Receipts?

cash-receiptEvery year people spend hours searching madly for those few missing receipts that will substantiate a tax deduction.  An IRS audit is a real fear in the United States, one that is portrayed in television shows as a horrific experience.  But did you know that receipts aren’t always a requirement when proving your deductible expenses?  Thanks to past Broadway pioneer George M. Cohan, who paid in cash and fought the system when they denied his claims, we have the Cohan Rule.  Not the easiest rule to use, you might wind up in court, but good to know in case you ever end up in this situation.  Still, probably better to just keep saving your receipts.

No Receipts For IRS? Key Tax Case Says They’re Optional

Governmental Step Child?

Total-Tax-Insights-CalculatorWhat do you feel when I say IRS?  They rank about like Biblical tax collectors in most circles and after their scandalous conference spending along with $2.8 million in bonuses to tax-delinquent employees, it stands to reason.  But another spending cut for the IRS may worsen the already growing issues in the areas of enforcement and customer-service functions that have occurred since the last reduction in funds.  I mean, who enjoys listening to hold music for an hour just to find out how to properly complete section T-1 on Tax Form IDK WUM 44EZ?

Analysis: Spending bill’s IRS cuts could harm tax enforcement

IRS reveals start date for 2014 tax filing season

alice-in-wonderland-costumes-white-rabbit-3The IRS has finally announced an official start date for the 2014 filing season: It will start accepting returns on Jan. 31. This date is 10 days later than the originally planned starting date of Jan. 21. “The late January opening gives us enough time to get things right with our programming, testing, and systems validation,” said Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel in a press release. This process involves programming, testing, and deploying the more than 50 IRS systems that are needed to handle nearly 150 million tax returns.

Read more:  Journal of Accountancy

IRS Loses Lawsuit Challenging Authority to Regulate Tax Preparers

irslosesIn a stunning blow to the Internal Revenue Service’s efforts to regulate the tax preparation profession, a federal judge struck down the IRS’s licensing requirements for tax preparers on Friday, including testing and continuing education.


Read more in Accounting Today.