It’s Freezing Where?

Taxpayers across much of the Midwest and east coast have enjoyed a relatively light winter this year, with mild temperatures and little snow. But Old Man Winter made up for it last week. Temperatures dropped well below zero and wind chills broke records across the country. Friday morning saw thermometers dip below freezing in the Florida Everglades, and parts of North Carolina were colder than in Barrow, Alaska! Care to guess where else temperatures have been falling? If you said “in Hell,” you’re right. That’s because the House of Representatives, where gridlock appears to have found a permanent home, actually
Read More

Keeping An Eye On Top Tax Payers

State governments collect billions of dollars in taxes every year, and they work just as hard to protect their revenue base as their friends at the IRS. Sometimes that means putting lots of eggs in one basket — then watching that basket very, very carefully. But one state acknowledges taking that particular strategy to a new level. In a move that falls somewhere between “I can’t believe they haven’t done this already,” and “Wow, that sure sounds like stalking,” the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services has revealed they’re “keeping an eye” on their top 100 individual taxpayers to make sure
Read More

Patriots 28, Seahawks 24, IRS Millions

You probably thought the holiday season ended when the last Christmas lights finally came off the house. But then you would have forgotten the closest thing we have to a national fair. We’re talking, of course, about the Super Bowl, our only nationally-televised event that makes people look forward to the commercials as much as the game! This year’s contest was another nail-biter that remained close until New England cornerback Malcolm Butler intercepted a Seattle goal-line pass with just 20 seconds left on the clock. (If the Patriots want the rest of the NFL to take their “dynasty” seriously, they’re
Read More

The Postman Always Rings Twice

Getting mail from the IRS is rarely something to celebrate. If it’s a bill, consider yourself lucky — at least you can just pay it and be done. If it’s a “CP 2000” notice proposing a change to your taxes, get ready for a ride on the paperwork tilt-a-whirl. If it’s an audit notice, all bets are off. (Relax — it only feels like you’re a prisoner at a CIA black-ops site.) But one taxpayer may have won the booby prize for “worst IRS correspondence ever” when he got a letter helpfully notifying him he had died. Deceased. Croaked. Bought
Read More

Some Modest Proposals

Here in America, most of our tax debates center on “income.” How do we define it? How do we count it? What do we get to exclude from it, deduct from it, or credit towards it. And finally, how much of it do we take, to make sure everyone pays their “fair” share. The end result is our tax code, a many-headed hydra that several wags have noted contains twice as many words as the Bible, but with none of the good news. Of course, income isn’t the only thing we tax. Uncle Sam and most states tax sales. They
Read More

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year?

Way back in 1963, the singer Andy Williams introduced one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time: “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Decades later, the office-supply store Staples repurposed it to sell school supplies, and Miller recycled it once again to sell light beer. But for our friends at the IRS, the most wonderful time of the year starts right now. So here are some tax time quotes to get you in the spirit of the season: “It’s tax time. I know this because I’m staring at documents that make no sense to me, no
Read More

Trick Play Backfires; Team Thrown for Loss

College football fans have been crying for a season-ending playoff tournament for years, to replace the invitational “bowl championship” series that usually prompted as many questions as it answered. Monday night they got their wish, as the third-string quarterback Cardale Jones and the Ohio State Buckeyes overcame four turnovers to stun the Oregon Ducks, 42-20, in the very first College Football Playoff Championship Game. Somewhere lower in the college football hierarchy, the University of South Dakota Coyotes aren’t anyone’s idea of national champions. They didn’t even play Division I ball until 2008, when they joined the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
Read More

A Royal Mess!

Most of us don’t get to choose our parents. And while we’re usually grateful for the ones we have, we’ve also dreamed of lives that might have been. What little girl hasn’t dreamed of growing up a princess, living in a palace, riding in a horse-drawn carriage, wearing a tiara? And don’t forget marrying a handsome prince! Infanta Cristina de Borbon, Duchess of Palma de Mallorca, is the brother of Spain’s King Felipe VI and sixth in line to the Monarquía Hispánica. The Infanta grew up in the Royal Palace of Madrid, where she probably logged a ride or two
Read More

Decoding The Code

The Imitation Game is the critically acclaimed story of Alan Turing, a British mathematician who is widely credited as being the father of computer science and artificial intelligence. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Turing, whose work in cracking Nazi Germany’s “ENIGMA” code helped lift the Allies to victory in World War II. Seventy years later, retiring Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has picked up the code-breaking bug. But Coburn has decided to take on something even more twisted and fiendish than Nazi ciphers. That’s right — he’s just issued a 312-page “Tax Decoder” taking on our tax system. (Read it at your peril
Read More

Delay Paying Taxes With A Like-Kind Exchange

Sitting on a piece of investment property that you would like to sell? By structuring the transaction as a tax-deferred exchange, you can delay paying taxes on the full amount of the gain realized. Also known as a “like-kind exchange” or a “1031 exchange,” these transactions are only available for investment or business assets. Certain types of assets don’t qualify for a tax-deferred exchange, including inventory, accounts receivable, stocks and bonds, and your personal residence. Keep in mind, too, that the like-kind exchange rules only defer the tax. Any gain will be recognized upon a taxable disposition of the replacement
Read More

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Categories

It’s Freezing Where?

Taxpayers across much of the Midwest and east coast have enjoyed a relatively light winter this year, with mild temperatures and little snow. But Old Man Winter made up for it last week. Temperatures dropped well below zero and wind chills broke records across the country. Friday morning saw thermometers dip below freezing in the Florida Everglades, and parts of North Carolina were colder than in Barrow, Alaska! Care to guess where else temperatures have been falling? If you said “in Hell,” you’re right. That’s because the House of Representatives, where gridlock appears to have found a permanent home, actually
Read More

Keeping An Eye On Top Tax Payers

State governments collect billions of dollars in taxes every year, and they work just as hard to protect their revenue base as their friends at the IRS. Sometimes that means putting lots of eggs in one basket — then watching that basket very, very carefully. But one state acknowledges taking that particular strategy to a new level. In a move that falls somewhere between “I can’t believe they haven’t done this already,” and “Wow, that sure sounds like stalking,” the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services has revealed they’re “keeping an eye” on their top 100 individual taxpayers to make sure
Read More

Patriots 28, Seahawks 24, IRS Millions

You probably thought the holiday season ended when the last Christmas lights finally came off the house. But then you would have forgotten the closest thing we have to a national fair. We’re talking, of course, about the Super Bowl, our only nationally-televised event that makes people look forward to the commercials as much as the game! This year’s contest was another nail-biter that remained close until New England cornerback Malcolm Butler intercepted a Seattle goal-line pass with just 20 seconds left on the clock. (If the Patriots want the rest of the NFL to take their “dynasty” seriously, they’re
Read More

The Postman Always Rings Twice

Getting mail from the IRS is rarely something to celebrate. If it’s a bill, consider yourself lucky — at least you can just pay it and be done. If it’s a “CP 2000” notice proposing a change to your taxes, get ready for a ride on the paperwork tilt-a-whirl. If it’s an audit notice, all bets are off. (Relax — it only feels like you’re a prisoner at a CIA black-ops site.) But one taxpayer may have won the booby prize for “worst IRS correspondence ever” when he got a letter helpfully notifying him he had died. Deceased. Croaked. Bought
Read More

Some Modest Proposals

Here in America, most of our tax debates center on “income.” How do we define it? How do we count it? What do we get to exclude from it, deduct from it, or credit towards it. And finally, how much of it do we take, to make sure everyone pays their “fair” share. The end result is our tax code, a many-headed hydra that several wags have noted contains twice as many words as the Bible, but with none of the good news. Of course, income isn’t the only thing we tax. Uncle Sam and most states tax sales. They
Read More

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year?

Way back in 1963, the singer Andy Williams introduced one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time: “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Decades later, the office-supply store Staples repurposed it to sell school supplies, and Miller recycled it once again to sell light beer. But for our friends at the IRS, the most wonderful time of the year starts right now. So here are some tax time quotes to get you in the spirit of the season: “It’s tax time. I know this because I’m staring at documents that make no sense to me, no
Read More

Trick Play Backfires; Team Thrown for Loss

College football fans have been crying for a season-ending playoff tournament for years, to replace the invitational “bowl championship” series that usually prompted as many questions as it answered. Monday night they got their wish, as the third-string quarterback Cardale Jones and the Ohio State Buckeyes overcame four turnovers to stun the Oregon Ducks, 42-20, in the very first College Football Playoff Championship Game. Somewhere lower in the college football hierarchy, the University of South Dakota Coyotes aren’t anyone’s idea of national champions. They didn’t even play Division I ball until 2008, when they joined the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
Read More

A Royal Mess!

Most of us don’t get to choose our parents. And while we’re usually grateful for the ones we have, we’ve also dreamed of lives that might have been. What little girl hasn’t dreamed of growing up a princess, living in a palace, riding in a horse-drawn carriage, wearing a tiara? And don’t forget marrying a handsome prince! Infanta Cristina de Borbon, Duchess of Palma de Mallorca, is the brother of Spain’s King Felipe VI and sixth in line to the Monarquía Hispánica. The Infanta grew up in the Royal Palace of Madrid, where she probably logged a ride or two
Read More

Decoding The Code

The Imitation Game is the critically acclaimed story of Alan Turing, a British mathematician who is widely credited as being the father of computer science and artificial intelligence. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Turing, whose work in cracking Nazi Germany’s “ENIGMA” code helped lift the Allies to victory in World War II. Seventy years later, retiring Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has picked up the code-breaking bug. But Coburn has decided to take on something even more twisted and fiendish than Nazi ciphers. That’s right — he’s just issued a 312-page “Tax Decoder” taking on our tax system. (Read it at your peril
Read More

Delay Paying Taxes With A Like-Kind Exchange

Sitting on a piece of investment property that you would like to sell? By structuring the transaction as a tax-deferred exchange, you can delay paying taxes on the full amount of the gain realized. Also known as a “like-kind exchange” or a “1031 exchange,” these transactions are only available for investment or business assets. Certain types of assets don’t qualify for a tax-deferred exchange, including inventory, accounts receivable, stocks and bonds, and your personal residence. Keep in mind, too, that the like-kind exchange rules only defer the tax. Any gain will be recognized upon a taxable disposition of the replacement
Read More

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Categories