How the Government Shutdown Affects the IRS

Many taxpayers are wondering how the recent government shutdown might affect their ongoing matters with the IRS.  The most immediate question seems to be whether and how it will affect the upcoming income tax filing deadlines for all taxpayers.  For now, the filing deadlines have not been extended.  But there are also taxpayers with ongoing tax controversies with the IRS, including but not limited to: audits, appeals, Tax Court cases, Federal Tax Liens, levies, and other collection issues. The IRS …

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Time to Calculate your 2018 Tax Liability

Congress overhauled the tax rates and brackets for the 2018 tax year (and beyond), when it passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Act) at the end of 2017. The new law reduces taxes for millions of taxpayers by lowering income tax rates across the board. In addition, the Act nearly doubles the standard deduction for all filers. As a result of these changes, the IRS updated the income tax withholding tables for 2018 to help most workers ensure …

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IRS Debt and Passport Denial or Revocation

Taxpayers with more than $50,000 of unpaid federal tax liabilities may find they cannot travel internationally, unless they are working with the IRS to resolve their tax liabilities.  In December 2015, Internal Revenue Code § 7345 was enacted, authorizing the IRS to notify the State Department of taxpayers with “seriously delinquent tax debt,” which is: A legally enforceable federal tax liability of an individual; which has been assessed; is greater than $50,000; and for which a Notice of Federal Tax …

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The New Age For Online Retailers

On June 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued its Opinion in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., overturning decades-old precedent requiring a retailer to have an actual “physical presence” within a state before that state can require the retailer to charge, collect, and remit its sales tax. With such a drastic change in the legal landscape, many wonder how the Supreme Court’s decision may affect their businesses. Colorado (as we expect many others to do) has acted quickly to …

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I have an Estate Plan—What do My Successor Trustees or Personal Representatives Actually Do?

The Successor Trustee If you have completed your estate plan using a living trust, you likely have named successor trustees of your trust.   A trustee is a person or trust company you select and name in your trust.  With a living trust that you create, you are the Grantor of the trust and you are generally the first trustee in charge of your own assets held in your trust.  As the Grantor, you can make changes to your trust, including …

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IRS Updates the Tax Withholding Tables

Congress recently changed the tax rates and brackets for 2018 and beyond, when it passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”). The rate changes, however, were not as radical as some had initially proposed. Instead, the major changes affecting many taxpayers stem from other provisions of the Act, such as nearly doubling the standard deduction to $12,000 for single filers, $18,000 for head-of-household filers and $24,000 for married couples who file jointly. In any case, the Act was …

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Extending the Filing Date of Your Income Tax Return When You Are in an IRS Installment Agreement.

When a taxpayer agrees to pay the IRS through a monthly Installment Agreement, the terms of the agreement require that the taxpayer (1) timely file all required federal tax returns and (2) timely pay all federal tax obligations for the entire duration of the Installment Agreement.  This is known as being “in compliance.”  If a taxpayer is not in compliance with all required filing and payment obligations, the IRS can (and will) terminate the Installment Agreement. This sounds simple, but …

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Getting Relief From the IRS as an Innocent Spouse

A common problem we see is where the IRS is pursuing one spouse for taxes attributable to his or her spouse, or ex-spouse. These are particularly difficult in divorce situations since not only are many divorces sufficiently traumatic in and of themselves but adding the IRS to the mix makes it explosive. It is possible, under the right circumstances, for the innocent spouse to be relieved of IRS tax liabilities. First, relief is only available for income taxes; employment taxes …

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IRS to End Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

On March 13, 2018, Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter announced September 28, 2018 will be the end of the IRS’s popular Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), saying “Taxpayers have had several years to come into compliance with U.S. tax laws under this program . . . .  All along, we have been clear that we would close the program at the appropriate time, and we have reached that point.” Originally offered in 2009, the OVDP allowed Taxpayers with previously undisclosed …

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Should I Be Doing Any Special Year-End Tax Planning In Light of the Proposed Tax Legislation?

Year-end tax planning with clients has been a staple in CPA practices for nearly as long as the tax code has been in effect.  With all the discussion of the proposed tax bills, in all their iterations and negotiations, and the seemingly endless crystal ball commentary on their effects, many have questioned whether they should be doing anything special this year, anticipating a significant change in current law. Two significant disclaimers: first, tax planning is by its very nature highly …

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