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Unfiled Tax Returns and IRS Visits

If you have unfiled federal income tax returns, you might receive a personal visit from an IRS employee.  The IRS recently announced that it hired additional Revenue Officers (IRS collection employees) who will be making house calls to taxpayers missing one or more returns in a prior year, and who earn over $100,000.  These unannounced visits began in February 2020. The IRS has already contacted these non-filers by correspondence (generally by mail), notifying them of missing returns, so they should …

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Do you Need A Cryptocurrency Trust?

What happens with your cryptocurrency if you get disabled or die?  Cryptocurrency is hard to keep track of during life and at death, and many people do not understand this type of digital asset.  The importance of keeping track of your cryptocurrency during life involves keeping good records of your trading history, choosing the right exchanges and being secure, staying aware of updates on exchange policies and tax law, and tracking wallet addresses for coin, token, and mining transactions.  How …

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Taxation of Litigation Awards and Deductibility of Attorneys’ Fees

We are frequently asked about the tax consequences of receiving a judgment or settlement in a lawsuit.  Damages received as the result of a breach of contract or property damage have always been, and continue to be, taxable.  For personal injury actions, however, the tax consequences have changed quite a bit over the last 20 years. Prior to 1996, if someone received an award for personal injuries, other than punitive damages, all amounts received were not taxable and/or were excluded …

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Beware of Tax Resolution Companies

You owe the IRS money.  You know you owe the IRS money.  You may have even set up an installment agreement with the IRS that you have been faithfully paying for a while.  But the next thing you know, your phone is blowing up, and your mailbox is overflowing with unsolicited ads from any number of the thousands of “tax resolution” or “tax relief” companies around the country. The messages take many forms.  Some seem to be nice and helpful …

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Cases Pending with the Taxpayer Advocate Service Are Temporarily Suspended from Passport Certification

Effective July 25, 2019, the Commissioner of the IRS agreed to temporarily suspend its “Passport Certification Program” for all taxpayers with cases pending with the Taxpayer Advocate Service (“TAS”). Generally, the Passport Certification Program authorizes 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 $52,000; and for which a Notice of Federal Tax Lien has been filed …

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Taxpayer Advocate Service: Excessive Case Load Is Causing Delays

The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), created by Congress in 1996, is designed to be a “safety net” for taxpayers who are experiencing problems with the IRS.  The TAS’s mission is to make sure taxpayers’ rights are protected when they’re up against a government agency that many Americans find intimidating, if not downright terrifying.  Lately, however, TAS’s effectiveness has been hampered by an increasing case load and the resulting delays. Since its inception, TAS has helped millions of taxpayers resolve problems, …

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Five Big Threats to your Estate Plan

Estate planning is a wonderful way to love your family and completing a plan often brings relief.   There are several threats however, that you must be aware of so that your estate plan does not fail when you need it the most. #1 Avoiding One-Size-Fits-All Planning The first rule of thumb is to make sure your estate plan is custom written for you.  Each and every family is unique with different needs.  For example, if your family has conflict and …

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The New Partnership Audit Rules

If you are a partner in a partnership, you should be aware there are new rules starting with partnership taxable years that begin after December 31, 2017.  The new regime replaces the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code known as the TEFRA procedures, which still govern partnership audits for taxable years beginning before December 31, 2017, and may also be applicable for audits by states that have not adopted the new federal procedures. The new rules cover all partnerships, including …

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Taxation of Cryptocurrency

Virtual currency has risen in popularity over the last several years, not only for investment, but for use in paying for goods and services.  Unlike the U.S. dollar, the IRS does not treat virtual currency (also called “digital currency” and “cryptocurrency”) as currency.  It is treated as property, even though it can be used as a form of payment. That means that if you have had any transactions beyond your initial purchase of virtual currency—you have traded it for other …

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