Thread Count and Tax Reform

The term “thread count” refers to the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch of fabric.  Per the marketers of bedsheets: the higher the thread count, the softer and more luxurious the product.  Envision how some high thread count sheets would look under a microscope: that is the current tax code.  It is…

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Making Tax Enforcement Great Again Under the Trump Administration

As of the date of this article, no one knows anything on the future of tax enforcement; likely, not even the President himself.  Actually, there is one relative certainty: the IRS will stop examining the President’s individual tax returns.  Attempting to forecast other enforcement (or lack thereof) is likely an exercise in futility. Many others…

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Winning an IRS Audit

If you are selected for an IRS exam, you likely do not feel like a winner.  In fact, you have at least some bad luck or karma to be selected in the first place.  But, if you are selected, what can be considered a win against the IRS?  The answer is: it all depends on where…

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Is your business at risk for tax identity theft?

Absolutely.  The IRS has made tax related identity theft a priority through prevention, detection and victim assistance programs.   There have also been several criminal prosecutions related to individual tax refund scams.   Unfortunately, fraudsters are very opportunistic and are always evolving.  Thus tax related business identity theft is increasing.  Furthermore business related identity thefts are more…

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When is your fantasy taxable?

When you win playing daily fantasy sports (“DFS”), such as in Draft Kings or Fan Duel. A basic rule of tax law is all sources of income are taxable unless there is an exemption. There are no exemptions for winnings from DFS. Defying logic, DFS is considered a “game of skill” and not gambling under…

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Should I have my CPA or tax preparer who completed my tax return handle my IRS audit or should I retain a tax attorney?

Using your CPA or Tax Preparer: The advantages of using your CPA include familiarity with your return, your financial affairs and/or business.  The CPA’s professional fees will likely be less compared to hiring a Tax Attorney.  Lastly, you likely have a professional history and trust with your CPA. Using a Tax Attorney: Let’s face it,…

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Are winnings from an office NCAA basketball pool taxable income?

(This article was originally published in the Baltimore Business Journal on March 20, 2015) Sidestepping the legalities of NCAA office pools, gambling winnings constitute taxable income.  Gambling income includes, but is not limited to, cash or property won in lotteries, raffles, horse and dog races, casinos and your friendly office pool.  There is no threshold…

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Will the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) – Employer Mandate Complicate Worker Classification Issues for Business Owners?

Absolutely!  The already multifaceted laws governing the differentiation of “Employee” or “Independent Contractor” is further complicated by the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) employer mandate set to be implemented in 2015.  The employer mandate will expand complicated regulations and include increased enforcement actions by the IRS. The employer mandate requires certain employers with 100 or more…

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Who is the IRS targeting for an audit?

In general, the IRS targets the low hanging fruit, shakes the taxpayer’s tree, money falls and the US Treasury is happy.  The taxpayers selected are not happy as they just endured months of stress dealing with the audit, costly professional fees and a likely tax debt that includes interest and penalties. The IRS has a…

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