Friday, January 22, 2016
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’
* Russ Fox of TAXABLE TIMES reminds us that, when it comes to claiming deductions, “Same as Last Year Doesn’t Work”, quoting from my post on what to give your tax pro.
* Joe Kristan has some good information in his lead item commentary in “Tax Roundup, 1/19/16: Thieves Holiday! Filing Season Underway Today” at the ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG.
* Hey fellow tax pros – have you seen the January 15 TAXPRO BUZZ, or THE TAX PROFESSIONAL yet? Or signed my petition on tax reform yet?
* William Perez explains that the answer to the question “Is Head of Household Status Possible for Two People at the Same Address” isn’t as easy as you would think at ABOUT.COM.
* William’s ABOUT.COM colleague Jean Murray deals with the question “How Do I Register to Collect Sales Tax in My State?” for those starting a business.
Sales tax law is truly complicated and varies from state to state. To be honest, if I were accepting new business clients I would not accept one that was subject to sales tax collection. A particular item may be subject to sales tax in one specific situation but not in another. It is important that if you are starting a business that will sell a product or service that may be subject to state and local sales tax that you consult a tax professional who is knowledgeable and experienced in local sales tax law.
* You will find links to all the installment in Jason Dinesen’s excellent blog series in “Choosing a Business Entity: Wrap-up Post” at DINESEN TAX TIMES.
* The “The Forbes 2016 Tax Guide” provides links to tons of helpful tax posts from the FORBES.COM “stable” of bloggers.
* Speaking of FORBES.COM - Don’t be too concerned with Robert W Wood’s post “Beware: IRS Now Has Six Years To Audit Your Taxes, Up From Three”.
The title is misleading – it is actually incorrect. The “3-Year Rule” has not changed. The IRS, and most state tax authorities, still has three years from the due date (or filing date if you had an extension) of a filed tax return to audit and revise that return. If you filed your 2014 Form 1040 by the initial April 2015 due date, “Uncle Sam” has until April 15, 2018 to audit it and ask for additional taxes. However if the Service can prove intentional tax fraud they can go back forever and audit every tax return you have ever filed.
And, as RWW points out –
“The three years is doubled to six if you omitted more than 25% of your income.”
The basis of RWW’s post –
“In U.S. v. Home Concrete & Supply, LLC, the Supreme Court slapped down the IRS, holding that overstating your basis is not the same as omitting income. The Court said 3 years was plenty for the IRS to audit. But Congress recently overruled the Supreme Court and gave the IRS six years in such a case.”
But if you file an honest tax return, with the correct basis for any investments sold, report all of your taxable income, and you have proper documentation for what you claim on your return, you have nothing to worry about.
* Before I leave FORBES.COM, TaxGirl Kelly Phillips Erb reports “Yet Another State Announces A Delay In Tax Refunds, Citing Fraud Concerns”.
I think most state, and federal, tax refunds will take a few days to a week later to get to you this year than in the past, even with direct deposit. It is a small price to pay to avoid tax fraud. However, direct deposit, if available, is still a better option, and cheaper for the government, than waiting to receive a paper check in the mail.
* Did you know “This year’s Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week is January 25-29”? You do now.
* Let me end with a plug for my website FIND A TAX PROFESSIONAL – the place to start your search for a qualified and competent tax preparer. It has lots of informative articles and advice on choosing a tax pro.