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Phony Phone Charities

Watch out for one of the biggest and most pervasive scam around… No, I am not talking about the IRS impersonators who threaten you with arrest unless you pay up. So what is this big, long time scam? The answer is phony charities. We all get calls from charitable organizations asking for money. Sadly, there...Read More

The Loss of Casualty Losses

The new tax law eliminated the write off for any personal casualty losses. This involved uninsured losses from fire, theft, or sudden act of God such as an earthquake, tornado, flood or hurricane. The only exception is if it incurred in a presidentially declared disaster area. Thus, if your house is on fire and not...Read More

Educate Yourself About Section 529 Savings

Section 529 Savings plans for Kindergarten through high school education: I want to discuss a little known change in the tax law that allows tax free distributions from educational savings plans (section 529 plans) that can be now be used to pay for the tuition for elementary and secondary private and parochial schools. There is...Read More

Is It a Write-Off or Depreciation?

Under Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Code, you can elect to write off equipment used in business instead of depreciating the equipment over several years. Prior to 2018, you could write off up to $500,000 worth of equipment in your business. Moreover, this election only applied to business equipment and NOT to equipment owned...Read More

S.A.L.T. Licked?

If you have been reading my posts regularly, you know that State and Local Tax (SALT) deductions have been capped at $10,000. This severely hurt people in high tax “blue” states such as California, New York, Maryland, Mass, New Jersey, and many other places. A few states have already passed laws to try to blunt...Read More

Bipartisan Agenda? Modernize the IRS

Bipartisan ideas are very rare these days on Capital Hill, given the current political climate, but lawmakers seem to agree on modernizing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and making it more taxpayer friendly. Congress wants an independent office of appeals to resolve controversies. Right now, appeals is part of the IRS, and is funded by...Read More

IRS’ Top Scams 2018: Part 3

Falsifying Income to Claim Credits Con artists may convince unsuspecting taxpayers to invent income to erroneously qualify for tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. Taxpayers should file the most accurate tax return possible because they are legally responsible for what is on their return. This scam can lead to taxpayers facing large...Read More

IRS’ Top Scams 2018: Part 2

Fake Charities Groups masquerading as charitable organizations solicit donations from unsuspecting contributors. Be wary of charities with names similar to familiar or nationally-known organizations. Contributors should take a few extra minutes to ensure their hard-earned money goes to legitimate charities. irs.gov has the tools that taxpayers need to check out the status of charitable organizations....Read More