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Who Qualifies as a Real Estate Professional for Tax Purposes? by CORY STIGILE

In Brown v. Commissioner, T.C. Summary Op. 2015-62 (October 15, 2015), the Tax Court held that the taxpayers’ losses from rental activities were non-passive. The case illustrates how the Tax Court will review the real estate professional test as well as the separate material participation tests to determine if rental activities are non-passive. The taxpayer … Continue reading Who Qualifies as a Real Estate Professional for Tax Purposes? by CORY STIGILE

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Goodby Home Concrete: Overstated Basis is an Omission of Income By ROBERT S. HORWITZ

On July 31, 2015, Congress enacted H.R. 3236, Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015. The bill was introduced in the House and the Senate on July 28, sponsored by Representative Shuster of Pennsylvania, with Representatives Ryan of Wisconsin and Miller of Florida as co-sponsors. It was passed without any amendments. … Continue reading Goodby Home Concrete: Overstated Basis is an Omission of Income By ROBERT S. HORWITZ

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Civil Tax Penalty Defenses: Reasonable Cause & Reliance

The Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) contains a Penalty Handbook intended to serve as the foundation for addressing the administration of penalties by the IRS. It is the “one source of authority for the administration of penalties. . .”[1] and provides a “fair, consistent, and comprehensive approach to penalty administration.” As such, the IRM is often … Continue reading Civil Tax Penalty Defenses: Reasonable Cause & Reliance

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When Can a Bad Debt Be Deducted for Tax Purposes? by LACEY STRACHAN

The Internal Revenue Code Section 166 allows taxpayers a deduction for debts that have become uncollectible, if certain requirements are met.  These requirements were evaluated by the Tax Court recently in the case Cooper v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2015-191 (September 28, 2015), which denied a couple a deduction for a bad debt, on the grounds … Continue reading When Can a Bad Debt Be Deducted for Tax Purposes? by LACEY STRACHAN

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First Time Abatement of Civil Tax Penalties

The Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) contains a Penalty Handbook intended to serve as the foundation for addressing the administration of penalties by the IRS. It is the “one source of authority for the administration of penalties. . .”[i] and provides a “fair, consistent, and comprehensive approach to penalty administration.” As such, the IRM is often … Continue reading First Time Abatement of Civil Tax Penalties

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Statute of Limitations for Collecting a Tax Liability from a Transferee of the Taxpayer by Lacey Strachan

If the IRS is unable to collect a tax liability from a taxpayer, state laws may allow the IRS to collect the liability from a third party in certain situations where the taxpayer has transferred assets to another person. Although liability of a transferee for a transferor’s tax debt is based on state law, the … Continue reading Statute of Limitations for Collecting a Tax Liability from a Transferee of the Taxpayer by Lacey Strachan

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We All Love Snow Days—Even the Tax Court, by STEVEN TOSCHER

Growing up all of us loved a “snow day”—school was closed and we had the day off. Our general affinity to snow days played out in a recent U.S. Tax Court order in Guralnik v. Commissioner, Tax Court Docket No. 4358-15 (August 24, 2015), which held that a petition seeking redetermination on a notice of … Continue reading We All Love Snow Days—Even the Tax Court, by STEVEN TOSCHER

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Sensitive Issue Tax Examinations – the “Eggshell Audit”

Representation of clients involved in an audit or dispute with the Internal Revenue Service require the exercise of considerable judgment, discretion, and caution. There are often unknown, potentially sensitive issues that might unexpectedly arise during the course of any audit. Throughout, the representative must balance their duties to their client with the representative’s ethical and … Continue reading Sensitive Issue Tax Examinations – the “Eggshell Audit”

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Subordination Of Mortgage is Required Before Conservation Easement Donation by KRISTA HARTWELL

NINTH CIRCUIT HOLDS SUBORDINATION OF MORTGAGE ON PROPERTY IS REQUIRED BEFORE DONATION TO TAKE A CHARITABLE DEDUCTION FOR A CONSERVATION EASEMENT DONATION –  Krista Hartwell In Minnick v. Commissioner, the Ninth Circuit held that deductions for conservation easement donations are permissible only if any mortgage on the property was subordinated to the easement at the … Continue reading Subordination Of Mortgage is Required Before Conservation Easement Donation by KRISTA HARTWELL

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IRS Enhances Employment Tax Enforcement Efforts! by MICHEL R. STEIN

The IRS has significantly increased their employment tax enforcement efforts and just released a Fact Sheet (FS-2015-21) explaining how employers can properly determine whether workers should be classified as employees or independent contractors. A wrong decision can result in potentially significant civil penalties or in the event of an intentional mis-classification, those involved might be … Continue reading IRS Enhances Employment Tax Enforcement Efforts! by MICHEL R. STEIN

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Medical Marijuana and the IRS by JONATHAN KALINISKI

Medical marijuana is now legal in 23 states and recreational marijuana is legal in four plus the District of Columbia. It is decriminalized in a few more states and low-THC medical marijuana is legal in still others. Marijuana is only illegal in 10 states. In 1991, 78% of Americans believed marijuana should be illegal. Attitudes … Continue reading Medical Marijuana and the IRS by JONATHAN KALINISKI

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NEW IRS FBAR Reference Guide !

A NEW IRS Reference Guide on the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts is now available to provide assistance to U.S. persons who have the obligation to file the FBAR and to the tax professionals who prepare and electronically file FBAR reports on behalf of their clients. The Guide also supports IRS examiners in … Continue reading NEW IRS FBAR Reference Guide !

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