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IRS Announces 2017 Filing Season Opens January 23, Reminds Taxpayers About Delayed Refunds

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 12:55:00 -0500

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that tax season will open on Monday, January 23, 2017. The IRS will begin accepting electronic tax returns that day, with more than 153 million individual tax returns expected to be filed in 2017.


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If There's No Presidential Vote Recount, What Happens To The Money Jill Stein Raised?

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 11:58:00 -0500

Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein has raised millions of dollars from voters in an effort to force presidential election recounts in at least three contested states (Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania).


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Ask Larry: My Wife Is Collecting. I'm 66. Should I File On Her Record?

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 09:30:00 -0500

Today’s column considers spousal benefits for the higher earner, filing on an estranged spouse's record, the Earnings Test, how benefits are determined and the effect of extra income after FRA.


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For Trump, Incredible Tax-Free $3.7 Billion Sale Would Be Tax Savvy

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 09:09:00 -0500

Will Trump step down or step back from his empire to take office? He may even sell out, aided by a tax-free law that is a boon to his rich Cabinet picks too.


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IRS Coinbase Summons What Are You Going To Do When They Come For You ?

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 08:48:00 -0500

When was the last time you had to give up the name of your first pet or whatever so they would reset your password to something or other? If it is less than a year ago, then bitcoins are probably not for you.


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Estate Planning Tip: Creditor Protection for IRAs & Beneficiaries

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 08:45:00 -0500

Tax deferral isn’t the only benefit IRAs offer. One potential benefit offered by IRAs is creditor protection in the event of a bankruptcy. But when you pass away, are your IRA beneficiaries protected from bankruptcy?



2016 It's A Good Year To Take Losses

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 08:38:00 -0500

Tax loss harvesting may be more valuable this year than next.


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Border Adjustability Is Already Fueling Tax Reform Controversy

Thu, 8 Dec 2016 16:33:00 -0500

Any effort to rework the revenue code will require Congress and the Trump administration to unravel an exceedingly tangled ball of string. Powerful interests including the Koch brothers and Walmart are lining up against a House GOP proposal that would shake up taxation of trade.


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Ask Larry: ​​Should My Wife File Early So I Can Collect A Free Spousal Benefit?

Thu, 8 Dec 2016 09:30:00 -0500

Today’s column examines potential filing pitfalls, potential best strategies for a married couple, filing with young children and a public pension, available benefits and the availability of lump sum payment options.


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4 Tax-Free 10%+ Yields With 38% Upside

Thu, 8 Dec 2016 08:17:00 -0500

The last time this happened, municipal bonds soared 40% over the next 12 months. These usually-steady payers are coming off their worst month since September 2008, according to Standard & Poor’s, when its “muni” index dropped 4.8% (and popular funds fared even worse): The Last Muni Bloodbath in Sept 2008… October 1, 2008 [...]


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4 Steps To Prepare Your Retirement Portfolio For The New Year

Thu, 8 Dec 2016 08:00:00 -0500

The end of the year is a great time to get your financial house in order. As the market bounces along throughout the year, your portfolio bounces right along with it. Every once in a while, you need to give it a checkup. And it’s not just rebalancing your investment [...]


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Prosecutors Pay Bitcoin Ransom, Yet IRS Targets Coinbase Data

Thu, 8 Dec 2016 02:30:00 -0500

IRS wants to know who is using Bitcoin and in what amounts. So much for anonymity. Meanwhile, even the government seems to be paying Bitcoin ransom.


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Mandatory IRA Distributions: Avoid These 3 Common Mistakes

Wed, 7 Dec 2016 16:55:00 -0500

RMDs are required starting at age 70 1/2 and while this sounds simple on the surface, it's actually pretty convoluted because the math changes each year and if you make a mistake IRS penalties can be as high as 50%. There are 3 BIG RMD mistakes you need to make sure you avoid.


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House Says No To Renewed Efforts To Impeach IRS Commissioner

Wed, 7 Dec 2016 15:42:00 -0500

Members of the House failed at another attempt to impeach Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John A. Koskinen this week.


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How The $20M IRS Targeting Scandal HappenedIRS Targeting Scandal: Citizens United, Lois Lerner And The $20M Tax Saga That Won't Go AwayJuly, 2008March 24, 2009January 21, 2010August, 2010March 22, 2012June, 2012May 10, 2013May 14, 2013May 17, 2013May 22, 2013June 20, 2013June 24, 2013December 23, 2013January 14, 2014May 7, 2014February 26, 2015October 23, 2015May 20, 2016June 15, 2016June 22, 2016

Wed, 7 Dec 2016 15:42:00 -0500

It was the question heard round the tax world. But it was the answer that made waves. In 2013, then Acting Director of Exempt Organizations at IRS, Lois Lerner, apologized toa room of tax lawyers forthe IRS’s inappropriate targeting of conservative political groups. Her comments set off a chain of events that would slashIRS funds, fire officials and consider impeachment proceedings for IRS Commissioner Koskinen’s actions.Butthe scandal didn’t begin or end there.

In the run-up to the presidential election, Citizens United, a conservative lobbying group, wants to air a series of commercials promoting a film targetingHillary Clinton, who was seeking the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that they couldn’t, finding that it was a violation of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (also known as the McCain–Feingold Act). The group appealed.

The Supreme Court agrees to hear the case, and oral arguments begin inCitizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Theodore B. Olson, who successfully represented former President George W. Bush inBush v. Gore, represents Citizens United. Malcolm L. Stewart of the Department of Justice represents the government. More than 40briefs amicus curiae were filed, including those from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the Institute for Justice and the NRA.

The Supreme Court issues an opinion reversing the original decision in part, affirming the matter in part and remanding it back to the lower court. The Court finds that it is unconstitutional to ban all free speech by corporations, unions, and other organizations – even as it applied to political campaigns. As a result of the ruling, the number of nonprofit organizations applying for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(4) of the Tax Code increases dramatically.

To deal with the increase, the IRS distributes its first formal BOLO (Be on the Lookout) listing for purposes of reviewing applications. Initially limited to Tea Party organizations applying for tax-exempt status, it widens over the next year to include more groups, and specific policy positions such as government spending and taxes. By 2011, acting Director of Exempt Organizations, Lois Lerner, is advised of the practice. The use of BOLO lists continues until June 12, 2013.

As the issue is made public (but attracts little notice), then serving IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman testifies in front of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight that there was “absolutely no targeting” by the IRS of conservative and Tea Party organizations. Two months later, Shulman, together with former Acting Commissioner Steven T. Miller, is briefed by Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) about the matter.

Following up on complaints about delays in [...]


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Last-Minute Tax Breaks For Homebuyers You're In Danger Of Missing

Wed, 7 Dec 2016 12:08:00 -0500

No one wants to talk tax when holiday festivities are in full swing. After all, this year’s taxes won’t matter until next April. Right? Well, maybe for some people, but if you’re serious about buying or selling that home in Washington, DC, or San Francisco, CA, you may want to [...]


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Reforming Child And Work Provisions In The Federal Income Tax

Wed, 7 Dec 2016 09:41:00 -0500

Proposed reforms include raising the credit age for children by two years, making the EITC the same for all workers regardless of the number of children in a family, and doubling the standard deduction for single and married filing statuses.


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Ask Larry: ​Will ​I Be Slammed By ​ Deeming If I File ​Early​?​

Wed, 7 Dec 2016 09:30:00 -0500

Today’s column takes up the deeming provision, filing early and spousal benefits, widow's benefits at 60, taxes on benefits and filing strategy in the face of a bad medical diagnosis.


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Shorten Tax Disputes With IRS Fast Track Mediation

Wed, 7 Dec 2016 09:03:00 -0500

IRS fights are expensive and time consuming. Mediating with the IRS might save you time and money if you do it at the right time.


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Cook County Waiting To See If Chicago-Style Laws Are Challenged In Court

Wed, 7 Dec 2016 06:00:00 -0500

Even before the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted in October to require paid sick leave and a higher minimum wage for county employees, some pondered whether the board had the legal authority to do so. Commissioners Timothy Schneider (R-15) and Sean Morrison (R-17) each requested opinions from then-Cook County State’s [...]



Real Madrid Joins In Defense Of Ronaldo After 'Football Leaks' Allege Tax Evasion

Tue, 6 Dec 2016 23:14:00 -0500

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo has been accused of participating in a tax evasion scheme to hide more nearly €150 million from the tax man.


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Dream Team XI: Soccer Stars To Watch In 2016-17Dream Team XI: Soccer Players Who Have Increased In Value This SummerGoalkeeper: Jan OblakDefender: Joshua KimmichDefender: Samuel UmtitiDefender: Eric BaillyDefender: Filipe LuísMidfielder: Gareth BaleMidfielder: Renato SanchesMidfielder: Leroy SanéMidfielder: Saúl ÑíguezAttacker: Antoine GriezmannAttacker: Michy BatshuayiDefensive Sub: Leonardo BonucciDefensive Sub: Djibril SidibéMidfield Sub: Sadio ManeMidfield Sub: N'Golo KanteMidfield Sub: André GomesMidfield Sub: Riyad MahrezMidfield Sub: Joao MarioAttacking Sub: Dimitri PayetAttacking Sub: Marko PjacaAttacking Sub: Alvaro Morata

Tue, 6 Dec 2016 23:14:00 -0500

Here are the players who have increased their market value the most this summer, according to sports database Transfermarkt. The industry experts take into account a player's recent performances, consistency and potential, international experience, and marketability when calculating his transfer market value. FORBES analyzed recent statistics to come up with this summer's most valuable Dream Team XI,with honorable mentions listed as subs.

Market Value: $39.25 million

Summer Increase: (+ $11.25 million)


Slovenian keeper Jan Oblak has arguably been one of the best in the game this past season. He was a crucial part of Atletico Madrid's strong season in La Liga and the Champions League - Oblak was named the top goalkeeper in Spain for conceding only 18 goals in 38 games, breaking a 22-year old league record in the process. The tall Slovenian kept 24 clean sheets last year, which has seen his market value continue to rise over the summer.

Market Value: $22.5 million

Summer Increase: (+ $7.75 million)


21-year-old defender Joshua Kimmich had already made a name for himself last season, having gotten 15 league starts under his belt during Pep Guardiola’s last season as Bayern Munich manager.When he was called up for Germany's Euro squad, the versatileyoungster put in a string of consistent performances for the national team. While he didn't play the first two games, Kimmich became a mainstay in the German team during their knockout round fixtures.

Market Value: $28 million

Summer Increase: (+ $11.25 million)


French center back Samuel Umtiti was another promising young player snapped up at the beginning of the summer, this time by Barcelona. At Euro 2016, he earned his way into France’s starting line-up despite his young age. Before the tournament, Umtiti commanded an approximate market value of $14.25million. In early July,Barcelona announced that they would pay French team Lyon $28 million for Umtiti, a small fee considering he is arguably one of the most promising young center backs in the world.

Market Value: $22.5 million

Summer Increase: (+ $13.5 million)


The 22-year-old Ivorian defender has a big billing to live up to after moving to Manchester United for an approximate fee of $42.5 million this summer. The dynamic center back has already impressed United's new boss, Jose Mourinho, during preseason. Last season, Bailly was the key man in a Villarreal defense that boasted 17 clean sheets in La Liga, allowing the team to secure fourth place behind champions Barcelona and Champions League finalists Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. Villareal made quite a profit from Ivorian, however, who they originally bought for only $6.5 million.

Market Value: $28 million

Summer[...]


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Mother Banned From Contact With Son, Must Block Cell Phone, After Guilty Plea In Tax Crime

Tue, 6 Dec 2016 21:43:00 -0500

Authorities allege that Jaquon Mucsarney devised a scheme to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of millions in bogus tax refunds. To further the scheme, Jaquon sought help: one of Jaquon's partners in crime turned out to be his mother, Schosche Muscsarney.


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The Business For Sale Market - Will Trump Help Or Hurt It?

Tue, 6 Dec 2016 14:55:00 -0500

If you truly want to be an entrepreneur, you have to be able to shut out all of the noise. he fact is you can always find an excuse not to go into business, but the true entrepreneur realizes that success is in their hands. It does not matter whether you voted for Donald Trump or not.


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Morgan StanleyVoice: 'Tis The Season For 529 Plans

Tue, 6 Dec 2016 14:53:00 -0500

  This holiday season, you may want to skip the latest electronic gadget and give your children or grandchildren the gift of higher learning—and give yourself a merry tax break in the process. Named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, a 529 plan is a tax-advantaged way to save, or [...]


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Ask Larry: ​​Can Flipping​ Past Wives Maximize ​My ​ Social Security​?

Tue, 6 Dec 2016 09:30:00 -0500

Today’s column explores claiming on multiple spouses' records, the Earnings Test and child's benefits, options for married couples, divorced widow's benefits and the effects of years with no income.


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Renzi's Loss A Blow To EU But A Victory For Democracy, Populism

Tue, 6 Dec 2016 09:25:00 -0500

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi bet his political future on a somewhat convoluted constitutional referendum that was designed to make it much easier for his center-left coalition to govern without majority support from voters. He bet big, and he lost big.


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Tax & Other Tips For A Great Office Holiday Party

Mon, 5 Dec 2016 16:21:00 -0500

Companies may throw holiday parties for many reasons but typically, it's a way of saying thank you to employees for their service. Here are tips to keep in mind to ensure a great holiday party for employers and employees alike.


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Think A C Corporation Is The Worst Entity Choice For Conducting A Business? Think Again

Mon, 5 Dec 2016 13:59:00 -0500

As I type this while hurtling through space at 30,000 feet, I'm reminded that forthe overwhelmingmajority of human history, flying was theoptionof lastresort. People preferreddrivingfor 20 hoursto flyingfor two; largely owing to the fact that while you're infinitely more likely to die in a car accident than a plane crash, [...]