Thu, 27 Oct 2016 09:05:00 -0400Watchdog TIGTA says IRS is ignoring tax dodgers, foregoing billions in revenue.
Wed, 26 Oct 2016 10:23:00 -0400If you are friends with any corporate tax attorneys, kindly forgive them their grumpiness. They get a pass right now. That’s because the government recently dropped an abnormally dense set of income tax regulations on their desks – the ones dealing with debt recharacterization under Internal Revenue Code section 385.
Wed, 26 Oct 2016 09:10:00 -0400Can you soften the blow of expensive World's Series tickets with a tax deduction?
Wed, 26 Oct 2016 09:06:00 -0400Keeping two sets of books can land a business owner in jail, as the owners of a strip club business learned the hard way.
Wed, 26 Oct 2016 07:35:00 -0400Every four years, the citizens of the United States of America cast their vote for whom they think should lead our country. What might not be so obvious is how important of a role the economy plays in deciding which party will come out on top. Not everyone is affected [...]
Tue, 25 Oct 2016 16:46:00 -0400Nine states are ushering in death tax changes for 2017, and they’re all changes that lessen the tax bite.
Tue, 25 Oct 2016 16:39:00 -0400The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the updated numbers for 2017. You'll find the 2017 tax rates, standard deductions, personal exemptions, and more here.
Tue, 25 Oct 2016 14:33:00 -0400The annual gift exclusion remains at $14,000 for 2017.
Tue, 25 Oct 2016 10:57:00 -0400Harsh words for the state commissioner of revenue from the Minnesota Tax Court in a recent opinion involving utility assessments. The case, CenterPoint Energy Resources Corp. v. Commissioner of Revenue, stemmed from CenterPoint’s appeal of the commissioner’s valuation of its gas transmission pipeline as a single economic unit.
Tue, 25 Oct 2016 10:24:00 -0400Our introductory meeting had gone on for about twenty minutes when Gary interjected. "Look, I don't want to get all complicated. I just want to know how much we need in order to retire. Bottom line! I don't want a list of things to do that will complicate my life. If [...]
Tue, 25 Oct 2016 10:06:00 -0400(AP Photo/Bradley C. Bower, File) Oh the irony. For all the talk about economic insecurity during the presidential campaign, there’s been too little discussionfocused onSocial Security. That’s pretty incredible given that it is the most important financial safety net in American society and plays a role in the fiscal life of [...]
Tue, 25 Oct 2016 01:47:00 -0400The tax geek crowd is really ganging up on Donald Trump for his over $900 million loss in 1995. Professor Calvin Johnson of University of Texas at Austin Law School has weighed in with "Were Trump's Fake Losses Legal as Tax Deductions? (download). Fake deductions! That is pretty harsh. Practically locker room talk.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 16:00:00 -0400Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton addresses a campaign event, October 22, 2016 at Taylor Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images) Barack Obama will stop being president on January 20. He will leave behind the signature accomplishment of his eight [...]
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 10:46:00 -0400The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that 401(k)s and similar employer-sponsored retirement plans, including 403(b) and 457(b) plans, can make loans and hardship distributions to victims of Hurricane Matthew and members of their families.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 10:29:00 -0400Today’s column examines the effects of claiming early reduced spousal benefits, benefits for singles, the feasibility of divorcing to increase benefits and filing for widow's benefits based on a previous spouse's record.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 10:03:00 -0400The Sunday Times reported that the British government could halve the corporate tax rate to 10 per cent in case the EU would not be lenient enough in the pending Brexit negotiations. That would be foolish and costly.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 08:41:00 -0400IRS has collected over $10 billion in taxes and penalties from Americans with offshore accounts, and FATCA disclosure pain is only beginning. As over 100,000 Americans have come into IRS compliance, are you safe?
Sun, 23 Oct 2016 08:00:00 -0400I may have been way too optimistic a week ago when I posted that it was “hard to come up with a realistic scenario that ends with Paul Ryan (R-WI) as speaker of the House of Representatives in the next Congress.” Never mind the next Congress: It now looks like Ryan [...]
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 15:33:00 -0400Today’s column examines filing for spousal benefits, how benefit amounts are determined, eligibility for and the amount of disability benefits, sources of help when making filing decisions and a private pension question.
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:57:00 -0400I bought a house today. Yes, after I said I hoped never to buy a house again. Here's why I did it and why my advice about homebuying and taxes, as well as renting, still hasn't changed.
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:57:00 -0400To determine the best places to invest in real estate right now, Realtor.com created a list which sorted through February housing and jobs data for 146 Metropolitan Areas (cities and their neighboring suburbs) across the U.S. The company looked at listing price data, sales data and inventory trends such as the amount of homes available in each market and number of days on market. Realtor.com also utilized the peak-to-trough home price index from Fiserv Case-Shiller, which tracks how much home prices have fallen in the past five years and unemployment rates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since jobs (or lack thereof) are a leading indicator of housing demand.
Median List Price: $170,000 (up 3% y-o-y)
Inventory Level: 6,600 homes for sale (down 23% y-o-y)
Median Days On Market: 86 (down 12% y-o-y)
Price Drop From Peak:45.1%
Unemployment Rate: 7.8%
Median List Price: $229,500 (up 12% y-o-y)
Inventory Level: 8,329 homes for sale (down 19% y-o-y)
Median Days On Market: 77 (down 21% y-o-y)
Price Drop From Peak:2.9%
Unemployment Rate: 6.1%
Median List Price: $134,150 (up 0.3% y-o-y)
Inventory Level: 7,539 homes (down 21% y-o-y)
Median Days On Market: 103 days (down 15% y-o-y)
Price Drop From Peak:8.8%
Unemployment Rate: 7.7%
Median List Price: $239,500 (down 3% y-o-y)
Inventory Level: 13,053 homes (down 25.5% y-o-y)
Median Days On Market: 120 days (down 4% y-o-y)
Price Drop From Peak: 22.3%
Unemployment Rate: 7.5%
Median List Price: $160,000 (up 8% y-o-y)
Inventory Level: 8,242 homes (down 26.5% y-o-y)
Median Days On Market: 79 days (down 19% y-o-y)
Price Drop From Peak:4.7%
Unemployment Rate: 7.1%
Median List Price: $195,000 (up 5.5% y-o-y)
Inventory Level: 6,743 homes (down 31% y-o-y)
Median Days On Market: 90 days (down 13% y-o-y)
Price Drop From Peak:19.4%
Unemployment Rate: 5.9%
Median List Price: $468,888 (up 8% y-o-y)
Inventory Level: 3,957 homes (down 34% y-o-y)
Median Days On Market: 56 days (down 27% y-o-y)
Price Drop From Peak:32.5%
Unemployment Rate: 9.1%
Median List Price: $215,000 (up 7.5% y-o-y)
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 17:51:00 -0400The fact that someone as rich as Donald Trump can pay no taxes is news to many. It’s not news to the super rich. The super rich have a standard way to avoid the taxman that doesn’t require losing a billion in real estate. They simply don’t declare any income. Instead, [...]
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 17:43:00 -0400A highly leveraged real estate operator, who manages to keep upping the ante, might not have much in the way of realized income, while building substantial net worth from unrealized appreciation. The key element is not so much the depreciation deduction as it is the unrealized appreciation which will allow you to keep refinancing and buying more property. This road to wealth is pretty wide open, as you might learn from watching late night TV or maybe from attending Trump University. The thing is the no money down art of the deal type of courses downplay the amount of work involved. And the risk. A really smart guy I know once observed "Leverage makes whatever is going to happen, happen faster."
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 09:57:00 -0400A litigation funding company that launched in the U.S. only six months ago has been identified as the third-party funder in a proposed class action brought against Chevron Corp. over a gas explosion off the coast of Nigeria. According to a copy of the litigation funding agreement, found buried among other [...]
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 09:06:00 -0400California's high taxes and aggressive tax enforcement are legendary. But tax disputes in California can have a few silver linings.
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 08:50:00 -0400Facebook Provision 40.3% - Paid 4.4% Facebook reported $6.2 billion in pretax income and an "income tax expense" of $2.5 billion - 40.3%. It actually paid $273 million - 4.4%. The dramatic spread between the provision and the amount paid is the tax effect of stock compensation of $1.7 billion that does not run through the income statement. Facebook has $2.7 billion in federal net operating loss carryovers. I think that it is likely that Facebook, at least since it went public, has never actually paid any federal income tax, in spite of substantial provisions. Facebook provides the best case for "income tax expense"being "a made up number". In a case like this "income tax expense" really has almost nothing to do with what might actually be paid, ever.
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 08:07:00 -0400I'll leave it to other observers to comment on Donald Trump's statement about not automatically accepting the election results, Hillary Clinton's defense of the Clinton Foundation and all of the discussions about trade, ISIS and Aleppo. I want to talk about the budget aspects of the debate, which were very limited but nonetheless instructive.
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 20:06:00 -0400Welcome to our live coverage of the October 19, 2016, presidential debate. This debate is the third and final debate of the current election season.
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 15:24:00 -0400Today’s column examines eligibility and filing options for spousal benefits, disability benefits, foreign pensions and eligibility for divorced spousal benefits after a court ordered name change.