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The Tax Code contains many taxpayer rights and protections. However, because the Tax Code is so large and complex, many taxpayers, who do not have the advice of a tax professional, are unaware of their rights. To clarify these protections, the IRS recently announced a Taxpayer Bill of Rights, describing 10 rights taxpayers have when dealing with the agency.

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Since 2009, the IRS has operated an Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) for U.S. taxpayers who have failed to disclose foreign assets or report foreign income from those assets to the IRS or Treasury. The program provides reduced penalties and other benefits, thus giving taxpayers an opportunity to address their past noncompliance and “become right”… Read more »

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A recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court clarifies how taxpayers may challenge an IRS summons where the taxpayer claims the summons was issued for an improper purpose. A taxpayer has a right to conduct an examination of IRS officials regarding their reasons for issuing a summons when the taxpayer points to specific facts or… Read more »

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Taxpayers who are self-employed must pay self-employment tax on their income from self-employment. The self-employment tax applies in lieu of Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes paid by employees and employers on compensation from employment. Like FICA taxes, the self-employment tax consists of taxes collected for Social Security and for Medicare (hospital insurance or HI)…. Read more »

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The simple concept of depreciation can get complicated very quickly when one is trying to determine the proper depreciation deduction for any particular asset. Here’s only a summary of some of what’s involved.   Identifying the asset The modified accelerated cost recovery system (MACRS) is generally, but not always, used to depreciate tangible depreciable property… Read more »

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As an individual or business, it is your responsibility to be aware of and to meet your tax filing/reporting deadlines. This calendar summarizes important tax reporting and filing data for individuals, businesses and other taxpayers for the month of July 2014.   July 2 Employers. Semi-weekly depositors must deposit employment taxes for payroll dates June… Read more »

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2011 year end tax planning for individuals lacks some of the drama of recent years but can be no less rewarding.  Last year, individual taxpayers were facing looming tax increases as the calendar changed from 2010 to 2011; particularly, increased tax rates on wages, interest and other ordinary income, and higher rates on long-term capital… Read more »

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Many tax benefits for business will either expire at the end of 2011 or become less valuable after 2011. Two of the most important benefits are bonus depreciation and Code Sec. 179 expensing. Both apply to investments in tangible property that can be depreciated. Other sunsetting opportunities might also be considered.   Bonus depreciation Bonus… Read more »