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Early Withdrawal from Retirement Account

  • July 20th, 2010
  • David Greene
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Retirement accounts such as IRA’s, 401k’s and company sponsored retirement accounts receive special tax treatment because the money is not supposed to be used by the owner of the account until she reaches a specified age, usually over 62 or over 65.  The thought is that she can put aside that money now tax free into the restricted account while she is working and is in a higher tax bracket.  Then, when

 

Denial of child exemption on a 1040

  • July 15th, 2010
  • Administrator
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Many people are audited each year due to the IRS questioning their claiming children as dependents who are not biological or adopted sons or daughters.  The basic rules are that the child has to have some relationship to the taxpayer, has to live with the taxpayer for the majority of the year and that the taxpayer must provide the majority of the support for the child.  Most problems arise when two ex-spouses both claim the child.  The IRS

Power of Attorney

  • July 15th, 2010
  • Administrator
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I have found in my practice that many people do not understand the limitations of a Power of Attorney and sometimes think it can be used like a will.  Let me make one thing clear.  A Power of Attorney has legal validity only during a person’s lifetime and a will has legal validity only after a person dies.  When “A” grants “B” a Power of Attorney, “A” is giving “B” the right and privilege to make all of the financial and other types of

 

Wills and Trusts

  • July 15th, 2010
  • Administrator
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I feel that everyone, young or old, should have a will because a will ensures that the deceased’s property and assets will be distributed as she wants after death and not by rule of law.  There is a statute in the Probate Code that dictates the manner in which property is distributed to heirs if the decedent died without a will, i.e. intestate.  In general, it bequeaths the probate estate to relatives in order from closest to more distant relatives.

 

Seizure of Property by the IRS

  • July 15th, 2010
  • Administrator
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In most cases, seizure of property by the IRS is undertaken only as a last resort.   The IRS will try to work with the taxpayer through an Offer In Compromise, Installment Agreement or even place the taxpayer in Currently Not Collectible status in proper circumstances.  However, if the taxpayer refuses to try to work with the IRS on any level, then the Revenue Officer in charge may begin seizure proceedings.  The Revenue Officer cannot seize and sell property on his own initiative.  It takes a judicial proceeding with proper taxpayer rights safeguards.

 

Spouse Omitted From Will – Remedy

  • July 15th, 2010
  • Administrator
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Sometimes when one spouse dies he or she discovers that the deceased had a will but that he/she was not included in the will.    This might be through oversight, e.g. due to this being a second marriage, or it might be on purpose.  In either case South Carolina has a remedy for a spouse that is left out of his/her deceased spouse’s will.  It does not matter whether the will is silent as to the spouse or specifically states “I am not leaving my spouse anything” or “I leave my spouse $1.00 only.”

Discharge of taxes in Bankruptcy

  • July 15th, 2010
  • Administrator
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There are three primary types of bankruptcy:  Chapter 7 – complete discharge; Chapter 11 – reorganization – used by businesses; and Chapter 13  – a payment plan to pay off debts.  These remarks refer to Chapters 7 and 13.  To discharge taxes in a Chapter 7 case, several tests must be met.

Audits of S Corporations

  • July 15th, 2010
  • Administrator
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The IRS has begun targeting small corporations, LLC’s and partnerships who have made the S Corporation election for tax filing purposes.  Briefly, the difference between filing as a “C Corp” and an “S Corp” is as follows.  A C Corporation files a tax return in which a profit or loss is shown, and if it shows a profit, the corporation pays the tax.

Audits of “S” Corporations – Continued

  • July 15th, 2010
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In my last blog, I mentioned several ways that “S” corporations incorrectly report expenses on their tax return.  Let’s look a little more closely at these and see how these mistakes occur and why the IRS is targeting these mistakes.   The main reason, of course, is that these mistakes benefit the taxpayer 80% of the time!  Remember that I use the term corporation here to represent any kind of legal entity that files as an “S” corporation for tax purposes.

IRS Penalty and Interest Abatements

  • July 15th, 2010
  • Administrator
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Let me first address interest abatement.  There is only one instance when the IRS will abate interest.  That is when the IRS has either charged a tax it should not have or miscalculated the amount due on a tax.  In other words, interest will only be abated when the IRS has made a mistake in assessing the tax.

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