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Power of Attorney

  • July 15th, 2010
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.

Tax Freedom Day 2010

  • July 15th, 2010
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Did you ever wonder how many days you have to work each year just to pay your taxes?  The day that you have earned enough money to do so is called Tax Freedom Day.  This is the day when Americans have earned enough money to pay this year’s tax obligations at the federal, state and local levels.

Effective Tax Administration Offer In Compromise

  • July 15th, 2010
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There are three ways to request an Offer In Compromise from the IRS.  The first is Doubt as to Collectability.  This is by far the most common type of Offer. The second is Doubt as to Liability, which is not used very often.  The third (and newest) method under which you can submit an Offer is Effective Tax Administration.  This doctrine has been effect for several years and, even now, the parameters of the doctrine are still being determined by attorneys and Revenue Officers in the field.

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