Tax News

February 9, 2011 12:00 am

A taxpayer does not qualify for the first-time homebuyer credit of up to $8,000 if the home is purchased from an ancestor or other related party, including a parent. In one case, a taxpayer who bought...

February 9, 2011 12:00 am

For the second time, the IRS is giving taxpayers an opportunity to fess up about offshore accounts in exchange for reduced penalties. Under the new Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative, there is a...

Paying Off a Tax Bill Doesn’t Eliminate Criminal Action
February 7, 2011 12:00 am

A taxpayer who was indicted for willful failure to pay over trust fund taxes (withholding of income taxes and the employee share of FICA taxes) then paid the outstanding taxes and asked the court to d...

January 31, 2011 12:00 am

The IRS has announced an app for the iPhone and Android called IRS2Go. It allows taxpayers to find out the status of their refunds and other tax information. Information on tax refunds will be availab...

File Your Return with Your Smartphone
January 24, 2011 12:00 am

Taxpayers who file Form 1040EZ...

January 14, 2011 12:00 am

The National Taxpayer Advocate’s annual report to Congress, which was released recently, said the number one priority should be tax reform. The current system is too burdensome (as if taxpayers ...

January 11, 2011 12:00 am

Now is a great time to make resolutions that can reduce your taxes for the coming year. Of course, like other New Year's resolutions, they are only as good as your ability to keep them. Here are some ...

December 26, 2010 12:00 am

A number of taxpayers have contacted the IRS about being identity theft victims and have straightened out their tax accounts. For these taxpayers, the IRS will issue a 6-digit identity protection pers...

December 21, 2010 12:00 am

A taxpayer who fails to file a tax return on time can avoid penalties by showing reasonable cause for the failure. The Tax Court determined, however, that reasonable cause did not exist under the foll...

December 20, 2010 12:00 am

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act will help you in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Here are some highlights of note. Payroll Tax Cut in 2011 For one year, the Social S...

December 20, 2010 12:00 am

The IRS released audit statistics of its activities in the government's fiscal year ending September 30, 2010. It shows that the number of returns that were examined increased by 11%; 8% of all such r...

December 20, 2010 12:00 am

A federal district court in Virginia has decided that the individual health coverage requirement in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was to become effective in 2014, is unconstitu...

December 16, 2010 12:00 am

Usually, in order to deduct home office expenses for conducting a business at home, the space for the office must be used regularly and exclusively for business. However, special rules apply for figur...

December 15, 2010 12:00 am

As the end of the year approaches, there is still time to make last-minute payments, including prepayments for items that might otherwise be due in 2011. How do repayments affect your taxes this year...

Couple’s Real Estate Profits Taxed as Ordinary Income
December 9, 2010 12:00 am

Generally, gains from the sale of real estate are taxed as capital gains. However, taxpayers who buy and sell property in their trade or business have their gains taxed as ordinary income. In a recent...

December 8, 2010 12:00 am

As the end of the year approaches, many taxpayers engage in year-end tax planning to minimize their tax bill for 2011. This year, with widespread tax uncertainty on a number of fronts, year-end plann...

December 7, 2010 12:00 am

The IRS announced the standard mileage rates for use a vehicle for certain purposes in 2011. For business driving, the rate is 51¢ per mile, up slightly from 50¢ per mile in 2010....

November 28, 2010 12:00 am

Modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is a term used in the tax law for various purposes. It may be the benchmark that allows you to claim certain tax breaks or bars you from others. It is also used f...

November 21, 2010 12:00 am

Statistics show that charitable giving is down, as many people have become financially strapped in this tough economy. Still, those who can afford to give and want to benefit their alma mater or other...

November 12, 2010 12:00 am

If a taxpayer fights the IRS and wins, under certain circumstances, the taxpayer is entitled to recover attorney's fees from the federal government. Conditions for recovery: Be the prevailing party ...

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Tax Glossary

Residence interest

Term for deductible mortgage interest on a principal residence and a second home.

More terms