Among our business tax clients, we are seeing a rise in wage and hour litigation, either ancillary to, or independent of, their tax issues. In fact, recently I was giving a presentation to a group of business owners regarding this very issue, and one of the attendees told me that his business headquarters had been visited by the Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division (DOL/WHD) that very day with a demand for records. What we are seeing at our law office could be coincidental; but, I believe it is the product of both an enhanced enforcement environment at both the federal and state levels, and a highly aggressive labor and employment law plaintiff’s bar. As the former Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, said in 2009, “Make no mistake, the DOL is back in the enforcement business.” Solis has since been replaced by Thomas E. Perez, but there is no indication that the DOL is easing its Read more
To cheer up the accountants after this busy week, here are some lawyer jokes:
♦ A doctor, a tax lawyer, a little boy and a rabbi were out for a Sunday afternoon flight on a small private plane. Suddenly, the plane developed engine trouble. In spite of the best efforts of the pilot the plane started to go down. Finally the pilot grabbed a parachute, yelled to the passengers that they had better jump, and bailed out.
Unfortunately, there were only three parachutes remaining. The doctor grabbed one and said, “I’m a doctor, I save lives, so I must live” and jumped out.
The tax lawyer then said, “I am the smartest man in the world, I deserve to live!” He grabbed a parachute and jumped. Read more
Employees should consider making contributions to a Roth 401(K) if their employer allows them to do so. The account is funded by after tax contributions. Since there are no income limitations on making contributions to a Roth 401(K), these provide a good way for high income taxpayers to invest in a Roth IRA without converting a traditional IRA. For 2014, you may contribute up to $17,500 to a Roth 401(K) a traditional 401(K), or a combination of the two. If you are 50 or older, the contribution limit is $23,000 annually If the employer matches the employee contribution, it goes into the traditional 401(K) as a pretax contribution.
Both withdrawals from a Roth IRA and a Roth 401(K) are tax-free if the account has been Read more
Behind the scenes at TaxConnections, we are witness to many exciting breakthroughs effecting a tax professionals future! We are now experiencing changes that are shifting the futures of tax professionals right before our eyes. The most obvious change comes from our ability to drive new business to the tax professionals who have ventured to the TaxConnections site. From our members own words to your eyes you can see what happens. See TaxConnections Member Testimonials. TaxConnections is shaping the futures of tax professionals and those that need their expertise.
This morning I picked up a phone call to help a tax professional in New York get on our site, our conversation turned from a help call to a lot of questions regarding what we are doing for tax professionals and ended in an Investor call. That was a surprise to both of us! More Read more
California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 576 into law on October 7, 2013, authorizing a pilot program to create the “Revenue Recovery and Collaborative Enforcement Team” (RRCET) consisting of an alliance primarily between the California Department of Justice (DOJ), the Franchise Tax Board (FTB), the State Board of Equalization (BOE), and the Employment Development Department (EDD) in an effort to combat “criminal tax evasion associated with the underground economy.”
In addition to the agencies listed above, the following agencies may participate in the pilot program in an advisory capacity to the team:
• California Health and Human Services Agency. Read more
The complexity of completing one’s federal and state income tax returns is not necessarily tied to one’s income level. One of the more complex federal tax rules is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for low-income workers. Could the individual income tax be simpler? Yes. Here are some ideas.
• Make all income you received subject to tax. What is income? Let’s say it is anything that increases your wealth. So, it would be any payment from the government, debt forgiveness, gross wages, employer-provided health insurance, scholarships, gains from selling assets, etc. What would not be income? Borrowing money (it does not increase your wealth because you have an offsetting liability). Receipt of expense reimbursements from your employer (it makes you whole for what you, in essence loaned to your employer when Read more
In conjunction with the great people at TaxConnections, we’ve published a new eBook on captive insurance titled: “Who Should Form a Captive Insurance Company?”. You can buy a copy HERE. Cost: $4.98.
To help potential captive owners determine if they should form a captive, I’ve written the “10 questions,” one of which is:
Can I negotiate the coverage terms with my current insurance carrier, or, do they hand me a policy to sign?
♦ Each year on tax day I like to remember a Charles Schultz quote from the Peanuts comic strip: “No problem is so big or so complicated it can’t be run away from.”
♦ When it comes to finances, remember that there are no withholding taxes on the wages of sin. Mae West
♦ Every year around April 15 Americans have a rendezvous with debt.
♦ The client went to the tax preparer and said, I filed my taxes electronically to speed things up, and it worked. I got an audit letter in half the normal time.
♦ On April 15th you count your blessings . . . and then send them to Washington. Read more
Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan addressed the ATAX 11th International Tax Administration Conference in Sydney on Monday. At the tail-end of his address, he touched on International “secrecy haven” issues.
He says the data revolution “…is one reason why secrecy havens are failing”. Referring to Australia’s “…network of over 100 treaties and agreements”, he said that access to account data from domestic and international banks had enabled the ATO to initiate over 3,000 enquiries over the past six months.
Already completed enquiries and investigations into undeclared offshore income and assets meant that “…the Australian Federal Police and Australian Crimes Commission have Read more
According to Black’s Law Dictionary, due process is “a course of legal proceedings … which have been established … for the enforcement and protection of private rights.” Anyone facing an IRS federal tax lien or levy has already experienced the preliminary due process following the IRS determination that more taxes are owed.
Said due process involves a series of written or telephone notifications, and it’s all laid out in the tax code and the IRS letters the taxpayer receives in the mail that should definitely not be ignored.
Before the IRS wrecking ball goes into motion, the taxpayer has 30 days after receiving the IRS collection notice to preserve the right to go to Court. The taxpayer must compete IRS Read more
Let’s face it, we all know this country is facing a retirement crisis. The first of the Baby Boomers turned 65 and started retiring in 2011. The number of Boomers retiring each year will rise rapidly over the next decade or more. Before the end of this decade, Boomers will be turning age 65 at the rate of 8,000 per day.
This massive retirement of Baby Boomers will stretch our health care and health delivery systems to the max and beyond. Our public safety net – entitlements – has long been poorly managed, ill-thought-out and threadbare. Imagine what will happen as tens of millions of Boomers retire.
Yet the worst part of all is that so few people or families have saved anywhere near enough Read more