Author Archives: redsoxbuff

Beware phone tax scammers!

Did you get a phone call last year from someone telling you they were from the IRS and there was a warrant out for your arrest?

I did. It was one of the more aggressive scams I’ve come across, and rather convincing, with the caller giving me a name, an IRS badge number, and a phone number to call back to arrange for payment. Criminals have developed increasingly sophisticated schemes for convincing people that the IRS–or the police department–is out to get them.

Let’s clarify, right here at the start of tax season:
–The Internal Revenue Service does NOT initiate contact with taxpayers or request information by email, text messages or social media sites.
–The IRS does not call to demand payments, and does not call about taxes at all, without first communicating with you through the U.S. Postal Service.
–The IRS never tells you it is giving your name to local police or other law-enforcement agencies.

Alas, I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about these scams before the end of tax season. In the meantime, here’s a column by Kelly Phillips Erb in Forbes , about some of the scams people encountered last year, and information from the IRS on how to smell a scam.

“Nightmare” Republican tax bill brings year-end chaos for homeowners

Homeowners across the country looked to battle the coming $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions by paying their 2018 property taxes in advance. Now the IRS has announced that only property taxes that have been assessed can be deducted in 2017. The announcement did little to clarify who can take a deduction now… Continue Reading

Could Trump tax bill trigger a housing crash?

Reducing or eliminating the deductions for state and local taxes won’t just cost some people money in terms of increased taxes. The Republican bills could also push down property values, attacking the most valuable assets many families have. As The New York Times reported,”An analysis of the Senate bill by Moody’s Analytics concluded that home… Continue Reading

Are you an audit target? Here’s the latest scoop from them that (might) know.

Who’s most likely to get audited by the IRS this year? According to Debra Estrem, Managing Director of the scarily-named Tax Controversy Group at Deloitte Tax LLP, the service is going to be focusing more on the wealthiest taxpayers, but is also going to be focusing on people with unusually large deductions and business losses.… Continue Reading

Want to deduct your driving expenses? Tax court says you better keep excellent records.

A Tax Court case this year drives home the point that there are no shortcuts or bypasses for people wanting to take deductions for using a car for business. The taxpayers who went to court reached one dead end after another in their quest for write-offs, but the case provides a roadmap for anyone looking… Continue Reading