Category Archives: Internal Revenue Service

IRS customer service this tax season is going to be even worse than we feared

I won’t spend a lot of time on this, because an article in The Washington Post by Lori Montgomery makes clear that the IRS isn’t going to be spending a lot of time helping taxpayers this season.

How hard is it going to be for a taxpayer to get information from the IRS this year? I defer to Ms. Montgomery:

“In addition to being unable to answer the phone, the IRS will be unable to provide answers to anything but “basic” tax-law questions, she writes in the article summarizing part of the IRS’s annual report to Congress. “After the filing season, it will answer no tax-law questions at all. And the agency has halted its longstanding practice of preparing returns for elderly, disabled and low-income taxpayers.”

In short: Taxpayers, You Are On Your Own.

Finally, China is importing something from the USA: Our tax system

The United States is one of the few countries that taxes citizens on all of their income, regardless of where in the world it is earned. But an additional billion-plus people might soon empathize with American taxpayers: The Chinese government is starting to enforce rules requiring that its citizens report income earned outside that country.…Continue Reading

Darryl Strawberry vs. the IRS: a 30-year battle goes on

Former baseball star Darryl Strawberry is learning that going to bat against the IRS is way tougher than hitting a major-league curve ball. As Darren Rovell of ESPN reports, the Straw signed a contract with The New York Mets almost 30 years ago that included an annuity with a 5.1% annual rate. Now the IRS…Continue Reading

Is that friendly tax pro really an undercover federal agent?

Today’s nominee for Stuff You Just Cannot Make Up: The New York Times reports that officers from more than three dozen agencies have posed as business people, welfare recipients, political protesters and–yes–even tax professionals, as part of undercover investigations. “At the Internal Revenue Service, dozens of undercover agents chase suspected tax evaders worldwide, by posing…Continue Reading

Will Congress — new or old — do anything about expiring tax breaks?

The election is over, the people in their infinite wisdom have spoken…but here we are in mid-November and we still don’t know for sure what the tax laws are going to be for this year. The problem is that a bunch of tax breaks and benefits have not been extended to 2014. These include: –The…Continue Reading

A winning tax picture for money-losing artists

You are an artist, or a photographer, or a writer who is trying to make money from your venture but usually don’t succeed. Can you still claim losses on your tax returns? I’ve often told clients that the answer is yes, if you are conducting yourself in a businesslike manner, attempting to make a profit,…Continue Reading

“The Situation” is in a not-so-good tax situation

Did you know that “Jersey Shore” reality show personality Michael Sorrentino, aka “The Situation”, and his brother Marc, grossed almost $9 million in a variety of ventures over four years? Me neither, until I read the U.S. District Court indictment, reported inThe New York Times,charging the brothers with conspiracy and filing false tax returns. Michael…Continue Reading