Category Archives: Tax Advice

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 has seized the annuity, which currently has about $1.28 million remaining, and is going to auction it off toward paying more than a half-million bucks that Strawberry still owes the IRS for debts going back as far as the late 1980s.

The minimum bid for the annuity, which pays out through 2035, is $550,000. If you think the Mets will still be in business for the next 20 years and you’d like to bid on the annuity, you can find more information on the sale here.

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

Paying for college when you can’t pay for college

Every year I consult with clients who have children applying to college and who don’t have enough saved–or don’t have anything saved–to cover the costs of a higher education. In The New York Times, Ron Lieber has a good piece guiding parents–savers and non-savers alike–to figuring out how much a school might actually cost you…Continue Reading

Pay your taxes — or lose your driver’s license! NY State has a cool idea to convince reluctant tax-payers.

I regularly tell clients that cash-starved states have become very entrepreneurial and even aggressive in their tax collection efforts. If you earn money in a state, the tax department will probably be willing to go to court to collect income taxes even if you live hundreds of miles away. (I’m looking at you, New York…Continue Reading

IRS security puts taxpayer info at risk

The IRS won’t contact taxpayers by email, because of security concerns. When I am representing a client, auditors generally will not send me emails, for the same reason. And the Service regularly puts out notices telling taxpayers how to maintain their privacy and not get taken in by scammers claiming to be with the government.…Continue Reading

Corporate Cayman Islands tax shelters rip off U.S. taxpayers

*”Corporations are people, my friend.” –Mitt Romney, August 11, 2011 Statistic of the day: A single five-story office building is the registered address of more than 18,000 companies. How is that possible? Well, the building is in the tax haven of the Cayman Islands, and most of those businesses are registered there only for tax…Continue Reading

Rent or buy? With new boom, here’s a way to figure out what makes sense for you

The strengthening housing market–especially on the East and West Coasts—may be setting some buyers up for another fall. As The New York Times reports , prices in locations like the San Francisco Bay area and New York City have bounced back so strongly from the lows of 2008-2010 that, for many people, renting now makes…Continue Reading