Category Archives: Tax Advice

“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 for 2018 taxes.The Service didn’t define what “assessed” means in this case, and with each taxing agency having its own dates and systems for property tax bills, confusion is the byword.

The New York Times and The Washington Post both provided windows to taxpayer angst over this.

The final word — for now — goes to homeowner Brian Lowit of Baileys Crossroads, VA, who wired a payment to his county and then heard that he might not get a deduction. As he said to the Post, “It’s a nightmare. I’m definitely frustrated, annoyed and irritated. The rush to get that bill done screwed everyone up. It’s insanity and it’s stupid.”

Write a massive tax bill in secret and hold no hearings on it. What could go wrong?

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

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