Tax Guru – Ker$tetter Letter

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Archive for the ‘IRS’ Category

Is this some kind of joke?

Posted by taxguru on October 5, 2017

Unfortunately not.

IRS awards multimillion-dollar fraud-prevention contract to Equifax

IRS top brass continue to dig themselves even deeper down the untrustworthiness hole they have been in for the past few years.  This really boosts our confidence in giving IRS all of our personal financial and other information; not.  What could go wrong?  Unfortunately, when taxpayers’ private info falls into the wrong hands due to these idiots, there’s nothing we can do about it.  IRS, as well as all government employees, can’t be sued for stupidity.    

 

I also considered some other headlines for this hard to believe news.

The Blind leading the blind

Dumb and Dumber

Stupid is as stupid does

Posted in IRS | Comments Off on Is this some kind of joke?

IRS Hurricane Delays

Posted by taxguru on September 28, 2017

IRS has released the following summary of the delayed filing dates for taxpayers and preparers who are/were located in the areas hit by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

IRS Offers Help to Hurricane Victims: A Recap of Key Tax Relief Provisions Available Following Harvey, Irma and Maria

Hopefully, Maria will be the last big storm of the year to require such measures.

Posted in disaster, IRS | Comments Off on IRS Hurricane Delays

IRS Extends Deadlines for Irma Victims

Posted by taxguru on September 12, 2017

All last week, as we all prepared for the oncoming wrath of Hurricane Irma, I was confident that everyone in Florida could expect the same kind of official extensions of time from IRS to file tax returns that had their first extension expiring in the next few months. 

While this was mainly 2016 1040s, even more pressing are the extensions for pass-through entities, such as LLCs, Partnerships, Trusts and S-Corps, which have extended deadlines of September 15, 2017 for their 2016 tax returns.  In the “old days” filing any of these tax returns late wasn’t a big deal because late penalties were only based on the amount of taxes due, and as pass-through entities, they had no taxes and thus no late penalties.  However this was changed a number of years ago and nowadays IRS is very aggressive in assessing late filing penalties of hundreds of dollars per month per K-1.  These frequently grow into thousands of dollars.

Since Sept 15 is fast approaching, for the past few days, I have been checking the IRS news page for an announcement similar to the one they had for Hurricane Harvey, giving all those affected by Irma more time to file their 2016 tax returns.  Until just a short while ago, the only Irma affected territory mentioned as having filing relief were parts of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

IRS has just released this news release, announcing the expansion of the list of areas that have been granted official deadline extensions due to Hurricane Irma disruptions.

As of right now (2:50 pm on 9/12/17) The IRS’s list of affected Florida areas only includes 16 counties.  Since the evacuation order, preparation and the actual storm included all 67 counties here in Florida, IRS will need to expand that list.  According to the IRS description, it’s a function of what they are told by FEMA.  While not all 67 counties were hit as hard as some others, most were affected by the storm.  Even people who didn’t have any actual storm damage, but heeded the Governor’s pleas to get the hell out of Florida, are going to need a lot of time to get back to their normal lives after returning to their homes.  

I can only assume that the IRS’s official list of affected Florida counties will grow over the next few days or weeks.  Rather than list 60 to 65 county names, they may just take the simpler route and include the entire State of Florida.

[Update 9/14/2017] – I noticed a few more Florida counties being added yesterday to the IRS’s list.  As of just before Noon today, their list of affected counties is up to 37, including Citrus, where we are located.  As more hurricane damage is discovered and reported up the chain of command (FEMA, et al), this list will continue to grow.

[Update 9/15/2017] – The list of affected Florida counties is now up to 46.  Just 21 more to include the entire state.

[Update 9/16/2017] – The IRS list of affected Florida counties has now been changed to “This represents all 67 counties of Florida.”

[Update 9/20/2017] – IRS has just declared that Georgia taxpayers and preparers are also eligible for the special 1/31/18 extended filing deadline due to Hurricane Irma.

Posted in disaster, extensions, IRS | Comments Off on IRS Extends Deadlines for Irma Victims

A necessary prerequisite for Tax Reform

Posted by taxguru on August 11, 2017

Ever since the amazing election of Donald Trump, there has been debate as to whether or not he and the GOP controlled Congress will be able to enact any substantial reform of our wild and wacky Tax Code in the near future.  We in the Tax Practitioner community would love to know the answer to this question so we will know what to advise our clients.  The uncertainty surrounding this issue is very frustrating for us all.

Basing predictions of what our rulers in DC will do on their blustery talk is insane and ludicrous. However, if we look at what actual advance preparations are being made by our rulers for such reforms, it doesn’t look promising. 

As these others have noted, it’s pretty much impossible to clean up the IRS Swamp when its crooks are allowed to continue running it  and nobody is punished for their flagrant crimes.  How can we have anything resembling a fair tax system when we can’t trust those in charge of it?

IRS head Koskinen hurting tax reform, Rep. Brady wants him fired

The IRS is STILL toying with conservative nonprofits. When will Trump jump in and drain this swamp?

Posted in Crooks, IRS, TaxReform | Comments Off on A necessary prerequisite for Tax Reform

IRS Condones Employees’ Criminal Activities

Posted by taxguru on August 1, 2017

It’s not bed enough that such IRS miscreants as Lois Lerner and John Koskinen have never faced any legal consequences for their blatant illegal activities while working at the IRS, there is this news item that IRS is rehiring employees who had been fired for criminal actions while working for IRS.

IRS Rehired Employees That Falsified Documents, Had Unauthorized Access to Taxpayer Information 

We all know that IRS has been suffering from low manpower due to attrition and budget restrictions, but are they this desperate for worker bees that they ignore and excuse prior criminal actions? What message does this send to other IRS employees, the tax practitioner community, as well as the American TaxPayers?  It is nothing less than  insane.

Update: Rush Limbaugh discussed this issue in his Morning Update on 8/7/17.

Posted in Crooks, IRS | Comments Off on IRS Condones Employees’ Criminal Activities

Facing Off With IRS Auditor

Posted by taxguru on May 27, 2017

The third season of the TV version of Fargo has been very amusing.  This scene from a recent episode, where a cash bank withdrawal of a tiny bit over $10,000 brings in a pushy IRS auditor, is funny in the way that the villain’s henchman handles the auditor.

 

The henchman cites "Section 41(c) of the U.S. Tax Code" as dealing with the taxpayer’s right to have licensed  representation.  That citation sounded strange to me, so I looked it up in the actual Internal Revenue Code that is included in my main tax reference, TheTaxBook’s WebLibrary.  Section 41 actually deals with  Credit for increasing research activities.  There are paragraphs (a) and (b) under Section 41, but no (c).

Posted in Fargo, IRS, video | Comments Off on Facing Off With IRS Auditor

IRS Reputation Still Sullied

Posted by taxguru on April 6, 2017

Can the top brass at IRS pull the agency’s reputation for corruption out of the hole they dug themselves into?  Punishing the lawbreakers we already know about would surely be a good start.  The fact that Lois Lerner and John Koskinen have yet to suffer any repercussions from their flagrant violations of the law makes it difficult to trust the Service’s desire to rehabilitate the taxpayers’ trust in them.

Bribery: New Documents Show IRS Targeting Scandal Was More Expansive

GOP calls for IRS Commissioner Koskinen to be fired

Posted in Crooks, IRS | Comments Off on IRS Reputation Still Sullied

Let’s not forget the IRS crimes under Obama

Posted by taxguru on February 21, 2017

Now that there is a new occupant in the White House, there is a tendency not to want to dwell on the misdeeds of the previous tenants, such as the many criminal acts of the Clinton Organized Crime Family.  To consider those unpunished acts as water under the bridge and not worth pursuing at this time sends a dangerous message to the public and undermines our faith in the fairness of the laws we are all supposed to obey and live under.

This also applies to the unpunished criminal acts by various IRS employees, such as Lois Lerner and  Commissioner John Koskinen, who used this all too powerful government agency to harass political opponents of the bHo Regime and then blatantly committed perjury when they testified about it before Congress. 

We the people, as lowly taxpayers and servants of our IRS masters, are required to reveal to them every tiny detail of our personal finances under the presumption of a level of fairness, privacy and confidentiality that we can’t reasonably expect any more, as long as we know that nobody at IRS has been punished for their crimes.  We do need to keep the pressure on our rulers in DC to continue to pursue real justice, including dismissal, prosecution and prison time for the lawbreakers inside the IRS so that we can trust that all too powerful agency. 

There are a lot of good, honest people working at IRS.  I would hope that they would do everything they can to help clean house of the miscreants who have given them such a bad reputation.  Firing the perjuring Commissioner would be a good place to start so that everyone could see that such crimes will no longer be tolerated. 

Here’s a good look at this issue from the American Spectator:

Who Will Hold the IRS Accountable?

Posted in Crooks, IRS | Comments Off on Let’s not forget the IRS crimes under Obama

Loose Lips…

Posted by taxguru on December 23, 2016

With holiday parties and adult beverages loosening people’s inhibitions, it’s a good time for another warning that if you have tax or other secrets that you don’t want the IRS to know about, keep your mouth shut.  Just as with people confessing to all kinds of nefarious acts on social media, there are also numerous cases where IRS agents catch people who feel safe bragging about their abilities to cheat on their taxes, while trying to impress people at parties.  There is a name for those folks; idiot blabbermouths.

IRSAgentAtParty(12-23-2016)

Posted in IRS | 1 Comment »

Lower IRS Mileage Rates for 2017

Posted by taxguru on December 13, 2016

The recently lower fuel prices have caused IRS to reduce their standard rate per mile deductions for business, medical and moving in 2017.  Only Congress has the power to modify the per mile cost that can be claimed as a Schedule A Charitable Donation from the 14 cents per mile rate that they cemented into the Tax Code rather than allow it to fluctuate with current costs as calculated by IRS.

From the IRS press release:

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2017, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 54 cents for 2016
  • 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 19 cents for 2016
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

While these rates are for 2017 miles driven, to be claimed in 2018 when preparing 2017 1040s, having this info now is very useful for employers who use the IRS rate for their own employee reimbursement policies.

My Standard Reminders in regard to deducting vehicle expenses:

Most State tax agencies synchronize their allowable deductions with what IRS allows; but some don’t.

For heavy business use of vehicles, it’s a good idea to keep track of actual operating costs.  In many cases, it is possible to switch back and forth between standard rate and actual expenses from year to year. 

The IRS rate is based on average costs that may not represent your actual operating costs.  For example, if you are like many motorcyclists and owners of older cars, who use the much more expensive Ethanol Free gasoline to prevent the expensive carburetor problems that Ethanol causes, your fuel costs will be much higher than what IRS has built into their standard rate. 

 

Posted in IRS, Vehicles | Comments Off on Lower IRS Mileage Rates for 2017