Tax Court — Payroll Taxes Come First

Tax Court -- Payroll Taxes Come First
It’s been a while since I’ve done a ‘Tax Court’ summary, so I thought I’d start up with this painful payroll taxes case that asks the following question: should you pay your delinquent payroll taxes, even if it puts you out of business? (For law buffs out there, the case is Schiffman v. U.S., 113 ...

Alimony and Taxes

Alimony and Taxes
This latest Tax Court comes from Sunny California (a.k.a. not my wife’s hometown) and has to do with the unpleasant topic  of Alimony and Taxes. Fortunately, I have no personal experience with Alimony and Taxes—I’m still very much happily married. I do, however, work with a manager that’s more than willing to share stories of ...

Lying On Your Taxes

Lying On Your Taxes
I’m not sure if this latest case (TC Memo 2013-80) is an example of outright tax lying or typical lawyer douche-baggery. It’s hard to tell when it comes to lawyers. Either way, his tax return would have been about as accurate if it were prepared by a whole squad of untrained monkeys. First, the guy ...

Recovering Attorney Fees from the IRS

Recovering Attorney Fees from the IRS
A few years ago I wrote a passionate plea to the IRS on behalf of one of my clients. The IRS disagreed with a particular tax treatment the client had taken, which, when all was said and done, was not very clearly defined in the tax code one way or the other. After going several ...

Theft Loss Tax Deduction

Theft Loss Tax Deduction
Most of the tax court cases I’ve posted about relate to people with either the common sense of a house gnat or  those simply trying to game the system. Today I stumbled upon a case where it’s the IRS that made the bone-headed move. Which surprised me, since the taxpayer was a lawyer and not ...

Back Alley Return Preps are Back

Back Alley Return Preps are Back
A couple years ago, the IRS decided that not every Joe Schmoe should be allowed to prepare other people’s returns. Of course anyone could attempt to prepare their own, but if you wanted to use someone else’s blood, sweat, and tears to fill out your 1040 , that someone else had to be stamped with ...

Church of the Immaculate Haven

Church of the Immaculate Haven
Every time some minister slips out a political opinion (or perhaps shouts it from the pulpit), the media fills the cablelines with talking heads clashing on whether or not churches should be tax-free entities. While enlightening arguments may exist on both sides of this debate, this post is not one of them. Instead, we’ll poke ...

Fighting the Sixteenth

Fighting the Sixteenth
Paying taxes tends to be one of those activities done grudgingly. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a conservative district of California, then moved to an even more conservative area in Utah, but I’ve yet to run into anyone excited about writing their check to the Internal Revenue Service. Not even here in swing-state ...

Tax Court–What is a Valid Return

Tax Court–What is a Valid Return
I’ve fallen a little behind on my blog posts thanks to the Holidays. Don’t expect too many posts towards the end of the year, either, since if I’m not working, I’m likely not posting. Between then and now, however, I have a couple new episodes of Tax Court. This episode comes from T.C. Memo 2012-320. ...

Business Expenses–Hollywood Got It Wrong

Business Expenses–Hollywood Got It Wrong
I enjoyed the movie Stranger Than Fiction—anything that manages to merge Tax Accounting and Writing together in a cohesive and entertaining way gets four stars in my book. Unfortunately, since “entertaining” and “taxes” are rarely synonymous, movies and books, including the one mentioned above, generally take the easy route and make stuff up to make ...