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As lawmakers return to work after their August recess, Hurricane Harvey has increased expectations on Congress to quickly pass disaster-relief tax breaks. September is also expected to bring Congressional hearings on tax reform and possibly the unveiling of tax reform legislation. At the same time, lawmakers must address the federal government’s budget, including the IRS.


Parents incur a variety of expenses associated with children. As a general rule, personal expenditures are not deductible. However, there are several deductions and credits that help defray some of the costs associated with raising children, including some costs related to education. Some of the most common deductions and credits related to minors are the dependency exemption, the child tax credit, and the dependent care credit. Also not to be overlooked are tax-sheltered savings plans used for education, such as the Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESAs).


Two recent court cases indicate that, although use of a conservation easement to gain a charitable deduction must continue to be arranged with care, some flexibility in determining ultimate deductibility may be beginning to be easier to come by. The IRS had been winning a string of cases that affirmed its strict interpretation of Internal Revenue Code Section 170 on conservation easement. The two latest judicial opinions, however, help give taxpayers some much-needed leeway in proving that the rules were followed, keeping in mind that Congress wanted to encourage conservation easements rather than have its rules interpreted so strictly that they thwart that purpose.


A partnership is created when persons join together with the intent to conduct unincorporated venture and share profits. Intent is determined from facts and circumstances, including the division of profits and losses, the ownership of capital, the conduct of parties, and whether a written agreement exists. Despite such nuances in the process, however, distinguishing the existence of a partnership from other joint investments or ventures is often critical in determining tax liability and reporting obligations.


Gross income is taxed to the individual who earns it or to owner of property that generates the income. Under the so-called “assignment of income doctrine,” a taxpayer may not avoid tax by assigning the right to income to another.


As an individual or business, it is your responsibility to be aware of and to meet your tax filing/reporting deadlines. This calendar summarizes important federal tax reporting and filing data for individuals, businesses and other taxpayers for the month of September 2017.


As April 15 approaches, the IRS is preparing for a surge of last-minute filers and taxpayers seeking an automatic extension of time to file their 2012 returns. The IRS received more than 148 million individual income tax returns in 2012, and that number is expected to rise in 2013. The increase in returns and the expectation from taxpayers that refunds will be paid within 21 days has put some pressures on the IRS. At the same time, the IRS is preparing for employee furloughs because of sequestration (across-the-board) spending cuts. However, high-ranking IRS officials have indicated that furloughs, if necessary, would not start until after the 2013 filing season.


Many small business benefits incorporated into the Tax Code are complicated and, arguably, in need of reform. House Ways and Means Committee chair Dave Camp, R-Mich., recently released a draft proposal containing numerous tax reform measures specifically designed to simplify taxation of small businesses and partnerships. According to a report by the National Federal of Independent Business, cited by Camp, small business owners spend approximately $18 to $19 billion every year in tax compliance costs. Camp's proposal addresses this and other issues by recommending lower tax rates, permanent Code Sec. 179 expensing, expansion of the cash accounting method, unification of tax filing rules for S corps and partnerships, and more.


The IRS recently announced the availability of updated Form 941, Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return for 2013, and its instructions. Revised Form 941 and its instructions reflect the January 1, 2013 effective date of the 0.9 percent Additional Medicare Tax, expiration of the payroll tax holiday and other changes. In addition to imposing new obligations on employers, the Additional Medicare Tax presents under- and over-withholding pitfalls for impacted employees.


A return or a payment that is mailed to the IRS is timely filed or paid if it is delivered on or before its due date. A return with a U.S. postmark, which is delivered after its due date, is timely filed if the date of the postmark is no later than the due date, the return was properly addressed, and the return had proper postage. The timely mailing/timely filing rule also applies when a taxpayer receives a filing extension. If an envelope has a post office postmark and a non-post office postmark, the latter is disregarded and the post office postmark determines the filing date.


An LLC (limited liability company) is not a federal tax entity. LLCs are organized under state law. LLCs are not specifically mentioned in the Tax Code, and there are no special IRS regulations governing the taxation of LLCs comparable to the regulations for C corporations, S corporations, and partnerships. Instead, LLCs make an election to be taxed as a particular entity (or to be disregarded for tax purposes) by following the check-the-box business entity classification regulations. The election is filed on Form 8832, Entity Classification Election. The IRS will assign an entity classification by default if no election is made. A taxpayer who doesn't mind the IRS default entity classification does not necessarily need to file Form 8832.


As an individual or business, it is your responsibility to be aware of and to meet your tax filing/reporting deadlines. This calendar summarizes important tax reporting and filing data for individuals, businesses and other taxpayers for the month of April 2013.