Income Tax

Tax Planning for North Carolina Business Successions

Posted on: April 7th, 2015
While transferring business interests can have tax consequences, structuring a business succession plan with regard to tax law can help minimize tax burdens associated with business transfers to surviving family members when a business owner or partner dies. The Tax Foundation, a tax policy research group, ranks North Carolina Business Tax Climate Index as the...

10 Things to Ask Your Accountant: Small Biz Webinar

Posted on: March 30th, 2015
Our tax attorneys in Chapel Hill recently reviewed the advantages and disadvantages of investing or gifting your tax refund, tax issues when settling an estate, and ways to protect yourself from tax preparer fraud. As the tax season filing deadline fast approaches, the Internal Revenue Service is offering a community service through a webinar. Tomorrow...

Invest or Gift This Year’s Tax Refunds?

Posted on: March 16th, 2015
During tax season, filers try to maximize their deductions. Proper tax planning helps minimize tax due, and could result in a sizable refund. Taxpayers who receive refunds can spend them however they choose, but what strategy offers the most benefits? Tax refunds might be spent frivolously or sensibly. Using the money toward a vacation could ...

Delay Filing: North Carolina Tax Changes Pending

Posted on: January 26th, 2015
The North Carolina General Assembly will review potential changes to North Carolina income tax laws on January 28, 2015. Filers should wait until after this date to submit their tax returns to prevent potentially refiling returns if tax changes are passed....

North Carolina 2014 Tax Year Changes to Note

Posted on: December 12th, 2014
Individuals and businesses across North Carolina are approaching the end of the 2014 tax year. Our tax attorneys in Chapel Hillreview below a few income tax legislation amendments for the 2014 tax year. ...

Pending Court Case May Affect ‘Double Income Tax’

Posted on: October 27th, 2014
A couple’s case addressing the taxation of out-of-state income by their resident state is currently pending in the United States Supreme Court. Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne questions the circumstances under which income earned out-of-state may be taxed, whether tax credits exist and what they provide, and if these procedures comply with state and county tax clauses....

Tax Season Postponed: Use Time to Review 2 Changes

Posted on: October 31st, 2013
The Internal Revenue Service recently announced a slight delay for the 2014 tax season. As a result of the government shutdown in October 2013, the IRS anticipates a 1-2-week delay for filers in January 2014. ...

Important Tax Steps for Same-Sex Couples in NC

Posted on: October 22nd, 2013
Even though North Carolina does not grant or recognize same-sex marriages, the Internal Revenue Service announced in August 2013 that same-sex marriages will be recognized for federal tax purposes. ...

National Estate Planning Awareness Week 2013

Posted on: October 21st, 2013
Just before the holiday season starts siphoning shoppers’ money out of their pockets and into local economies, estate planning attorneys around the country spread awareness about important saving, investing, and planning opportunities during National Estate Planning Awareness Week. ...

5 Final Hour Tax Filing Errors

Posted on: April 12th, 2013
Entering the wrong routing and account numbers.Filers often elect to receive their refund via direct deposit to avoid waiting weeks to receive their check in the mail; however a simple account number error could result in an even longer wait. ...

More Estate Planning Opportunities Forecasted for Roth 401(k)s

Posted on: March 1st, 2013
A new study reveals more employers will offer Roth 401(k)s to their employees in 2013. About a third of all employers surveyed by Aon, a human resource services provider, have plans to add a Roth contribution option. ...

Singles & Couples: Muni-Bond Tax Breaks Disappearing–Maybe

Posted on: December 18th, 2012
What may become part of the “fiscal cliff” drop—and if not, it will be on the 2013 agenda—is the elimination of municipal-bond interest tax breaks. Muni-bond taxes help cover the costs of local utility services, community parks, and more....

Top Income Tax Return Mistakes in 2012

Posted on: September 7th, 2012
The IRS has compiled a list of the top five errors on on 2012 income tax returns, both taxpayer-prepared and those prepared by paid preparers (I intentionally don’t use the word professional, as many preparers have little training). ...

Self-Directed IRAs – Exercise Caution

Posted on: July 14th, 2012
A self-directed IRA is an IRA held by a custodian that allows investments in a broader class of assets than allowed by most IRA custodians, such as real estate, promissory notes and private placement securities....

Supreme Court Clears Way for Affordable Care Act Taxes

Posted on: July 2nd, 2012
The Supreme Court’s recent decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act will have considerable tax consequences for both high-income as well as middle-class Americans. ...

New IRS Procedures Help U.S. Citizens Living Abroad

Posted on: June 29th, 2012
The IRS has announced plans for new streamlined procedures that will allow U.S. citizens residing overseas, including dual citizens, to get current with their tax filing obligations without facing penalties or additional enforcement action. ...

Keep Track of IRS Rules on IRAs and Other Retirement Accounts

Posted on: June 26th, 2012
Owners of individual retirement accounts might face increased scrutiny by the IRS in the near future, posing the danger of hefty penalties for account mistakes that have previously gone unnoticed....

College Expense Tax Benefits

Posted on: April 11th, 2012
The IRS has just issued a Last Minute Reminder to Parents and Student; Don’t Overlook College Tax Benefits. It provides a good overview and lots of links to other resources....

Haven’t Filed Your Taxes Yet? Here are Some Tips

Posted on: April 9th, 2012
While no substitute for the advice and assistance of a tax professional, The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) offers 10 Tips for Last Minute Tax Filers....

S Corporation Service Firm Owners Beware

Posted on: January 30th, 2012
S Corporation owners who are service providers often take a low salary so that they can receive most of the firm’s profits as a dividend, avoiding payroll taxes. When the salary is unreasonably low, or there are no other fee generating employees of the firm, doing so is particularly questionable....

Tax Provisions Expiring December 31, 2011

Posted on: December 20th, 2011
There a few federal income tax deductions and other provisions that expire this year: Tax-free distributions from IRAs for charitable purposes - Taxpayers who were at least age 70½ could make tax-free charitable distributions from an IRA up to $100,000....

Tax Information for U.S. Citizens Living Abroad

Posted on: December 9th, 2011
U.S. citizens must report and pay taxes on their world-wide income, even if living in another country. U.S. taxpayers are also required to disclose foreign bank and financial accounts (FBARs). It’s important to know and follow the rules in order to avoid civil and criminal penalties....

U.S. Citizens Living in U.K. Get Credit for Non-Domicile Fee

Posted on: November 7th, 2011
The IRS recently issued guidance that U.S. taxpayers living in the United Kingdom can get a credit against their U.S. income tax taxes for the GBP30,000 non-domicile charge. Rev. Rul. 2011-19. See also this article in the STEP Journal....

Certain NC Coastal Counties Qualify for IRS Relief

Posted on: September 1st, 2011
The IRS has announced that residents of the following North Carolina counties qualify for filing and payment relief due to Hurricane Irene: Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Dare, Hyde, Pamlico and Tyrell....

Today is the Deadline for Foreign Account Reporting

Posted on: June 30th, 2011
From IR-2011-70: WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today reminds everyone who has a bank or other financial account in a foreign country, or who has signature authority over such an account, that they may be required to report the account to the U.S. Department of the Treasury by June 30 each year....

4th Circuit Upholds Two-Year Innocent Spouse Limitation Period

Posted on: June 24th, 2011
The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, under whose jurisdiction North Carolina falls, overruled a Tax Court decision and upheld a Treasury regulation that provides for a two-year statute of limitation on claims for innocent spouse relief...

IRS Mileage Rate Increased to 55.5 Cents per Mile

Posted on: June 23rd, 2011
From Announcement 2011-40: WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rates for the final six months of 2011. Taxpayers may use the optional standard rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business and other purposes. ...

An Apology from the IRS!

Posted on: June 10th, 2011
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Additional NC Counties added to Tax Relief List

Posted on: May 13th, 2011
On April 22, 2011, I posted an IRS Notice about a tax relief program for victims of the April 16, 2011 storms in North Carolina. As of May 9, 2011, residents who live in or own a business in the following counties are eligible:...

Tax Breaks for Supporting a Parent

Posted on: May 3rd, 2011
Taking care of an elderly parent may provide more than just personal satisfaction. You could also be entitled to substantial tax deductions even if your parent doesn’t live with you....

10 Tips from a Tax Lawyer for 2010 and 2011

Posted on: January 31st, 2011
Last week I was interviewed regarding income and estate taxes in 2010 and 2011 offering tips and insights based on what I see in my practice. Click here for the text and the podcast. ...

Obsessed with Taxes – Get the IRS Smart Phone App!

Posted on: January 25th, 2011
IRS Launches the IRS2Go App for iPhone, Android; To Check Refunds, Get Tax Information Video: IRS2Go: English WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today unveiled IRS2Go, its first smartphone application that lets taxpayers check on their status of their tax refund and obtain helpful tax information....

Some Taxpayers Must Wait to File 2010 Federal Returns

Posted on: January 4th, 2011
From today’s IRS Newswire: For most taxpayers, the 2011 tax filing season starts on schedule. However, tax law changes enacted by Congress and signed by President Obama in December mean some people need to wait until mid- to late February to file their tax returns in order to give the IRS time to reprogram its processing systems....

AICPA asks IRS for Guidance on Carryover Basis Rules

Posted on: December 7th, 2010
From today’s press release from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants: The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has asked the Internal Revenue Service to issue guidance about how to apply carryover basis rules for the assets of taxpayers who died in 2010 in order to settle their estates. ...

U.S. Income Taxation of Aliens

Posted on: August 11th, 2010
No, not little green men, but non-citizens. This list, complete with links to the IRS website, is courtesy of Brian Dooley, CPA, MBT:...

New Taxes on Investment Income will affect Estates and Trusts

Posted on: June 22nd, 2010
According to a recent article on WSJ.com, the additional 3.8% tax that starts in 2013 will also apply to undistributed income in estates and trusts, starting at about the $12,000 mark (making the top rate 44.4%)....

Taxes on Investment Income will nearly Triple for Some

Posted on: May 21st, 2010
Currently the maximum federal tax rate for qualified dividends and long-term capital gains is 15%. This is great for people like Warren Buffett, who live off of investment income. ...

LLCs Provide Favorable Tax Treatment and Liability Protection

Posted on: May 11th, 2010
From TrustCounsel’s today’s eNewsletter: There’s no one legal structure that works best for all businesses. ...

Top 10 Tips for Last Minute Filers

Posted on: April 1st, 2010
Don’t be an April Fool, read these tax tips from the IRS (2010-62): 1. E-file your return Don’t miss out on the benefits of e-file. Your tax return will get processed quickly if you use e-file. ...

Take Advantage of Recovery Act Tax Credits

Posted on: March 24th, 2010
The White House has launched an Tax Savings Tool on its website to assist middle-class taxpayers in getting the most out of the various Recovery Act tax credits. ...

Tax Consequences of Equitable Distribution

Posted on: March 22nd, 2010
My article, Tax Consequences of Equitable Distribution, which discusses the income tax issues involved in the division of property due to divorce, was just published in Core Compass, an online newsletter for real estate investors and their advisors....

Does the IRS owe you money?

Posted on: March 6th, 2010
By failing to file a return, people stand to lose more than refunds of taxes withheld or paid during 2006. For example, most telephone customers, including most cell-phone users, qualify for the one-time telephone excise tax refund....

High-income taxpayers to pay more in 2011

Posted on: February 16th, 2010
The Tax Policy Center of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution contains fascinating (to a tax geek) and detailed information about taxes. ...

Planning After “Repeal” of the Federal Estate Tax

Posted on: January 4th, 2010
From its inception, the 2001 tax act was scheduled to repeal the federal estate tax and generation skipping transfer tax (GSTT) for one year beginning January 1, 2010. ...

IRS Publishes Retirement Plan Guide for Small Businesses

Posted on: October 24th, 2009
To help small business owners steer their way through all of the retirement plan options available, the IRS has come up with the IRS Retirement Plans Navigator. The site contains a comparison of the various plans and other helpful information and links....

Prepare for Higher Income Taxes

Posted on: September 14th, 2009
From the Wall Street Journal: Higher Taxes Are Coming: Are You Prepared? Here in North Carolina, we’ve already been hit with higher taxes. Can’t wait for the federal increases....

U.S. Tax Court Rules on Exceptions to IRA Early Distribution Penalty

Posted on: May 20th, 2009
The United States Tax Court, in Benz v. Commissioner, 132 TC No 15, recently ruled that a taxpayer taking a series of equal periodic payments as an exception to the 10% early distribution penalty for IRA withdrawals could also take advantage the early distribution penalty exception for payment of higher education expenses without the education payment being considered a modification of the series of equal payments. ...

Better Report that Offshore Income! The IRS is Coming…

Posted on: April 28th, 2009
From IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman: March 26, 2009 My goal has always been clear — to get those taxpayers hiding assets offshore back into the system. We recently provided guidance to our examination personnel who are addressing voluntary disclosure requests involving unreported offshore income....

Beware of these “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams

Posted on: April 14th, 2009
From the IRS Newswire 2009-041: WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued its 2009 “dirty dozen” list of tax scams, including schemes involving phishing, hiding income offshore and false claims for refunds....

Last Minute Tax Tips and Reminders from the IRS

Posted on: April 13th, 2009
From the IRS Newswire issue IR-2009-040: WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service offers last minute reminders to taxpayers who have not yet filed a tax return, paid what they owe or requested an extension of time to file as the April 15 tax filing and payment deadline approaches....

Baucus Bill Keeps $3.5 Million Estate Tax Exemption

Posted on: March 28th, 2009
From the GiftLaw eNewsletter: Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) introduced the Taxpayer Certainty and Relief Act of 2009 on March 26, 2009. The tax bill includes a $2.3 trillion middle class tax cut package and also creates a freeze on estate tax rates and major estate planning modifications....

New Stimulus Tax Breaks

Posted on: March 17th, 2009
The following is from my e-newsletter that went out this morning: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which was signed into law on February 17th, includes a multitude of federal income tax changes. This article summarizes some of the personal tax changes: One-Year AMT Patch Has Two Parts...

Brief Summary of Certain Stimulus Act Provisions

Posted on: February 20th, 2009
On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the $787 billionAmerican Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the 2009 "Stimulus Act")....

Summary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Posted on: February 13th, 2009
Click "Continue Reading" for the Senate Appropriations Conference Summary Report. Thursday, February 12, 2009 CONTACT: Rob Blumenthal/John Bray, Inouye (202) 224-7363 Kirstin Brost, Obey (202) 225-2771 ...

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Posted on: February 11th, 2009
Click "Continue Reading" to view a chart that provides a side-by-side comparison of the tax provisions in the House and Senate versions of “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.”...

Third Time is Not a Charm for Obama’s Cabinet

Posted on: February 3rd, 2009
Facing negative publicity over unpaid taxes, Tom Daschle withdrew his name from consideration as Secretary of Health and Human Services....

Obama Picks Second Tax Cheat for Cabinet

Posted on: January 31st, 2009
First it was Timothy Geithner for Secretary of the Treasury, and now it turns out Tom Daschle, nominated for Secretary of the Department of Health and Human, also failed to report income and pay taxes. ...

IRS Form 1099-B Deadline Now February 15

Posted on: January 30th, 2009
Don’t worry if you don’t get your Forms 1099-B by tomorrow – the deadline this year is not until February 17. From the IRS:...

IRS Offers Tax Daily Tips for 2009

Posted on: January 13th, 2009
Here are some of the current entries: Choosing a tax preparer Where you can get free tax help...

Deductibility of Estate Planning Legal Fees

Posted on: December 20th, 2008
Contrary to what many of my clients assume, legal fees for general estate planning are not deductible for income tax purposes....

IRS Offers Free Tax Guide for Individuals

Posted on: December 17th, 2008
From IR 2008-142: WASHINGTON — The IRS has placed its comprehensive tax guide for individuals on IRS.gov, updating it for tax year 2008. ...

IRS Offers Tips for Year-End Donations

Posted on: December 9th, 2008
This is from IR-2008-138, issued today by the IRS: WASHINGTON — Individuals and businesses making contributions to charity should keep in mind several important tax law provisions that have taken effect in recent years....

IRS Announces 2009 Standard Mileage Rates

Posted on: November 25th, 2008
The Internal Revenue Service has issued the 2009 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes....

NC Has 11th Highest Income Tax Rate in U.S.

Posted on: November 5th, 2008
Our top rate is now 7.75%, just slightly under Idaho’s top rate of 7.8%. Even New York has a lower top rate. Before our top rate of 8.25% expired, we were tied for 9th place with Hawaii. ...

Rep. Rangel Should Resign from Ways and Means Committee

Posted on: September 11th, 2008
Rep. Charles Rangel, chair of the Ways and Means Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, owes the IRS $5,000 in back taxes for failing to report years worth income from a rental property. ...

IRS Mileage Rates to Increase July 1, 2008

Posted on: June 23rd, 2008
As a result of the ever-rising gas prices, the IRS has increased the optional standard mileage rates for July 1 through December 31, 2008....

Where’s My Refund?

Posted on: April 23rd, 2008
Excerpts from a recent IRS Memo: WASHINGTON — Taxpayers who have filed their federal income tax returns and are expecting their refunds can use the Internal Revenue Service’s online tool, “Where’s My Refund?,” to check on the status of their refunds. ...

3 Rules For Getting Your Economic Stimulus Payments on Time

Posted on: March 27th, 2008
According to the IRS Commissioner: 1. File Early. 2. File Electronically. 3. Use Direct Deposit....

Want Your Tax Rebate? Make Sure You File On Time

Posted on: February 14th, 2008
​If you are of of the many Americans eligible for a tax rebate this year, and are expecting a check in May, don’t procrastinate. ...

Federal Tax Law Changes for 2007 Returns

Posted on: January 6th, 2008
This in information is courtesy of the NC State Giftlaw Newsletter. Of broadest interest in probably the increase in the AMT exemption and the delay it will cause for early filers who expect refunds....

IRS Sets 2008 Mileage Rates

Posted on: November 27th, 2007
Beginning Jan. 1, 2008, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (including vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:...

NC Income Tax Deduction for Contribution to 529 Plan

Posted on: November 20th, 2007
I previously blogged about the 2007 income tax deduction available to North Carolina residents to contribute to a North Carolina 529 College Savings Plan account. ...

IRS to Offer Workshop for 501(c)(3) Exempt Organizations

Posted on: October 29th, 2007
The IRS will be offering a number of workshops for small to medium sized 501(c)(3) organizations on tax compliance issues....

IRS Warns Against Certain Trusts Sold as Business Welfare Benefit Funds

Posted on: October 17th, 2007
The IRS has issued a news release warning small businesses about certain trust arrangements being sold as welfare benefit plans. ...

NC Reenacts Long-Term Care Insurance Tax Credit

Posted on: September 6th, 2007
The North Carolina Long-Term Care Insurance Premium Tax Credit has been reenacted effective for the 2007 tax year through 2012. ...

“Kiddie Tax” To Apply to Grownup Kids Next Year

Posted on: June 11th, 2007
​Effective January 1, 2008, the "kiddie tax," which applies the parent’s tax rate to children’s unearned income over $1,700 (for 2007) will apply to dependent children under age 19 and dependent full-time college students under 24. ...

NC Senate Proposes Reduction in Top Income Tax Rate

Posted on: June 4th, 2007
Last week the North Carolina Senate produced its version of the state budget, which included:...

New PLR on See-Through Trust and Life Expectancy for IRA Distributions

Posted on: April 19th, 2007
CPA Robert Keebler reports on PLR 200708084, pertaining to See-Through Trusts....

2007 NC Tax Deduction for 529 Plan Contributions

Posted on: April 11th, 2007
In 2007, qualified North Carolina taxpayers may deduct contributions to North Carolina’s 529 College Savings Plan up to $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for married couples filing jointly. Earnings used for qualified college expenses are income tax free....

IRS Identifies 40 Frivolous Income Tax Positions

Posted on: March 17th, 2007
Earlier this week the IRS published Notice 2007-30, which contains a list of 40 frivolous positions taxpayers should avoid taking on their income tax returns....

Hiring a Tax Preparer

Posted on: February 6th, 2007
In North Carolina, anyone can call himself or herself an accountant (as opposed to a Certified Public Accountant). No special training or education is required. If your taxes are very simple, you may be okay going to an non-certified accountant or tax preparation firm such as H&R Block. ...

Filing Taxes Early Can be a Mistake

Posted on: January 25th, 2007
An article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal discusses the problem of financial services firms providing late or amended Forms 1099. ...

Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006

Posted on: December 29th, 2006
The Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 was passed into law this week, extending the State and Local Sales Tax Deduction, the Higher Education Tuition and Fees Deduction, and the Educator Expense Adjustment....

Year-end Donation and Deduction Tips from the IRS

Posted on: December 16th, 2006
From a recent IRS e-newsletter: WASHINGTON — Individuals and businesses making contributions to charity should keep in mind several important tax law changes made last summer by the Pension Protection Act. ...

AMT Repeal to Lead to Tax Increase?

Posted on: December 4th, 2006
From the N.C. State GiftLaw eNewsletter this week: In January of 2007, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) will assume the leadership of the House Ways and Means Committee. Chairman Rangel has indicated that alternative minimum tax (AMT) reform will be a high priority. ...

Does the IRS Owe You Money?

Posted on: November 27th, 2006
​The IRS is holding $92 million for about 95,000 taxpayers whose refund checks have been returned as undeliverable by the Postal Service...

IRS Announces Income Tax Inflation Adjustments

Posted on: November 9th, 2006
Each personal and dependency exemption will be $3,400, up $100 from 2006. The new standard deduction will be $10,700 for married couples filing a joint return (up $400), $5,350 for singles and married individuals filing separately (up $200) and $7,850 for heads of household (up $300). ...