Recent Tax Court decision could wreak ha

Glover v. Comm, a recent tax court decision, presents several issues to Merchant Mariners. Mr. Glover worked for Reinauer Transportation. His tugs pushed oil coastwise as far as Virginia. The tugs wou

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Recent Tax Court decision could wreak havoc on Mariners

State Taxes and Mariners

Suz asked this question So, what about if you live in one state (TN) and work as a merchant mariner in another state (HI), 45 days on/45 days off rotation? Do you pay HI state taxes, or does the payro

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State Taxes and Mariners

Mariner Tax Update January 2011

E-Filing alert! How many times have you read that mariners cannot E-File? How many websites have posted this. Year after year. And then all of a sudden preparers start proclaiming “mariners can

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Mariner Tax Update January 2011

Employee vs. Non-Employee LLC and S-Corp

I’ve been a client of yours for a few years now and I had a general tax question concerning my wife’s job status. She currently works full time for a marketing firm in “Deleted”

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Employee vs. Non-Employee LLC and S-Corp Planning for Mariners and their families

Maritime Tax Preparers and the Alternati

What they don’t want you to know… This video points out the tremendous effect of the AMT on merchant mariners. Seamen taking business deductions and offsets may very well be realizing litt

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Maritime Tax Preparers and the Alternative Minimum Tax

Bush tax cuts: Obama will negotiate – Nov. 6, 2010

by on November 7, 2010 at 3:33 pm

The look of compromise

So what kind of tax-cut extension could both parties live with?

Two Washington tax policy analysts — Clint Stretch of Deloitte Tax and Anne Mathias of MF Global’s Washington Research Group — believe the most likely compromise will be a temporary extension for everyone for one or two years.

Mathias believes Obama “will not veto a bill that extends them for all.”

Stretch said that a temporary extension for all carries less political risk for Republicans than other scenarios floated, such as a permanent extension for the middle-class but a temporary one for the rich.

“If the Republicans really care about high-income taxpayers, they can’t let them get separated from the middle class,” Stretch said.

Democrats, meanwhile, can frame a temporary extension as a way to give everyone time to figure out how to slow growth in the U.S. debt, much like what House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer suggested this summer, Stretch said.

via Bush tax cuts: Obama will negotiate – Nov. 6, 2010.

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Mariners off the IRS dirty dozen!

by on November 4, 2010 at 12:03 am

Uncle Sam’s Hitlist…

When will they mention the millions they lost on fraudulent home buyer credits? Probably after the election I’d say. Here’s their list for 2010…

Return Preparer Fraud

Dishonest return preparers can cause trouble for taxpayers who fall victim to their ploys. Such preparers derive financial gain by skimming a portion of their clients’ refunds, charging inflated fees for return preparation services and attracting new clients by promising refunds that are too good to be true. Taxpayers should choose carefully when hiring a tax preparer. Federal courts have issued injunctions ordering hundreds of individuals to cease preparing returns and promoting fraud, and the Department of Justice has filed complaints against dozens of others, which are pending in court.

To increase confidence in the tax system and improve compliance with the tax law, the IRS is implementing a number of steps for future filing seasons. These include a requirement that all paid tax return preparers register with the IRS and obtain a preparer tax identification number (PTIN), as well as both competency tests and ongoing continuing professional education for all paid tax return preparers except attorneys, certified public accountants (CPAs) and enrolled agents. (more…)

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New IRS Rules for Investors

by on September 10, 2010 at 12:43 pm

If you have a brokerage account, you soon will get a mailing or call about a new tax law that takes effect next year. Don’t ignore this one.

The subject: what you must do now that your broker must report an investment’s cost basis to the Internal Revenue Service after you sell a stock.

Cost basis is an area that is both crucial and confusing to taxpayers. It refers to the price of acquiring an investment, which then becomes the starting point for figuring tax when it is sold. Tracking basis can be complex, especially when there are multiple purchases, splits or dividend reinvestments. Shares in the same investment sold for the same price, for instance, generate different amounts of tax if they have different cost bases.

via Tax Report: New IRS Rules for Investors – WSJ.com.

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American Opportunity Credit

by on January 29, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Way Better Than The Hope and Lifetime

The American Opportunity Credit is not available on the 2008 returns taxpayers are filing during 2009. The new credit modifies the existing Hope Credit for tax years 2009 and 2010, making the Hope Credit available to a broader range of taxpayers, including many with higher incomes and those who owe no tax. It also adds required course materials to the list of qualifying expenses and allows the credit to be claimed for four post-secondary education years instead of two. Many of those eligible will qualify for the maximum annual credit of $2,500 per student.

The full credit is available to individuals whose modified adjusted gross income is $80,000 or less, or $160,000 or less for married couples filing a joint return. The credit is phased out for taxpayers with incomes above these levels. These income limits are higher than under the existing Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits.

via American Opportunity Credit.

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Banks Collapsing… Government Enticing More Risky Mortgages…

by on September 23, 2008 at 7:42 pm

Looking for logic

I’m all for tax incentives and credits. But aren’t we on the verge of some really rough times? Banks looking for government assistance… All because they never thought about what would happen if the housing market stopped climbing. Solution??? Let’s print some more money and use it as an incentive to anyone who is thinking buying a house might not be a financial possibility. Brilliant!

Not a free lunch

The way it’s written, you have 15 years to pay the money back… Great, an interest free loan. My concern would be that there are some serious compliance issues. I can picture folks e-filing claiming a home credit and running to the bank laughing. How many returns will be filed stating they purchased “1600 Penn Ave, Washington DC”? This is not easily regulated. Refundable credits usually require social security numbers for verification. I thought they learned their lesson with this under Reagan.

I’ll bet this ends up being a free lunch down the line when it isn’t causing the necessary stimulation.

First-time homebuyers should begin planning now to take advantage of a new tax credit included in the recently enacted Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.

Washington, D.C. – infoZine – Available for a limited time only, the credit:

* Applies to home purchases after April 8, 2008, and before July 1, 2009.

* Reduces a taxpayer’s tax bill or increases his or her refund, dollar for dollar.

* Is fully refundable, meaning that the credit will be paid out to eligible taxpayers, even if they owe no tax or the credit is more than the tax that they owe.

However, the credit operates much like an interest-free loan, because it must be repaid over a 15-year period. So, for example, an eligible taxpayer who buys a home today and properly claims the maximum available credit of $7,500 on his or her 2008 federal income tax return must begin repaying the credit by including one-fifteenth of this amount, or $500, as an additional tax on his or her 2010 return.

via Tax Credit to Aid First-time Homebuyers; Must be Repaid Over 15 Years – Kansas City infoZine News.

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