Foreign Housing Allowance for United States Government Employees – Taxable or Non-taxable?

Posted April 10th, 2014 by Prof. William Byrnes

The gross income of United States (U.S.) citizens and resident aliens is taxable on a worldwide basis. In most cases, compensation for personal services such as employer payments for housing expenses is fully taxable as an employee fringe benefit unless specifically excluded from taxation. However, there are exceptions to the taxation of housing allowances such as the special rules for members of the clergy or Peace Corps volunteers.

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Common Tax Mistakes 2014 – Review these common mistakes. – Ten Common Tax Mistakes to Avoid

Posted April 5th, 2014 by George Mentz JD, MBA, CWM, MFP - International Lawyer and Award Winning Author

Common Tax Mistakes 2014 – Review these common mistakes. – Nine Common Tax Mistakes to Avoid

We all make mistakes. But if you make a mistake on your tax return, the IRS may need to contact you to correct it. That will delay your refund.

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529 Plans – Education Plans – Funding – Benefits – Gifting and Taxes

Posted February 13th, 2014 by George Mentz JD, MBA, CWM, MFP - International Lawyer and Award Winning Author

A 529 is a plan operated by a state or educational institution, with tax advantages and potentially other incentives to make it easier to save for college and other post-secondary training for a designated beneficiary, such as a child or grandchild. Earnings are not subject to federal tax and generally not subject to state tax when used for the qualified education expenses of the designated beneficiary, such as tuition, fees, books, as well as room and board. Contributions to a 529 plan, however, are not deductible.

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Conflict of Interest: Sole interest or Best Interest

Posted February 12th, 2014 by Prof. William Byrnes

The trustee must adhere to the trust provisions and the Uniform Trust Code when evaluating investments, distributions, as well as the termination of the trust.

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Trustee’s Investment Strategy: Prudent Investor Rule vs. Legal List

Posted February 10th, 2014 by Prof. William Byrnes

Diversification provides performance while also reducing unsystematic risk. There are two types of investment strategies which are used to provide this diversification: the Prudent Investor Rule or Legal List.

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State Tax Rates – Highest and Lowest – The Best and Worst Places to Live in the United States for Income Taxes

Posted February 8th, 2014 by George Mentz JD, MBA, CWM, MFP - International Lawyer and Award Winning Author

According to the Federation of Tax Advisors, these 10 states have the highest tax rates on income. These states may have variations of tax treatment for exemptions, credits, retirement, government pensions and varying definition of taxable income. Open to see the 2013 list of worst states to retire or do business.

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Same-Sex Married Couples Jointly and Severally Liable for Tax Deficiency and Potentially Innocent Spouse Relief

Posted February 5th, 2014 by Prof. William Byrnes

It appears that same-sex couples that file joint returns are now jointly and severally liable for any deficiency that may be assessed, and by the same token the spouse of the marriage may be eligible to claim innocent spouse relief against a tax liability.

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The Stock Markets The Fed and Macro View Economics – Bubbles Recessions Cycles & Emerging Markets

Posted February 3rd, 2014 by George Mentz JD, MBA, CWM, MFP - International Lawyer and Award Winning Author

With 2013 having a solid stock market comeback, we all wonder what the stock market will do in 2014. Presently, we just had the worst January in 5 years in the stock market. Does this mean that the big investors will begin to move to the sidelines? Who knows.

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Medical Marijuana: is it a Deductible Medical Expenses?

Posted February 3rd, 2014 by Prof. William Byrnes

Recently the IRS responded to an inquiry by Senator Chuck Schumer (info. 2010-0080) regarding a constituent’s inquiry whether the cost of an “herb” prescribed by her doctor to treat migraine headaches qualifies as a health care expense in her flexible spending account.[xi] The response concluded that an “herb” may be an expense if the taxpayer can substantiate he or she:

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Tax Whistleblowers – $104 Million IRS Award to Mr. Birkenfeld (UBS) Yet Nothing for Mr. Insinga (RABO)?

Posted January 31st, 2014 by Prof. William Byrnes

Since its creation, the IRS Whistleblower Office has received over 1,300 tips. However, before pursuing tips analysts must first determine that a federal tax issue is involved and not based merely on speculation or conjecture. The majority of the tips come from employees or former employees of companies that do not necessarily adhere to federal tax laws. Tips deemed credible may lead to three different avenues, such as (1) a new audit, (2) expansion of a current audit, or (3) criminal investigation.

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