Tax Litigation Law Office of Scott Kauffman
(949) 474-1820

Hackney Literary Award
Mighty River Short Story Contest Winner

Orange County Tax Law Blog

IRS investigates syndicated conservation easement transactions

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced an increase in investigations of syndicated conservation easement transactions. The agency has stated it will focus on falsely inflated deductions.

What are syndicated conservation easements?

Can President Trump establish FL residence to save on taxes?

President Donald Trump recently announced he intends to change his residence from New York to Florida. The move is an attempt to save on state tax obligations. New York is notorious for its large state tax while Florida has none.

The attempt will likely result in an audit — and New York auditors are good at what they do. The auditors will look to establish that President Trump has not truly moved. If successful, President Trump could still find himself facing a large New York state tax bill. Even if the auditors are not successful, President Trump will likely find himself facing a long and costly court battle.

CA surprises Amazon merchants with state tax bills

The state of California just sent a Pennsylvania man a notice that he could owe over a million dollars in California state taxes. The tax bill is the result of a recent change in tax law that allows states to collect sales tax from those who sell goods to residents within their state even if they do not have operations in the state.

It is unlikely this man is alone. The state of California likely sent similar tax notifications to other Amazon merchants located throughout the country. Other states may follow the move and send retailers similar notifications.

Own cryptocurrency? Tips to avoid scrutiny from the IRS.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has ramped up its efforts to track down taxpayers who have failed to report cryptocurrency. The most recent effort involved mass mailings to taxpayers who own the asset, whether they were required to report it on their tax filings. More on that effort is discussed in a previous post, available here.

Taxes & loan forgiveness: 3 things CA students need to know

Finding the right college is not easy. The number of universities and colleges throughout the country can be overwhelming. Each student must find the right university to meet their needs. Once they find this dream school, they must figure out how to cover the expenses that come with going to college. For many, this means taking out student loans.

Ideally, the student focuses on their studies, graduates, gets a job and repays these loans. But what happens if the college closes? That was the question thousands of California students were forced to ask themselves when the Department of Consumer Affairs announced Brightwood College was closing its campuses throughout California.

Itemized or standardized: Which tax deduction is right for you?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was the biggest piece of tax reform in decades. Although it led to many notable changes, one that impacts almost every taxpayer involved an increase to the standardized deduction amount. Upon passage of this law, the standardized deduction rates were set at $12,200 for tax payers filing singly or married filing separately, $24,400 for those married filing jointly and $18,350 for those filing as head of household for the current filing year.

Do you need to renew your ITIN?

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a tax processing number assigned by the IRS to taxpayers who are not eligible to receive a Social Security Number (SSN). These numbers are helpful for those who require a federal tax identification number but cannot get an SSN. Although intended only for tax identification purposes, it is not uncommon for schools and banks to also refer to these numbers for identification purposes.

College admission scandal sparks change for CA tax law

The college admissions scandal involved Hollywood elite and wealth parents from throughout the country. California was the location of universities and colleges implicated in the scheme as well as individuals accused of partaking in the scheme.  

IRS announces new tax rules for those with stock in foreign corps

United States taxpayers with stocks in controlled foreign corporations (CFCs) may soon see some tax relief. These individuals and entities were hit hard with recent tax reform. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) resulted in a broadening of income inclusions for those with stocks in certain CFCs. As a result, they may have found themselves with an unexpected tax bill or possibly the subject of an audit if the feds decided the taxpayer failed to properly complete their tax returns.

New revenue procedures may provide some relief.

States file lawsuit to challenge SALT cap: Was it successful?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) led to a limit on the deduction for state and local tax (SALT) payments. The law currently caps the deduction at $10,000.

Since high tax states like California, New York and Connecticut often get tax payments from residents well over this $10,000 limit, these states have voiced frustration with the limit. Residents in high tax states have begun to reconsider their tax planning strategies, including moving to lower tax states.