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Tax Controversy Archives

Who can act for you before the IRS: Part 2: Treasury Circular 230

Let’s continue our discussion of who can act on your behalf before the IRS. In part one, we noted that IRS Form 2848 is one way to create a power of attorney authorization for someone to do this. But using the form is not the only way to put such representation in place.

Costa Mesa caught in a tax Catch 22 on medical marijuana shops

One of the best known poems in American literature is "Casey at the Bat." The ode, which a Google check indicates was published in 1888, relates the saga of baseball hero Mighty Casey and how overconfidence led him to strike out, blowing the chance of a win for his Mudville team.

From offshore to outer space: the universality of tax issues

It almost sounds like a Saturday Night Live skit: the IRS trying to tax astronauts in orbit. But this is no parody to prove a point. As CNN Money reported this week, the IRS makes no exceptions when it comes to orbiting astronauts.

Residency and state income taxes, part 1: times a-changing'

We've written a lot in this blog about Uncle Sam's efforts to tax income that U.S. taxpayers make in foreign countries. Stepped-up U.S. enforcement actions have had major implications not only for those with offshore accounts, but for financial professionals and institutions as well.

Payroll tax compliance, part 1: depositing and reporting

Payroll taxes can cause lots of problems for employers. Even when things are going well, the administrative burden of calculating, withholding and paying over employment taxes is considerable. This is especially true for small businesses that don’t have a big accounting department to take of these functions.

Tax court decision benefits artist

In a recent post, we covered the difference between a business and hobby. The distinction is important for tax purposes and often relates to the profitability of an enterprise. Expenses for a business are deductible even if they result in a loss, but those related to a hobby are limited.

Royalty income or capital gains? Tax Court provides guidance

The categorization of earnings affects the amount of taxes owed. The capital gains tax rate had been capped at 15 percent for many years. In 2013, it increased to 20 percent rate for some high-earners. However, the capital gains rate is still generally lower than that of ordinary income, which has a top tax bracket of 39.6 percent.