Posted in the publications section at my firm’s web site, DeConciniMcDonald.com, my January, 2017, Tax Law Special Report is about filing your 2016 federal income tax return, including important information about when to file and what could happen if you are supposed to file a return, but don’t.
I don't know if the story on the page at this link is true, but I have no reason to think it is not except that I had never heard it before. It's a remarkable story.
Before today, I had never seen the site that contains the page at the link above. Some of the other pages on that site contain foul language, but the page at the link does not. Just FYI.
Since it’s time to be thinking about making a contribution to an individual retirement account (IRA) for 2016 if you haven’t done so already, an item I saw in the Arizona Republic about IRAs seems timely. It cites a study that indicates that people who have IRAs are not very faithful about contributing to them. That’s too bad.
The author of the Republic item says that simplifying the rules for IRAs could make them “more appealing,” but he’s mixing apples and oranges, in my opinion. The complexity of the rules shouldn’t be an obstacle to contributing to an IRA if you already have one, should it?
Anyway, you have until tax day 2017 to make your IRA contribution for 2016.
A news release from the IRS yesterday (IR-2017-06) provides information about free tax help, filing assistance, a new e-filing program that offers the use of brand-name tax preparation software at no charge to qualifying taxpayers, and more.
Filing season opened yesterday, by the way. Have you filed yet?
AN ENTERTAINING TAX COURT OPINION ON DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN PASSIVE AND NON-PASSIVE INCOME
A surgeon’s income from a surgical facility of which he is a part owner, and in which he performs surgeries, can still be treated as passive income, says the Tax Court. It’s discussed at the Tax Update Blog.
Expect to go to jail, even if you’re an aide to a prominent Congressman.
Well, it’s interesting if, like me, you find tax law interesting. You’ll find links to the full report and the executive summary on the web site of the Taxpayer Advocate Service.
This time it’s a landlord getting tangled up in rules that I’m sure someone thought were absolutely vital. Because the landlord doesn’t have a permit that maybe they were supposed to have, a tenant has been living in their building without paying rent for six years. The tenant claims the landlord’s failure to get the permit means the building is unsafe, which is a pretty hilarious position for the tenant to take if you stop and think about it for a second. The tenant has been living in the building for six years. If the building is unsafe, why hasn’t the tenant moved out?
Via Overlawyered, again.
An item posted by the New York Daily News on Saturday reports on a New York City restaurant that blamed onerous city and state regulations for making continued operation of the business infeasible. The funny/infuriating part was the completely un-self-aware response by the city. Quoting from the new item:
“The de Blasio administration noted the city provides free help to small businesses. The 'Small Business First' initiative helps owners save time and money while reducing the amount of paperwork.”
Translation: Don’t blame us for the mountain of bureaucratic reporting we created. After all, we offered to help you with it!
That response reminds me of the proposal to improve the tax return preparation process by regulating tax preparers. The idea of making the reporting process less onerous by reducing the regulations that require reporting never occurs to the regulators. I think the problem is that in the minds of the regulators, every regulation is life-or-death essential.
I try to not waste too much time reading online reviews. There is a certain amount of wisdom in the collective opinion, but you never know who wrote an individual review and what their biases might be, so I think reading lots of online reviews is probably at best a waste of time.
When reading online reviews, I often get the feeling that the most negative ones are fake. The first paragraph of the review that’s quoted in this Coyote Blog post is a good example. Read it and see if you think it sounds fake. There’s something about the way that review is written that is common among negative reviews, and makes me question the motives of the person who wrote it.
The contents of this blog, this web site, and any writings by me that are linked here, are all my personal commentary. None of it is intended to be legal advice for your situation.