Today's Quote:
"What at first was plunder assumed the softer name of revenue. ”
~Thomas Paine

Meals & Incidental Expenses and Lodging by MonthPer Diem Rates Look-Up

start-up costs

How to Deduct Start-up Costs and Organization Costs

You may elect to deduct up to $5,000 of start-up costs in the year your business begins operations. The $5,000 first-year deduction limit is reduced by the amount of start-up costs exceeding $50,000.

Start-up costs that exceed the first-year limit of $5,000 may be amortized ratably over 15 years. The amortization period starts with the month you begin operating your active trade or businesss.

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Phishing and malware email scams

400% Surge in Phishing and Malware Incidents

After seeing an approximate 400% surge in phishing and malware incidents so far this tax season (tax year 2015), the Internal Revenue Service has renewed a consumer alert for e-mail schemes being reported in every section of the country.

These emails look official and can fool taxpayers into thinking they are from the IRS or others in the tax industry, including tax software companies.

The objective of these emails is gain access to sensitive taxpayer information. To get a taxpayer's attention, these emails will refer to hot topics, such as refunds, filing status, confirming personal information, ordering transcripts, verifying PIN information, and a host of other tax-related topics.

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10 oddbal tax deductions

10 Oddball Tax Deductions

Over the years the courts have allowed taxpayers to deduct some crazy things that most of us wouldn't even dream of claiming, ranging from pet food to free beer.

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IRS meall allowance, two people having dinner

Tax Extenders Bill Signed Into Law December 18, 2015

On December 18, 2015, the President signed into law the tax extenders bill, entitled the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015. The new law makes more than 20 tax breaks permanent and retroactively extends others for two or more years.

Here's a rundown of key business, individual, and miscellaneous provisions:

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IRS meall allowance, two people having dinner

IRS Meal Allowance

Generally, the cost of meals are considered a personal expense and are not deductible, unless they meet certain IRS rules.

For example, if you go out to lunch yourself during the course of your work day or with a business associate, and there is no business purpose other than to simply get a bite to eat, the cost of your lunch is a personal expense and is not deductible.

When Meal Costs are Deductible:

You can deduct meal and entertainment expenses only if they are both ordinary and necessary (not lavish or extravagant) and meet either one of the following two tests (discussed below).

  1. Directly-Related test
  2. Associated test

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Travel expenses

What Are Travel Expenses?

Travel expenses are defined as:

  • Ordinary and necessary expenses...
  • related to your business, profession, or job...
  • while traveling away from home.

Travel expenses may be deducted by:

  • Self-Employed Persons
  • Employees
  • Unemployed Persons
  • Transportation industry workers (get special treatment)

Self-Employed Persons:

Self-employed persons deduct business-related travel expenses while away from home as a business expense.

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Hiding assets in Offshore accounts

Hiding Assets In An Offshore Account

Offshore accounts have been used to lure taxpayers into scams and schemes. According to the IRS, hiding money or assets in unreported offshore accounts remains on its annual list of tax scams.

Over the years, a number of individuals have been identified as evading U.S. taxes by hiding income in offshore banks, brokerage accounts or nominee entities and then using debit cards, credit cards or wire transfers to access the funds.

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Health care law and you.

Six Tips About Individual Shared Responsibility Payments

For any month during the year that you or any of your family members don’t have minimum essential coverage and don’t qualify for a coverage exemption, you are required to make an individual shared responsibility payment (a euphemism for penalty) when you file your tax return.

Here are six things to know about the penalty payment:

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affordable care act coverage, exemptions, and payments

Affordable Care Act Health Coverage Exemptions and Payments

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will affect your federal income tax return.

The ACA requires you and your dependents to:

  • have health care coverage, or
  • an exemption from the coverage requirement,
  • or make a shared responsibility payment (pay a penalty) with your return for any month without coverage or an exemption.

Five things you should know about exemptions from the ACA coverage requirement and the individual shared responsibility payment that will help you get ready to file your tax return:

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Missoure storm victims 2015

IRS Gives Missouri Flood Victims Until May 16, 2016 To File Taxes, Estimated Payments and Business Taxes

The IRS announced that Missouri storm victims will have until May 16, 2016 to file their returns and pay any taxes due. All workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization also qualify for relief.

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affordable care act consumer alert

Affordable Care Act Consumer Alert!

Last tax season, 2015, some crooked tax preparers around the country victimized a number of uninformed taxpayers in connection with the penalty requirement for taxpayers without health insurance.

Background;

Starting January 2014, you and your family were required to either have health insurance coverage throughout the year, qualify for an exemption from coverage, or if you had no health insurance coverage, pay a penalty with your 2014 federal income tax return filed in 2015. The penalty is euphemistically called, The Individual Shared Responsibility Payment.

Many people already had qualifying health insurance coverage and did not need to do anything more than maintain their coverage.

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