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Julian Block
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Julian Block is a nationally recognized attorney who has been singled out as: "a leading tax professional" (New York Times); "an accomplished writer on taxes" (Wall Street Journal); and “an authority on tax planning” (Financial Planning Magazine). He is frequently quoted by such publications as Money, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.

His many books have been praised as: "one of the best personal-finance books" (Money); "one of the best tax books, an excellent source of information" (New York Times); and "a triumph of simplicity that tackles the complex world of taxes and communicates to readers in clear, everyday language" (National Association of Enrolled Agents). He often contributes to such magazines as AARP, Consumer Reports, Money, Playboy, Reader's Digest, and Vogue.

In addition to writing and practicing law in Larchmont, N.Y., he conducts continuing education programs for tax professionals and is a frequent guest on television and radio shows. Bryant Gumbel complimented him as "a frequent guest, whose insights are always great fare and with a talent for simplifying the complications of tax work." He holds a master of laws degree in taxation from New York University Graduate Law School, and is a member of the New York Financial Writers Association and the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

His books include: Julian Block's Easy Tax Guide for Writers, Photographers, and Other Freelancers; Julian Block's Home Seller's Guide to Tax Savings; Julian Block's Tax Tips for Marriage and Divorce; and Julian Block's Tax Deductible Travel and Moving Expenses.

Formerly, Block was with the IRS as a special agent (criminal investigator) and as an attorney. He has taught tax planning at such schools as Adelphi University and New York University, and was the tax expert for Prodigy, the on-line service.

Julian Block is available for private consultations on tax planning. Contact him at his Web site, www.julianblocktaxexpert.com.

Entries by Julian Block

Charitable Deductions for Animal-Rescue Volunteers

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 10:30 AM

Millions of individuals volunteer to help raise funds or perform other tasks on behalf of animal-rescue groups and other charitable organizations. When the annual reckoning with the IRS rolls around, their willingness to help out entitles them to write-offs for unreimbursed expenses incurred while they do volunteer work for rescue...

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Man, Woman, Money, Taxes

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 7:46 PM

Our tax laws are usually spelled out precisely; it's real-life situations that don't always fall conveniently into place. For instance, there's a mile-wide definition of income that entitles the Internal Revenue Service to share in "all income from whatever source derived," including payments that are "compensation for services." On the...

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Tax Court Upholds Business-Expense Deduction for Topless Dancer's Breast Implants

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2014 | 11:28 PM

Just because you incur expenses for business reasons doesn't mean that they automatically qualify as deductible. The Internal Revenue Code stipulates that these outlays must be "ordinary and necessary" in relation to your business.

The operative word is business. Generally, what you spend to improve your appearance, general health or...

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What's Deductible for Legal Fees When Couples Divorce

(1) Comments | Posted February 3, 2014 | 4:46 PM

Generally, the IRS says "no" to tax deductions that might ease the pain of divorce. The agency has no sympathy for the legal fees and other costs incurred by a couple who split--whether it's a divorce, separation or decree of support. In certain circumstances, however, you might be able to...

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Audit Survival Strategies

(0) Comments | Posted January 13, 2014 | 4:27 PM

Just because you can back up every item on your return, don't think you can forget about an audit. Those relentless IRS computers may bounce your return for any number of reasons, including pure chance. If you face an audit, here are some tips on how to make the experience...

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Tough Rules for Home-Office Deductions

(0) Comments | Posted January 2, 2014 | 10:50 AM

The law allows freelancers and other individuals who work at home to claim home-office deductions only if they pass a series of tests. You must use a portion of your home exclusively and on a regular basis for work in your business. It has to be your principal place of...

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Financial Tips That Ease the Sting of Divorce

(0) Comments | Posted December 25, 2013 | 3:10 PM

According to the United States Census Bureau, overall national divorce rates have decreased in recent decades. But about 10 percent of couples don't make it to their fifth anniversary and about 25 percent call it quits before their tenth anniversary.

Not all rates have declined. The Wall Street Journal...

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Using Tax Returns to Unearth Hubby's (or Wifey's) Hidden Assets

(2) Comments | Posted December 16, 2013 | 4:11 PM

Divorces can be costly, from paying fees for lawyers or expert witnesses to appraisals of homes, businesses or other assets. The expenses soar when couples take their conflicts to the courts.

Sometimes there's an added expense -- finding hubby's (or wifey's) hidden property. Consider what happens when wives (or...

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No Tax Break if Client Stiffs You

(0) Comments | Posted December 12, 2013 | 8:33 AM

Contrary to what many freelancers, consultants and other self-employed individuals mistakenly believe, long-standing regulations usually prohibit most of them from claiming bad-debt deductions on their federal and state returns when they are unable to recover amounts due from clients and customers. Why should freelancers forget about any kind of relief...

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How the Tax Rules Work When You Refinance Your Home Mortgage

(1) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 8:11 PM

Recent drops in interest rates have prompted millions of households to refinance their mortgages. Borrowers who refinance need to familiarize themselves with tricky tax rules on what is or isn't deductible for interest payments. Here are some reminders on how the rules work.

Question: I own a personal residence. It's...

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Give a Little Less to the IRS

(1) Comments | Posted November 7, 2012 | 4:34 PM

Individuals who reduce their income taxes with itemized deductions for things like mortgage interest and real estate taxes are aware that they also can claim contributions to schools, religious organizations and other favorite causes. But many of them are unaware of other opportunities.

For instance, the IRS allows individuals...

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Special Tax Relief for Victims of Hurricane Sandy

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2012 | 5:33 PM

The tax laws authorize immediate relief for persons whose property is damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy or other natural disasters. But this relief is only for those who suffer serious property damage. What follows are answers to the most-often-asked questions by disaster victims.

Q. Just how harsh are the...

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A Dilemma for Stock Market Investors: Sell or Sweat

(1) Comments | Posted October 10, 2012 | 5:46 PM

Unless Washington acts in the lame-duck session after the November elections, top rates for capital gains from most sales of assets owned more than 12 months are scheduled to increase. They will go from 15 percent for 2012 to at least 20 percent for 2013.

If it appears that the...

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How to Save Taxes While Being Kind to Animals

(1) Comments | Posted October 2, 2012 | 4:20 PM

Millions of individuals volunteer to help raise funds or perform other tasks on behalf of animal-rescue groups and other charitable organizations. When the annual reckoning with the IRS rolls around, the reward for their willingness to help out can take the form of write-offs for unreimbursed expenses incurred while they...

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Some Financial Tips To Protect Yourself In The Event Of Divorce

(6) Comments | Posted October 1, 2012 | 12:15 PM

According to the United States Census Bureau, overall national divorce rates have decreased in recent decades. But about 10 percent of couples don't make it to their fifth anniversary and about 25 percent call it quits before their tenth anniversary.

Not all rates have declined.

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Some Presidential Words on Federal Income Taxes

(0) Comments | Posted August 22, 2012 | 2:18 PM

Income taxes are such a pervasive and everyday part of our financial lives -- and such a central issue in presidential campaigns -- that they seem to have been around forever. They have not. Their debut is relatively recent.

Abraham Lincoln created the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the predecessor...

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No Tax Break If Client Stiffs You

(2) Comments | Posted August 6, 2012 | 5:13 PM

Contrary to what many freelancers, consultants and other self-employed individuals mistakenly believe, long-standing regulations usually prohibit most of them from claiming bad-debt deductions on their federal and state returns when they are unable to recover amounts due from clients and customers. Why should freelancers forget about any kind of relief...

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Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries: Trouble at Tax Time?

(5) Comments | Posted July 27, 2012 | 12:35 PM

Picture a cozy household of three -- Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and the friendly tax man. Fact is, whether Brad, Angelina, Jennifer, Bristol, Levi, Snooki, or anyone else is hooking up, breaking up, or something in between, the odds and ends of their relationships are grist for the Internal Revenue...

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Medicare Surtaxes Hike Taxes for Upper-Incomers

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2012 | 6:13 PM

Bush-era tax rates are set to expire at the end of 2012, which would cause rates to become sharply higher. Even if they remain in effect, rates for upper-income individuals will move up in 2013.

The culprit is a comprehensive health care reform package that Congress enacted in 2010 (known...

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Taxpayer Illiteracy: Persistent and Widespread

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2012 | 1:59 PM

Surveys repeatedly show that taxpayers don't know a whole lot about fundamental terms and concepts. Now that's hardly a surprise, you might be thinking. So file that bombshell under Dog Bites Man.

Our national unawareness prompted these observations in an article titled "Form 1040? What's a Form 1040?"...

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