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Internal Revenue Service

Computer Glitches Force IRS To Stop Accepting Electronically-Filed Tax Returns

Reuers | Jade Walker | Posted 02.04.2016 | Business

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service said on Wednesday it is experiencing computer failure across several systems and temporarily cannot accept m...

Can Strippers Deduct Breast Implants?

Julian Block | Posted 02.01.2016 | Business
Julian Block

Just because you incur expenses for business reasons doesn't mean that they automatically qualify as deductible. The Internal Revenue Code stipulates ...

Why Home Seller Who Suffers a Loss Won't Get a Tax Break

Julian Block | Posted 01.29.2016 | Business
Julian Block

What if your employer reimburses you for the loss? No offset of an otherwise nondeductible loss against the reimbursement, because they're separate transactions. The loss stays nondeductible. Nor is it permissible to include the reimbursement as part of the selling price and avail yourself of the exclusion.

Bad Debt Deductions for Worthless Loans to Spouses

Julian Block | Posted 01.27.2016 | Business
Julian Block

These being the times they are, you may be tapped for loans by relatives or friends who are unable to come up with the down payment for a home or who ...

A Dilemma for Stock Market Investors: Sell or Sweat

Julian Block | Posted 01.26.2016 | Business
Julian Block

The rules for capital gains are tricky. Let's start with the basics.

Treat Her Like A Lady: Civil Forfeiture's Lack of Chivalry

Chandra Bozelko | Posted 01.06.2016 | Crime
Chandra Bozelko

At first blush, it may seem like civil forfeiture is different than the usual methods of justice: targeting poor people who have nothing and placing them in jail. As hard as state and federal governments may try, you can't take nothing from nothing so indigent populations are impervious to forfeiture schemes.

Making a Household Inventory List Can Save Time and Money

Julian Block | Posted 01.05.2016 | Money
Julian Block

Did you know that the tax code allows you to claim tax deductions for household damage caused by thefts, vandalism, fires, floods, hurricanes and others kinds of casualties? But the law imposes several restrictions.

Deduct Business Suits? Forget It

Julian Block | Posted 12.28.2015 | Business
Julian Block

Paying the shirt off your back at tax time? Don't count on a deduction for what you wear to work from what you make at work.

How to Take a Tax Deduction for Protecting Your Good Name

Julian Block | Posted 12.17.2015 | Business
Julian Block

And when it comes to your reputation, the line between business and personal is thin indeed. What controls the outcome are the particular circumstances.

Why This Cold War Tale of Tax Fraud Was Never Solved

Julian Block | Posted 12.15.2015 | Business
Julian Block

Recent revelations that the FBI and CIA used at least 1,000 ex-Nazis as spies after World War II, in Europe and the United States, made me think about...

Here's How to Steer Clear of the Mutual Fund Tax Trap

Julian Block | Posted 12.11.2015 | Business
Julian Block

Plan ahead before you buy some shares in a stock mutual fund near year end, when the fund is about to pay a dividend.

Why You Should Donate Appreciated Assets to Your Favorite Charities

Julian Block | Posted 12.10.2015 | Business
Julian Block

When we contribute to our favorite causes, most of us go the easiest, most familiar route and simply write checks or use credit cards. We receive inco...

A Few Year-End Reminders for Dependency Exemptions

Julian Block | Posted 12.08.2015 | Business
Julian Block

Do you support one or both of your parents? Now is the time to nail down dependency exemptions for them. For 2015, you can claim an exemption of $4,0...

Tax-timing a Marriage or Divorce

Julian Block | Posted 12.07.2015 | Divorce
Julian Block

As part of your tax planning, you need to consider an expected change in your filing statue for this year or next.

Fees for Divorce Mediators and Matrimonial Attorneys: What's Deductible

Julian Block | Posted 12.04.2015 | Divorce
Julian Block

The IRS generally says "no" to tax deductions that might ease the pain of divorce. The agency has no sympathy for payments to mediators or litigators and other costs associated with a divorce. It characterizes those outlays as nondeductible personal expenses.

Private Debt Collectors the Wrong Approach for IRS

Chuck Marr | Posted 11.04.2015 | Politics
Chuck Marr

The highway funding bill before the House would require the IRS to outsource part of its tax enforcement to private debt collectors. This policy has failed before -- when it actually lost money for the government, according to the IRS -- and remains misguided.

The Folly of IRS Privatization

Nathan Newman | Posted 10.05.2015 | Politics
Nathan Newman

This mania for privatization has reached the Internal Revenue Service and taxpayers should be worried that tax investigations might become a political prize handed out to campaign donors. that profit-oriented companies engage in controlling tax investigations instills a whole different level of fear.

It's Surprisingly Easy To Start Your Own Church

The Huffington Post | Antonia Blumberg | Posted 08.17.2015 | Religion

The Internal Revenue Service makes rules about churches and religious organizations intentionally vague to respect the religious liberties outli...

Internal Revenue Service Says Cyber Attacks Were More Extensive Than Previously Thought

Reuters | Paige Lavender | Posted 08.17.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said Monday a hacking attack into one of its computer databases revealed in May was muc...

One Man's Plan to Detoxify the Immigration Debate

Llewellyn King | Posted 07.15.2015 | Politics
Llewellyn King

At the glamorous waterside student union on the campus of the University of Wisconsin, 50 feet from where he first played with Steve Miller and Boz Scaggs back in the '60s, Madison-based jazz artist Ben Sidran gazed out at the summer crowds exuding satisfaction and serenity. No regrets.

What to do if Someone Files a False Tax Return in Your Name

Nathaniel Sillin | Posted 07.09.2015 | Business
Nathaniel Sillin

Few things cause more concern than a letter in the mail from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Though the agency sends out letters or notices for many reasons, identity theft is one of the fastest-growing issues for the IRS.

Democracy Demoralized

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 06.08.2015 | Politics
Leo W. Gerard

Americans know the ugly truth about money in politics. Though the wealthy conceal payoffs through dark money deposits into political pockets, it's no secret to the American public that the rich are buying the government.

This Is Why The Government Needs Better Online Security, Now

Posted 06.04.2015 | Technology

What should have been a trustworthy digital service has been compromised, in the latest sign that the U.S. government can't be relied upon to keep the...

US Launches Tech Avengers

Oliver Leung | Posted 06.01.2015 | Technology
Oliver Leung

Former CTO of the US, Todd Park, is now chief advisor of the US Digital Services and has been given the formidable task of "Crossing the Chasm" between the US government and the people. But unlike most government programs that utilize internal resources, the USDS will leverage private tech sector talents to provide solutions.

The Recent IRS Breach and How We Can Act to Secure Personal Data

Rep. Jan Schakowsky | Posted 05.29.2015 | Politics
Rep. Jan Schakowsky

Over the past decade, almost one billion records with personal information have been compromised -- things like Social Security numbers, birth dates, address and even tax filing status. In many cases, those breaches were not highly sophisticated.