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Congress returned to work in April after a two week recess and the House immediately passed a slew of tax-related bills. In rapid succession, House lawmakers voted to repeal the federal estate tax, make permanent the state and local sales tax deduction, and make reforms to the IRS. The tax filing season concluded on April 15 with the IRS Commissioner reporting that return and refund processing went smoothly.


The IRS budget has suffered significant funding cuts to the past few fiscal year (FY) budgets. Most recently, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told reporters that the IRS has been forced to absorb a $346 million cut to its FY 2015 budget. Such drastic reductions directly impact the IRS's ability to enforce the nation's tax laws. This became evident after the IRS issued its annual Data Book for FY 2014. (The Data Book provides statistical information on examinations, collections, taxpayer assistance, and other activities.) This year, the Data Book indicated that IRS audit rates have fallen for individuals and large corporate taxpayers between FY 2013 and FY 2014. On the other hand, the audit rate for partnerships increased slightly, ostensibly as a result of the IRS's recent policy favoring more audits of this long-neglected sector.


It is never too early to begin planning for the 2016 filing season, the IRS has advised in seven new planning tips published on its website. Although the current filing season has just ended, there are steps that taxpayers can take now to avoid a tax bill when April 2016 rolls around. For example, the IRS stated that taxpayers can adjust their withholding, take stock of any changes in income or family circumstances, maintain accurate tax records, and more, in order to reduce the probability of a surprise tax bill when the next filing season arrives.


The IRS expects to receive more than 150 million individual income tax returns this year and issue billions of dollars in refunds. That huge pool of refunds drives scam artists and criminals to steal taxpayer identities and claim fraudulent refunds. The IRS has many protections in place to discover false returns and refund claims, but taxpayers still need to be proactive.


The IRS requires that taxpayers substantiate their donations to charity. Whatever the donation is, whether money or a household item or clothing, the substantiation rules must be followed. The rules are complex and frequently tripped up taxpayers who had good intentions but failed to satisfy the IRS's requirements.


As an individual or business, it is your responsibility to be aware of and to meet your tax filing/reporting deadlines. This calendar summarizes important tax reporting and filing data for individuals, businesses and other taxpayers for the month of May 2015.


A limited liability company (LLC) is a business entity created under state law. Every state and the District of Columbia have LLC statutes that govern the formation and operation of LLCs.

Often, timing is everything or so the adage goes. From medicine to sports and cooking, timing can make all the difference in the outcome. What about with taxes? What are your chances of being audited? Does timing play a factor in raising or decreasing your risk of being audited by the IRS? For example, does the time when you file your income tax return affect the IRS's decision to audit you? Some individuals think filing early will decrease their risk of an audit, while others file at the very-last minute, believing this will reduce their chance of being audited. And some taxpayers don't think timing matters at all.


President Obama unveiled his fiscal year (FY) 2012 federal budget recommendations in February, proposing to increase taxes on higher-income individuals, repeal some business tax preferences, reform international taxation, and make a host of other changes to the nation's tax laws. The president's FY 2012 budget touches almost every taxpayer in what it proposes, and in some cases, what is left out.


On December 17, 2010 President Obama signed into law the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (2010 Tax Relief Act). This sweeping new tax law includes a two-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts, including extension of the current, lower individual tax rates and capital gains/dividend tax rates. The new tax law - the largest in over ten years - also includes a temporary estate tax compromise, as well as the extension of many popular individual and business tax incentives, an alternative minimum tax (AMT) "patch" for 2010 and 2011, 100 percent bonus depreciation for businesses, and more. The much-anticipated legislation provides tax relief to taxpayers across-the-board. Here is a review of the 2010 Tax Relief Act's major provisions:

Congress not only extended the current, lower individual income tax rates through 2012 in the recently enacted Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (2010 Tax Relief Act); it also extended a number of beneficial tax breaks for families and individuals. Through 2012, the law extended significant tax incentives for education, children, and energy-saving home improvements.

In 2011, millions of employees will receive a significant boost in their take-home pay as a result of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (2010 Tax Relief Act) enacted December 17. In addition to maintaining the current lower individual income tax rates, the 2010 Tax Relief Act reduces the employee's share of the OASDI portion of Social Security two percentage points, from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent, for wages earned during the 2011 calendar year, up to the taxable wage base of $106,800. Many workers can expect to see an average tax savings of more than $1,000 as a result of this payroll tax cut. Moreover, the payroll tax reduction is available to all wage earners irrespective of income level, with no phaseout. In effect, individuals earning at or above the OASDI cap of $106,800 will receive $2,136 in tax savings in 2011.

Like the Internet itself, the correct deductibility of a business's website development costs is still in its formative stages. What is fairly clear, however, is that it is highly unlikely that any single tax treatment will apply to all of the costs incurred in designing an internet site because the process encompasses many different types of expenses.

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