Once upon a time, a college degree was a true bargain: Four years of tuition cost about the same amount as a fancy new automobile, and pretty much set you up for life. Today, the price of that same college degree has sky-rocketed: The full-in cost of a college degree is now closer to the cost of a new house, and the size of the student loan has grown from a car loan to a mortgage. Every parent still wants to send a child to college, but the affordability factor is daunting and getting worse. Fortunately, there are smart, savvy ways to manage the looming costs of college – but they are not necessarily intuitive or easy to identify.
The IRS has announced that the Overseas Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), which has been around since March 2009, is about to be shut down permanently, effective September 28, 2018.
The OVDP Program has seen over 56,000 taxpayers come forward voluntarily, paying over $11 billion in back taxes interest and penalties. The Program has always been a great deal for people who actually hid assets offshore, failed to report taxable income, and then want to come clean and get back into compliance, especially because the IRS is hot on everybody’s trail thanks to the FATCA regime and other enhanced offshore investigative techniques.
The IRS wants to terminate the Program because participation has declined steadily, from a peak of 18,000 disclosures in 2011, to only about 600 disclosures in 2017. However, the IRS is expected to maintain its aggressive posture on offshore tax avoidance, and so now is the last clear chance for people to take advantage of the OVDP Program and avoid severe sanctions (including criminal prosecution) for dubious past conduct.
Don’t miss this last call to help taxpayers come into compliance under this de facto “amnesty” program that ends on September 28, 2018. Call us at (617) 338-2985 if you or a client would like our assistance in “coming in from the cold” under the Program.
Below are links to two documents that review some of the changes implemented by Trump's new tax plan.
As the Boston Red Sox head into the home stretch of this 2017 baseball season, we Red Sox fans – a naturally dour and fretful bunch – worry whether this team is built for success in the upcoming MLB playoffs. After all, a very similar team – to wit, the not-ready-for-prime-time 2016 Red Sox – appeared on the October stage and proceeded to stink out the joint, getting swept 3-0 by the Cleveland Indians while delivering the worst group performance since the movie Waterworld was released. For sheer group ineptitude, the only comparable recent event was watching the Republican Senate try to fix Obamacare. Yeesh.
As a tax lawyer, my professional life has the elements that my grandfather believed were essential to a really good job: indoor work, no heavy lifting.
A rather stunning near–catastrophe almost occurred in the art world recently, and only dumb luck – namely, a casual off-hand remark with a savvy tax adviser – saved the art owner from a huge, self-inflicted tax bill from the Internal Revenue Service. A non-U.S. taxpayer (meaning a non-resident alien in tax parlance) had an extremely valuable painting being displayed in a U.S. museum or gallery and, for a variety of reasons, he wanted to transfer the painting to his spouse, who is also a non-resident alien. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that the painting was worth $50 million. Because the gift was from a non-resident alien to his non-citizen spouse, and the property was tangible property located or situated within the United States at the time of the transfer, this transfer would have been subject to tax the U.S. gift tax regime, at a tax rate of up to 40%. WHAAAAATTTTT???!!!
Taxpayer signs a purchase and sale agreement to sell real estate to an unrelated buyer for $2,500,000. Buyer deposits 10% of the purchase price, or $250,000, as an earnest money deposit and as liquidated damages in the event the buyer fails to complete the purchase. The buyer subsequently fails to complete the acquisition, and the deposit is forfeited to the Taxpayer. The real estate in question was held as long-term capital property and not as inventory.
The following is an audited and certified report on the Boston Red Sox covering that portion of the 2016 fiscal baseball year through today’s date.
The Red Sox are unquestionably better – miles and kilometers and even light-years better – than they were during the dismal years of 2014 and 2015, but the question that lingers, like a heavy scent of garlic, is whether this year’s pitching staff, which looks depressingly similar to last year’s pitching staff except at the very beginning (David Price), the middle (where else would you put Drew Pomeranz?) and at the very end (Craig Kimbrel), is really and truly enough improved to make this year’s iteration of the Olde Towne Team a real contender as opposed to a mere pretender. At the moment, the needle is leaning slightly on the pretender side of the cosmic scale, but there remains enough baseball left in this season that a contender could yet emerge from the erratic and distaff patterns that have thus far characterized the Red Sox season.
Topics: Red Sox
The Treasury no doubt felt that it could chalk one up in the win column early in April 2016 when, following its release of a veritable carpet bombing of new regulations designed to blow up inversion transactions, the primary target, Pfizer Inc., chose to wave the white flag and cancel—at least for the time being—its efforts to merge with Allergan PLC.
Once upon a time, the United States federal income tax laws were largely about determining your federal taxable income and then calculating and paying the appropriate amount of income tax. How quaintly old-fashioned that era seems today.
Increasingly, the IRS is interested in much more than just your income taxes (although you still need to pay your taxes, too). These days, the IRS is also busy chasing a wide range of information, which is required to be reported timely on a remarkable – and often redundant – array of IRS returns. Typically, these returns demand stunningly detailed information covering a broad array of business and personal activities and assets.