Monday, December 15, 2014

Post-Appeals Mediation For Offers in Compromise Available Nationwide

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service is releasing a revenue procedure today providing rules for the nationwide rollout of post-Appeals mediation for Offer in Compromise (OIC) and Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) cases. The IRS Office of Appeals originally launched post-Appeals mediation for OIC and TFRP cases as a pilot program available in certain cities in December 2008.

Post-Appeals mediation is available to help resolve disputes after unsuccessful negotiations with the IRS Office of Appeals and is available for both factual and legal issues. The mediator’s role is to assist the parties in reaching their own agreement collaboratively, but the mediator does not have settlement authority over any issue. Appeals Officers trained in mediation techniques will serve as mediators at no cost to taxpayers. Taxpayers also have the option of paying for a qualified non-IRS co-mediator.

Taxpayers or the IRS Office of Appeals may request nonbinding mediation for eligible cases, but the taxpayer may decline the IRS Office of Appeal’s request for mediation. The goal is to complete the process within 90 days after the mediation request is approved.

Eligibility criteria and complete procedures for initiating a post-Appeals mediation request for both examination and collection issues are in Revenue Procedure 2014-63, which will be published in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2014-53 on Dec. 29, 2014.
For more information on post-Appeals mediation for OIC and TFRP cases, please visit the Appeals Mediation Programs webpage available on

For help with your income, estate, and gift taxes contact a tax law and business lawyer at AttorneyBritt.

New Standard Mileage Rates Now Available; Business Rate to Rise in 2015

IR-2014-114, Dec. 10, 2014 — WASHINGTON

The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2015 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be:
  • 57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, up from 56 cents in 2014
  • 23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down half a cent from 2014  
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile, including depreciation, insurance, repairs, tires, maintenance, gas and oil. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs, such as gas and oil. The charitable rate is set by law.

Taxpayers always have the option of claiming deductions based on the actual costs of using a vehicle rather than the standard mileage rates.

A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after claiming accelerated depreciation, including the Section 179 expense deduction, on that vehicle. Likewise, the standard rate is not available to fleet owners (more than four vehicles used simultaneously). Details on these and other special rules are in Revenue Procedure 2010-51, the instructions to Form 1040 and various online IRS publications including Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax.

Besides the standard mileage rates, Notice 2014-79, posted today on, also includes the basis reduction amounts for those choosing the business standard mileage rate, as well as the maximum standard automobile cost that may be used in computing an allowance under a fixed and variable rate plan.

For help with your income, estate, and gift taxes contact a tax law and business lawyer at AttorneyBritt.

Deloitte's 2015 Commercial Real Estate Outlook

As we look forward to 2015, the macroeconomic environ- ment is expected to continue to improve. Our Deloitte Economics team expects positive change in important parameters such as job market indicators, including initial claims, unemployment rates, and job openings. Car sales remain strong, industrial production is accelerating, and exports are growing. The single-family housing sector — pricing and sales — continues to strengthen, albeit at a slow and inconsistent pace. These positive macroeconomic parameters could potentially provide a further boost to the strengthening CRE recovery. Looking at trends likely to dominate in 2015, to begin with, an improved economy will continue to bolster global investments in U.S. CRE. REITs are likely to continue to offer positive returns against benchmark indices, and investors will benefit from additional diversification opportunities from the growing number of REIT conversions in nontra- ditional property sectors. The private equity real estate (PERE) funds appear to be having more success raising new capital and have increased opportunity to recycle capital due to higher property prices. Therefore, both domestic and foreign capital inflow will continue.

Read the full article here.

For help with your real estate law needs contact a real estate and business lawyer at AttorneyBritt.

Ahmed Arbery Murder Trial Defendants Try To Claim Defense Of Citizens Arrest

Ahmed Arbery, was a man killed by two residents of a subdivision in a South Georgia community. The focus of this comment is strictly lim...