Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tax Tips For Students With Summer Jobs



Here are some tips students should know about summer jobs and taxes:




  • Withholding and Estimated Tax.  If you are an employee, your employer withholds tax from your paychecks. If you are self-employed, you may have to pay estimated tax directly to the IRS on set dates during the year. This is how our pay-as-you-go tax system works.
  • New Employees.  When you get a new job, you will need to fill out a Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. Employers use it to figure how much federal income tax to withhold from your pay. The IRS Withholding Calculator tool on IRS.gov can help you fill out the form.
  • Self-Employment.  Money you earn doing work for others is taxable. Some work you do may count as self-employment. These can be jobs like baby-sitting or lawn care. Keep good records of your income and expenses related to your work. You may be able to deduct (subtract) those costs from your income on your tax return. A deduction can cut taxes.
  • Tip Income.  All tip income is taxable. Keep a daily log to report them. You must report $20 or more in cash tips in any one month to your employer. And you must report all of your yearly tips on your tax return.
  • Payroll Taxes.  You may earn too little from your summer job to owe income tax. But your employer usually must withhold social security and Medicare taxes from your pay. If you’re self-employed, you may have to pay them yourself. They count for your coverage under the Social Security system.
  • Newspaper Carriers.  Special rules apply to a newspaper carrier or distributor. If you meet certain conditions, you are self-employed. If you do not meet those conditions, and are under age 18, you may be exempt from social security and Medicare taxes.
  • ROTC Pay.  If you’re in ROTC, active duty pay, such as pay you get for summer camp, is taxable. A subsistence allowance you get while in advanced training is not taxable.
  • Use IRS Free File.  You can prepare and e-file your tax return for free using IRS Free File. It is only available on IRS.gov. You may not earn enough money to be required to file a federal tax return. Even if that is true, you may still want to file. For example, if your employer withheld income tax from your pay, you will have to file a return to get a tax refund.
Visit IRS.gov for more about the tax rules for students.
Additional IRS Resources:
IRS YouTube Videos:
IRS Podcasts:

For help with your legal needs contact a business, tax, and health care law attorney at the offices of AttorneyBritt.

Review-Like-Follow AttorneyBritt On:

Review-Like-Follow Us On Twitter Review-Like-Follow Us On Google-Plus Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn Review-Like-Follow Us On Yelp Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn

Applicable Federal Rates Published


Revenue Ruling 2015-15 provides various prescribed rates for federal income tax purposes including the applicable federal interest rates, the adjusted applicable federal interest rates, the adjusted federal long-term rate, the adjusted federal long-term tax-exempt rate.

These rates are determined as prescribed by § 1274.
The rates are published monthly for purposes of sections 42, 382, 412, 1288, 1274, 7520, 7872, and various other sections of the Internal Revenue Code.
Revenue Ruling 2015-15 will be in IRB 2015- 27, dated July 6, 2015.


For help with your legal needs contact a business, tax, and health care law attorney at the offices of AttorneyBritt.

Review-Like-Follow AttorneyBritt On:

Review-Like-Follow Us On Twitter Review-Like-Follow Us On Google-Plus Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn Review-Like-Follow Us On Yelp Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn

Monday, June 29, 2015

Federal And State Tax And Estate Planning Benefits Now Extended To Same Sex Couples

Here is a brief summary of some of the tax and estate planning benefits now available to same sex couples in all states.

Income taxes. Married same-sex couples can now file joint state income tax returns, which typically leads to a lower tax liability than filing two individual returns. This applies retroactively to open year tax returns, so couples who were married out-of-state should file for refunds for past years. And going forward, including for 2014 on extension, same-sex couples should consider filing joint returns.

Gifting. A big advantage of married status is that you can make unlimited gifts to your spouse without worrying about federal or state gift taxes. This will help same-sex couples who have been stuck with federal gift tax bills when they’ve bought a house. Now if a same-sex couple buys a house together, even if they put in different amounts towards the purchase price, they can have joint 50-50 ownership of the house with no gift tax consequences.

Estate planning. The spousal exclusion is a basic estate planning principle that allows spouses to leave one another property without paying estate taxes at the first death. The Supreme Court in Windsor extended that federal right to same-sex couples. Now Obergefell extends that spousal exclusion right at the state level. Married same-sex couples will also have the right to inherit property under a state’s intestacy statute that kicks in if there’s no will. The issue of where same-sex couples can get a divorce is now off the table. Until now, couples who wanted a divorce didn’t necessarily have access in their own states to bring a divorce action. Now there’s a fundamental right to a divorce in every state, Pearl says. That will help spouses fighting for support rights.

Divorce. The issue of where same-sex couples can get a divorce is now off the table. Until now, couples who wanted a divorce didn’t necessarily have access in their own states to bring a divorce action. Now there’s a fundamental right to a divorce in every state, Pearl says. That will help spouses fighting for support rights.

IRA rollovers. Same-sex couples who marry now that’s it’s allowed in all states should double check their IRA beneficiary designation forms. If a spouse inherits an Individual Retirement Account, there’s a special spousal rollover provision that lets a surviving spouse delay taking distributions until age 70.5 and stretch out tax deferred payments over the survivor’s lifetime. That saves federal and state income taxes.

Hospital visits. Something as basic as the right to visit a spouse in a hospital is now certain for same-sex married couples—whether they are at home or traveling out-of-state.

Health benefits. In states that denied same-sex marriage, fully-insured medical plans could deny coverage to same-sex spouses. Now fully-insured medical plans will likely now be required to cover same-sex spouses. Self-insured medical plans can arguably continue to exclude same-sex spouses from coverage, but would be at risk of challenges under sex discrimination laws, says Todd Solomon, an employee benefits lawyer at McDermott Will & Emery in Chicago. And same-sex couples should get a tax break everyone else enjoys: Same-sex spousal health benefits will no longer be taxed at the state level.

Sourced From Forbes Magazine

For help with your legal needs contact a business, tax, and health care law attorney at the offices of AttorneyBritt.

Review-Like-Follow AttorneyBritt On:

Review-Like-Follow Us On Twitter Review-Like-Follow Us On Google-Plus Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn Review-Like-Follow Us On Yelp Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn

Business Owners Make Sure Your Advertising Statements Of Fact Are Truthful

Consumers should be skeptical of those free apps that promise something for nothing as this recent FTC case illustrates.

Business owners need to remember to make sure the claims about a product which are presented as statements of fact, such as "malware free", "spyware free", etc. are truthful to avoid claims of deceptive practices from the FTC and State government authorities.

Statements of fact in an advertisement for a product or service are treated differently from statements of opinion.  Opinion statements are things such as "the best app of its type available today" or "most appealing backgrounds" or "easiest to use". 

The marketers of the Prized app promised people points for playing games, taking surveys, and downloading other apps. Consumers were told they could redeem those points for clothes, accessories, and gift cards. But what was really going on? The app uploaded malicious code onto people’s mobile devices so the defendants could use the phones’ computing resources to help mine virtual currencies like Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Quarkcoin – for the defendants’ benefit, of course.


The injury to consumers was apparent. The behind-the-scenes mining drained many people’s data plans, sapped battery power, and caused their devices to charge slowly. Add to that the time and aggravation it took to remove the malware. The defendants inflicted that on users despite an express promise in the app’s terms of use that “any computer software code and/or advertising tags loaded on an end users’ device by Prized are and will be free of malware, spyware, time bombs, and viruses.” Oh, and did we mention that many consumers didn’t even get the promised prizes?

The complaint charged that the "free of malware" statement in the terms of use was false, in violation of the FTC Act. It also constituted a misrepresentation, false promise, or omission of material fact under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.
In addition, the FTC alleged that infecting and taking control of consumers’ devices was an unfair practice. New Jersey challenged those actions as “unconscionable commercial practices.”

The settlement, which names Ohio-based Equiliv Investments and Ryan Ramminger, prohibits material misrepresentations in connection with the marketing or sale of mobile apps or software, and bans software that damages or disables people’s devices or accesses them without authorization. Using people’s devices to mine for virtual currency? The order prohibits that, of course. The settlement with New Jersey also includes a financial remedy.

What’s the message for other marketers? First, virtual currencies may be relatively new, but the unfair and deceptive practices alleged in the complaint are covered by the well-established standards of the FTC Act. Second, just because an app is free doesn’t mean marketers are free to mislead consumers. Third, consent to access a device for one purpose isn’t a “make yourself at home” invitation to use it for other purposes without consumers' approval.

Original article at FTC.gov

For help with your legal needs contact a business, tax, and health care law attorney at the offices of AttorneyBritt.

Review-Like-Follow AttorneyBritt On:

Review-Like-Follow Us On Twitter Review-Like-Follow Us On Google-Plus Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn Review-Like-Follow Us On Yelp Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn

Some Federal Tax Issues Associated With Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has become a popular way to raise capital in a broad range of fields. 

The tax treatment of the contributions is not always clear, and the IRS has yet to directly rule on the subject.

This blog post examines a number of the federal tax questions that may arise for both the contributor and the recipient. 

Background. Crowdfunding is a way, typically on the Internet, for individuals and entities to tap into communal funding for a wide variety of projects, from community development to supporting artist and software innovation. Initially, crowdfunding was largely used by musicians, film makers, and other creative types to raise small sums of money for projects that likely wouldn't make money. But, while still a relatively new way to raise funds, its impact is growing—in some cases, becoming an alternative to venture capital.

While crowdfunding allows an entrepreneur to obtain proceeds for a specific project, what those giving the money get varies considerably depending on how the program is structured. Sometimes those contributing to a crowdfund get absolutely nothing in return except the personal satisfaction of helping launch a cause or participate in creating an innovation that they believe in. Often those contributing or pledging to a campaign are offered "rewards" such as cups with logo, tee shirts, tickets to an event, or CDs. Or they might receive the right to have their contribution repaid with interest if the campaign is financially successful. Or they might receive an equity interest in the endeavor, i.e., a piece of the future profits.

Are contributions reported to IRS? The first question that might be asked is whether IRS tracks such crowdfunding payments. Code Sec. 6050W requires information reporting for certain payments made in settlement of payment card (e.g., a credit card) and third party network transactions (e.g., PayPal). Thus, any payment settlement entity making payment to a participating payee in settlement of reportable payment transactions (generally, any payment card transaction and any third party network transaction) must make a return for each calendar year to be filed with IRS, and furnish a statement to the participating payee (Form 1099-K), that sets out the gross amount of the reportable payment transactions as well as the name, address, and taxpayer identification number (TIN) of the participating payees. However, a de minimis rule exempts a third party from reporting of third party network transactions of any participating payee if the aggregate payments to the payee by the third party for the calendar year do not exceed $ 20,000 or if the aggregate number of transactions between the third party and the payee that would otherwise be reportable does not exceed 200 within the calendar year.
Are the contributions income to the recipient? Code Sec. 61(a)(1) defines gross income as "all income from whatever source derived." This definition is construed broadly and extends to all accessions to wealth over which the taxpayer has complete control. As the Supreme Court explained, a gain "constitutes taxable income when its recipient has such control over it that, as a practical matter, he derives readily realizable economic value from it." (Commissioner v. Glenshaw Glass Co., (Sup Ct 1955) 47 AFTR 16247 AFTR 162)

  • Thus, any receipt of funds or property by a taxpayer—such as crowdfunding contributions—is presumed to be gross income unless the taxpayer can demonstrate that the income fits into one of the narrowly construed exclusions provided by law. One of those exceptions is where the amount received was a gift.
Are amounts received by the recipient a nontaxable gift? Under Code Sec. 102, the value of property acquired by gift is excluded from the recipient's gross income. Under the Supreme Court's well known holding in Comm. v. Duberstein, (S Ct, 1960) 5 AFTR 2d 16265 AFTR 2d 1626, the value of property acquired by gift is excluded if it: comes from a detached and disinterested generosity; is made out of affection, respect, admiration, charity or like impulses; is not made from any moral or legal duty, nor from the incentive of anticipated benefit of an economic nature; and is not in return for services rendered. Recipients may exclude payments that they receive under Code Sec. 102 if they meet the Duberstein standard.

  • Thus, on one side of the spectrum are payments made without the donor receiving an economic or other consideration, while on the other are payments from ordinary business or commercial transactions. Accordingly, if there is a quid pro quo in which the donor receives a tangible economic benefit in return for his contribution, then there isn't a gift. 
  • RIA observation: If the donor receives a particular "reward" for his contribution, does he receive an economic incentive that would negate a gift? Or is the benefit that the donor receives so inconsequential or insubstantial as to be ignored? While not strictly applicable, the rules on when a donor making a contribution to a tax-exempt charity can receive a benefit and still deduct the contribution in full may be helpful. They apply when: (1) the fair market value (FMV) of all benefits received in connection with the contribution isn't more than 2% of the contribution, or $105 for 2015, if less; or (2) the contribution is at least $52.50 for 2015, and in connection with it the donor receives only token benefits (bookmarks, calendars, mugs, posters, tee shirts, etc.) generally costing no more than $10.50 for 2015; or (3) the charity mails or otherwise distributes free, unordered items to patrons.
 Other Questions Include:
Are amounts given subject to the gift tax?

Can expenses in a crowdfunded project be deducted?
Full Article From: Checkpoint® Newsstand



For help with your legal needs contact a business, tax, and health care law attorney at the offices of AttorneyBritt.

Review-Like-Follow AttorneyBritt On:

Review-Like-Follow Us On Twitter Review-Like-Follow Us On Google-Plus Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn Review-Like-Follow Us On Yelp Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn

Monday, June 15, 2015

Summer Day Camps And The Child And Dependent Care Tax Credit


Day camps are common during the summer months. Many parents pay for them for their children while they work or look for work. If this applies to you, your costs may qualify for a federal tax credit that can lower your taxes. 

Here are the top ten tips to know about the Child and Dependent Care Credit:
  1. Care for Qualifying Persons. Your expenses must be for the care of one or more qualifying persons. Your dependent child or children under age 13 usually qualify. For more about this rule see Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses.
  2. Work-related Expenses. Your expenses for care must be work-related. This means that you must pay for the care so you can work or look for work. This rule also applies to your spouse if you file a joint return. Your spouse meets this rule during any month they are a full-time student. They also meet it if they’re physically or mentally incapable of self-care.
  3. Earned Income Required. You must have earned income, such as from wages, salaries and tips. It also includes net earnings from self-employment. Your spouse must also have earned income if you file jointly. Your spouse is treated as having earned income for any month that they are a full-time student or incapable of self-care. This rule also applies to you if you file a joint return. Refer to Publication 503 for more details.
  4. Joint Return if Married. Generally, married couples must file a joint return. You can still take the credit, however, if you are legally separated or living apart from your spouse.
  5. Type of Care. You may qualify for it whether you pay for care at home, at a daycare facility or at a day camp.
  6. Credit Amount. The credit is worth between 20 and 35 percent of your allowable expenses. The percentage depends on the amount of your income.
  7. Expense Limits. The total expense that you can use in a year is limited. The limit is $3,000 for one qualifying person or $6,000 for two or more.
  8. Certain Care Does Not Qualify. You may not include the cost of certain types of care for the tax credit, including:
  • Overnight camps or summer school tutoring costs.
  • Care provided by your spouse or your child who is under age 19 at the end of the year.
  • Care given by a person you can claim as your dependent.
  1. Keep Records and Receipts. Keep all your receipts and records for when you file your tax return next year. You will need the name, address and taxpayer identification number of the care provider. You must report this information when you claim the credit on Form 2441, Child and Dependent Care Expenses.
  2. Dependent Care Benefits. Special rules apply if you get dependent care benefits from your employer. See Publication 503 for more on this topic.

Remember that this credit is not just a summer tax benefit. You may be able to claim it for qualifying care that you pay for at any time during the year.

Additional IRS Resources:
IRS YouTube Videos:
Summer Day Camp Expenses - English | Spanish | ASL

For help with your legal needs contact a business, tax, and health care law attorney at the offices of AttorneyBritt.

Review-Like-Follow AttorneyBritt On:

Review-Like-Follow Us On Twitter Review-Like-Follow Us On Google-Plus Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn Review-Like-Follow Us On Yelp Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Don’t Miss Filing Deadlines Related To Foreign Income And Assets

All U.S. citizens and residents must report worldwide income on their federal income tax return. 

If you lived outside the U.S. on the regular due date of your tax return, the extended filing deadline for your 2014 tax return is Monday, June 15, 2015.

Similarly, the deadline to report interests in certain foreign financial accounts is the end of June.

Here are some important tips to know if these reporting rules apply to you:

• FATCA Requirements.  FATCA refers to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. In general, federal law requires U.S. citizens and resident aliens to report any worldwide income. You must report the existence of and income from foreign accounts. This includes foreign trusts, banks and securities accounts. In most cases you must report the country where each account is located. To do this file Schedule B, Interest and Ordinary Dividends with your tax return.

You may also have to file Form 8938, Statement of Special Foreign Financial Assets with your tax return. Use the form to report specified foreign financial assets if the aggregate value of those assets exceeds certain thresholds. See the form instructions for details.

• FBAR Requirements.  FBAR refers to Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts. If you must file this form you file it with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN. FinCEN is a bureau of the Treasury Department. You generally must file the form if you had an interest in foreign financial accounts whose aggregate value exceeded $10,000 at any time during 2014. This also applies if you had signature or other authority over those accounts. You must file Form 114 electronically. It is available online through the BSA E-Filing System website. The FBAR filing requirement is not part of filing a tax return. The deadline to file Form 114 is June 30.

• View the IRS Webinar.  You can get help and learn about FBAR rules by watching the IRS webinar on this topic. The title is “Reporting of Foreign Financial Accounts on the Electronic FBAR.” The presentation is one hour long. You can find it by entering “FBAR” in the search box of the IRS Video Portal home page. Topics include:

o FBAR legal authorities
o FBAR mandatory e-filing overview
o Using FinCEN Form 114; and Form 114a
o FBAR filing requirements
o FBAR filing exceptions
o Special filing rules
o Recordkeeping
o Administrative guidance

You can access IRS forms, videos and tools on IRS.gov at any time.
Additional IRS resources:
IRS YouTube Videos – International Taxpayers:

For help with your legal needs contact a business, tax, and health care law attorney at the offices of AttorneyBritt.

Review-Like-Follow AttorneyBritt On:

Review-Like-Follow Us On Twitter Review-Like-Follow Us On Google-Plus Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn Review-Like-Follow Us On Yelp Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn

Will The Republican Sellout Of The Voters Who Put Them In Office Ever Stop??


I'm beginning to think the answer to the above question is a big fat NO !! 


The GOP is trying to ram this super secret unread legislation through Congress.  This secret unread Obamatrade legislation will:

  • Enable Obama to continue to take actions to harm and destroy our country;  Such as huge increases in legal immigration of more workers to take jobs away from the persons, citizens, legal immigrants, and illegal immigrants already here in the USA.  Thereby depressing wages and middle and lower class incomes even more; and
  • Keep the huge global corporate lobbyist dollars flowing into the pockets of GOP RINO leadership.  

The GOP RINO leadership doesn't give a two cents about mainstreet, middle class, and small businesses.  The sellout on immigration and Obamacare continues with this new super secret can't know what is in it legislation.  Now the sellout takes the form of the super secret got to pass it to know what is in it Obamatrade deals.

This stinks to high heaven.  Call your congressman NOW !!  Boehner and his cronies are going to try and ram this through congress on Friday !!!!!  Time is short.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Online Resources For USA Expatriate Taxpayers Living Abroad


By law, Americans living abroad, as well as many non-U.S. citizens, must file a U.S. income tax return. In addition, key tax benefits, such as the foreign earned income exclusion, are only available to those who file a U.S. return.


The Internal Revenue Service is launching three new online videos and expanding other online resources designed to help taxpayers, especially those living abroad, meet their U.S. tax obligations.
 
These online resources are designed to help affected taxpayers understand how these rules apply to them.

Three new videos are now available on the IRS YouTube page, and several more of interest to taxpayers abroad will be released in coming weeks. Now available are:
Upcoming videos will deal with the foreign tax credit, filing status for a U.S. taxpayer married to a foreign spouse and an introduction to the IRS web site for international taxpayers.

The IRS has also added two new international tax topics to Tax Trails, the agency’s interactive online tool that helps taxpayers get answers to their general tax questions.

The new topics are:
The International Taxpayers page on IRS.gov is packed with information designed to help taxpayers living abroad, resident aliens, nonresident aliens, residents of U.S. territories and foreign students. Among other things, the web site features a directory of overseas tax preparers.

In addition, the IRS uses a variety of social media tools to share the latest tax information with interested taxpayers both in the United States and around the world. These include the IRS2Go phone application, YouTube, Tumblr and Twitter. A listing of IRS social media tools is available on IRS.gov.

To protect taxpayer privacy, the IRS only uses social media tools to share public information, not to answer personal tax or account questions. It advises taxpayers to never post confidential information, like a Social Security number, on social media sites.

Reminder
Federal law requires U.S. citizens and resident aliens to report any worldwide income, including income from foreign trusts and foreign bank and securities accounts. In most cases, affected taxpayers need to complete and attach Schedule B to their tax return. Part III of Schedule B asks about the existence of foreign accounts, such as bank and securities accounts, and usually requires U.S. citizens to report the country in which each account is located.

In addition, certain taxpayers may also have to complete and attach to their return Form 8938, Statement of Foreign Financial Assets.  Generally, U.S. citizens, resident aliens and certain non-resident aliens must report specified foreign financial assets on this form if the aggregate value of those assets exceeds certain thresholds. See the instructions for Form 8938.

Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) certain U.S. taxpayers holding financial assets outside the United States must report those assets to the IRS on Form 8938. Reporting thresholds vary based on whether a taxpayer files a joint income tax return or lives abroad. See Form 8938 instructions for more. 

For help with your legal needs contact a business, tax, and health care law attorney at the offices of AttorneyBritt.

Review-Like-Follow AttorneyBritt On:

Review-Like-Follow Us On Twitter Review-Like-Follow Us On Google-Plus Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn Review-Like-Follow Us On Yelp Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn