Monday, November 24, 2014

Hoarding: How Does It Affect You?

We are all affected by hoarders. Some of us more directly than others.

Almost everybody has an "Uncle Charlie" in their family who has been collecting things forever. Is he a hoarder? Does he need help? If he does need help, how can you help him? 

Even if you don't have a direct connection to a hoarder, you can be affected...

  • If your town has to condemn the property of a hoarder, it will cost the town $40,000 (i.e., your tax money at work).
  • If there is a fire in the home of a hoarder, the first responders are at greater risk of injury or death due to quick-burning rubbish, toxic fumes, and the fact that the towering piles of these items could fall on a first responder and trap or injure him/her.
  • There is an increased mold and infestation potential at the home of a hoarder.

Monday, November 17, 2014

IRS Taxpayer Bill of Rights

The IRS recently adopted a “Taxpayer Bill of Rights.” These rights already exist in the tax code, but this initiative is intended to consolidate those rights into more straightforward categories to improve taxpayers' understanding of what rights they have before the IRS.

The provisions included in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights are:

1. The Right to Be Informed
2. The Right to Quality Service
3. The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax
4. The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard
5. The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum
6. The Right to Finality
7. The Right to Privacy
8. The Right to Confidentiality
9. The Right to Retain Representation
10. The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System

This list, along with explanations of each right, can be found here.

A publication containing the above information, “Your Rights as a Taxpayer,” will be sent to millions of taxpayers with the IRS notices this year, and will also be publicly visible at all IRS facilities.

Monday, November 10, 2014

1031 Exchanges

Often clients will come to us wanting to sell a property, but feel trapped by the high capital gains taxes that they would incur by selling.

We have the pleasure of informing these clients that there is a special rule in the Internal Revenue Code that will allow them to defer capital gains by making a “1031 Exchange.” This allows the client to sell without having to deal with the tax implications immediately. (Under the right facts, the client may never have to deal with Capital Gains Taxes.)