The Internal Revenue Service announced that taxpayers will have an extra three days to file and pay their taxes this 2011 Tax Season. The Service explained that the extension is due because Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in the District of Columbia, falls this year on Friday, April 15. By law, District of Columbia holidays impact tax deadlines in the same way that federal holidays do. Further, taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Oct. 17 to file their 2010 tax returns.


Pop Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Tax Cheats?

by Joshua on December 15, 2010

As I continue to find things to distract me while studying for my remaining LL.M. Tax finals, I came across this humorous quiz on Howstuffworks. Enjoy. I look forward to being able to post more frequently once finals are over.


Jump Ball: Lamar Odom v. IRS

by Joshua on November 10, 2010

Lamar Odom, the 6- foot-10 Los Angeles Lakers forward, is challenging his IRS bill, arguing that certain expenses he deducted are related to his work as a professional athlete and therefore are “ordinary and necessary expenses” paid in carrying on a trade or business which are deducible. Specifically, Odom sought to deduct expenses associated with fines handed down from the National¬† Basketball Association (NBA). Odom also claimed expenses incurred in training and conditioning arguing that his contract with the Lakers requires him to be in sufficient physical condition. The IRS views these expenses as personal, rather than business expenses, and therefore not deductible.

The fines for which Odom is arguing should be deducible are not excluded from the regulations pertaining to the deductibility of fines and penalties. See Reg. 1.162-21. Therefore, this case likely turn on whether these expenses are truly personal in nature, or incurred in connection with Odom’s “trade” as a professional athlete.

Forbes, Lamar Odom Seeks Tax Deduction For NBA Fines and Fitness Fees


Dirty Dozen – The IRS Version

by Joshua on March 16, 2010

Today the IRS issued its 2010 “dirty dozen” list of tax scams. The “dozen” common schemes the IRS urges taxpayers to be wary of are:

1. Return Preparer Fraud

2. Hiding Income Offshore

3. Phishing

4. Filing False or Misleading Forms

5. Nontaxable Social Security Benefits with Exaggerated Withholding Credit

6. Abuse of Charitable Organizations and Deductions

7. Frivolous Arguments

8. Abusive Retirement Plans

9. Disguised Corporate Ownership

10. Zero Wages

11. Misuse of Trusts

12. Fuel Tax Credit Scams

For more information regarding the “2010 Dirty Dozen” visit the IRS release at the link below and watch the IRS video clip in this post.

2010 Dirty Dozen


3 Things the 2009 IRS Data Book Indicates

by Joshua on March 15, 2010

As recently reported, the IRS has issued its annual data book, which provides statistical data on its 2009 fiscal year activities. Here are three observations from the data book:

1. Passthrough entities are growing in popularity. The number of partnership tax returns (Form 1065) increased by 7.8% and the number of S corporation returns (Form 1120S) grew by 1.3%. However, the number of C and other corporate returns dropped by nearly 2.5%.

2. Most 2008 math errors on individual returns were attributable to the recovery rebate credit. The IRS sent out nearly 13.5 million math error notices relating to 2008 individual tax returns. Close to 75% of the math error notices were attributable to the section 6428 recovery rebate credit which provided a refundable recovery rebate credit to an individual (not a nonresident individual, an individual who could be a dependent or an estate or trust).

3. Failure to pay was the top penalty assessed. For individuals, nearly 55% of the 26.387 million civil penalties were for failure to pay. For businesses, 55.8% of the 970,098 civil penalty assessments were for failure to pay or underpayment of estimated taxes.

There is plenty of other useful data contained within the 2009 IRS Data Book. The link to access the report is below.
2009 Data Book


The IRS has posted a compiled list of fact sheets, tax tips, videos, news releases, and podcasts pertaining to Tax Season 2010.  Below is the link to the page.

Tax Season 2010


In recently released IR-2010-25, the IRS states that it has made an administrative determination to accept the position that medical residents are excepted from FICA taxes under the student exception for tax periods ending before April 1, 2005. This period is before the new IRS regulation became effective.

The release also states that the IRS will begin contacting hospitals, universities, and medical residents who filed FICA (Social Security and Medicare tax) refund claims with more information and procedures within 90 days.

Below is a link to the release which has a Question and Answers reference and link to latest regulations.

IR-2010-25, March 2, 2010


This video, produced by the IRS, explains what to do if you haven’t filed a tax return in a few years.


Calendars, bobble heads, t-shirts, hats, baseball bats, and ponchos are a few examples of items that home teams will give to fans on game nights. On March 5, 2010, the New Jersey Nets are teaming up with the Roni Deutch Tax Center to provide New Jersey residents 18 years and older who attend the New Jersey Nets-Orlando Magic game at the Izod Center with a coupon for preparation of a free state tax return.

Further, the Roni Deutch Tax Center will have representatives on site at “Nets Tax Night” on March 5 to answer questions relating to taxes prior to and during the game. Nets fans who attend home games other than the March 5 game will receive a $50 off tax preparation coupon in the Nets game program redeemable at a Roni Deutch Tax Center in Hackensack, Bergenfield, and Fair Lawn.

New Jersey Nets Press Release


What to do when you receive an IRS notice

by Joshua on February 25, 2010

This is an informational video put together by the IRS on what to do when you receive a notice.