Articles by Ken Berry

Tax

IRS Simplifies Tax-Exempt Applications for Small Nonprofits

As investigations continue into the "Tea Party scandal" involving applications for tax-exempt status, the IRS is releasing a new, simpler Form 1023-EZ.
Tax

Presidential Tax Return: Obama Gets Hit by Obamacare

The Obamas squeezed under the bar for the highest marginal tax rate on their federal tax return. But they couldn't dodge the new 3.8 percent Medicare surtax.
Tax

Senate Takes a Fresh Look at 'Dead' Tax Breaks

Senate Finance Committee proposes new tax extender legislation—do the provisions have a chance?
Tax

IRS Updates FAQs For Same-Sex Couples

Check the recently updated official word on the complex regs for same-sex marriages.
Practice Management

ID Theft at IRS: Could Your Firm Be Next?

If someone can walk out of the IRS with personal information on 20,000 people, they can do it at your firm.
Practice Management

Take Cover Against Tax Season Violence

Be prepared: Angry taxpayers may be coming to get you. Tax season is bringing out the worst in people.
Tax

Lois Lerner Steps Up in IRS Scandal

The former IRS manager now faces a withering new House report, which releases embarrassing e-mails.
Tax

IRS Is Handing Out Bigger Refunds This Year

Tax refunds are up, as the IRS computers pull the Service ahead of last year's numbers.
Tax

TIGTA Says IRS Needs to Upgrade Travel Procedures

In a new report released yesterday, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) says some IRS executives have been dodging taxes on travel excursions.
Tax

IRS to Taxpayers: Hang Up the Phone

Typically, Presidents Day week is “prime time” for taxpayers to call the IRS with questions about filing returns and related issues. But because of government budget cutbacks that may result in longer call wait times, the IRS is asking taxpayers to use its website and other online tools instead to find answers to their questions.
Tax

Legislation to Exempt US Olympic Medalists from Tax Comes Out Right on Cue

Shortly before the Winter Olympics in Sochi got underway, Representative Blake Farenthold (R-TX) reintroduced legislation, the Tax Exemptions for American Medalists (TEAM) Act, that would provide tax exemptions to American athletes who win medals in the Olympics.
Practice

Obamacare Shocker: Mandate Delayed Again for Some Employers

On February 10, the US Treasury Department issued new final regulations pertaining to the employer mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. But the government dropped a bombshell in the new regulations: It postponed the start date of the employer mandate for certain employers to 2016 – the second extension approved in less than a year.
Tax

IRS Releases Version 4.0 of Mobile App

It might take slightly longer for taxpayers to get their tax refunds from the IRS this year, but at least they can do a better job of tracking the progress on their smartphones.
Practice

New Kid on the Block: The ‘MyRA’

A new type of retirement account, "MyRA," which President Obama proposed during his 2014 State of the Union address on January 28 and authorized the creation of yesterday, is intended to encourage retirement savings by workers who currently aren’t participating in an employer-sponsored retirement plan.
Tax

New Medicare Surtax Form Makes Its Debut

With just a few scant days until the official start of tax-filing season, the IRS approved a final draft of new Form 8960, "Net Investment Income Tax—Individuals, Estates, and Trusts." This form will be used to compute the new 3.8 percent Medicare surtax on net investment income on 2013 federal income tax returns.
Tax

IRS Proposes Regs on Obamacare Penalties for Individuals

At long last, the much-publicized health insurance mandate for individuals went into effect on January 1. Now, less than a month later, the IRS has issued new proposed regulations governing the penalties for noncompliance.
Tax

Ex-IRS Worker Admits to Stealing $1.7 Million in Fake Refunds

Monica Nanette Hernandez, a former IRS data clerk, pleaded guilty on January 21 to one count of aggravated identity theft, one count of filing false income tax returns, and one count of wire fraud. She will be sentenced on April 14.
Tax

Tax-Evading Toymaker Gets Slap on the Wrist

Billionaire H. Ty Warner, the sixty-nine-year-old founder of the Beanie Baby franchise, could have been sent to federal prison for five years for tax evasion. Instead, a US district court judge in Chicago treated the toy magnate with kid gloves.
Tax

National Taxpayer Advocate Wants Taxpayer Bill of Rights

It’s not exactly the rallying cry of “no taxation without representation,” but National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson has called on the IRS to adopt a comprehensive new Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
Technology

AICPA Calculator Adds Up Twenty Tax Burdens

The American Institute of CPAs has unveiled a new version of its Total Tax Insights calculator just before the start of income tax-filing season. The calculator, which can help taxpayers gauge the impact of twenty different taxes, reflects data applicable in 2013.

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