Content by Julian Block

on 12/16/14
Question: The IRS contends that I filed fraudulent returns. So the feds have billed me for back taxes and nondeductible interest charges. To really twist the knife, they want to...
on 12/11/14
The IRS is unyielding when writers and scientists, among others, receive awards of money or property in recognition of their journalistic or literary achievements. They owe income taxes on their...
on 12/04/14
For 2014, there’s still a zero-percent rate for dividends and long-term capital gains received by individuals in the two bottom brackets of 10 and 15 percent—taxable income below $73,800...
on 12/02/14
Do you assist in the support of someone who’s partly self-sufficient, such as a retired parent or other relative who receives Social Security benefits or funds from other sources? Then you need...
on 11/25/14
The exemptions for dependents that you claim on your Form 1040 provide a slightly better break this year. They’re indexed, meaning adjusted to reflect inflation. For 2014, each exemption lowers...
on 11/17/14
Do you contribute toward the support of another household that includes two or more relatives, such as your father and mother? An IRS ruling provides an easy way for you to arrange support...
on 11/04/14
The Tax Reform Act of 1986 introduced the complicated "kiddie tax" rules. They drastically restricted the ability of higher-bracket parents and grandparents to shift investment income from...
on 10/30/14
For many individuals, a key part of their investment and estate planning is to write yearend checks for gifts to family members. The following reminders will help put your tax planning in perspective...
on 10/21/14
There's still time to take advantage of last-minute, tax-saving moves for dependency exemptions. For 2014, there are bigger dependency exemptions, as well as rules that, in some cases, are...
on 10/15/14
When securities markets swoon and apprehensive investors bail out of their holdings, they console themselves with deductions for capital losses when it comes time to file taxes. But long-standing...
on 10/08/14
The IRS' arsenal includes some tricky rules that can upset the plans of writers, photographers, and other individuals who intend to make end-of-year payments to move deductions into the current...
on 10/01/14
The law makes it difficult for itemizers to deduct medical expenses. To reap any write-off, you must pay bills that aren't covered by insurance, reimbursed by employers or otherwise satisfied by...
on 09/23/14
Savvy tax planning is about more than knowing what to write off. Just as essential is knowing when to take deductions. Choosing to stuff deductions into one tax year as opposed to another...
on 09/17/14
Plan ahead before you buy some shares in a stock mutual fund near yearend, when the fund is about to pay a dividend. It might be better to wait until after the fund goes "ex-dividend," that...
on 09/10/14
Interest expenses. Under the rules applicable to tax year 2014, most homeowners are entitled to deduct all of their interest payments on mortgage loans. They can deduct 100 percent...
on 09/03/14
Charitable contributions provide the greatest flexibility for most people. This is because their timing is completely discre­tionary, as a rule. Just keep in mind that that gifts to charit­...
on 09/02/14
The IRS requires most freelancers and other self-employed individuals to use the cash method of accounting, under which income isn't counted until cash, a check, or an e-payment is received, and...
on 08/27/14
Being an accountant doesn't mean you're giving investment advice to clients. However, at tax time, accountants often have to deal with the results of any investment advice clients obtained...
on 08/25/14
Form 1040's Schedule A is where itemizers claim deductions for, among other outlays, miscellaneous expenses. The major miscellaneous categories are unreimbursed employee business expenses,...
on 08/11/14
Accountants are trusted advisors for their clients—and especially for their senior citizen clients. These people may have been with you for many years, and now, in their retirement, they need...

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