Randolph Law Firm, P.C.

Las Vegas Tax Law Blog

Understanding when and how to take itemized deductions

When you file your taxes, you’re allowed to take a tax deduction. This is an amount that you can subtract from your annual income to determine your amount of taxable income. A tax deduction, therefore, reduces the total amount you owe the IRS.

You have two options regarding your tax deduction: you can take the standard deduction, or you can choose to itemize your deductions. When you itemize, you add up all of your qualifying expenses incurred over the year and subtract this number from your income. Below is a non-exhaustive list of common expenses you can itemize:

The IRS intends to seize your home. What can you do?

For whatever reason, you ended up in a position where you owe money to the Internal Revenue Service. You may know the agency has a reputation for aggressively pursuing taxpayers who don't pay their taxes.

This leaves you in a precarious position. The IRS may have already put a federal tax lien on your house. Now, you've received a Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to A Hearing. Since you may believe that your only real asset is your home, you may be afraid that you could lose it.

When small business owners fail to pay their taxes

Owning a small business is not for the faint of heart. At times, it can be a challenging, financially unstable experience. If your business is struggling and you’re faced with competing bills, it could be tempting to pay off your suppliers ahead of the IRS in order to keep your company afloat. However, postponing payment of your taxes can lead to more devastating consequences than you may realize.

When you fail to pay your taxes on time, the IRS sends you a Notice and Demand for Payment. If you receive this bill in the mail, consider it your final warning before you face any serious penalties. If you pay this bill by the deadline shown, you’re off the hook.

One simple way to reduce your risk of tax refund fraud

We’ve been talking about it a lot recently. It’s peppering the news almost daily. The Equifax breach earlier this year turned it from a problem into an outright crisis. The IRS and other government organizations have been working overtime to combat this constant threat and empower Americans to keep themselves secure. We’re talking, of course, about identity theft.

Perhaps, in the wake of the cyber-hack that brought half of all Americans to their knees, you’ve taken proactive steps to protect yourself. You’ve gone through the training. You’ve learned how to recognize phishing emails. You’re suspicious of any phone calls claiming to come from organizations you didn’t personally solicit. You know how to create strong passwords, and you use unique passwords for every online account. You’ve enabled firewall and anti-virus protections on your computer, and you’ve ensured that they update automatically.

National Tax Security Awareness Week: Nov. 27–Dec. 1

In the wake of the Equifax data breach earlier this year, tax payers may be more wary than ever about cybercriminals and identity theft. That’s where the Security Summit comes in—a partnership of the IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry.

Starting the Monday after Thanksgiving, the Summit will host the second-annual National Tax Security Awareness Week, with over 20 events across the country dedicated to educating and empowering people to protect their data and identities.

Congress proposes to change tuition-related taxes

Many Las Vegas residents who are paying for student loans and tuition have a hefty financial burden. If you have college debt, you might find some amount of relief through their tax return, but several aspects of taxes are now up for debate. One possibility is that your tax return on student loan interest may disappear altogether.

The recent tax reform proposals from both the U.S. House and Senate could mean changes to college tuition-related taxes. The House would remove student loans from tax deductions as part of their plan. It would also count waived tuition and company tuition support as taxable income, adding thousands of dollars in taxes owed.

More effects of divorce on taxes

In one of our posts last month, we talked about the value of the innocent spouse rule when dealing with some tax controversies after death or divorce. That rule is a form of protection for ex-spouses who find out later that their mate didn't take care of taxes the way they pledged to. When the conditions are right and presented correctly, it's possible to use the rule to eliminate a tax obligation.

Experienced tax attorneys know that a claim of innocence isn't possible in all cases. What that means is that couples in Las Vegas and elsewhere in Nevada need to be as attentive in how they plan their divorce as they likely were in planning their marriage to minimize possible tax issues in their next stage of life.

Income taxes and gambling losses

Living here in Las Vegas, you may spend at least some of your time at the casinos. You relish your winnings, but more than likely, you also lose from time to time. You know that the IRS wants a share of your winnings if they are over a certain amount, but did you know that you may also be able to deduct your losses?

Of course, this requires full transparency on your part when it comes to your winnings because the IRS only allows you to deduct losses of no more than what you declare as winnings.

What do tax overhaul proposals mean for 'gig economy' workers?

There is no shortage of analysis related to taxes right now. The president has offered a peak at what he would like to see and the Republican-controlled House is hashing its way through a long list of proposals, adding here and taking away there.

No one can predict what the final tax overhaul bill will look like. One thing that nearly every observer seems to agree upon, though, is that this overhaul needs to specifically address the development and anticipated growth of the so-called "gig economy." Regular readers will recall that we've talked about this on a number of occasions, most recently in September.

Protecting tax-exempt status if you have it

Gaining legal status as a nonprofit organization is not easy. The reason for this is simple. As we have noted before, where money is involved, the IRS has an interest in collecting all it believes it is entitled to by way of taxes.

Because of that, the government requires nonprofit organizations to jump through significant hoops to obtain the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt designation. To keep it, the organization must continue meeting specific criteria. If you as the operator slip up on that score, it can trigger IRS action that could require entering negotiations to settle disputed tax debt and protect the status as a tax-exempt entity.

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