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Tax Articles

Ex Parte Communication and IRS Appeals – Rev. Proc. 2012-18

Ex parte communication is oral or written communication that takes place between any IRS Appeals employees such as Appeals Officers, Settlement Officers, Appeals Team Case Leaders, Appeals Tax Computation Specialists and employees of other IRS functions without the taxpayer’s representative being given an opportunity to participate in the communication. IRS Rev. Proc. 2012-18 updates the rules relating to this type…


IRS Publication 4681 Re: Mortgage Debt Forgiveness

This post is a brief review of IRS Publication 4681, Canceled Debts, Foreclosures, Repossessions, and Abandonment (For Individuals) as it relates to mortgage debt forgiveness. If your debt is reduced or eliminated you normally will receive a year-end statement, IRS Form 1099-C, Cancellation of Debt from your lender. By law, this form must show the amount of debt forgiven…


The 5 Tax Benefits of Procreating

Generally the five tax benefits of having children are the: dependency exemption, child tax credit, earned income credit (EIC), child and dependent care credit and head of household filing status. These benefits can be split only when the parents are separated under a divorce or separation agreement and one parent is the custodial parent. You cannot…


Is Your Filing Status Head of Household – IRS Publication 501

According to IRS Publication 501 if you are not married, but provide a home for a qualifying dependent, you may be able to use the head of household filing status. The head of household filing status provides a higher standard deduction, lower tax brackets, and generally a better tax outcome than the single filing status or married filing separately status…


IRS Form 8863 + Publication 970 – Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits

According to IRS Publication 970 the modified version of the Hope Credit is now referred to as the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) and extended through 2012. The AOTC is available for the first four years of post-secondary education. It has been expanded so that qualified tuition and related expenses now include expenses for course books, supplies, and equipment needed for a course…


IRS Interim Changes for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number Application (ITIN)

Interim changes for issuing Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) have been announced by the IRS. ITINs are only issued to people who are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number. During this interim period WHICH IS TO LAST UNTIL THE START OF THE 2012 TAX FILING SEASON, the IRS will only issue ITINs when applications…


Service Fee v. Tip – IRS Guidance to Examiners

According to IRS administrative guidelines to its examiners concerning Rev. Rul. 2012-18, published in the 2012-26 Internal Revenue Bulletin, when performing a tip examination (aka audit), IRS examiners must ensure that service fees or charges are properly characterized as wages and not tips. If the payment is not a tip then it is a service charge and…