PRIVATE DEBT COLLECTION - Can this be a well-thought idea?

The Internal Revenue Service plans to begin private collection of certain overdue federal tax debts as early as spring of 2017 and has selected four contractors to implement the new program.

Refunds Claiming Earned Income and Child Tax Credits Filed in Early 2017 May Be Delayed.

By law enacted, the Internal Revenue Service shall not release a refund for an overpayment for a taxable year to a taxpayer before Feb. 15 where the taxpayer claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit on the tax return.
This change begins Jan. 1, 2017, and may affect some returns filed early in 2017. Additional information is listed below.
• To comply with the law, the IRS will hold the refunds on EITC and ACTC-related returns until Feb. 15.

One Per Year Limit on IRA Rollovers

IRS Clarifies Application of One-Per-Year Limit on IRA Rollovers, Allows Owners of Multiple IRAs a Fresh Start in 2015

The Internal Revenue Service issued guidance clarifying the impact a 2014 individual retirement arrangement (IRA) rollover has on the one-per-year limit imposed by the Internal Revenue Code on tax-free rollovers between IRAs.

New Capitalization Regulations

New Capitalization Regulations — Business taxpayers must have written accounting policies in place on the first day of the tax year (January 1, 2014 for calendar year taxpayers) to deduct the de minimis amounts provided under safe harbor provision.

Simplified safe harbor for claiming home office deduction

IRS announced a simplified safe harbor method for claiming the home office deduction for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2013. Under the safe harbor, taxpayers determine the amount of deductible expenses for qualified business use of the home for the tax year by multiplying the allowable square footage by the prescribed rate. The allowable square footage cannot exceed 300 square feet and the prescribed rate is $5.00, which provides a maximum deduction under the safe harbor of $1,500. The IRS indicated it may revisit the prescribed rate amount in the future.

Charitable Distributions From IRA

Taxpayers age 70 ½ and older can make a tax-free distribution from individual retirement accounts to a charity. The maximum distribution is $100,000. Individuals taking this option cannot claim a deduction for the charitable gift.

Tax Relief for Spouses of United States Military Servicemembers

On November 11, 2009, President Obama signed into law the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act. The Act is effective beginning for 2009 tax year.

The Act provides that a spouse shall not lose or acquire the domicile or residence in a state when the spouse is present in the state solely to be with the servicemember in compliance with orders that result in each residing in the same state.

Charity Work Can Result in Tax Breaks

If you are a volunteer worker for a charity, you should be aware that your generosity may entitle you to some tax breaks.

Although no tax deduction is allowed for the value of services you perform for a charitable organization, some deductions are permitted for out-of-pocket costs you incur while performing the services (subject to the deduction limit that generally applies to charitable contributions). This includes items such as:

Personal Residence Trusts Can Save

With the greatly depressed value of housing, now is the time to consider a special kind of irrevocable trust that can be used to transfer your residence to your children at a significantly reduced gift tax cost and with no estate tax, yet allow you to continue to live in the residence for as long as you wish. This special type of trust is known as a qualified personal residence trust (QPRT). (QPRTs are sometimes also referred to as “residence GRITs” or “house GRITs”.) Here's how it works.

Car & Truck Expense Deductions

What is expected to substantiate the deduction for using a vehicle for work? Whether it is a claim for actual expense incurred or the standard mileage rate, the IRS requires substantiation of the use. This is a good time to review

How to substantiate business/investment use of a vehicle --

Deductions for the business/investment use of vehicles (including both cars and trucks) are not allowed unless the usage is substantiated with an adequate record of the following elements:

1) The date, mileage and business or investment purpose of each trip;