Today's Quote:
"Rich bachelors should be heavily taxed. It is not fair that some men should be happier than others."
~ Oscar Wilde

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IRS meall allowance, two people having dinner

IRS Meal Allowance

Generally, the cost of meals are considered a personal expense and are not deductible, unless they meet certain IRS rules.

For example, if you go out to lunch yourself during the course of your work day or with a business associate, and there is no business purpose other than to simply get a bite to eat, the cost of your lunch is a personal expense and is not deductible.

When Meal Costs are Deductible

You can deduct meal and entertainment expenses only if they are both ordinary and necessary (not lavish or extravagant) and meet either one of the following two tests (discussed below).

  1. Directly-Related test
  2. Associated test

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Hiding assets in Offshore accounts

What Are Travel Expenses?

Travel expenses are defined as:

  • Ordinary and necessary expenses...
  • related to your business, profession, or job...
  • while traveling away from home.

Who May Deduct Travel Expenses?

Travel expenses may be deducted by:

  • Self-Employed Persons
  • Employees
  • Unemployed Persons
  • Transportation industry workers (get special treatment)

Self-Employed Persons

Self-employed persons deduct business-related travel expenses while away from home as a business expense.

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Hiding assets in Offshore accounts

Hiding Assets in an Offshore Account

Offshore accounts have been used to lure taxpayers into scams and schemes. According to the IRS, hiding money or assets in unreported offshore accounts remains on its annual list of tax scams known as the “Dirty Dozen” for the 2015 filing season.

Over the years, a number of individuals have been identified as evading U.S. taxes by hiding income in offshore banks, brokerage accounts or nominee entities and then using debit cards, credit cards or wire transfers to access the funds.

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Health care law and you.

Six Tips about Individual Shared Responsibility Payments

For any month during the year that you or any of your family members don’t have minimum essential coverage and don’t qualify for a coverage exemption, you are required to make an individual shared responsibility payment (a euphemism for penalty) when you file your tax return.

Here are six things to know about the penalty payment:

  1. You are not required to make a payment if you had coverage or qualify for an exemption for each month of the year.
  2. If you did not have coverage and your income was below the tax filing threshold for your filing status, you qualify for a coverage exemption and you should not make a payment.
  3. If you are not a U.S. citizen or national, and are not lawfully present in the United States, you are exempt from the individual shared responsibility provision and do not need to make a payment. For this purpose, an immigrant with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status is considered not lawfully present and therefore is exempt. You may qualify for this exemption even if you have a social security number.
  4. If you are responsible for the individual shared responsibility payment, you should pay it with your tax return or in response to a letter from the IRS requesting payment. You should not make the payment directly to any individual or return preparer.
  5. The amount due is reported on Form 1040 in the Other Taxes section, and in the corresponding sections of Form 1040A and 1040EZ. You only make a payment for the months you or your dependents did not have coverage or qualify for a coverage exemption.
  6. In most cases, the shared responsibility payment reduces your refund. If you are not claiming a refund, the payment will increase the amount you owe on your tax return.

Child tax credit

The Child Tax Credit Could be Worth Thousands!

You may be able to claim a tax credit of $1,000 for each qualifying child who is under 17 at the end of 2015. Here are the 7 Requirements for the Child Tax Credit >

affordable care act coverage, exemptions, and payments

Affordable Care Act Health Coverage Exemptions and Payments

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will affect your federal income tax return.

The ACA requires you and your dependents to:

  • have health care coverage, or
  • an exemption from the coverage requirement,
  • or make a shared responsibility payment (pay a penalty) with your return for any month without coverage or an exemption.

Five things you should know about exemptions from the ACA coverage requirement and the individual shared responsibility payment that will help you get ready to file your tax return:

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Missoure storm victims 2015

IRS Gives Missouri Flood Victims Until May 16, 2016 To File Taxes, Estimated Payments and Business Taxes

The IRS announced that Missouri storm victims will have until May 16, 2016 to file their returns and pay any taxes due. All workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization also qualify for relief.

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affordable care act consumer alert

Affordable Care Act Consumer Alert!

Last tax season, 2015, some crooked tax preparers around the country victimized a number of uninformed taxpayers in connection with the penalty requirement for taxpayers without health insurance.

Background

Starting January 2014, you and your family were required to either have health insurance coverage throughout the year, qualify for an exemption from coverage, or if you had no health insurance coverage, pay a penalty with your 2014 federal income tax return filed in 2015. The penalty is euphemistically called, The Individual Shared Responsibility Payment.

Many people already had qualifying health insurance coverage and did not need to do anything more than maintain their coverage.

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