Income Tax Laws – The Big Picture May12

Income Tax Laws – The Big Picture

This is the first issue of IICLE’s FlashPoints on income taxation. We titled this FlashPoints “Tax Law in Plain English” because it will be tailored to lawyers who do not consider taxation to be their primary area of practice. At the same time, even tax lawyers will find reasons to read this FlashPoints. Few people like payi...

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What Is Income? May13

What Is Income?

What is income?  More specifically, what is income according to the Federal Income Tax laws?  The short answer is “Everything.”  The slightly longer answer is: Everything that you ever get is considered to be income unless the income tax laws tell you otherwise. Internal Revenue Code Section 61 defines gross income as follo...

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Individual Tax Filing Status May13

Individual Tax Filing Status

You have status with the IRS….but don’t let it go to your head.  They do not think that you are special.  Rather, all individuals have a tax filing status as determined under the Federal Income Tax laws. The tax filing status of individuals is often taken for granted rather than thoughtfully considered.  The wrong status co...

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The Low-Down On Higher Education Tax Credits May13

The Low-Down On Higher Education Tax Credits

My oldest child is a freshman in the Business School at the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana. Many people have congratulated us, not because it is difficult to get in (it is difficult) but because they assume that it must not cost much for an Illinois resident to attend an in-state university. The U of I estimates that i...

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Americans are charitable people. There are many different types of philanthropy. Some involve giving of one’s time, some involve giving of cash and some involve giving of property. Americans, by most forms of measurement are the most philanthropic of any country.  Studies show that nearly 75% of charitable giving in the United Sta...

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Over the past month or two, taxpayers have been receiving various tax documents in the mail.  These include W-2’s from their employer and Form 1099’s from their banks and brokerage firms. There is also an increase in the publicized prosecution of “tax cheats” in the news (designed to remind us that while we have a “volunta...

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Tax Scams Committed Against Taxpayers May15

Tax Scams Committed Against Taxpayers

There are many forms of scams that try to fleece people of their money. Some come in the guise of a tax matter. While the IRS continues to improve its fraud prevention systems, most of the protection must come from the taxpayers themselves. Social Security Number: Never release your Social Security Numb...

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Offshore Tax Evasion May15

Offshore Tax Evasion

The Supreme Court of the United States has held that taxpayers may “avoid” Federal taxes but cannot “evade” them. That is, one can “avoid” taxes by arranging one’s affairs in a legal manner and making legitimate use of valid Income Tax laws. However, one cannot “evade” taxes by using illegitimate or illegal schemes....

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Post-Windsor Tax Direction From The Federal Government May15

Post-Windsor Tax Direction From The Federal Government

On June 26, 2013 the United States Supreme Court ruled in Windsor v. United States that Section 3 of DOMA was unconstitutional, retroactive to the date of enactment in 1996. While one could speculate as to how this might affect various Federal Income, Estate and Gift Tax issues for same-sex married couples, clear direction i...

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Income Tax Filing Status-Before And After Windsor V. U. S. May15

Income Tax Filing Status-Before And After Windsor V. U. S.

A person’s Filing Status determines how they can, or must file their Federal and State Income Tax Returns. Briefly, there are 5 Filing Status’ under Federal and Illinois Income Tax laws. They are: Single, Head of Household, Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child Married Filing J...

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