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William Byrnes (Texas A&M) tax & compliance articles

Archive for December, 2014

IRS Provides Last Minute FATCA Extension for QIs, WPs and WTs

Posted by William Byrnes on December 30, 2014


Qualified Intermediary (QI) Agreement, Withholding Foreign Partnership (WP) Agreement, and Withholding Foreign Trust (WT) Agreement

Treasury-Dept.-Seal-of-the-IRSExtension of Time for QIs, WPs, and WTs to Apply Certain Requirements of the Joint Account Option under the QI Agreement, the WP Agreement, or the WT Agreement.This email applies to certain entities that apply to enter into or have entered into the Qualified Intermediary (QI) Agreement published in Revenue Procedure 2014-39, 2014-29 I.R.B. 151, and certain entities that apply to enter into or have entered into the Withholding Foreign Partnership Agreement or Withholding Foreign Trust Agreement, published in Revenue Procedure 2014-47, 2014-35 I.R.B. 393.

Section 4.05 of the QI Agreement provides the requirements for a QI that applies the joint account option to a partnership or trust.  Section 9.01 of the WP Agreement and WT Agreement provides the requirements for a WP or WT that applies the joint account option to a partnership or trust.

The IRS provided Notice that Section 4.05 of the QI Agreement and Section 9.01 of the WP Agreement and WT Agreement are modified to include the following with respect to a QI’s, WP’s, or WT’s application of the joint account option:

• For the period beginning on the effective date of the QI Agreement, and ending June 30, 2015, a QI that has entered into an agreement under section 4A.01 of the former QI Agreement (see Revenue Procedure 2003-64, 2003-2 C.B. 306, adding section 4A to the former QI agreement (published in Revenue Procedure 2000-12, 2000-1 C.B. 387), as amended by Revenue Procedure 2004-21, 2004-1 C.B. 702) with a partnership or trust to apply the joint account option before June 30, 2014, may continue to document the account consistent with section 4A.01 of the former QI Agreement.

• For the period beginning on the effective date of the WP Agreement or WT Agreement, and ending June 30, 2015, a WP or WT that has entered into an agreement under section 10.01 of the former WP Agreement or WT Agreement (published in Revenue Procedure 2003-64 (as amended by Revenue Procedure 2004-21)) with a partnership or trust to apply the joint account option before June 30, 2014, may continue to document the account consistent with section 10.01 of the former WP Agreement or WT Agreement.

• Notwithstanding the prior statements, a QI, WP, or WT is required to withhold under chapter 4 with respect to a partnership or trust to which it has applied the joint account option to the extent required under the QI, WP, or WT Agreement (for example, a QI, WP, or WT must withhold if it has actual knowledge that the partnership or trust is a nonparticipating FFI).,

—>> Free download for Lexis Guide to FATCA Compliance   <<—-

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US-Brazil FATCA Impact 2-Hour Lecture Recording

Posted by William Byrnes on December 29, 2014


Teaser! Para quem perdeu a brilhante palestra do Dr.William Byrnes traduzida ao vivo, aguarde: em breve disponível integralmente em nosso site > IBET/OAB-SC <

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Should a Congressman Resign After Pleading Guilty to Tax Fraud and Employing Illegals? Or Continue To Receive his Congressional Paycheck while in Prison? Keep His Pension?

Posted by William Byrnes on December 26, 2014


Read about the Congressman who pled guilty this week to tax fraud on the Finance Law Professor Blog!

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IRS Releases FATCA Q&A for IGA FFIs Registration

Posted by William Byrnes on December 24, 2014


d27f6-6a00d8341bfae553ef01b7c6eb77bd970b-piIGA Question 8: Announcement 2014-38 provides that a jurisdiction that is treated as if it has an IGA in effect, but that has not yet signed an IGA, retains such status beyond December 31, 2014, provided that the jurisdiction continues to demonstrate firm resolve to sign the IGA that was agreed in substance.  Given this additional time to sign the IGA, does a reporting Model 1 FFI in such a jurisdiction need to register and obtain a GIIN before January 1, 2015?

Announcement 2014-38 does not change the requirement in the chapter 4 regulations that for payments made on or after January 1, 2015, in order for withholding not to apply, a withholding agent may treat a reporting Model 1 FFI as a registered deemed-compliant FFI only if the withholding agent has a withholding certificate identifying the payee as a registered deemed-compliant FFI and the withholding certificate contains a GIIN for the payee that is verified in the manner described in those regulations.  Thus, to avoid withholding on certain payments made on or after January 1, 2015, a reporting Model 1 FFI should register and obtain a GIIN to properly certify its status to a withholding agent required to document the FFI for chapter 4 purposes.   A reporting Model 1 FFI that has registered but not yet obtained a GIIN should indicate to its withholding agent that its GIIN is “applied for,” and in such case, the withholding agent will have 90 days from the date it receives the Form W-8 to obtain a GIIN and to verify the accuracy of the GIIN against the published IRS FII list before it has reason to know that the payee is not a registered deemed-compliant FFI.

Announcement 2014-38 similarly does not change the timing of any other due diligence and reporting requirements in the chapter 4 regulations.

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Israeli Bank Pays $300 Million, Admits U.S. Tax Evasion by Clients

Posted by William Byrnes on December 23, 2014


A major Israeli international bank admitted that it conspired to aid and assist U.S. taxpayers to prepare and present false tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by hiding income and assets in offshore bank accounts in Israel and elsewhere around the world.

Read the post here ….

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Brasil e FATCA – troca de informações fiscais entre Brasil e Estados Unidos

Posted by William Byrnes on December 18, 2014


A Academia Tributária promove nesta sexta (19), às 10 horas, na OAB/SC, o curso Brasil e FATCA: troca de informações fiscais entre Brasil e Estados Unidos. O curso será nas dependências da Escola Superior da Advocacia.

O palestrante será do professor William Byrnes, dos Estados Unidos, autor de mais de 1.000 artigos publicados na área tributária.

See OAB/SC

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IRS Revises FATCA Form 8966 Instructions and IDES for Tax Information Sharing Guide

Posted by William Byrnes on December 18, 2014


1. IRS Posts Update to the Instructions for Form 8966 For 2014

9dc30-6a00d8341bfae553ef01bb07b43355970d-piThe IRS has posted an Update to the Instructions for Form 8966 for 2014 to the FATCA web page:

This update supplements the Instructions for Form 8966 to correct and clarify certain references to the reporting requirements of participating FFIs for the 2014 year, including to reflect a correcting amendment to section 1.1471-4(d)(7)(iv)(B) of the temporary chapter 4 regulations (TD 9657).

http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Corporations/Update-to-the-Instructions-for-Form-8966-For-2014

2. New! IDES User Guide (Draft Version)

A draft version of the International Data Exchange Services (“IDES”) User Guide is now available. The current draft discusses data preparation procedures and reporting for FIs and for foreign governments to transmit the tax information necessary to comply with FATCA.

In the upcoming weeks, IDES will post frequent updates and a final version of the IDES User Guide will be available in early January 2015.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/fatca/P%205190_IDES%20User%20Guide_v1_DRAFT_%20.pdf

Lexis Guide to FATCA Compliance – 2015 Edition Out Soon

1,200 pages of analysis of the compliance challenges, over 54 chapters by 70 FATCA contributing experts from over 30 countries.  Besides in-depth, practical analysis, the 2015 edition includes examples, charts, time lines, links to source documents, and compliance analysis pursuant to the IGA and local regulations for many U.S. trading partners and financial centers.   The Lexis Guide to FATCA Compliance, designed from interviews with over 100 financial institutions and professional firms, is a primary reference source for financial institutions and service providers, advisors and government departments.  See Lexis’ order site and request a copy of the forthcoming 2015 edition – http://www.lexisnexis.com/store/catalog/booktemplate/productdetail.jsp?pageName=relatedProducts&prodId=prod19190327

free download of 2014 Edition chapter at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2457671

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FATCA’s impact on Brazil-USA cross border activities (live seminar in Florianopolis)

Posted by William Byrnes on December 17, 2014


Brasil FATCA LectureThis Friday, December 19 at the OAB in Florianapolis – FATCA’s impact on Brazil-USA cross border activities, and the OECD’s Common Reporting Standards (“GATCA”), see link to come join the discussion.

Com o apoio da OAB/SC, Comissão de Direito Tributário, ESA, CRC e IBET-SC, lá vamos nós fechar o ano com chave de OURO!!! Tradução simultânea na palestra com o Prof. William Byrnes, bestselling author of 30 books for LexisNexis and Wolters Kluwer; Associate Dean, Graduate & Distance Education, International Tax & Financial Services; Fellowship, International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation; LL.M. Universiteit van Amsterdam. Vagas limitadíssimas para os primeiros 40 VIP guests. Corre: http://www.academiatributaria.com.br/?opcao=ver_curso&id=8

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2014 Tax Extenders Last Minute Passage

Posted by William Byrnes on December 17, 2014


9dc30-6a00d8341bfae553ef01bb07b43355970d-piReports PwC, the spending bill provides $10.6 billion in funding for the IRS – a reduction of $345.6 million from the fiscal year 2014.

Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014Title I: Certain Expiring Provisions – Amends the Internal Revenue Code to extend certain expiring tax provisions relating to individuals, businesses, and the energy sector.

Subtitle A: Individual Tax Extenders – Extends through 2014:

  • the tax deduction of expenses of elementary and secondary school teachers;
  • the tax exclusion of imputed income from the discharge of indebtedness for a principal residence;
  • the equalization of the tax exclusion for employer-provided commuter transit and parking benefits;
  • the tax deduction of mortgage insurance premiums;the tax deduction of state and local general sales taxes in lieu of state and local income taxes;
  • the tax deduction of contributions of capital gain real property for conservation purposes;
  • the tax deduction of qualified tuition and related expenses; and
  • the tax exemption of distributions from individual retirement accounts for charitable purposes.

Subtitle B: Business Tax Extenders – Extends through 2014:

  • the tax credit for increasing research activities;
  • the low-income housing tax credit rate for newly constructed non-federally subsidized buildings;
  • the Indian employment tax credit;
  • the new markets tax credit;the tax credit for qualified railroad track maintenance expenditures;
  • the tax credit for mine rescue team training expenses;
  • the tax credit for differential wage payments to employees who are active duty members of the Uniformed Services;
  • the work opportunity tax credit;
  • authority for issuance of qualified zone academy bonds;
  • the classification of race horses as three-year property for depreciation purposes;
  • accelerated depreciation of qualified leasehold improvement, restaurant, and retail improvement property, of motorsports entertainment complexes, and of business property on Indian reservations;
  • accelerated depreciation of certain business property (bonus depreciation);
  • the special rule allowing a tax deduction for charitable contributions of food inventory by taxpayers other than C corporations;
  • the increased expensing allowance for business assets, computer software, and qualified real property (i.e., leasehold improvement, restaurant, and retail improvement property);
  • the election to expense advanced mine safety equipment expenditures;
  • the expensing allowance for film and television production costs and costs of live theatrical productions;
  • the tax deduction for income attributable to domestic production activities in Puerto Rico;
  • tax rules relating to payments between related foreign corporations and dividends of regulated investment companies;
  • the treatment of regulated investment companies as qualified investment entities for purposes of the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA);
  • the subpart F income exemption for income derived in the active conduct of a banking, financing, or insurance business;
  • the tax rule exempting dividends, interest, rents, and royalties received or accrued from certain controlled foreign corporations by a related entity from treatment as foreign holding company income;
  • the 100% exclusion from gross income of gain from the sale of small business stock;
  • the basis adjustment rule for stock of an S corporation making charitable contributions of property;
  • the reduction of the recognition period for the built-in gains of S corporations;
  • tax incentives for investment in empowerment zones;
  • the increased level of distilled spirit excise tax payments into the treasuries of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands; and
  • the tax credit for American Samoa economic development expenditures.

Amends the Housing Assistance Tax Act of 2008 to extend through 2014 the exemption of the basic military housing allowance from the income test for programs financed by tax-exempt housing bonds.

Subtitle C: Energy Tax Extenders – Extends through 2014:

  • the tax credit for residential energy efficiency improvements;
  • the tax credit for second generation biofuel production;
  • the income and excise tax credits for biodiesel and renewable diesel fuel mixtures;
  • the tax credit for producing electricity using Indian coal facilities placed in service before 2009;
  • the tax credit for producing electricity using wind, biomass, geothermal, landfill gas, trash, hydropower, and marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy facilities;
  • the tax credit for energy efficient new homes;
  • the special depreciation allowance for second generation biofuel plant property;
  • the tax deduction for energy efficient commercial buildings;
  • tax deferral rules for sales or dispositions of qualified electric utilities; and
  • the excise tax credit for alternative fuels and fuels involving liquefied hydrogen.

Subtitle D: Extenders Relating to Multiemployer Defined Benefit Pension Plans – Extends through 2015 the automatic extensions of amortization periods for multiemployer defined benefit pension plans and for multiemployer funding rules under the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

Title II: Technical Corrections – Tax Technical Corrections Act of 2014Makes technical and clerical amendments to:

  • the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012;
  • the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012;
  • the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012;
  • the Regulated Investment Company Modernization Act of 2010;
  • the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010;
  • the Creating Small Business Jobs Act of 2010;
  • the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act;
  • the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009;
  • the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008;
  • the Tax Extenders and Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008;
  • the Housing Assistance Tax Act of 2008;
  • the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008;
  • the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008;
  • the Tax Technical Corrections Act of 2007;
  • the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006;
  • the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2005: A Legacy for Users;
  • the Energy Tax Incentives Act of 2005; and
  • the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004.

Eliminates provisions in the Internal Revenue Code that are not used in computing current tax liabilities (referred to as deadwood provisions).

Title III: Joint Committee on Taxation – Provides that any refund or credit in excess of $5 million due to a C corporation taxpayer may not be made until the Secretary of the Treasury submits a report to the Joint Committee on Taxation providing information on such refund or credit.

Title IV: Budgetary Effects – Prohibits the entry of the budgetary effects of this Act on certain PAYGO scorecards.

JCX-107-14R (December 03, 2014) Estimated Revenue Effects Of H.R. 5771, The “Tax Increase Prevention Act Of 2014,”

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Highlights of Final FATCA Regulations for Reporting of Specified Foreign Financial Assets

Posted by William Byrnes on December 16, 2014


IRS has today notified the posting of the final regulations, effective December 12, 2014, TD 9706, Reporting of Specified Foreign Financial Assets, and removing the temporary regulations. The regulations can be found on the FATCA – Regulations and Other Guidance page in the For Individual Taxpayers section.

The IRS addressed such issues as dual residents, valuation challenges, foreign currency, virtual currency (left for another time), retirement accounts and insurance policies.  Below are the highlights of the changes for my readers.

Dual Resident Taxpayers

A comment recommended an exemption from the section 6038D reporting requirements be included for an individual who is a dual resident taxpayer and who, pursuant to a provision of a treaty that provides for resolution of conflicting claims of residence by the United States and the treaty partner, claims to be treated as a resident of the treaty partner.  In such a case, a dual resident taxpayer may claim a treaty benefit as a resident of the treaty partner and will be taxed as a nonresident for U.S. tax purposes for the taxable year (or portion of the taxable year) that the individual is treated as a nonresident.

The final rule adopts this recommendation for a dual resident taxpayer who determines his or her U.S. tax liability as if he or she were a nonresident alien and claims a treaty benefit as a nonresident of the United States as provided in § 301.7701(b)–7 by timely filing a Form 1040NR, ‘‘Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return,’’ (or such other appropriate form under that section) and attaching a Form 8833, ‘‘Treaty-Based Return Position Disclosure Under Section 6114 or 7701(b).’’ The Treasury Department and the IRS have concluded that reporting under section 6038D is closely associated with the determination of an individual’s income tax liability.

Because the taxpayer’s filing of a Form 8833 with his or her Form 1040NR (or other appropriate form) will permit the IRS to identify individuals in this category and take follow-up tax enforcement actions when considered appropriate, reporting on Form 8938, “Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets,’’ is not essential to effective IRS tax enforcement efforts relating to this category of U.S. residents.

Individuals Resident in the United States Under Non-Immigrant Visas

A number of comments requested an exemption from the section 6038D reporting requirements for foreign executives and employees resident in the United States under non-immigrant H, L, or E visas. The final rule does not adopt this recommendation. Because all U.S. residents are taxable on worldwide income, excluding categories of residents from the scope of section 6038D reporting is not consistent with the purposes for which the provision was enacted.

Persons That Do Not Owe U.S. Tax for the Taxable Year

The final rule does not adopt any change.  If the law requires the filing of a tax return, however, information reported on a Form 8938 concerning the taxpayer’s specified foreign financial assets is an important component of that return, even if no tax liability is shown. Requiring this filing will aid the IRS in devising effective enforcement programs with respect to such returns.

Assets Held by a Disregarded Entity

A number of comments requested clarification of the section 6038D reporting requirements with respect to specified foreign financial assets held by an entity disregarded as an entity separate from its owner under § 301.7701–2 of this chapter (a disregarded entity). In response to these requests, and consistent with instructions to Form 8938, the final rule provides in § 1.6038D–2(b)(4)(iii) that a specified person that owns a foreign or domestic entity that is a disregarded entity is treated as having an interest in any specified foreign financial assets held by the disregarded entity.

As a result, a specified person that owns a disregarded entity (whether domestic or foreign) that, in turn, owns specified foreign financial assets must include the value of those assets in determining whether the specified person meets the reporting thresholds in § 1.6038D–2(a) and, if so, must report such assets on Form 8938.

Jointly Owned Assets (§ 1.6038D–2(c))

A number of comments requested clarification of aspects of the rules in § 1.6038D–2(c) and (d) relating to joint owners of a specified foreign financial asset. These comments have been adopted.

Specifically, the final rule clarifies that each of the joint owners of a specified foreign financial asset who are not married to each other must include the full value of the asset (rather than only the value of the specified person’s interest in the asset) in determining whether the aggregate value of such specified individual’s specified foreign financial assets exceeds the applicable reporting thresholds, and each joint owner must report the full value of the asset on his or her Form 8938.

In addition, the final rule clarifies that, in the case of joint owners who are married to each other and file separate returns, each joint owner of a specified foreign financial asset must report the full value of the asset (rather than only the value of the specified person’s interest in the asset) on the individual’s Form 8938, even if both spouses are specified individuals and only one-half of the value of the asset is considered in determining the applicable reporting thresholds under § 1.6038D–2(c)(3)(i).

Retirement and Pension Accounts and Certain Non-Retirement Savings Accounts

These final regulations modify the definition of a financial account for purposes of section 6038D in order to require consistent reporting under section 6038D with respect to retirement and pension accounts and certain non- retirement savings accounts regardless of whether the account is maintained in a jurisdiction treated as having in effect a Model 1 IGA or Model 2 IGA. For financial accounts that are maintained by a foreign financial institution that is not located in a jurisdiction treated as having in effect a Model 1 IGA or Model 2 IGA, the definition of a financial account in the final rule continues to include the retirement and pension accounts and non-retirement savings accounts described in § 1.1471–5(b)(2)(i), consistent with the section 6038D coordination rule in that section.

Reporting on Both FinCEN Form 114 and Form 8938

A number of comments recommended that a foreign account reported on FinCEN Form 114, ‘‘Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts,’’ (formerly Form TD F 90–22.1, ‘‘Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts’’) (an FBAR), should not be required to be reported on Form 8938.  he final rule does not adopt this recommendation.

Lexis Guide to FATCA Compliance – 2015 Edition Out Soon

1,200 pages of analysis of the compliance challenges, over 54 chapters by 70 FATCA contributing experts from over 30 countries.  Besides in-depth, practical analysis, the 2015 edition includes examples, charts, time lines, links to source documents, and compliance analysis pursuant to the IGA and local regulations for many U.S. trading partners and financial centers.   The Lexis Guide to FATCA Compliance, designed from interviews with over 100 financial institutions and professional firms, is a primary reference source for financial institutions and service providers, advisors and government departments.  See Lexis’ order site and request a copy of the forthcoming 2015 edition – http://www.lexisnexis.com/store/catalog/booktemplate/productdetail.jsp?pageName=relatedProducts&prodId=prod19190327

free download of 2014 Edition chapter at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2457671

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Must Santa Claus Pay Tax? End of Year Gift Tax Facts

Posted by William Byrnes on December 15, 2014


Find out which of your clients need to pay the federal gift tax and what the annual exclusion amount is for 2014 and 2015

2014_tf_on_individuals_small_businesses-m_1Due to a number of recent changes in the law, taxpayers are currently facing many questions connected to important issues such as healthcare, home office use, capital gains, investments, and whether an individual is considered an employee or a contractor. Financial advisors are continually looking for updated tax information that can help them provide the right answers to the right people at the right time. This book provides fast, clear, and authoritative answers to pressing questions, and it does so in the convenient, timesaving, Q&A format for which Tax Facts is famous.

Anyone interested can try Tax Facts on Individuals & Small Business, risk-free for 30 days, with a 100% guarantee of complete satisfaction.  For more information, please go to http://www.nationalunderwriter.com/2015-tax-facts-on-individuals-small-business.html or call 1-800-543-0874.

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New IRS Standard Mileage Rates – Business Rate Rise in 2015

Posted by William Byrnes on December 12, 2014


The IRS issued the 2015 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

457c5-6a00d8341bfae553ef01b7c7029b32970b-pi

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be:

  • 57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, up from 56 cents in 2014
  • 23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down half a cent from 2014
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile, including depreciation, insurance, repairs, tires, maintenance, gas and oil. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs, such as gas and oil. The charitable rate is set by law.

Taxpayers always have the option of claiming deductions based on the actual costs of using a vehicle rather than the standard mileage rates.

A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after claiming accelerated depreciation, including the Section 179 expense deduction, on that vehicle. Likewise, the standard rate is not available to fleet owners (more than four vehicles used simultaneously). Details on these and other special rules are in Revenue Procedure 2010-51, the instructions to Form 1040and various online IRS publications including Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax.

Besides the standard mileage rates, Notice 2014-79, posted today on IRS.gov, also includes the basis reduction amounts for those choosing the business standard mileage rate, as well as the maximum standard automobile cost   that may be used in computing an allowance under  a fixed and variable rate plan.

2015_tf_on_indiv_sm_business_cover-mTax Facts on Individuals & Small Business focuses exclusively on what individuals and small businesses need to know to maximize opportunities under today’s often complex tax rules.  It is the essential tax reference for financial advisors, & planners; insurance professionals; CPAs; attorneys; and other practitioners advising small businesses and individuals.

Organized in a convenient Q&A format to speed you to the information you need, Tax Facts on Individuals & Small Business delivers the latest guidance on:
• Healthcare & New Medicare Tax and Net Investment Income tax
• Business Deductions and Losses including Home Office
• Contractor vs. Employee — clarified!
• Business Life Insurance
• Small Business Entity Choices & Small Business Valuation
• Capital Gains & Investor Losses
• Accounting — including guidance on how standards change as the business grows

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5 Tax Facts for Year End IRA

Posted by William Byrnes on December 11, 2014


Individual Retirement Accounts are an important way to save for retirement. A taxpayer who has an IRA or who may open one soon need to be aware of four key year-end Tax Facts.

1. What is the IRA Annual Contribution Limit for 2014?  A taxpayer can contribute up to a maximum of $5,500 ($6,500 if 50 or older) to a traditional or Roth IRA. If a taxpayer files a joint return with a spouse, each taxpayer may contribute to an IRA even if only one has taxable compensation.  In some cases, the taxpayer may need to reduce the income tax deduction allowed for the traditional IRA contributions.  This income tax deduction reduction applies if one of the spouses has a retirement plan already at work and their combined income is above a certain level.

2. What is the Last Day to Contribute to 2014 IRA Limit? A taxpayer can actually contribute in 2015 toward the 2014 IRA contribution maximum amount allowed, but the last day for such catch up contribution is April 15, 2015 (the date the tax return for 2014 is due).

3. What is the Penalty for Contributing More Than the Limit?  A taxpayer is subject to a six percent tax on the excess contribution above the IRA contribution limit for the year.  Worse though, the tax applies each year that the excess amount remains in the IRA account.  To avoid this penalty, a taxpayer must withdraw the excess amount from the IRA by April 15, 2014, or by the date of any 2014 filing extension.

4. When Must a Taxpayer Begin Taking the IRA Required Minimum Distributions (RMD)?  When a taxpayer reaches age 70½, then a required minimum distribution, or RMD, is required from a traditional IRA.  However, a Roth IRA does not have a RMD.  The RMD is required by Dec. 31, 2014.  But the deadline is April 1, 2015 if the taxpayer reached 70½ in 2014.

When a taxpayer has more than one traditional IRA, then the RMD calculation is required to be made separately for each IRA. But, the total RMD can be withdrawn from just one, or more of them.  The penalty for not taking the full annual RMD amount is a 50 percent excise tax on the RMD amount not withdrawn.

5. What is the Saver’s credit?  The formal name of the saver’s credit is the retirement savings contributions credit. A taxpayer may potentially qualify for this credit if contributing to an IRA or retirement plan. The saver’s credit can increase the tax refund or reduce the tax owed for 2014.

2015_tf_on_indiv_sm_business_cover-mTax Facts on Individuals & Small Business focuses exclusively on what individuals and small businesses need to know to maximize opportunities under today’s often complex tax rules.  It is the essential tax reference for financial advisors, & planners; insurance professionals; CPAs; attorneys; and other practitioners advising small businesses and individuals.

Organized in a convenient Q&A format to speed you to the information you need, Tax Facts on Individuals & Small Business delivers the latest guidance on:
• Healthcare & New Medicare Tax and Net Investment Income tax
• Business Deductions and Losses including Home Office
• Contractor vs. Employee — clarified!
• Business Life Insurance
• Small Business Entity Choices & Small Business Valuation
• Capital Gains & Investor Losses
• Accounting — including guidance on how standards change as the business grows

Posted in Retirement Planning | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Paul Greenwood, former Islanders co-owner, sentenced to 10 years for billion dollar ponzi scheme

Posted by William Byrnes on December 9, 2014


read the full story on International Financial Law Prof Blog.

720px-US-CFTC-Seal.svgThe U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)  announced that Paul Greenwood operated a $1.3 billion investment scam where he and a co-Defendant misappropriated at least $554 million from commodity pool participants, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for charges related to his participation in the scam. Earlier, on July 28, 2010, Greenwood pled guilty to a six-count criminal indictment on the charges, including a commodities fraud charge in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).  read the full story on International Financial Law Prof Blog.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Revised FFIEC Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Examination Manual

Posted by William Byrnes on December 5, 2014


The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) released the revised Bank FFIECSecrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) Examination Manual for 2014.

Statement of Applicability to Institutions With Total Assets Under $1 Billion: This Financial Institution Letter applies to all FDIC-supervised banks and savings associations, including community institutions.  The BSA/AML Examination Manual – see International Financial Law Prof Blog.

Posted in Financial Crimes, Money Laundering | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

International Financial Law Prof Blog

Posted by William Byrnes on December 2, 2014


read the entire story with links at International Financial Law Prof Blog.

An analysis of the crime of bribery of foreign public officials

FATF logoMost international bribes are paid by large companies, usually with the knowledge of senior management, according to new OECD analysis of the cost of foreign bribery and corruption.

Bribes in the analysed cases equalled 10.9% of the total transaction value on average, and 34.5% of the profits – equal to USD 13.8 million per bribe. But given the complexity and concealed nature of corrupt transactions, this is without doubt the mere tip of the iceberg, says the OECD.

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Analysis of the 2014 FATCA GIIN Registration Lists

Posted by William Byrnes on December 2, 2014


International Financial Law Prof Blog

FATCA_rollHaydon Perryman and I have sifted through the GIIN lists of June through December.  I present Part 1 initial analysis below.  Part 2 on Thursday.

By the way, the 3rd edition of my Lexis Guide to FATCA Compliance will be out soon with substantial more analysis – 1,200 pages over 54 chapters.  Over 50 FATCA compliance experts from tier 1 institutions, former government officials, and professional firms have contributed to create this detailed and robust guide, filled with numerous practical examples and several chapters written specifically for the non-legal, compliance operations officer.  No filler pages of publicly available documents and regurgitated regulations – it’s all beef.  See the Lexis website to order a copy of this 3rd edition.

…. The November 2014 list saw a jump in registration, led by the United Kingdom, achieving a total of 116,104 FFIs and branch registrations.[6]  43 percent of all registered GIIN are from the UK and her Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories. The final GIIN list released before submission for publication, December’s, grew by only six thousand registrations, to 122,881, of which only 6,094 were from non-IGA countries.  Such a stunted growth in FFI registration is foreboding of the remaining, significant compliance challenges. …. read the entire story at International Financial Law Prof Blog

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IRS extends FATCA IGA Signatory Deadlines Beyond January 1

Posted by William Byrnes on December 1, 2014


Announcement 2014-38  provides guidance with respect to jurisdictions that are treated as if they had a FATCA intergovernmental agreement (IGA) in effect pursuant to Announcement 2014-17, 2014-18 I.R.B. 1001, but that do not sign the IGA before December 31, 2014.

Announcement 2014-38 provides that a jurisdiction that is treated as if it had an IGA in effect, but that has not yet signed an IGA, retains such status beyond December 31, 2014, provided that the jurisdiction demonstrates firm resolve to sign the IGA as soon as possible.

After December 31, 2014, Treasury will review the list of jurisdictions having an agreement in substance on a monthly basis to assess whether it continues to be appropriate to treat such a jurisdiction as if it had an IGA in effect or whether a jurisdiction should be removed from the list.

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Year-End Gifts to Charity – IRS Tax Facts

Posted by William Byrnes on December 1, 2014


9dc30-6a00d8341bfae553ef01bb07b43355970d-piThe Internal Revenue Service reminds individuals and businesses making year-end gifts to charity that several important tax law provisions have taken effect in recent years. Some of the changes taxpayers should keep in mind include:

Rules for Charitable Contributions of Clothing and Household Items

Household items include furniture, furnishings, electronics, appliances and linens. Clothing and household items donated to charity generally must be in good used condition or better to be tax-deductible. A clothing or household item for which a taxpayer claims a deduction of over $500 does not have to meet this standard if the taxpayer includes a qualified appraisal of the item with the return.

Donors must get a written acknowledgement from the charity for all gifts worth $250 or more. It must include, among other things, a description of the items contributed.

Guidelines for Monetary Donations

A taxpayer must have a bank record or a written statement from the charity in order to deduct any donation of money, regardless of amount. The record must show the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution. Bank records include canceled checks, and bank, credit union and credit card statements. Bank or credit union statements should show the name of the charity, the date, and the amount paid. Credit card statements should show the name of the charity, the date, and the transaction posting date.

Donations of money include those made in cash or by check, electronic funds transfer, credit card and payroll deduction. For payroll deductions, the taxpayer should retain a pay stub, a Form W-2 wage statement or other document furnished by the employer showing the total amount withheld for charity, along with the pledge card showing the name of the charity.

These requirements for the deduction of monetary donations do not change the long-standing requirement that a taxpayer obtain an acknowledgment from a charity for each deductible donation (either money or property) of $250 or more. However, one statement containing all of the required information may meet both requirements.

Reminders

The IRS offers the following additional reminders to help taxpayers plan their holiday and year-end gifts to charity:

  • Qualified charities. Check that the charity is eligible. Only donations to eligible organizations are tax-deductible. Select Check, a searchable online tool available on IRS.gov, lists most organizations that are eligible to receive deductible contributions. In addition, churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and government agencies are eligible to receive deductible donations. That is true even if they are not listed in the tool’s database.
  • Year-end gifts. Contributions are deductible in the year made. Thus, donations charged to a credit card before the end of 2014 count for 2014, even if the credit card bill isn’t paid until 2015. Also, checks count for 2014 as long as they are mailed in 2014.
  • Itemize deductions. For individuals, only taxpayers who itemize their deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A can claim deductions for charitable contributions. This deduction is not available to individuals who choose the standard deduction. This includes anyone who files a short form (Form 1040A or 1040EZ). A taxpayer will have a tax savings only if the total itemized deductions (mortgage interest, charitable contributions, state and local taxes, etc.) exceed the standard deduction. Use the 2014 Form 1040 Schedule A to determine whether itemizing is better than claiming the standard deduction.
  • Record donations. For all donations of property, including clothing and household items, get from the charity, if possible, a receipt that includes the name of the charity, date of the contribution, and a reasonably-detailed description of the donated property. If a donation is left at a charity’s unattended drop site, keep a written record of the donation that includes this information, as well as the fair market value of the property at the time of the donation and the method used to determine that value. Additional rules apply for a contribution of $250 or more.
  • Special Rules. The deduction for a car, boat or airplane donated to charity is usually limited to the gross proceeds from its sale. This rule applies if the claimed value is more than $500. Form 1098-C or a similar statement, must be provided to the donor by the organization and attached to the donor’s tax return.

If the amount of a taxpayer’s deduction for all noncash contributions is over $500, a properly-completed Form 8283 must be submitted with the tax return.

IRS YouTube Videos: 

Year-End Tax Tips: English
Charitable Contributions: English | Spanish | ASL
Exempt Organizations Select Check: English | Spanish | ASL

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