Income Taxation

  • New York State Tax Benefits for Seniors

    By:
    Joseph Rosoff, CPA
    |
    Sep 1, 2014
    Senior citizens or retired individuals filing a New York state income tax return may qualify for special income tax benefits and breaks that can reduce tax liability, including subtraction modifications and credits. Some examples of income exempt from New York state taxation include Social Security benefits, New York state pensions, pensions from local and federal governments, and the pension and annuity income exclusion.
  • The June 2014 Revised Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program and Streamlined Programs

    By:
    Melissa Gillespie, JD, CPA, MST
    |
    Aug 1, 2014
    It has been interesting to watch the IRS mold and remodel its original 2009 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). Since then, updates have included the 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI), which closed in September 2011; the December 2011 new compliance procedures for nonresident U.S. taxpayers, with a promise of “more to follow”; the 2012 OVDP program, which replaced the 2011 OVDI; and the announcement in June 2012 of new streamlined filing compliance procedures for U.S. citizens or dual citizens residing outside the United States. On Jun. 18, 2014, it was announced that the IRS has once again revised its OVDP.
  • The Grantor Retained Annuity Trust: A Jackpot for Taxpayers Who Want to Limit Gift Tax Liability

    By:
    Daniel Mazzola, CPA, CFA
    |
    Aug 1, 2014
    One of the first things lottery winners learn is that their prize money is subject to taxation. In the United States, lottery prize money is classified as gambling winnings and is considered taxable income, just like wages from employment and interest earned at a bank. There is not much the lottery winner of a significant cash prize can do regarding income taxes, but he can reduce gift taxes by establishing a grantor retained annuity trust.
  • A New Trend in New York State Residency Cases

    By:
    Brian Gordon, CPA
    |
    Jul 1, 2014
    For former New Yorkers, convincing New York state that a change of domicile occurred is still very difficult. Several recent residency cases have resulted in a loss for taxpayers and a win for New York state.
  • A CPA’s Guide to Life Insurance

    By:
    Chad L. Reyes
    |
    Apr 1, 2014
    Even during the depths of the Great Depression, the U.S. Supreme Court noted that life insurance for dependents is “kept up very often at the cost of painful sacrifice, and abandoned only under dire compulsion” (Burnet v. Wells). Because of the socially beneficial role life insurance plays in families that have lost a loved one, it has been afforded very favorable tax treatment by the IRC.
  • Feared PFIC Regs Get New Twist - Tax Stringer March 2014

    By:
    Lisa S. Goldman, CPA, and Thomas V. Ruta, CPA
    |
    Mar 1, 2014
    Late last year, the IRS released Temporary Regulation 1.1298-1T under IRC Section 1298(f) dealing with the complicated and troublesome rules surrounding passive foreign investment companies (PFICs). These new regulations require certain U.S. taxpayers who own shares in PFICs to report information about their investments on an enhanced Form 8621. The rules also have a complex history, and CPAs practicing in the international arena should pay close attention to the fine print.
  • Defending New York Residency Audits that Target Capital Gains

    By:
    Jack Trachtenberg, Esq.
    |
    Feb 1, 2014
    It is no secret that New York maintains one of the most aggressive residency audit programs in the country. By some accounts, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance generates more than $300 million per year in personal income tax revenue to a large extent by challenging the residency status of taxpayers who claim to have made their homes in other states. The largely subjective nature of the inquiry, combined with a high burden of proof for the taxpayer and frequent lack of available records to meet that burden of proof, feeds the aggressiveness of the department’s efforts to collect revenue. CPAs should be aware of the department's history and policies in this area.
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