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IRS Targets Caribbean Offshore Tax Havens

A recent blog post addressed the U.S. government’s attempts to ferret out the unreported foreign bank accounts of U.S. citizens. Under current U.S. law, all foreign bank accounts consisting of over $50,000 must be reported to the IRS, but many of these accounts are held in countries where the government has The IRS has already [...]

How to Best Be Prepared for a Natural Disaster

Of course, no one wants to have to deal with the after-effects of a natural disaster. But if you read the newspaper or watch the news on TV or online, on any particular day you can probably find a story about a natural disaster occurring somewhere in the world, and the horrendous aftermath it leaves [...]

U.S. Steps Up Efforts to Locate Foreign Tax Shelters

The current budget battles are ongoing in the United States government, with one side declaring that no new taxes be enacted, and one side fighting to raise taxes on wealthier Americans, it’s a no-brainer for the IRS to track down every dollar that is legally due. Not collecting the taxes that are already authorized is like giving [...]

Don’t Become A Victim

When you turn your paperwork over to a tax preparer, you are trusting that person with an awful lot of personal information. You have given that person your social security number, your income information, where you live, the names of your spouse and children….. In short, you are trusting your tax preparer with everything that [...]

Tax Implications of Obama’s 2014 Federal Budget

President Obama’s 2014 federal budget proposal was unveiled on April 10, and it was already drawing criticism from both parties even before its release. Debate in this town has raged between reducing our deficits at all costs and making the investments necessary to grow our economy. “And this budget answers that argument. We can grow [...]

What Legalized Same-Sex Marriage Means for Taxes

When you are part of a married couple, you generally file a joint tax return. You probably don’t think too much about how your legal tax-filing status affects the amount of your tax liability. The advantage of a joint return is apparent when one person earns all or the majority of the income.  It is [...]

Strange but True Tax Deductions

You may have heard of the outrageous things that some people have tried to claim as legitimate deductions when filing their income taxes at your friendly next door Los Angeles tax preparation firm. Sometimes these items are so ridiculous, you have to wonder what the filer was thinking. But sometimes, these strange deductions can be [...]

13 Deductions to Take Even if You Don’t Itemize

Many people in the Los Angeles area avoid itemizing their deductions, and choose instead to take the standard deduction, for several reasons. They may not have enough itemized deductions to exceed the standard deduction. They may be intimidated by the tax prep process and afraid that itemizing may put them at higher risk of an [...]

Former Reagan Economic Adviser Suggests Capping Deductions

All sorts of ideas are floating to the top during the almighty 2013 Battle of the Federal Budget. Republicans want to accomplish a balanced budget and reduction of the federal deficit through spending cuts exclusively, while Democrats want propose a combination of new revenues (i.e., tax increases, although without increasing the marginal tax rates) and [...]

How to Get the Most from the American Opportunity Tax Credit

Even as college costs soar, and more and more students graduate under crushing burdens of debt, the federal government has made some changes to the United States federal tax code to help out those struggling students and their families. The original college federal tax credit, known as the Hope Credit, was instituted in 1998. It [...]

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