Posts from April 2016.

I was very saddened to hear of the passing of recording artist Prince on April 21, 2016. As I watched my social media accounts surge with tributes and song lyrics, I allowed myself to reminisce and feel nostalgic about the 1980s. Most recently, I was quite surprised to learn along with the rest of the world, that Prince died without a Will.

If a person dies without a valid Last Will and Testament it is known as dying "intestate." In each state there are laws which dictate how property passes when someone dies without a valid Will. These are commonly referred to as laws of "descent and ...

Most people are familiar with the significant income tax benefits of contributing to a qualified retirement plan such as a 401(k) plan, or individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and the deferral of the income earned by the retirement account is a material income benefit. However, as we have previously discussed, there are very specific rules that require annual distributions from these plans. Unless certain limited exceptions apply, these distributions must begin by April 1 following the year in which the employee attains age 70 1/2. These annual distributions are typically ...

On March 30, 2016 the South Carolina Administrative Law Court (ALC) issued an order which determined that proceeds from the sale of damage waivers are subject to sales tax. Rent-A-Center East, Inc. v. South Carolina Department of Revenue, Docket No. 13-ALJ-17-0601-CC. Businesses renting and selling tangible personal property should be aware of the decision, and carefully evaluate whether they should be collecting sales tax on charges for damage waivers or similar insurance type products.

The ALC case involved a taxpayer in the business of renting and selling tangible personal ...

On March 29, 2016, the United States Tax Court released another case illustrating the hazards associated with investing individual retirement account ("IRA") assets in "non-traditional" investments. Upon retirement, some retirees consider starting a second career. In these situations, the retiree may be tempted to fund this second career through the purchase of a business with IRA assets. Thiessen v. Commissioner, 146 T.C. No. 7, illustrates the bad tax results that can happen.


James Thiessen studied metal fabrication in high school and worked at a metal ...

Beginning December 4, 2015, if you owe significant taxes to the IRS, the U.S. State Department now has the authority to deny or even revoke your passport.

Congress recently passed the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, Public Law 114-94 (FAST Act), and, as part of this broad-reaching effort to fix our nation's roads, adopted a little-publicized tax collection provision requested by the IRS where individuals can be prevented from receiving, or, worse still, can lose their passports if they owe taxes to the federal government.

Section 32101 of the FAST Act adopted a new ...

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