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Archive for the ‘tax’ Category

Today was the day. At long last, the first domino that may eventually leave to a thorough overhaul of our tax law was toppled by the House of Representatives with the release of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

For members of the tax-paying public, it can be tough to make sense of it all. When searching for someone to explain the potential changes in terms anyone can understand, options are scarce. Of course, you could simply wait around for the White House’s afternoon presser and listen to Sarah Huckabee Sanders correlate the corporate tax cuts with the exploits of “a man from Nantucket.”

Or, you could just keep reading here. Because what follows is a 30,000 foot view of the new bill, and I say that not because it’s a brief and top-level summary, but rather because I’m actually typing on a plane from Aspen to NYC.

Continue reading on, Forbes.com

Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took a break from her daily deflections of allegations of sexual assault and collusion against her employer to kindly teach the nation a lesson on how the tax law works.

You see, President Trump has long promised once-in-a-generation tax reform, hoping to use the GOP’s majority in the Senate to pass THE BIGGEST TAX CUTS IN HISTORY while adding much-needed simplicity to our morass of a tax law. And that promise begins its path to reality on Wednesday, when the House is slated to release the first draft of proposed legislation.

If you’re curious about the changes expected to be contained within that proposed legislation, feel free to read here. But the nature of any proposed tax cuts was not really what Sanders’ impromptu dissertation was about; rather, she took it upon herself to address what many Americans are preemptively speculating as they anticipate the release of the GOP plan: will this be a big tax cut for the rich, at the expense of the rest?

What followed was nearly four minutes that no one who was present for the performance will ever get back, and the point was clear: if the richest taxpayers get a bigger tax cut than everyone else, that’s perfectly OK, because:

1.The rich pay more tax to begin with, and
2.While the rich may get the biggest cut in terms of dollars saved, the remaining 99% of taxpayers would enjoy a bigger percentage reduction in their tax bill.

Continue reading on, Forbes.com

Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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Early this morning, Paul Manafort, the former chairman of President Trump’s campaign, was told to surrender to the FBI on a slew of charges, including:

1. Conspiracy against the United States
2. Conspiracy to Launder Money (Including Tax Evasion and Tax Fraud)
3. Failure to File Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts
4. Unregistered Agent of a Foreign Principal
5. False Statements

The indictment is the first handed down pursuant to an investigation conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 Presidential election. Also charged was Rick Gates, Manafort’s former business associate.

In order to gain a full understanding of the charges — particularly the tax violations alleged in numbers 2 and 3 — we must first recap the activities the government maintains Manafort engaged in from 2006 through 2014.

The Alleged Scheme

Beginning in 2006, Manafort worked as an unregistered agent in the Ukraine, acting as a political consultant, lobbyist and public relations professional for factions within the Ukraine government. Specifically, the claim alleges, Manafort worked to advance the political futures of members of the Ukraine’s pro-Russia Party of Regions.

Continue reading on, Forbes.com

Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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I’m a coward. Always have been; always will be. I intend to live a long, pain-free life before slowly being lowered into the ground a pristine, unspoiled corpse. And if reaching that goal requires me to push a few kids out of the way in the event of a fire, well, I’ve made my peace with that.

So needless to say, if I ever encounter an unwelcoming job market, my initial reaction will not be to ponder, “Well, let’s see what’s available in war-torn Iraq.”

Cowardice, it seems, is not a trait Jesse Linde and I share. A two-time Army helicopter pilot, after struggling to find work in the private sector, Linde jumped at the opportunity to relocate to the Middle East in order to continue flying. To date, he has successfully navigated the many dangers to be found in Iraq, but even halfway across the globe, he couldn’t escape one domestic menace: the IRS.

Yesterday, Linde found himself in the Tax Court, and it’s a decision that all tax professionals would be wise to review, as it addresses a fascinating area of the law:

Where is a your “tax home?”

Continue reading on, Forbes.com

Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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William Rutter is no dummy. A world-renowned scientist in the field of biotechnology, he earned a degree from Harvard and PhD from the University of Illinois before performing postdoctoral work at the Nobel Institute in Sweden. He has published over 400 scientific papers, holds over 25 patents, and has earned millions upon millions of dollars developing HIV and Hepatitis vaccines.

Late last week, however, all of Rutter’s accomplishments and accolades served only to validate a suspicion Albert Einstein voiced decades ago: the hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax. After all, if a genius like Rutter can wind up on the losing end of a Tax Court decision, what hope do the rest of us have?

Continue reading on, Forbes.com

Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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There’s a lot of politically-fueled hate in this country right now. Democrats hate President Trump. Republicans hate CNN and Colin Kaepernick. The alt-right hates everyone.

But can’t you see that harboring all of that hatred over what, really — when you take a step back — are small ideological differences, is both misplaced and misguided? After all, you — Mr. Diehard Democrat — had you been born in a different state and grown up on a farm, could easily have become a conservative. And you — Mrs. Resolute Republican — had you grown up with a parent who needed Medicaid, may well have become a liberal snowflake. While the chasm between the two parties seems impassable when we focus on the staunchest of the two sides, the reality is that most of us fall somewhere within that chasm, embracing a few sentiments from each party as part of our ever-evolving personal ethos. So why hate someone that could easily be you in a few years? It’s a wasted emotion.

Now, I’m not asking you to stop hating; that would be lunacy. Rather, I’m simply suggesting we see past our petty differences and unite to hate the same thing. A group of people so reprehensible that all of us — Democrat and Republican, black and white, gay and straight — can become one in our shared repulsion.

Continue reading on, Forbes.com

Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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There are no shortage of tax preparers in this country. Most are very good. Some are very, very bad. As a student of the law with twenty years of preparation experience, I’ve developed a discriminating eye, allowing me to easily differentiate between the two ends of the spectrum.

For many of you, however, separating the solid tax pro from the scam artist may prove a touch more difficult. That’s why I’m going to lay out some basic warning signs:

  • If a preparer guarantees they can get you a refund before you’ve given them your tax information, be afraid.
  • If a preparer guarantees you the exact amount of the refund they can get you after seeing only your W-2, be very afraid.
  • If a preparer requires you to pay a fixed percentage of your projected refund over to them as their fee, walk away; and
  • If a preparer plans to generate your refund by offsetting your wages with a substantial business loss — and you, you know…don’t actually own a business, for the love of God, run away.

Continue reading on, Forbes.com

Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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