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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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I wasn’t always like this, I swear. There was a time in my life when if I wanted to satisfy my urge for tinkering, I’d kill a few hours on ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine, trying to determine exactly who my beloved New Jersey Nets would have to give up to acquire a young James Harden. But now…well, now I scratch that same itch by wondering, “Can I devise a revenue-neutral tax reform plan?”

And yes, I am significantly less fun at parties than I used to be.

But before my nerdiness drives you away, consider the importance of my undertaking. A revenue neutral tax plan — one that generates the same amount of tax revenue over the next decade — is the carrot the GOP is chasing. Why? As we’ve discussed in this space before, a tax reform plan — one that cuts rates, simplifies the law, and yes, as mentioned in the previous sentence, results in no net loss of tax dollars — can be passed through what’s called the “budget reconciliation process.”

Under this process, should the House and Senate ever get around to approving budgets that provide for a tax reform plan, that plan could be passed with only a simple 51 majority in the Senate. And because Republicans currently hold 52 seats in the Senate, it means that the GOP could pass its vision of tax reform without a single vote from a Democrat.

The catch, however, is that in order to use the reconciliation process, any bill cannot add to the deficit beyond the ten-year budget window, hence the need for revenue neutral tax reform.

How hard can that be?

Continue reading on, Forbes.com

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

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After enduring the healthcare debacle, Charlottesville nightmare, and a seemingly endless string of natural disasters, the White House is desperate for some good PR, and revamping the nation’s tax law is where it aims to find it.

Over the past year, many promises have been made and modified, proposals floated and abandoned, and timelines established and extended. And while I’d like nothing more than to use this space to get you caught up on the details of where we stand today — projected tax rates, a review of what deductions will be eliminated or survive, etc… — the reality is, those details simply don’t exist. In fact, we know far less today about what tax reform might look like than we did seven or eight months ago.

So instead, I’d like to take a look at the big picture: what are the five biggest questions that must be answered before the GOP can fulfill one of its biggest promises to the American public: a more simple, more fair tax system that leaves additional cash in the hands of businesses and families? Let’s take a look.

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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?

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

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As you may have read in one of your uncle’s late-night Facebook missives, President Donald Trump stands accused of having colluded with Moscow to make America not Great Again, but rather the largest province in the Russian empire.

There are more to these accusations than the social media ramblings of a distraught family member, however; the FBI found enough smoke around the Trump campaign to convince the Bureau there may well be fire, launching a federal investigation into possible collusion by the current administration in early 2017.

In May, former FBI Director Robert Mueller was tabbed as special counsel to head the investigation, a sign that things had turned towards the serious. The decision to bring in Mueller was made in response to the President’s dismissal of the standing FBI Director, James Comey, a move that came as Comey was reportedly intensifying his investigation into Trump’s affairs.

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

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As April 15th nears, the pace, anxiety, and general chaos that overtake the typical accounting office is rivaled only by that of the local emergency room. Of course, we’re preparing Schedule Cs rather than saving lives, but hey, the tax industry is defined by nothing if not its sense of self-importance.

Amidst all of that chaos, it is easy for things to get lost in the shuffle. And that’s a damn shame, because while a preparer can put in a heroic effort to get a particular tax return done on time, those long hours and late nights do little to no good if you the preparer doesn’t actually, you know…remember to file the return.

It happens more than you can imagine; weeks or months of hard work undone by the seemingly simple process of dropping an envelope off at the post office. Of course, electronic filing has reduced the role of traditional mail in the filing process, but then as every tax preparer has learned, e-filing presents its own batch of potential landmines.

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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