On June 1, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of tax return preparers with respect to the PTIN matter.  Specifically, it ruled that the U.S. government must stop charging for PTINs, and must refund all PTIN fees paid.  Those fees total roughly $270m.  I am/my firm is co-counsel in the case.  The Government has the right to appeal. ...

Read More

The Small Business Council of America has questioned that, assuming tax reform costs $3-5 trillion (its estimate), how will Congress pay for it?  The answer:  It won’t.  A quote:  “Look for the deficit hawks to be asked to stand down while tax reform goes through the way the majority of Republicans want. . . . [S]o it is unlikely that the leadership will want to add how to pay for tax ...

Read More

A U.S. district court in Texas has upheld the DOL’s regulatory expansion of the fiduciary rule, whereby virtually anyone connected to retirement benefits, whether they are in a retirement plan or an IRA, becomes a fiduciary. Having studied the regulations in light of the applicable statutory framework, I think almost all of it is lawful under applicable case law.  (Basically, the question is ...

Read More

Today, the AJC reported a large pension contribution increase by the state for the TRS in Georgia ($223 million). In 2014, I wrote an article about public pensions in Georgia.  It was published by The GA Public Policy Foundation.  It noted that contribution demands would increase. The current system favors teachers who hang on forever and the administrators who run the system.  Both will ...

Read More

In a February 6, 2017 Society for Human Resource Management article by Stephen Miller, it was explained that PPO deductibles have been rising at a higher rate than high deductible health plan (HDHP) deductibles, with the PPO family average of $2,421 being just slightly below the $2,600 family deductible minimum for a HDHP.   The figure is significant because if a health plan is a HDHP (and only ...

Read More

President Trump has issued an executive order, directing that the regulatory fiduciary duty expansion implemented by the Obama Administration be considered for repeal. In an executive order issued on February 3rd, President Trump cited the need to empower Americans to make their own financial decisions, save for retirement and build individual wealth necessary to afford typical lifetime ...

Read More

For 2016, the due date for partnership returns, including entities treated as partnerships for tax purposes (most LLCs), is the 15th day of the third month following year-end.  So, for calendar year entities, the due date of the 2016 return is March 15, 2017.  The due date for C corporation returns has been pushed back by one month, to the 15th day of the 4th month following year-end.    The ...

Read More

At the January Atlanta Tax Forum, the speaker was Dean Zerbe, a Washington tax insider. He said he anticipates the following for 2017:  (a) 3 tax brackets with the highest individual rate being 33 percent; (b) elimination of the ACA 3.8 percent tax on investment income and the individual alternative minimum tax (AMT); (c) the maximum long-term capital gains rate (and the rate applicable to most ...

Read More

The Board of Trustees administering the FAFSA program has changed the year which is analyzed for federal financial aid for college purposes to the second full year preceding the year of college in issue, effective beginning with the 2017-2018 school year.  Thus, for the 2016-2017 year, the 2015 tax information is used.  For the 2017-2018 schoolyear, 2015 tax information will also be used. ...

Read More

The IRS successfully challenged a ROBS (rollover as a business startup) transaction involving an ESOP in Fleming v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2015-224.   A doctor rolled over IRA benefits to an ESOP.  The facts were peculiar, in that the company was prohibited from competing for a period of years following the ROBS transaction.  The IRS challenged the transaction on a number of bases, and ...

Read More