December 30, 2013
Section 107 of the Internal Revenue Code provides a tax exemption for a housing allowance provided to a “minister of the gospel.” In a decision virtually certain to be overturned, a federal judge has found the exemption unconstitutional.
December 22, 2013
Our free online guide to Roth retirement accounts has been fully updated. This extensive guide offers much of the information covered in Go Roth!, our book on the subject.
December 6, 2013
The IRS is out with the standard mileage rates for 2014. Here are the main points, quoted from the IRS announcement:
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2014, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
- 56 cents per mile for business miles driven
- 23.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
- 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
The business, medical, and moving expense rates decrease one-half cent from the 2013 rates. The charitable rate is based on statute.
September 21, 2013
By Kaye A. Thomas
The August inflation numbers are out, and that means it is now possible to determine the 2014 amounts for many of the tax numbers that are adjusted each year for inflation. Among the numbers affected are the size of the income tax brackets, personal exemptions, and the income levels where various tax benefits begin to phase out. The IRS usually waits at least a few weeks before announcing these numbers, but we’ve done our own calculations, which are available in our Reference Room.
August 5, 2013
By Kaye A. Thomas
Update: The IRS has issued a ruling that addresses the most important issues discussed in this post. We’ll have detailed guidance in the near future but for now here are the main points:
More to come.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act raises many complicated tax issues. One of the most important is whether the marital status of same-sex couples will be determined based on the state of celebration or the state of residence. What happens if a couple has been married in a state where same sex-marriage is legal but now resides in a state where such marriages are not recognized? (more…)
April 23, 2013
By Kaye A. Thomas
If you read the Wall Street Journal, you may be aware that legislation dealing with Internet sales is moving forward. Monday, the Senate voted 74 to 20 in favor of opening debate on the measure. [Update: the Senate subsequently passed the bill; action in the House is pending with the outcome uncertain at this point.] The picture of this legislation painted on the Journal’s editorial pages is misleading, however.
March 3, 2013
A few years ago, to stimulate the housing market Congress created a special credit for certain people buying homes. It was called the first-time homebuyer credit, although it wasn’t strictly limited to people who had never owned a home. The first version of the credit was really an interest-free loan made through the tax system: qualified taxpayers received the credit in the year they bought the home but had to repay it through “recapture” of the credit over a number of years. If you claimed this version of the credit and are unsure where you stand in terms of repaying it, the IRS has a new tool on its website where you can look up this information. (Taxpayers who used the revised version of this credit do not have to repay it.)
February 15, 2013
January 12, 2013
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 provides “taxpayer relief” primarily by extending tax benefits that were scheduled to expire. Here is a list of the extensions that are of most interest to individual taxpayers. Changes labeled “permanent” can be altered by an Act of Congress but will not expire automatically.
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