Showing posts from March, 2014

The Continuing Tax Mis-Adventures of Ms Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill is out of Jail, but the IRS keeps Hounding

Singer songwriter Lauryn Hill was thrown into jail for 3 months for tax evasion, with another 3 months of home confinement.  This is all based upon her following some scheme by phony tax advisors claiming that she did not need to file and pay income taxes.  Like many people, from physicians to celebrities, she fell prey to the tax protesters coaxes.

The IRS had a great time spending tens of millions of dollars prosecuting her but got incredible amounts of publicity to scare other people into filing their tax returns.  That is the basis of our "voluntary" tax system. Without people being scared of being thrown in jail, the system would collapse.

Now, just before the tax filing deadline, the IRS is using Lauryn Hill's name to keep scaring taxpayers.  This time they are announcing the filing of federal tax liens.  Even though she already had tax liens and obligations, the refiling of these to include additional periods…

Marriage Penalty - if you are Married on December 31, you are Married for Tax Purposes

Are you Married for Tax Purposes?

You are married for tax purposes as of December 31. So, if you were married on or before December 31,  2013, you would be single (or head of household depending upon the circumstances for the 2012 tax year, but you would be Married for 2013. Even if you were married on December 31. 2013, you are married for the entire year.
As a married person. you may file jointly with your husband or wife, or as married filing separately
You may not file as single or head of household.

Note, if you and your spouse are both employed, especially if your income is similar, you may end up paying more tax being married (especially if you previously filed as head of household.) This is called the "marriage penalty."
Here is a handy marriage penalty calculator:

Marriage Tax Penalty Calculator

Beware of Scam calls claiming to be from the IRS

Scam IRS Calls!

I am getting many calls from clients and potential clients saying the are getting calls from the “IRS” and are given strange numbers to call.  These are scam telephone calls trying to get personal information such as social security numbers, dates of birth, bank account information so that they can take money from your accounts and uses information as part of identity theft rings.  One typical sign of the scam fraud is the caller stating “you were going to jail”.

You will Never Get a Call from IRS without First Receiving a Letter

In fact, you will never get a call from the IRS threatening you in any way about jail, criminal matters or demanding that you give them information over the phone right away .  Before you get such a call, you will get a written notice from the IRS.  These notices will demand payment of tax and will either be from the IRS/ACS which does have 800 numbers, or from a local “Revenue Agent” who is in IRS employee and collector.

Never Give Information…