Income Shifting to Reduce Tax for Real Estate Sale

Income shifting is a fundamental income tax planning concept. It involves strategically allocating income among related taxpayers to minimize the overall tax liability. This may be intended to use up tax attributes of one taxpayer (such as deductions or tax credits), take advantage of tax deferral options to delay paying taxes, or take advantage of…

Allocations After Innocent Spouse Relief Granted

When a married couple files a joint tax return, both spouses are jointly and severally liable for the full amount of tax owed. This means that the IRS can collect the entire tax liability from either spouse, regardless of who earned the income or claimed the deductions. However, in certain situations, a spouse may be…

Court Says IRS Can Assess Form 5471 Penalties

Our federal tax system is code-based. This means that most of what the law is can be found in statutes. The premise is that one can read the statutes and get a general idea of what the law is. This is why when it comes to tax law, each word matters. Adding or removing a…

Third-Party Liability for Repaying Employee Retention Credits

Many businesses outsource their human resources to third parties called Professional Employer Organizations (“PEOs”). PEOs are particularly popular with small businesses. The benefits of using a PEO include allowing the business to focus on its business operations rather than HR activities and giving employees access to better employee benefits. This is achieved by having the…

Can a Co-Inheritor Do a 1031 Exchange?

Those who create wealth often accumulate assets to store the value of wealth they create. This includes assets that store value and produce additional income, such as real estate. In many cases, the wealth creator has put considerable time and effort into building their portfolio of investments. But when they die, those who inherit are…

Who Gets Paid First: the Family Member or the IRS?

When someone owes the IRS money, chances are good that they have other creditors who are also owed money. This raises questions as to who gets paid first–the third parties or the IRS. The answer is usually the IRS–if the IRS even bothers to attempt to collect. In many cases, the IRS does not ever…

IRS Can Force Business to Use Payroll Service, Court Rules

When a business fails to pay its payroll taxes, the consequences can be severe. The IRS has several collection tools at its disposal to collect unpaid payroll taxes. This includes liens, levies, and even criminal charges against the business owners. The IRS recently attempted to expand its collection powers to prevent future non-compliance. In United…

Tee Time on Taxpayers’ Dime: IRS Employee Golfing on the Job

The IRS cannot simply terminate employees as private-sector employers can. IRS employees are often shielded by complex bureaucratic processes that makes it difficult to remove them from their positions. The recent case of Sheiman v. Department of the Treasury, No. 2022-2045 (Fed. Cir. 2024), provides an opportunity to consider the IRS’s challenges in terminating an…

About “Sandbagging” in Tax Litigation

The litigation process requires parties to adhere to various procedural rules. These rules are intended to ensure fairness and efficiency in the court process. One of the most critical aspects of this process is the discovery phase, where parties exchange information and evidence relevant to the case. Some litigants may attempt to gain an unfair…

IRS Can Sidestep Taxpayers’ CDP Rights by Applying Overpayments

Imagine that Congress sets out a remedy to curb IRS abuses. And further consider that after the taxpayer pursues the remedy, the rules allow the IRS to simply sidestep the remedy. So the remedy is no remedy at all. That is what we have in the Zuck v. Commissioner, No. 25125-14L (U.S.T.C. Apr. 6, 2022)…