Tax Rascal

New ObamaCare Taxes Revealed

Categories: Business, Economy, Featured, Personal Finance, Politics, Tax News, Tax Policy, Uncategorized

When Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House, she famously quipped that Congress would have to pass the 2010 omnibus healthcare bill in order to find out what was in it.  Congress complied, and now America is starting to find out what is inside the bill come law: taxes, taxes and more taxes.

The Internal Revenue Service recently released new rules for investment income taxes on capital gains and dividends earned by so-called “high income” payers.

Enter: the first surtax to be applied to capital gains and dividend income at 3.8%.  But the surtax is more complicated than it seems, because it applies to a broad range of investment securities such as stocks, bonds, commodity securities, specialized derivatives and more.… Read more...

What Are the Penalties and Interest for Late Taxes?

Categories: Featured, Personal Finance

You might not have to pay as much as you think, or anything at all

The first thing everyone wants to know when it comes to late taxes is whether they will be charged any penalties and interest. In fact, fear of penalties is enough to keep some people from filing their taxes. But some late filers don’t have to pay any penalties at all. Arming yourself with information can help you make the best decisions when it comes to dealing with your late taxes.

No penalties

If you’re due a refund, you don’t owe the IRS any penalties or interest. That’s right. None. Zippo. Zilch. That means you can file a late return without having to worry about getting … Read more...

Christie Brinkley Becomes a Tax Rascal

Categories: Entertainment, Featured

The quad married, thrice Sports Illustrated, ex-Mrs. Billy Joel owes half a mill to Uncle Sam

There’s nothing we here at Tax Rascal love more than a celebrity tax scandal to distract us from the Tolstoyean tax drama of Congress. The latest celebrity to get on the IRS’s bad side is Christie Brinkley, the supermodel and former Uptown Girl.

The three-time swimsuit edition cover girl reportedly owes the IRS $531,000 in back taxes. In response, the government agency placed a tax lien against her Long Island home on November 21.

The New York Daily News reports that “the lien is on her address at the towered mansion on Brick Kiln Road in Bridgehampton, where she resides.”

A representative

Busted! Crooked IRS Agent Pushed Shady Mortgage Refinancings

Categories: Uncategorized

Let’s say you’ve got a steady job, a good income, people have to trust you (whether they like it or not), and you’re handling lots of other people’s money. What do you do? If you’re Mark Claybrooks, you start a sleazy scheme for defrauding people and taking bribes. Usually when you take bribes, you’ll get nailed by the government; they usually catch you by checking up on your taxes. Mark was safe from the IRS, for one simple reason — he worked there

According to one source, Claybrooks made $20,000 on the scheme — at least, that’s how much they caught him for. But the scheme lasted for several years, and those numbers are for just two people who … Read more...

Check’s in the Mail: The IRS is Trying to Pay Taxpayers $266 million

Categories: Uncategorized

The IRS has recently announced that hundreds of thousands of stimulus and rebate checks haven’t made it to their intended recipients. You can blame out-of-date mailing addresses and social security number snafus.

Fortunately, the IRS is bending over backwards to make sure these get delivered. They’ve publicized the issue (though 383,000 wrong addresses out of over 100 million tax filers doesn’t call for much of a mea culpa), and they’ve whipped up some useful tools for curious taxpayers:

It’s almost inevitable that this will lead to a new a new generation of advance-fee frauds, so be on … Read more...

Suffering From ‘Non-Filer Syndrome’? Better Have Rich Friends

Categories: Uncategorized

Charles O’Byrne, a top aide to New York Governor David Patterson, refused to file income taxes for years. He now owes the state $300,000 and an apology — he’s been able to tender one of these on his own.

What’s surprising is that for someone earning so much — his last salary was $178,000 per year — and working directly for the state government, O’Byrne didn’t get much attention from the tax authorities. From 2001 to 2005, he accumulated a six-figure debt without ever being asked to pay up.

According to his lawyer, Richard Kestenbaum, he suffered from ‘Non-Filer Syndrome’, which made him too depressed to do his taxes, even though, “Most times, with professionals, these are very high-functioning … Read more...

Race Car Champs, Prostitutes, Biden, Palin, and Other Tax Miscreants

Categories: Uncategorized

Today’s taxosphere is still busy digesting the new bailout, but there’s plenty of other business to discuss. A pair of high-profile tax evasion cases have gotten some attention, the credit crisis is considered in more detail, and the Biden/Palin vice-presidential debate features some gaffes on both sides.


Five Simple Rules for Keeping Your Taxes Straight

Categories: Uncategorized

As complicated as taxes are, most of the problems people face with taxes don’t involve missing some detail of the tax code — though that does happen. Most tax problems start when a routine filing is complicated by lacking the right information, waiting too long to start working on taxes, or forgetting the tax considerations involved in their decisions. Here are a few simple rules to keep you on track:

  1. Always right it down — better yet, type it up: whenever your accountant tells you something, whenever you make a decision that might have tax consequences, and every time you make a major purchase or sale, make sure you’ve recorded it in a safe place. The best thing to

Who Audits the Auditors: The IRS Slams Tax Preparers, But For Good Reason?

Categories: Uncategorized

A recent IRS survey revealed that almost two thirds of tax preparers not enrolled with the IRS make errors in the returns they prepare. This study is illuminating, first for what it reveals, but also for what it obscures.

The first thing to keep in mind is that the study was more limited than the headlines indicate. According to the New York Times,

The report was done by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the independent oversight arm of the I.R.S. Agents posing as taxpayers solicited and paid for returns at a small sample of 28 unenrolled preparers — 16 of them at small mom-and-pop shops and 12 at chains.

Usually, a sample size of just 28 isn’t … Read more...


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