Category Archives: Tax Legislation

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker May Propose Unconstitutional Sales Tax Collection Responsibility on Remote Sellers

BOSTON – January 27, 2017. In an attempt to balance his $40.5 billion budget, Governor Charlie Baker may propose that remote sellers be required to collect Massachusetts sales taxes on sales of tangible personal property made over the internet to Massachusetts residents. A so-called “remote seller” is a seller that ...

Building Wealth through Real Estate: Financial and Tax Policies of the United States Government That Can Lead To Significant Wealth through Real Estate Ownership

Financial and tax policies of the United States government can help Americans achieve significant wealth through real estate ownership. These policies tend to favor taxpayers who, like the Trump family, are willing to commit to "the long game”, where the full benefits of real estate ownership accrue over decades and ...

The Power of Voluntary Taxpayer Disclosure

Today the Boston Globe reported that PTC, Inc. (“PTC”) voluntarily disclosed that its Chinese subsidiaries allegedly provided about $1.5 million in bribes to foreign officials over a period of five years (from 2006 through 2011) in violation of the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. PTC is a publicly held ...

UPDATE: IRS Withdraws Proposed Regulations on Substantiation of Donations in Response to Taxpayer Comments

Back in September of 2015, the Treasury and IRS issued proposed regulations related to section 170(f)(8)(D) providing an alternate framework for substantiating charitable donations. The proposal would require a donee organization to obtain the donor’s taxpayer identification number, along with other identifying information such as name and address. This information ...

The United States Taxation of Bitcoins and Transactions Denominated in Bitcoins

Introduction On March 25, 2014 the Internal Revenue Service published Notice 2014-21 which described the United States taxation of Bitcoins[1] and the United States taxation of transactions denominated in Bitcoins. This Notice generally treats Bitcoins as “property.”[2] The IRS guidance tracked a Financial Crimes Enforcement Network "Guidance" ...

Year-End Tax Tips Update: Qualified Charitable Distributions Permanently Extended

We’ve been waiting all year to find out which tax provisions will be extended and today, in the 11th hour, Congress has passed the “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015." This bill is expected to be was signed by President Obama  shortly and made law. The importance of this bill ...

Jerry Lucente Speaks

Jerry Lucente is a Small Business/Self Employed Territory Manager with the North Atlantic Region of IRS, which includes the six New England states, New York and New Jersey. He is responsible for four groups at IRS that comprise about 100 employees. On Tuesday, December 15, 2015, Jerry spoke informally at ...

Contributions of Art: Elements of a “Boring” Charitable Contribution Deduction

Introduction This article highlights some of the more critical income tax issues that taxpayers and their advisors must address when claiming the charitable contribution deduction for the gift of art to art museums. This article does not reflect all tax issues that must be considered in claiming a charitable contribution deduction on a United States income tax return. Rather, this article provides a broad and selective overview of a complex area of the United States income tax law.

Do Recent FBAR Changes Indicate a Softening of the IRS’ Stance Toward Taxpayers with Foreign Financial Accounts?

Bring up the topic of FBARs (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) with someone who has foreign financial accounts and the conversation will most likely take a nosedive. With an enforcement regime which can apply severe penalties for non-willful as well as willful violations, many taxpayers with small accounts ...

Preserving Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board Appeals Rights: Recent ATB Decision Highlights Three Traps for the Unwary

Phillips v. Commissioner of Revenue (ATB 2015-113 published on March 20, 2015) highlights three traps for the unwary that can hurt Massachusetts taxpayers. For example, it may be a trap to follow the appeals procedures set forth in Massachusetts Department of Revenue (“MDOR”) letters to taxpayers. In Phillips, taxpayers followed these procedures. The Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board (“ATB”)[1] nonetheless dismissed the taxpayers’ appeal for lack of jurisdiction. The ATB decision in Phillips is summarized and discussed below. The full text is available for download on the ATB website.[2]