Ford Motor Co. Not Entitled to Interest on Deposits with the IRS

 In Ford Motor Company v. U.S., 2014 PTC 516 (10/1/14), the Sixth Circuit held that Ford Motor Co. was not entitled to interest between the time the company submitted amounts to the IRS as a deposit, and the time the company requested those amounts be treated as an advance payment for tax deficiencies. Ford argued that the conversion of its deposits into advance tax payments applied retroactively and that interest should thus accrue from the date the company remitted the deposits, instead of when the conversion occurred. The court determined that, at the outset, Ford could have remitted the estimated tax amount as an advance payment, but decided instead for a deposit. Thus, the court held that Ford’s election prevented the remittances from being treated as overpayments, and the IRS correctly refused to pay interest for the time the funds were labeled as a deposit. [Code Sec. 6601].

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IRS GRANTS TAX RELIEF TO DROUGHT-STRICKEN FARMERS AND RANCHERS IN 30 STATES!!!

If you’re a farmer or rancher and drought forced you to sell your livestock, special IRS tax relief may help you.
The IRS has extended the time to replace livestock that farmers were forced to sell due to drought. If you’re eligible, this may help you defer tax on any gains you received from the forced sales. The relief applies to all or part of 30 states affected by drought. Here are several points you should know about this relief:
• If the drought caused you to sell more livestock than usual, you may be able to defer tax on the extra gains from those sales.
• You generally must replace the livestock within a four-year period. The IRS has the authority to extend the period if the drought continues. For this reason, the IRS has added one more year to the replacement period in 30 states.
• The one-year extension of time generally applies to certain sales due to drought.
• If you are eligible, your gains on sales of livestock that you held for draft, dairy or breeding purposes apply.
• Sales of other livestock, such as those you raised for slaughter or held for sporting purposes and poultry, are not eligible.
• The IRS relief applies to farms in areas suffering exceptional, extreme or severe drought conditions. The National Drought Mitigation Center has listed all or parts of 30 states that qualify for relief. Any county that is contiguous to a county that is on the NDMC’s list also qualifies.
• This extension immediately impacts drought sales that occurred during 2010.
• However, the IRS has granted previous extensions that affect some of these localities. This means that some drought sales before 2010 are also affected. The IRS will grant additional extensions if severe drought conditions persist.
Get more on this relief in Notice 2014-60 on IRS.gov. This includes a list of states and counties where the IRS relief applies. For more on these tax rules see Publication 225, Farmer’s Tax Guide on IRS.gov. You can get a copy of it by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
If you found this Tax Tip helpful, please share it through your social media platforms. A great way to get tax information is to use IRS Social Media and subscribe to IRS Tax Tips or any of our e-news subscriptions.

5 Tips on Estimated Tax Payments

Some taxpayers may need to make estimated tax payments during the year depending on the type of income you receive.

If you do not have taxes withheld from your income, you may need to make estimated tax payments.
This may apply if you have income such as self-employment, interest, dividends or capital gains (typical bank account interest is generally insufficient to require estimated payments).
It could also apply if you do not have enough taxes withheld from your wages.
If you are required to pay estimated taxes during the year, you should make these payments to avoid a penalty.
You may need to pay estimated taxes in 2013 if you expect to owe $1,000 or more in taxes when you file your federal tax return.
Other rules apply, and special rules apply to farmers and fishermen.
When figuring the amount of your estimated taxes, you should estimate the amount of income you expect to receive for the year.
Try to make your estimates as accurate as possible.
You should also include any tax deductions and credits that you will be eligible to claim.
Be aware that life changes, such as a change in marital status or a child born during the year can affect your taxes.
You should use Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals, to figure your estimated tax.
You normally make estimated tax payments four times a year.
The dates that apply to most people are:
April 15,
June 17,
Sept. 16 in 2014, and
Jan. 15, 2015.
You may pay online, by phone, by check, by money order, or by credit or debit card.
You’ll find more information about your payment options in the Form 1040-ES instructions.
Also, check out the Electronic Payment Options Home Page at IRS.gov.
If you mail your payments to the IRS, you should use the payment vouchers that come with Form 1040-ES.

Down’ s Syndrome and the Link to Alzheimer’s

Down’s Syndrome and the Link to Alzheimer’s

The latest medical research is showing a link between the condition known as Down’s Syndrome and the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Already scientists know there is a high incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in people with Down’s Syndrome. By age 40, 40 percent of individuals with Down’s Syndrome develop Alzheimer’s. By age 50, the percentage increases to 50 percent. Why is this so? Scientists are not sure, but they have noticed that all people with Down’s Syndrome develop the plaques that cause Alzheimer’s, and they begin to do so at an early age. However, what intrigues them is why 50 percent of the Down’s Syndrome population DON’T develop the disease, even though they possess some of those troublesome plaques. Plaque is a sticky protein called amyloid-beta that covers nerve cells and inhibits the brain’s functioning.
Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that both Down’s Syndrome and Alzheimer’s have a related genetic component. People with Down’s Syndrome have an extra 21st chromosome, and plaques develop from a precursor protein for amyloid-beta which is configured on the 21st chromosome, according to Dr. Cindy Lemere, an associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. With this knowledge, some scientists like Dr. Brian Skotko, co-director of the Down’s Syndrome Program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, have begun experimental studies investigating the treatment of individuals with Down’s Syndrome with certain drug therapies. Dr. Skotko is currently using the drug, scyllo-inositol developed by the Elan Corporation, to see if plaque formation can be blocked while other cells in the body are fortified. A possible side effect of the treatment may be enhancement of intellectual functioning. If plaque formation can be stopped or slowed, the theory is that individuals with Down’s Syndrome may be able to function at higher levels. Those results should be available in the near future. In the meantime, he has lots of willing subjects who want to participate in his research.
Others are conflicted about this new possibility. One such person is Andy Majewski, whose son, Ben, has Down’s Syndrome and works at the Down’s Syndrome Program at Massachusetts General. The family considers Ben perfect, “so we don’t look for any changes in him. But the prospect of Alzheimer’s makes you think a bit more about, if there’s a potential cure, and if this can unlock the code to Alzheimer’s, we have to think about it a little more carefully.” Of course, they will involve Ben in the decision. The family is still considering what to do. It’s at least nice that now there may be options.
http://www.nbcnews.com/health/how-down-syndrome-may-help-unravel-alzheimers-puzzle…9/6/2013

Ideas to Make Homeownership Affordable

Much is being written about how it is becoming harder to purchase a first home. Is home ownership out of reach?

The problem

For years the values of homes kept going up with no visible ceiling in sight. Then came the 2008 recession and housing market collapse. While housing prices adjusted downward, the ability to obtain financing became much more difficult. Added to this problem was the increased difficulty of potential young home-buyers to make ends meet while carrying significant debt loads from college. While the housing market has now rebounded and interest rates are low, the median household income has not risen much to help take advantage of the home buying opportunity.

Given the difficulty to own your first home, here are some ideas to consider to make your dream a reality.

home icon Location. One strategy is to buy a more affordable, less expensive house in a great location. Over time this smaller starter home will more likely increase in value providing some equity for your next purchase.
home icon Start small. Consider making a condo in a high demand area your first home. As long as you do not over pay for the condo, you will be building equity for your next purchase.
home icon Save money. Start saving money for a down payment now. Ten percent is a good target, with twenty percent being ideal. Remember, new regulations make it more difficult to take gifts as a down payment for a home. If you have someone willing to support your home purchase, try to receive the down payment gift long before you need it.
home icon Check out low down payment lending programs. There are a number of options to reduce the amount of down payment required on your first home. The most common is FHA, but the fees can be high. The Veteran’s Administration has a no down payment option. But also check out local banks that have small down-payment requirements when you purchase mortgage premium insurance.
home icon Get pre-approved. Shop banks and financial institutions prior to looking for a home. They can walk you through the financing process, check your credit, and give you an estimate of what you can afford. Have the bank provide a pre-approved letter to help in your negotiations with the seller.
home icon Use “handy” to make it affordable. If you are handy with tools and making repairs, consider targeting a well built home that just needs a face-lift. This do-it-yourself attitude can save you money on the purchase price of a home that needs some work.
home icon Use tax breaks. Forecast your taxes with the benefit of home mortgage interest and property taxes as itemized deductions. Remember you can also use up to $10,000 in traditional IRA funds penalty-free to help pay for your first home. You will still owe income tax on the withdrawal, but can avoid the 10% early withdrawal penalty.
home icon Buy direct. Consider alternatives to the traditional home buying experience. Talk to friends and family to network into target neighborhoods and find homes not yet listed. Perhaps you can even find a seller willing to take a contract for deed for your home purchase to save on financing fees.
home icon Control the offer. Offer only what you believe you can afford, not necessarily the seller’s asking price. You may get pressure to offer more, but resist the temptation. You are the one that will need to make the mortgage payments in the years to come.

 

 

Louisiana SOS Notification

Secretary Schedler warns businesses about misleading letters regarding annual reports
 
Secretary of State Tom Schedler is notifying all business owners tobe cautious when receiving correspondence concerning annual reports. Corporate Records Service is not affiliated or associated with Louisiana state government in any way. It is a private company, and Louisiana corporations are not required to report to or have any dealing with this company at all. Any reports sent to Corporate Records Service will not fulfill the annual report that is due to the 
Department of State under Louisiana law.
 
As a reminder, our office offers an email notification system aimed at protecting Louisiana business owners from fraud and identity theft. Anyone can subscribe to the system which generates messages regarding changes to commercial entities, non-governmental correspondence, office closures and most importantly, warnings involving possible fraudulent activity.
 
For more information, visit _www.sos.la.gov or contact a Commercial Division staff member at 225.925.4704 or commercial@sos.la.gov.
Please do not reply to this email as it is automatically generated.  If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Commercial Division by email using commercial@sos.la.gov or by phone at 225.925.4704.

Simplified Home Office Deduction

If you take a home office deduction, you may be able to use an optional simplified method to figure it. But the maximum deduction under this new safe-harbor provision is just $1,500. Taxpayers with dedicated home offices may discover it’s worth the extra bookkeeping to justify a bigger write-off, including depreciation, which is not permitted under the new simplified provision. See Publication 587 for details.

Social Security Benefit Changes for 2014

Monthly federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment standard will be $721 for an individual and $1,082 for a couple.

Average monthly Social Security retirement payment: $1,294 a month (was $1,275) for individuals and $2,111 (was $2,080) for couples

Maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security taxation:$117,000 (was $113,700)

Hitting the Skids

In the new private ruling, the IRS says that reimbursements given to employees as part of a bike-sharing program aren’t tax-free.  Employers may provide a tax-free monthly benefit of up to $20 to cover expenses of biking to work – including the bicycle’s cost and any repairs or storage cost- but this exemption doesn’t apply to bike-sharing programs.  Therefore, all bike-sharing reimbursements are subject to both income and payroll taxes.