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Month: March 2015

GOOD NEWS FOR ESTATE TAX FOES

GOOD NEWS FOR ESTATE TAX FOES

House action last week caused at least a “baby step” to be taken relative to repeal of the estate tax.  The House Ways and Means Committee, by a vote of 22 to 10, passed H.R. 1105, the “Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015.” If/when it ever reaches Obama’s desk, veto is likely, but at least some in Congress are heading in the right direction. If passed, the act would not only repeal the estate tax, but also the GST tax…

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Could Cuban Player Defections Really Mess Up New Baseball Relations?

Could Cuban Player Defections Really Mess Up New Baseball Relations?

If you heard today’s NPR story on “With Improved Relations, Are The U.S. And Cuba Ready To Play Ball?“, then you heard a reference to the little-known “Cuban Adjustment Act.” Cuba’s baseball commissioner, Heriberto Suarez Pereda, places the blame squarely on this piece of U.S. immigration legislation for Cuba having already lost a number of major — and minor — players to the U.S., and for the likelihood that any efforts to normalize baseball competition between the two countries will be hampered…

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Credit Reporting Agencies Agree to Better Consumer Protections

Credit Reporting Agencies Agree to Better Consumer Protections

This month, the three nationwide credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) agreed to significant changes in their credit reporting practices and the way they handle consumer disputes. These voluntary changes, which resulted from a settlement with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, are set forth in what the credit reporting industry is calling The National Consumer Assistance Plan. (Learn what a credit report is and what is contains in Credit Report Basics.) Here are the highlights of these new…

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DON’T CALL – GO TO IRS WEBSITE FOR ANSWERS

DON’T CALL – GO TO IRS WEBSITE FOR ANSWERS

The continuing IRS budgetary problem is making the days of calling them (by telephone) almost obsolete – indeed, at the very least, frustrating and often fruitless. Taxpayers are therefore shifting their patterns of inquiry to the IRS website for answers.  Indeed, according to recent IRS stats, visits to www.irs.gov have increased by 11 percent compared to the same time last year.  In the week ended March 20 alone, there have been 15 million new visits! Check the site for, among…

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Gather Charity Records Before Filing

Gather Charity Records Before Filing

Don’t forget that in order to claim a charitable contribution deduction, donors must have – in hand – a written acknowledgement from each charity to which contributions totaling $250 or more have been made.  This rule applies to donations of cash or property. Indeed, the law requires that you have all of these acknowledgements before filing your return.  It won’t fly to wait until you’re audited, and secure the written proof at that time. Also, before filing, be sure any…

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