Definition — Recovering the Benefit

Image source: HL Carpenter

The tax benefit rule (section 111) is a seemingly simple common sense attempt at equity that turns out to be a bit complicated in practice.

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Definition — Quoting Lincoln

Picture of Abraham Lincoln

The tax court quoted Abraham Lincoln this week, decided the difference between a tax and a penalty, and declined to ease the definition of an easement.

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Decisions — Bonding Matters

Image source: United States Treasury, Bureau of Public Debt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

You may not have thought about them in a while, but US savings bonds are still around. In general, the taxation of these bonds is fairly straightforward. But sometimes the simple things can trip up a taxpayer.

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Decisions — Excluding Hardship

Image source: Ebyabe (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

As Humphrey Bogart said in The African Queen, “Things are never so bad they can’t be made worse.” That’s true when you take an early distribution from your retirement account, even if you need the money to avoid eviction.

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Case — Temporarily Permanent

TL Case Summ

THE QUESTION: When is an amount permanently set aside for a charitable contribution deduction on an estate income tax return?

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Decisions — What’s New

Image source: Ra.shell (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Have you been keeping up with what’s happening in the world of tax? Test your knowledge of what’s new.

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Case — The Real Deal

TL Case Summ

THE QUESTION: Is the sale of real property acquired by tax deeds capital gain or ordinary income?

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Decisions — Virgin Territory

Image source: Lestatb (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In the realm of tax law, the statute of limitations is not new territory. You know the general rule: the statue of limitations for assessment of taxes expires three years from the due date of the return or the date filed, whichever is later (section 6501).

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Definition — Tax Turtles and Body Materials

Image source: Betta.1 (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

This week the court discussed tax turtles in one case and decided in another not to figure out how to allocate basis in the human body, or the holding period for human-body parts, or the character of the gain from the sale of those parts.

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Decisions — Cutting off the Deadline

Image source: ISwaggMaster123 (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

In the days of the American Civil War, deadlines had consequences–prisoners were shot on sight if they crossed a marked boundary known as the “deadline.” The effect of deadlines in tax law is generally less serious, and can often be mitigated by extensions.

Posted in Taxing Lessons From Court Decisions Tagged with: ,

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Useful Tax Law Links

US Tax Code- Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute. Searchable.

http://uscode.house.gov/ - Office of the Law Revision Counsel. Searchable. Downloadable.

US Tax Court - TC Opinions, Memorandum Opinions, Summary Opinions. Searchable. Downloadable.

Treasury Regulations - Government Printing Office provides the Federal Tax Regulations. Searchable. Downloadable.

Other Official US Tax Guidance - US Internal Revenue Service. Searchable. Downloadable.

Useful Downloads by Taxing Lessons

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion - free PDF - Graphic of Internal Revenue Code Section 911

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