Definitions — Paying the piper

Whether you believe the expression comes from the Pied Piper of legend or the old proverb, paying the piper does not always mean you get to call the tune.

Decisions – Self Steeling

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Steel yourself for a bit of truth: The internal revenue code occasionally uses phrases that are not defined anywhere in the code itself.

Decisions — Additionally yours

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Say you’re cooperating with the Department of Justice and the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in connection with the ongoing investigation of two Swiss bankers.

Decisions — Red ink and silence

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What happens when you file a joint federal income tax return signed by only one spouse? Does silence necessarily mean “yes,” as in the nonsigning spouse consents to filing a joint return?

Definitions — Defining the court

Source: General Services Administration, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The court released no opinions this week. Fortunately for tax geeks, the second edition of the historical analysis of the court—all 953 pages—is available. And yes, it is interesting reading.

Decisions — The income-first rule

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As it applies to the taxation of annuities, the “income-first” rule (internal revenue code section 72(e)) means you include payments received before the annuity starting date in your gross income to the extent allocable to income on the contract.