Friday, August 29, 2008

I Know that Section 280A is a Pain, but...

A distraught/unhinged Birmingham man rammed a black SUV into an IRS office building in Birmingham Tuesday. The unnamed assailant had previously threatened to kill himself, then made the unauthorized entry. Thankfully, most employees were gone and only one minor injury occurred. The building's security guard, some IRS special agents and a Treasury Inspector General agent were able to handle the aftermath.

What can one say about this sort of act--except to be thankful for no serious injuries.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ruben Studdard's Taxes Go Off-Key

2003 American Idol champion Ruben Studdard faces liens in regard to nearly $200,000 in regard to tax deficiencies with the IRS and the state of Alabama. Most of the tax deficiency resulted from a recording contract (valued at $1,000,000) for winning the popular Fox reality show. The liens place at risk a nightclub Studdard plans to open in his hometown of Birmingham. In a related development, Australian tax authorities are now scruntinizing Paul Hogan's tax returns (see link at
  • Aussie Authorities
  • ).

    This sad story indicates that reality shows should provide tax advice to winners (and in the case of American Idol, even a number of runner-ups). The change in earnings frequently is dramatic and the contestant often is unaware of the tax implications.

    SEC Meets for Potential Transition to IFRS

    The Securities and Exchange Commission plans to meet Wednesday to plan transition procedures for converging U.S. financial standards to IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards). SEC Chairman Christopher Cox says that the product of this meeting will be one step in a long journey and that some companies may be allowed to adopt the transition rules and converge with IFRS early.

    It will be interesting to see what the SEC's product is from Wednesday's meeting and also to see the comments from businesses and the financial community.

    Friday, August 22, 2008


    I have had some problems accessing Blogger for about a week. Hope to get back to normal posting next week.

    Wednesday, August 13, 2008

    Senate Committee Considers Tax Treaty with Canada and Other Countries

    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is presently reviewing proposed revisions in tax treaties and protocols between the U.S. and three countries: Bulgaria, Canada and Iceland. Special issues of interest include taxation of interest and services with the goal of reducing double taxation while also reducing tax evasion. In the Canada treaty, an additional issue is the use of mandatory arbritration to address disputed provisions.

    Tax treaties can be as influential as the Internal Revenue Code in some international business scenarios and the thorough resolution of any issues on the Canadian treaty is particularly important, since Canada is the largest trading partner of the U. S. Hopefully, the Senate will handle these tax treaties with due care.

    "Dog Days" and Birthday

    Kay Bell's 39th Carnival of Taxes (monthly at this time of year) was posted Monday and is linked in the title. My post about the IRS fighting tax shelters from last week was included. Posters include personal finance specialists such as Free Money Finance, tax posters such as the Wandering Tax Pro and even a political blogger.

    The biggest personal story this week was my 52nd birthday today--mathematical curiousity: 52 is half of eight times thirteen (today's date). Applause to my wife for her contributions to a relaxing and enjoyable day.

    Friday, August 08, 2008

    Tearing down SILOs: IRS Tries to Get Tough on Tax Shelters

    The IRS is warning businesses to agree to close down lease-related shelters in the next 30 days. Businesses will then have until December 31 to liquidate lease-in, lease-out (LILOs) and sale-in, lease-out (SILOs) often involving state or local governments. LILOs and SILOs have been "listed transactions" for a number of years.

    Probably nothing real surprising here; just make sure to reconstruct any contracts of this nature soon.

    Return from the Road

    Finished a fun, if not particularly restful, vacation trip to the Midwest (primarily St. Paul, MN, Wisconsin and Omaha, NE) Wednesday. Not to be outdone, my in-laws have designed a trip from suburban Memphis to Omaha to Cheyenne to Grand Junction, CO to Utah National Parks to Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon to Santa Fe and finally back home. Did enjoy a visit to Joe Kristan on the way to Omaha (his recap is linked above). We talked about colleges and tax work and it was an enjoyable if brief experience.

    Plan is to return to a 2-3 (sometimes 4) post per week schedule next Monday.

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