Articles

2017 Tax and Jobs Cut Act Analysis

Comparison of the House and Senates Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

The below comparison outlines the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" passed by the House of Representatives on November 16 and the Senate on December 2. Since the two plans differ, they will now be sent to a conference committee where negotiators from both chambers will create a unified bill. After, both parties must approve... Read More

Hobby or Business? - Why It Matters

Millions of U.S citizens have hobbies such as photography, travel, sewing, crafting, hunting, floral design, and coin collecting. By the IRS definition, a hobby is an activity that is not pursued for profit. On the other hand, a business... Read More

IRS Criminal Investigation Division Assembles New International Tax Enforcement Unit

With international tax compliance on the IRS's radar, it was revealed publicly to reporters on August 2, 2017, that the IRS Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI) is assembling a new, dedicated international tax enforcement unit. The new initiative is expected to... Read More

Impact of Bedrosian v. U.S. – A Comprehensive Analysis

The case was filed by the plaintiff, Arthur Bedrosian, to obtain a refund of the $9,757.89 that he paid to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This amount was paid for his alleged willful Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) violation. The government maintained... Read More

Want to Be Your Own Boss? Here Is What You Need to Know

If you want to start a business but don't know where to start, you’re not alone. Often business owners run into trouble, because they inadvertently forget to license or follow an applicable rule when establishing their business. Starting your own business doing something that... Read More

Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) Trust

A QTIP trust, despite its silly name, is a valuable estate planning tool. QTIP, or "Qualified Terminable Interest Property" is a name derived from the tax law that legalises the tax benefits of the trust. When property is given to a spouse outright (not subject to a trust), it qualifies for what is known as a "marital deduction." In layman's terms, the property transfers to... Read More

Costa Rica Expats May Soon Experience the Benefits of Residency-Based Taxation

For many years, the persistent call for change in the taxation of American corporations and individuals abroad has gone unanswered. However, the current administration’s actions, suggest the very real possibility of new tax rules, sooner rather than later. Indeed, assuming no major legislative disturbance... Read More

Expecting a Refund of Your Overpaid Taxes?

In Borenstein v. Commissioner, 149 T.C. No. 10 (Aug. 30, 2017), for the first time, the Tax Court has interpreted the final sentence of IRC §6512(b)(3) as applied to the fact pattern in this case. The Tax Court's interpretation resulted in the taxpayer losing a significant refund... Read More

Estate Planning Strategies for Charitable Giving

When considering a large charitable gift, individual donors have many options at their disposal. Charitable trusts, donor‑advised funds, and private family foundations are three commonly used charitable giving options. Below is a summary of each option... Read More

Can declaring bankruptcy lead to student loan forgiveness?

Those who attended college while in the District of Columbia, or who have found themselves having to deal with unpayable student debt while living in D.C., can encounter a wide array of challenges to living the lifestyle they seek to live. When payments for student debts... Read More

Potential Tax Changes for Americans in Panama

For many years, the persistent call for change in the taxation of American corporations and individuals abroad has gone unanswered. However, the current administration's actions, suggest the very real possibility of new tax rules, sooner rather than later.Indeed, assuming no major legislative disturbance or some catastrophe, such as a Russian-related... Read More

A Stretch IRA and How it Can Benefit You

A stretch IRA is an estate planning strategy that extends the life of an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) by allowing the original beneficiary to distribute the assets to a designated second generation beneficiary. This strategy allows the IRA to be passed on from generation to generation while extending... Read More

The Ups and Downs of the Program for Voluntarily Reclassifying Your Workers

Whether a worker is properly classified as an employee or as an independent contractor depends upon the facts and circumstances. Generally, the determination is made under common law tests considering the right to control... Read More

New Credit Reporting Agency Standards

Effective on July 1st, 2017, the three major credit reporting agencies, TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian, introduced new standards that will require tax liens and civil debts to include more personal information; otherwise, the tax liens and civil debts will be excluded from a person's credit report. The changes will require tax... Read More

WHAT IS AN IRS INSTALLMENT AGREEMENT? (BALTIMORE) (WASHINGTON D.C) (NEWSLETTER)

Many taxpayers struggle when the amount of federal income tax they owe is more than what they are able to pay. This can understandably be a stressful experience. However, an Internal Revenue Service installment agreement may be an option. In addition, taxpayers can potentially... Read More

Charitable Giving Part 1: Not All Methods are Created Equal

Everyone has their own personal reasons for charitable giving, whether it be sharing with those less fortunate, supporting an alma mater, or assisting a deserving cause or an organization that means something to them.Regardless of your charitable motives, before making a substantial gift or bequest to a charity... Read More

Can the Streamlined Program or OVDP help me?

U.S. persons who own property or other assets in countries outside the United States may do so in part for potential tax advantages. However, taxpayers may still need to report foreign assets on domestic income tax returns. Failure to do so when required by law may result in criminal as... Read More

ACA Letter to IRS Commissioner Concerning Private-Sector Debt Collection

On May 5th Glen E. Frost wrote a letter, on behalf of the American Citizens Abroad, to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in regards to private collection firms based in the United States collecting debts of U.S. taxpayers with foreign addresses. The ACA stands behind the belief that U.S. citizens living overseas should not be subject to the recent private-sector debt collection program... Read More

What You Need to Know About Bitcoin & How It Is Taxed

Bitcoin is a form of electronic digital currency. Bitcoins can be used to buy goods electronically from thousands of vendors. Others are looking at Bitcoin as a potential investment, and are holding them as an investment to benefit from future appreciation. Bitcoin has created a new asset... Read More

IRS Introduces expanded flexibility for payment plans

The IRS has expanded their program on streamlined processing of installment agreements under a test program that is scheduled to run until September 30, 2017. For the first time, streamlined processing standards will apply to individual taxpayers with an assessed balance of tax, penalty ... Read More

5 Reasons Why YOU Need a Will

If you have minor children, and you want a say as to who will care for them upon passing, you need a will. A Will enables you to nominate a guardian to care for and manage the finances... Read More

Trump Administration Changes To Tax Laws

Donald Trump has proposed to make several tax changes when he enters office in January, 2017. It is important to examine the possible tax changes that could result from the new plan so that taxpayers are aware of the potential advantages and disadvantages the new tax plan may give them... Read More

Eight lawyers from Frost & Associates, LLC selected to Maryland and Washington D.C Super Lawyers list for 2017

Seven attorneys from Frost & Associates, LLC have been selected to the 2017 Maryland Rising Stars list. This is an exclusive list, recognizing no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state... Read More

The IRS Says I Owe More Tax and We Couldn't Reach an Agreement. Now What?

When a taxpayer receives a notice from the IRS proposing an additional assessment of tax, the taxpayer can often work administratively with the IRS to resolve the dispute. However, many times, the taxpayer and IRS are not able to come to an agreement... Read More

Audit of the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration ("TIGTA") completed an audit of the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program ("OVDP"). US citizens are taxed on their worldwide income and must report bank accounts when their aggregate balance exceeds $10,000... Read More

Understanding The Panama Papers

Over the past few years, the IRS has increased its attention on offshore bank accounts, earmarking much of its limited budget, staff, and resources towards initiatives such as the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) and Swiss Bank Program, and pushing strict compliance of foreign bank and financial account... Read More

What's in a Name: Defining Employees and Independent Contractors

In the classic story of "Romeo and Juliet" there is a well known and often repeated line, "What's in a name?" In the tax world, a name can mean the difference of thousands of dollars... Read More

Comment Letter PFICs

Maryland State Bar Association Taxation Section Comments to Temporary Regulations on PFICs and Related Recommendations... Read More

MSBA April Bar Bulletin

Foreign Bank Account Reporting Extends Beyond Switzerland: FATCA Updates... Read More

Credit Suisse hearings focus attention on foreign bank accounts

The chief executive of Credit Suisse recently appeared in front of a Senate subcommittee to answer questions related to the bank's role in aiding tax evasion. A similar hearing in 2008 resulted in a $780 million fine for Swiss bank UBS after the bank admitted helping U.S. taxpayers shield assets to avoid taxes... Read More

FATCA TO FATTEN GOVERNMENT COFFERS

On January 3, 2013, Switzerland's oldest bank, Wegelin & Co. ("Wegelin"), pled guilty to assisting U.S. taxpayers in hiding more than $1.2 billion in assets from the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS")... Read More

The New 1099-K: No Longer to be Ignored

This year, thousands of business owners were puzzled upon receiving a Form 1099-K from their credit card processors. The ability to accept credit cards as a form of payment is an opportunity for business owners to expand... Read More

IRS Announces Major Expansion of Offer in Compromise Program

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced a major expansion of its Offer in Compromise program, which is aimed at helping individuals with past-due to taxes to pay off their debts to the IRS... Read More