A Taxing Initiative: New York State Suspends Driver’s Licenses for Delinquent Tax Debt

By: Gary P. Bluestein and Gregory D. Verdibello The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (“DTF”) is becoming increasingly aggressive in its methods to collect tax debt from taxpayers.  On August 5, 2013, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a new initiative to encourage individuals who owe significant back taxes to pay their bills. Under the new program, a New York State driver’s license can be suspended when a…

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Appealing an IRS Audit Report

By Gary Bluestein Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, it is just not possible to settle a case at the examination level. For income, estate or gift tax cases that do not settle at exam, time permitting, the IRS will issue a 30-day letter advising the taxpayer of the changes the Service proposes to a return. In response, the taxpayer has 30 days to file a protest to contest the…

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Basic Estate Planning

Estate and Gift Tax Planning Estate and Gift Tax Estates and gifts are taxed using a unified rate schedule. Each person has a credit, known as the applicable credit amount that is currently the equivalent of a $2,000,000 exemption from federal estate and gift tax (the applicable exclusion amount). Thus, the first $2,000,000 of property transferred is exempt from tax. This exemption amount will remain at $2,000,000 through December of…

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Dealing with a Federal Tax Lien

By Gary Bluestein Being a tax column, the focus is usually on intricate tax issues of concern to the tax lawyer or perhaps an accountant. However, in the past, I have attempted to make the articles that I have contributed broader based, trying to provide relevant information to attorneys practicing in other areas. As I have stated in past articles, one would be hard pressed to find an area of…

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Dealing with Tax Issues in Bankruptcy

By Gary Bluestein Introduction The issues created by the intersection of bankruptcy law and tax law are exceedingly complex and full of pitfalls for the unwary practitioner. Unfortunately for lawyers practicing in only one of these two areas, it often is impossible to avoid the overlap of these specialties. From the bankruptcy practitioner’s perspective, the taxing authorities are both common and aggressive creditors and unanticipated tax issues often arise. Form…

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Dealing with Wage Garnishments and Tax Liens

By Deborah J. Weber A federal tax lien is created when the following three things occur. Assessment Notice and Demand for Payment Non-payment The lien arises on the date of non-payment and relates back to the date of assessment. An assessment creates a lien on all property belonging to the taxpayer. No further filing is required by the Service. However, since only the IRS and the taxpayer are aware of…

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Do You Have Unfiled Tax Returns?

By Deborah J. Weber For various reasons, you may not have filed your federal income tax return for this year or previous years. You may not have filed because you expected a refund and you just haven’t taken the time to complete the return to claim it. You may not have filed because you owed additional tax that you couldn’t afford to pay in full. You may not have filed because…

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Estate and Elder Law Planning

By Deborah J. Weber, Esq. Estate Planning and Elder Law Planning… What You Need to Know Estate and Gift Tax Planning Estate and Gift Tax Estates and gifts are taxed using a unified rate schedule. Each person has a credit, known as the applicable credit amount that is currently the equivalent of $3,500,000. Under current law, the estate tax is repealed for the year 2010. In the year 2011 and…

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Federal Tax Penalties

Overview of Federal Tax Penalties & Abatement in the Collection Defense Area of Practice By Gary Bluestein Although there are approximately 150 penalties contained in the Internal Revenue Code, the primary focus of this article is on the most common penalties dealt with by the tax practitioner in handling collection defense for a client. Excluded from the discussion below is the “trust fund recovery penalty” pursuant to IRC §6672. Although…

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IRS Innocent Spouse Requests

Relief from Joint Income Tax Liability: Then and Now Deborah J. Weber Although we have grown up with joint returns and joint and several liability, our current tax system existed for five years without joint returns (introduced in 1918) and for another twenty years without joint and several liability (enacted by Congress in 1938). The Internal Revenue Service began pushing for joint and several liability in the early 1920’s based on…

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