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August 2012 Archives

Estate Tax Law Changes Are on the Horizon: Part Two

In one of our last posts, we mentioned that the estate law tax could be changing at the end of the year. Depending on the actions or inactions of Congress, it will either revert to the previous exemption amounts of a $1 million with a 55 percent tax rate for any amount above that, or it will change to some unknown amount.

Estate Tax Law Changes Are on the Horizon: Part One

Our readers in Texas may not have thought about estate taxes unless they have done estate planning. An estate tax is a federal tax on the inheritance that is received by beneficiaries after someone dies. There are many rules that apply, and the rules keep changing.

Texas Sales Tax Goes Back to School This Weekend

The Texas sales tax law changes for one weekend prior to the start of the school year. In what has become an annual tradition, the 8.25 percent sales tax on school items is waived for three days. The tax law change is temporary and it is up to the merchant to collect the sales tax on items which are not exempt from the temporary reprieve.

Fresh Start Amnesty Program Deadline Is August 17

In previous posts, our Texas readers have learned about the Texas tax amnesty program called Fresh Start. It is an amnesty program for taxpayers who have back taxes or tax debt owed to the Texas Comptroller's Office. The deadline is August 17.

Jury Sentences Texas Tax Preparers to Prison, Fifth Circuit Affirms

In an unpublished opinion filed on July 19, 2012 in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Court affirmed the convictions of Donald and Tonya Womack, the owners of Front Door Tax Services in Houston, Texas.

Installment Agreements for Texas Tax Liabilities

State governments are notorious for being tough on delinquent tax liabilities because the state statutory and administrative codes lack the procedural guarantees so inherent in the federal government's Internal Revenue Code. The State of Texas is no exception.

Elderly Couple Will Spend 366 Days in Prison for Offshore Accounts

On July 30, 2012, Sean Roberts, 77, and Nadia Roberts, 64, of California were sentenced to one year plus one day in prison by Judge Anthony W. Ishii of the Eastern District of California. Their request for probation was denied. Because the maximum possible sentence for their crimes is three years, some tax professionals are of the opinion that the couple got off easy.

Tax Bill Turns into Tax Lien Nightmare for Plumber and Wife

In a previous post we alerted our Texas readers to the common practice of tax liens being bought and sold, sometimes with disastrous results. For one family, a plumber and his wife, a small tax bill has turned into a monumental problem.

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