In recent years, programs have been developed that allow a homeowner to make energy improvements to their residence and pay for them through an assessment on their property tax bill. Clients have asked “if it shows up on my property tax bill it must be deductible, right?” Wrong! Improvements to your individual residence do not qualify as a property tax. However, the interest paid on the improvement usually qualifies as deductible mortgage interest. If you have questions in this area, we would be happy to help.
Country icon David Allan Coe, who wrote the hit song “Take this job and shove it”, has had a very successful career in country music. But,he has been less than successful in trying to avoid the long arm of the IRS. On Monday June 13th, he was ordered to pay nearly 1 million dollars in back taxes on unreported income and unfiled tax returns. Do I hear a new country song forming about his battle with “the man”?
Remember the news last year that hackers broke into the IRS website and stole the identities of over 700,000 taxpayers? The IRS had attempted to set up an easy way for taxpayers to access their tax transcripts since the requests for transcripts had increased dramatically in recent years. This was convenient for taxpayers but due to lax security, it was also very easy for hackers to break into the application and steal identities of those who had used the service. To address this problem, the IRS mailed ID Protection PINs to affected taxpayers. These PINs would be required on their 2015 tax returns to verify their identity so that the ID thieves could not file fraudulent returns using their stolen information. In case a taxpayer lost or did not receive their letter, the IRS set up a way to retrieve the ID PIN on their website. Here’s the fun part, the IRS used the SAME SECURITY measures as they had on the original get transcript application so it was just as easy for ID thieves to steal the ID PINs. Well, now the IRS just announced the launch of a new “get transcript” feature on their website with “enhanced security”. Let’s see how well this one works.