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Join Us for the NBA/ABA Joint Taxation Section Seminar on May 6, 2010, Washington, DC ***Free***

Are you interested in pursuing a career in tax?  Would you like to talk to top tax practitioners about what is needed to thrive and survive in the tax profession?  Panelists from the US Senate, KPMG, University of Virginia Law School, Skadden Arps and Sutherland Asbill will be on hand to answer your questions and tell you how to get hired.  All for FREE!

 For more information and details on the program, please click on the following link:   Download NBA:ABA Joint Tax Seminars

Tax News on the Net

Tax Audits of Big Business Are Declining, Study Says 

 Are big businesses really escaping being audited or are they just more honest or effective at filing error free returns?  As Study by the Transaction Records Access Clearinghouse argues the form while the IRS defends its position based on the latter argument.  Who’s right?  We probably will never know.


Smart Tax Strategy: Remember Muni Bonds

Investing in Municipal Bonds might be better than investing in stocks.  According to a CNBC article, which reminds us that home state bonds are unaffected by federal and state taxes and the Medicare surtax, investors might be better with munis because they will otherwise have to reduce healthy stock market returns by the new government taxes that are being introduced.  


Marsha Henry

Go Home and Go Green: Ways to Reduce Your Taxes While Saving the Environment


Did you know that in 1950, the global population was 2.6 billion people.  At the time we had 53 million cars.  That translates into about one car for every 50 people.  Today, there are over six billion people and 500 million cars.  In other words, there is one car for every twelve people on the earth.  That has resulted in an increase in the level of carbon dioxide in the air.  In 1958 we were at 313.4 parts per million in comparison to 2009 levels of 387.41 parts per million.  That is an increase of over 20%. I am also fascinated that the USA’s electricity consumption per capita at 12,343.098kWh per year.  Approximately 71% of that is generated by fossil fuel.  However, within 10 years with coordination between the government and private businesses and the support of regular citizens wind power could reduce this by about 20%. 


There are so many ways for each citizen to reduce their carbon footprint and become environmentally friendly.  But, until April 15 there is an easy way to do this when filing your taxes.  When you invest in energy-efficient products, you can save money on both your energy bills as well as your tax return.  Here are five


Residential Energy Property Credit:  This tax credit is for homeowners who make qualified energy efficient improvements to their existing homes.  This credit is 30% of the cost of all qualifying improvements.  The maximum credit is $1500 for improvements placed in service in 2009 and 2010 combined.  The credit applies to improvements such as adding insulation, energy efficient exterior windows and energy efficient heating and air conditioning systems.


Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit:  This tax credit will help individual taxpayers pay for qualified residential alternative energy equipment, such as solar hot water heaters, solar electricity equipment and wind turbines installed on or in connection with their home located in the US and geothermal heat pumps installed on or in connection with their main home located in the US.  The credit runs through h2016 and is 30% of the cost of qualified property.  


Plug-in Electric Drive Vehicle Credit:  This credit applies to manufacturers.  ARRA modifies this credit for qualified plug-in electric drive vehicles purchased after December 31, 2009.  The minimum amount of the credit for qualified plug-in electric drive vehicles, which runs through 2014 is $2,500 and the credit tops out at $7,500, depending on batter capacity.


Plug-in Electric Vehicle Credit:  This is a special tax credit for tow types of plug-in vehicles.   It applies to certain low-speed electric vehicles and tow or thee wheeled vehicles.  The amount of the credit is 10% of the cost of the vehicle, up to a maximum credit of $2,500 for purchases made after February 17, 2009 and before January 1, 2012.  


Credit for Conversion Kits:  This credit is equal to 10% of the cost of converting a vehicle to a qualified plug-in electric drive mother vehicle that is placed in service after February 17, 2009.  The maximum credit, which runs through 2011, is $4,000.


Hopefully, you will be able to take advantage of some of these tax credits, if not this year, in future years.  It’s really a good thing when you can save the environment and save taxes.




Marsha Henry


The Return of the Late Filer: Tips for Getting the Return in by April 15th and Error Free


Ok.  I can’t believe I did it again!  I admit it.  I am one of those people.  You know, the people the IRS call the “late filers”.  I know.  I know.  I know.  I try to do better every year, but time just creeps up on me.  Wasn't it just April 1st a few days ago?  15 days does not seem last minute to me, does it?  Well, that 15-day cushion just turned into, hmmm, 5 days.  Where has the time gone? 

I don't feel so bad, though, because I hear that a few million other taxpayers are in the same boat as I am.  Whew!  There's no time to panic.  We simply need to come up with a plan and some guidelines of what to pay attention to in order to make sure we both maximize our benefits and avoid senseless errors.  Here are a few pointers to get you started.


1.  File Electronically:  Most tax returns are now filed electronically.  You can either do this yourself at home using purchased tax software, through a tax professional or through Free File. 

2.  Check for Errors:  Tax software finds common errors on electronically prepared returns.  However, if you file on paper, you can avoid delays in processing and follow-up questions by the IRS by double checking all your figures, ensuring your Social Security numbers are correct and signing forms where required. 

3.  Look for Updates:  A lot has changed in the tax code since last year.  There may be new tax credits that you may be able to claim and increase your return or reduce the amount that would otherwise be owed to the IRS.  Things to look for this year are: (i) First-Time Homebuyer Credit; (ii) energy efficiency tax credits such as the Residential Energy Property Credit and the Plug-in Electric Drive Vehicle Credit; and (iii) the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

4.  Ask for Help:  If filing on your own, don’t hesitate to contact the IRS for additional assistance if you are unsure about something.  For online information about filing your taxes, you can visit the Central link on IRS.gov.  You can also obtain important information in Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax.  You can also order forms by phone at (800) 829-3676. 

Now get filing!  We only have a few more days to get this done.  Clock is ticking.... no pressure.

by Marsha Henry

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