Ask The taxgirl: Looking A Gift Horse In The Mouth

Taxpayer asks: Dear TaxGirl, Recently I received a request from a company to fill out a W-9 form.  I am not, nor have I ever been, an employee of this company.  However, I did receive money from them.  I’ll explain quickly… My mother worked as a 1099 employee for a manufacturing company.  She sold millions … Read more

What’s Mine Is Yours: IRS Issues Estate Tax Portability Guidance

Last December, Congress pushed through a whole set of changes meant to make them look good on Election Day things easier for taxpayers. One of the changes was the new portability provision which allows spouses to “share” their federal estate tax exclusion amounts with each other. Each person is allowed an exclusion for federal estate … Read more

IRS Issues Extension For Form Not Yet Available (Thanks?)

If you lost a loved one in 2010, my sympathies are with you. If you lost a loved one in 2010 that might have a taxable estate, my sympathies are really with you. The “surefire vote getting” one year repeal of the federal estate tax for 2010 has turned into one of the biggest administrative … Read more

IRS Releases Guidance (But No Form) For 2010 Estates

Whew. It has taken awhile but the IRS has finally issued guidance for the treatment of basis for certain estates of decedents who died in 2010. As you’ve probably heard, there was no federal estate tax due for decedents who died in 2010. Well, er, sort of… Under the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation … Read more

IRS Delays Basis Reporting for Decedent’s Estates

The IRS has announced that federal form 8939, Allocation of Increase in Basis for Property Acquired from a Decedent, is not due on April 18, 2011 and should not be filed with the final federal form 1040 of persons who died in 2010. Of course, if you’ve tried to file a federal form 8939, you … Read more

Taxes From A To Z: A Is For Applicable Federal Rates

First in the series: A is for Applicable Federal Rates, or AFRs. Each month, the IRS provides various prescribed rates for federal income tax purposes; those rates are regularly published as revenue rulings. You can see the latest list of rates as a revenue ruling here (downloads as a pdf). If you browse the list, … Read more

Estate Planning: Gone With the New Tax Deal?

With the significant increase in the personal exemption for federal estate tax (albeit temporary), many folks believe that they no longer need a will. That couldn’t be further from the truth: there are a lots of non-tax reasons to have a will (I just rolled back in from Center City with three of them: my … Read more

Permanent Federal Estate Tax Repeal: Making a Comeback?

Quick pop quiz: what form of tax do most Americans claim to hate the most? Income taxes? Nope. Payroll taxes? Nope. Tax on alcohol? Tax on cigarettes? Nope and nope. It’s the federal estate tax. That’s a pretty remarkable statement considering that fewer than 2% of Americans are generally subject to the federal estate tax … Read more

Fix the Tax Code Friday: Tax Cut-a-palooza

This week, Congress has been sparring over the best way to fix the economy. It looks like, one way or the other, we’re going to have some tax cuts. The specifics have yet to be worked out. Many are pushing for individual tax rate cuts while others believe that cutting corporate tax rates (something Speaker … Read more