A sincere apology from the IRS

How would you feel about the IRS if they apologized to you and sent you money to make up for all your troubles?

Plenty of people I know would love it! They've been battered by the IRS, sometimes not because of their own errors. Other times, they have made mistakes but the IRS made it incredibly difficult to correct the problems, even when the right documentation and explanation was offered up. I've worked with some really nice, competent and efficient employees of the IRS. But there are times when I end up feeling terribly burdened by an undereducated employee or one who has much pent up anger.

In the National Taxpayer Advocate's 2007 Annual Report to Congress, a suggestion is made that the Congress should authorize the IRS to give money to taxpayers when "... the action or inaction of the IRS has caused excessive expense or undue burden to the taxpayer, and the taxpayer meets the IRC § 7811 definition of significant hardship."

It is suggested that taxpayers should be eligible to receive between $100 and $1,000 if they fall under these guidelines. And the key? These payments would not be taxable!!!! Hooray. I doubt this will ever happen, but the more I think about it, the more I believe it's a really good idea!

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

Tax Tips for Real Estate Agents and Brokers

Most real estate agents and brokers receive income in the form of commissions from sales transactions. You're generally not considered an employee under federal tax guidelines, but rather a self-employed sole proprietor, even if you're an agent or broker working for a real estate brokerage firm. This self-employed status allows you to deduct many of the expenses you incur in your real estate sales or property management activities. Careful record keeping and knowing your eligible write-offs are key to getting all of the tax deductions you're entitled to.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

What is the Educator Expense Tax Deduction?

The Educator Expense Tax Deduction allows teachers and certain academic administrators to deduct a portion of the costs of technology, supplies, and certain training. Here’s what teachers need to know about taking the Educator Expense Deduction on their tax returns.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

Self-Employed Less Than a Year? How to Do Your Taxes

Have you been self-employed less than a year? If you’re just starting out, it’s possible you worked at a job earlier in the tax year before making the switch to self-employment, or you’re working multiple jobs. In this case, you may have more than once source of income you’ll need to report on your income tax return.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

Taxes for Grads: Do Scholarships Count as Taxable Income?

Heading off to college to broaden your horizons is exciting, but funding your education via scholarships? That's even better. Scholarships often provide a path to education that might not be feasible otherwise, which is why the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can be generous in minimizing students' tax obligations. But sometimes scholarship money does count as income, and it’s better to find out now if your scholarship adds to your tax liability than to have a surprise later. Here’s how to decode your scholarship taxation.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com
Read Full Story
Your resource on tax filing
Tax season is here! Check out the Tax Center on AOL Finance for all the tips and tools you need to maximize your return.

Want more news like this?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from business news to personal finance tips delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.