Houston Tax Blog


Limited Window of Time to Structure Divorce Settlements

The tax deduction and income provisions for alimony have been repealed for divorce decrees entered into after December 31, 2018 or for earlier divorces where the agreements are modified after that date. This gives married couples and formerly married c…


Improbable Position by IRS Sufficient to Impose Tax

The Transupport, Inc. v. Commissioner, No. 17-1265 (1st Cir. 2018) case involved evidence that was not sufficient to support imposing a penalty, but the same evidence was sufficient to hold the taxpayer liable for the tax. The case provides an …..
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IRS Summons Reaches Attorney’s Client Names

Communications with an attorney are generally protected from disclosure.  But what about client names?  And what power does the IRS have the power to force an attorney to disclose the names of his clients?  The court addressed this in U.S. …..

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Court Rejects the ‘Taking All Necessary Steps’ Defense to Penalties

If you take all of the steps to prepare and remit a tax return to the IRS except for placing it in the mail, is this sufficient to avoid a failure to timely file penalty?  There is case law suggesting …..

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Misappropriated Money Subject to Tax, Even if No Criminal Violation

The proceeds of criminal activities are taxable income. Money that is embezzled from an employer is taxable to the embezzling employee. But what about money transferred between friends with the agreement that one of them will invest the funds, but …….


Some Filing Deadlines are Strict, Others are Not

When it comes to fixing tax problems, procedural footfaults can make solving the problem even more difficult. Filing deadlines are an example. The Duggan v. Commissioner, No. 15-73819 (9th Cir. 2018), case provides an example. Facts & Procedural History In …..

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Court: IRS Cannot Apply New Law Based on Conduct Predating the Law

In Rafizadeah v. Commissioner, 150 T.C. No. 1 (2018), the court concluded that the IRS made a late assessment of tax and penalties. The case turns on whether the IRS can benefit from the longer six-year assessment period based on …..
The post Court: …


Family Cattle Operation Denied Tax Deductions

In Barnhart Ranch Co. v. Commissioner, No. 16-60834 (5th Cir. 2017), the court considered who was entitled to deduct expenses for cattle that were descended from cattle the taxpayers inherited and other cattle that were subsequently purchased. The case…


Is the IRS Bound by It’s Letters and Notices?

If the IRS sends a taxpayer a letter saying that it will process their refund claim but then it fails to do so, is the IRS bound by its letter? The court recently addressed this in Hawver v. Commissioner, T.C. …..

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Payments to Foreign Student Studying in U.S. Subject to Tax

We get quite a few questions from students who are in the U.S. on student visas as to whether their research awards are taxable in the U.S. The answer depends in large part on the terms of the applicable tax …..
The post Payments to Foreign Student S…