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Minneapolis Tax Law Blog

Three tips for businesses as they prepare to file 2018 taxes

As 2018 comes to a close, business owners are likely gathering paperwork and reviewing documents in preparation to navigate the first set of tax filings under the new laws passed with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Although changes are complex, three specific things to keep in mind that impact a large number of businesses include:

The six stages of property tax delinquency in MN

Minnesota lawmakers are considering an increase to property taxes. Lawmakers in Hennepin County are currently taking a 5.5 percent increase into consideration. If the proposal becomes law, homeowners could see a spike in their property taxes in 2019. These obligations can be difficult to manage, but a failure to pay the tax bill can result in serious consequences.

IRS to check social media for evidence of tax evasion

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has had to cut down significantly on the size of its workforce. Due to the reduced workforce, the agency has stated it struggles to keep up with investigations. As a result, the agency has needed to take steps towards increased efficiency.

One example: use of social media to gather data about taxpayers.

Does the earned income tax credit increase audit risk?

Taxpayers who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) are at an increased risk of an audit compared to those who do not. The reason: it is a tax credit often claimed in error. Last year alone the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audited 381,000 taxpayers that claimed the EITC. This translates to over one-third of all audits conducted by the agency.

2018 may be Minnesota’s most difficult tax season yet

Think taxes are difficult? The 2018 tax season may be the most difficult of all — particularly for Minnesotan taxpayers.

What is the problem? Minnesota's income tax is largely based on the definition within federal return forms of "taxable income." This definition is not the same this year as it was last year.

Four tax deductions for 2018

Recent tax reform has changed the way taxpayers will do taxes for the 2018 tax year. The new law increased the standardized deduction, meaning many taxpayers will prefer to use the standardized deduction instead of the itemized approach. Before you decide which is best for your family, take a minute to review some of the more popular deductions that remain applicable in 2018.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act repealed many popular tax deductions, but not all. Three deductions taxpayers can continue to take advantage on their 2018 tax returns this coming April include:

Cyber Monday shoppers in MN may not get the savings they expect

Cyber Monday is a day to get great deals on online transactions. Although the deals are still good, the overall savings may not be as high as expected for residents in Minnesota. Minnesotans may notice a new addition to their bill: sales tax.

Minnesota businessman accused of almost $1M in tax evasion

Business owners must navigate a wide range of tax obligations. A failure to properly abide by these obligations can lead to an audit and, depending on the findings of the audit, allegations of criminal wrongdoing.

A local Minnesota businessman provides a current example. The government has accused the business owner of failing to pay $918,000 in tax obligations. The agency states the business owner failed to make required sales tax payments by allegedly under reporting sales of tobacco products and filing false sales tax returns.

One tip to reduce your tax bill and save you money

There are many tax strategies that can help reduce your tax bill, some more complex than others. But putting aside money into a retirement account is one relatively easy step that can save everyone money. The step is like a one-two punch — not only are you taking money out of your taxable income but you are also putting it away for use in the future.

What not to do with an offer in compromise for the IRS

Even Hollywood’s elite find the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) a tough adversary. The most recent to learn this lesson: Hollywood movie star Wesley Snipes.

A bit of history, not Wesley Snipes’ first battle over taxes: The actor, famous for starring roles in Blade, Demolition Man and White Men Can’t Jump, has a bit of history battling the IRS. In 2008, the government successfully pursued criminal charges for failure to file tax returns. The conviction resulted in a jail sentence, served at a minimum-security facility.

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