Major legislative changes were made in the recent past and especially this week that will affect many same-sex couples that currently reside in Minnesota or may choose to move here in the future. That change was to legalize same-sex marriage. This change will affect not only the personal lives of many, but it will also affect the rights of Minnesota taxpayers.
In many marriages one spouse takes care of the finances. Whether it is for ease or because of understanding, the bills are often paid, the investments made and the assets controlled by one and not both partners. When the spouse with the financial responsibilities dies, it can be a very confusing task for the other. In many cases, the other spouse may not even be aware of some assets held by the couple let alone the tax consequences involved with them or a spouse's underrporting of certain assets.
Many of us in Minnesota use Google on a daily basis and news of the company reporting billions of dollars in revenue is nothing new. But after hearing the news that a $300,000 tax lien has been placed on the company, something just doesn't add up. A tax lien can be local, state or federal, meaning if a person or company does not pay taxes to the local, state or federal government it can place a lien on the taxpayer's property.
Tax controversy is a term that involves a contested matter with the Internal Revenue Service. The matter can be a civil or criminal matter and administrative or judicial. When dealing with the IRS there are a few truths, one being that CPAs are adept at preparing tax returns and are trained in auditing a company or business's financial statements with an eye toward benefitting the business owners. But if you are a taxpayer involved in a tax controversy you need qualified representation from a tax attorney.
Although it may appear that the acclaimed artist Prince has caught up on all his tax issues with the French government, his tax liabilities reportedly still exist in Minnesota. The Minnesota performer's attorney has filed a court notice stating the star had incorrectly assumed his previous managers submitted the necessary tax returns to the French after he performed there and he was not aware they hadn't until September. The issue came to light in July 2011 when officials from France informed the U.S. it wanted to review the artist's income tax liabilities for 2009 and 2010 claiming the artist had performed there during that period and owed back taxes. A summons was left at the artist's home in late March telling him to appear at an April meeting and to bring records of payments made to him or Paisley Park Enterprises from anyone in France.
It was not stated how the Internal Revenue Service made its determination, but it was somehow determined that a 51-year-old accounting director for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis stole $670,000 from the archdiocese and used the money for personal purposes. He has been accused of filing false tax returns and tax evasion.
What our Minneapolis readers probably believe is that when a legal precedent-setting case is decided, that it affects laws and law enforcement moving forward. There are dozens, perhaps hundreds of cases such as this -- the most notable perhaps being Roe v. Wade, or the ruling which led to the Miranda warning.
Those of us in Minnesota who have been to school (and who hasn't) remember that when you miss a deadline for getting a paper turned in, that your grade suffers accordingly. Your teacher was not happy. Your parents were not happy. You did not get the "A" that you so richly deserved.
For those of us in Minnesota who don't deal with taxes on an everyday basis, we can sometimes become confused regarding all the different types of taxes that exist. Federal income tax, state income tax, property tax, capital gains tax, unemployment tax, sales tax, franchise tax, excise tax and deed transfer tax -- to name a few.
About 60,000 people work in Minnesota and live in Wisconsin --primarily in the Hudson area. About 20,000 people work in Wisconsin and live in Minnesota --primarily in the Winona area. Recently these people have been filing two sets of income tax returns each year, one for each state, due to the breakdown in the reciprocity agreement.