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1. Foreign housing expense limitations issued for 2014   WebExclusive

BY Alistair M. Nevius, J.D.
According to the IRS, Hong Kong, Moscow, and Geneva are the three most expensive foreign cities to live in, for purposes of the Sec. 911 foreign housing exclusion. On Monday, the IRS provided its annual list of inflation-adjusted limitations on foreign housing expenses for 2014 (Notice 2014-29).Sec. 911(a) allows a qualified individual to elect to exclude his or her foreign earned income and certain housing costs from gross income.

2. Horse breeder materially participated   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
The Tax Court held that a taxpayer materially participated in his horse-breeding activity for 2002 through 2004 and therefore was not barred from deducting his losses as passive activity losses under Sec. 469 (Tolin, T.C. Memo. 2014-65). Although the case involved horse-breeding activities, the IRS did not seek to disallow the losses under Sec.

3. Taxpayers can claim charitable contributions for typhoon relief on 2013 returns   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
On Friday, the IRS announced the procedures for taxpayers to follow to take advantage of the recently enacted Philippines Charitable Giving Assistance Act, P.L. 113-92, which allows taxpayers to take deductions for cash contributions to qualified charities for the relief of victims of Typhoon Haiyan on their returns for the 2013 tax year (IR-2014-46).

4. AICPA recommends changes to net investment income tax rules   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
The AICPA submitted a comment letter to the IRS recommending a number of changes to the Sec. 1411 regulations on the application of the net investment income tax to charitable remainder trusts (CRTs), when final regulations are issued. First, the AICPA noted that the final regulations issued last year (T.D.

5. Abuse victims who file separate returns are eligible for premium tax credit   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
Victims of domestic violence who are afraid or unable to contact their spouse to file a joint return may be able to claim the Sec. 36B premium tax credit using procedures announced by the IRS (Notice 2104-23). The new procedures, which apply to 2014 tax returns, will allow eligible taxpayers to circumvent the Sec.

6. Gambler’s luck turns in second trip to Tax Court   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
A taxpayer who consistently lost money playing the slots at two casinos in California was found not to have an actual and honest profit objective and could not deduct her gambling losses on Schedule C, Profit or Loss From Business (Sole Proprietor) (Chow, T.C. Memo. 2014-49). Because losses from gambling not pursued as a trade or business are limited to the amount of winnings, the taxpayer could not deduct all her losses and had to report her gambling activity on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions.

7. IRA rollover guidance issued: IRS will follow the Tax Court   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
To settle the question of whether the limitation on rolling over one IRA per year under Sec. 408(d)(3)(B) applies to taxpayers on an aggregate basis or on an IRA-by-IRA basis, the IRS announced it will follow the Tax Court’s recent decision in Bobrow, T.C. Memo. 2014-21, applying the rule on an aggregate basis, meaning no matter how many IRAs a taxpayer has, the taxpayer is limited to one rollover per year (Announcement 2014-15)While applying the rule on an aggregate basis had been the IRS’s litigating position in Bobrow, it contrasts with current IRS guidance found in Prop.

8. IRS expands use of electronic signatures   WebExclusive

BY Alistair M. Nevius, J.D.
With the updated version of IRS Publication 1345, Handbook for Authorized IRS e-File Providers of Individual Income Tax Returns (rev. 3/11/14), the IRS provides new methods for taxpayers to electronically sign Form 8878, IRS e-file Signature Authorization for Form 4868 and Form 2350, the e-file signature authorization form.Taxpayers can use one of two methods to electronically sign tax returns.

9. IRS issues final instructions for net investment income tax form   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
The IRS finally released its eagerly awaited final instructions for Form 8960, Net Investment Income Tax—Individuals, Estates, and Trusts, on Thursday. The instructions, which are 20 pages (for a one-page form), were released in draft form in the beginning of January. Practitioners and taxpayers have waited almost a month after the official (delayed) start of tax season (Jan.

10. “Dirty Dozen” tax scam list now includes telephone scams   WebExclusive

BY Alistair M. Nevius, J.D.
Identity theft and telephone scams top this year’s list of the “Dirty Dozen” fraudulent tax schemes released by the IRS on Wednesday. The annual list contains various common scams that taxpayers may be subjected to at any time, but the IRS says many of them reach a peak during tax filing season.
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