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Georgia tax on adult clubs now under fire

Have you ever heard someone say you can't legislate morality?

Try to determine who first said that and you might find yourself running in circles. An internet search isn't particularly fruitful. Former pro wrestler and politician Jesse Ventura is credited with having said it once. Economist Milton Friedman once suggested that government often tries to legislate morality, but does so at high cost. And one attorney is notably on record as saying "If anyone tells you that you cannot legislate morality, remember that legislation IS morality?

The art of the deal when the IRS is on the other side

The current president of the United States has a major reputation for the way he practices the art of the deal. He even has a book by that title. In it, Donald Trump offers a list of tactics that he says have stood him in good stead at various bargaining tables. These include such tips as:

  • Think big
  • Keep all options open
  • Fight back against being taken advantage of
  • Use your leverage

What is the likelihood of an IRS audit?

When tax season comes around, both individuals and businesses worry about the possibility of an audit from the Internal Revenue Service. Even if you think you did everything correctly, everyone makes mistakes, which can result in harsh penalties. However, audits are extremely rare. Some reports estimate that only 1.1 percent of people who file end up with an audit. 

There are several tips for avoiding an audit, such as only making realistic deductions. If you are truly worried about an audit, then there are several steps to lower the odds. 

Avoiding IRS hot water over health care coverage

Many likely would agree that when it comes to paying for health care in America, including Georgia, confusion reigns. This has long been the case, but it seems compounded this year because of the status of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Whether or not you agree with this tax-based method for making health care more accessible to more people, the reality is that it is a force to reckon with. President Trump's pledge to repeal and replace has come up short. And while the president has tweeted that he thinks the House tax overhaul measure should repeal of the individual mandate on health care coverage, it's not clear it will make the final draft.

As much as any business, a nonprofit can suffer an IRS audit

There's big money in nonprofits. That might seem hard to believe when applied to this sector of the U.S. economy. After all, when Georgia readers think of nonprofits – also known as charities – they likely call to mind their local place of worship, the community food shelf, or some other operation that seems to always be just scraping by year to year.

Statistically, however, nonprofit organizations abound. At last count, there were nearly 1.6 million of them operating in the U.S. – both public charities and private foundations. In 2014, they accounted for more than 5 percent of the country's gross domestic product. And, where any sum of money is in play, it is bound to draw the attention of the IRS.

Tax reform must account for gig economy, say experts

What will tax reform look like? That is a major question swirling in the political air in Georgia and every other state of the nation. No one in a position of making such policy is willing to provide much in the way of clarity on the subject. They apparently want to keep their options open. Who can blame them? No matter what action follows, someone will be upset. There is one thing that analysts say law and policy makers should try to keep top of mind – the gig economy.

As we noted in a post earlier this month, nearly 70 million individuals now make some or all of their income by offering services through online outlets, but do not report it on their returns. Estimates put the amount of money that goes undeclared at nearly $215 billion.

Getting out from under the tax lien cloud

If you are the target of a tax lien by the IRS, there are a lot of things you need to be concerned about. First is the question of how you will resolve the issue. Second is how you ensure that the record of the action doesn't continue to haunt you long after the matter has been taken care of.

As we note elsewhere on our site, being subjected to a lien is a matter of public record. It goes into the files of the county clerk in Georgia where you work or live. A lien is also something that the major credit rating companies track. That kind of information can erode your credit rating and hurt your chances of ever digging out of the tax debt hole.

Offer in compromise can be a great tool for taxpayer in hardship

Few things are as financially unnerving to Georgia taxpayers as having a delinquent tax bill to the IRS. Even worse, perhaps, is knowing one does not have the ability to pay it, even with a payment plan.

An offer in compromise is a contract between a taxpayer and the IRS where both parties agree to settle an alleged tax liability for less than the IRS says the person owes. Those who cannot pay the liability in full via a payment plan may be able to secure an OIC.

Got your side hustle on? Are you paying the taxes?

According to a recent survey, over a quarter of all Americans are working a job in the gig economy but not declaring it on their taxes. That's around 69.8 million people and about $214.6 billion in tax revenue going undeclared.

Whether you're a dog walker, an Etsy artist or a rideshare driver, you can earn some real money in the gig economy. These jobs are typically done on a freelance or independent contractor basis. Sometimes there is no direct employer. Other times, a portion of the money earned comes from cash tips. In such cases there is less of a paper trail, so it's tempting to treat the job as an "under the table" transaction.

What tax relief is there for Georgia businesses after Irma?

In recent posts, we have focused attention on how government is helping Georgia residents recover in the wake of Tropical Storm Irma. First, there were pledges of help. Since then, agencies at the state and federal levels have started to make good on the promises and the latest one provides some specific help for individuals who live or have businesses in the state.

With the declaration of President Trump, the IRS is now extending deadlines on some tax payments for those in affected areas. Here's a more detailed breakdown. It is not a complete list and so consulting with qualified tax professionals is recommended.

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Located in Atlanta, The Peck Group, LC, represents clients nationwide. Regionally, we are committed to serving clients in Fulton County and throughout the state of Georgia.