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Tax Controversies Archives

Tax controversy regarding gay couples could be on horizon

A tax controversy may have arisen after a federal appeals court issued a decision in regard to the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York declared that the law is unconstitutional. Another federal appeals court made the same conclusion prior to New York's decision. The United States Supreme Court may be called on to weigh in on the constitutionality of the act in the future. The current federal tax code does not recognize gay marriage. However, if the Supreme Court strikes down the constitutionality of DOMA, gay couples who are legally married could then file a claim for a refund of federal tax overpayments. Six states currently recognize same-sex marriage, including Massachusetts. Gay-rights activists and accountants have recommended that same-sex couples should file a protective refund claim. This claim goes to the Internal Revenue Service. This strategy will allow couples to receive a larger refund if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down DOMA.

New local options create more tax options for seniors

The town council in Franklin, Massachusetts, has accepted a new measure offered by the state that allows senior citizens to defer two new types of charges. Seniors residing in the town already had the option to defer property taxes, but they now can also include their water and sewer bills to the deferment program. The taxation plan would allow homeowners the age of 65 older to defer up to half of their property tax, water bill and sewage bill. These senior homeowners would be allowed to defer those taxes until they either decide to sell their home or their death. The program would generally give the homeowners an additional $3,000 to $4,000. The program also includes an exemption for senior citizens on betterment charges, such as upgrades to the sewer system.

Downtown Boston landlords could be on the hook for new taxes

Changes in the law regarding tax liens are coming to the Boston, Massachusetts, area. Landlords in downtown Boston's Business Improvement District used to have a choice if they wanted to pay a voluntary tax that was based on their real estate assessment or if they preferred not to pay it. However, new changes now require landlords to pay this tax. Additionally, the tax will now be charged on a retroactive basis. Landlords who chose not to pay into the BID program will now have to pay the tax or face stiff consequences in the form of a tax lien being placed on their property in 2015. The relevant area that applies to the tax lien situation includes an area of 34 blocks in the Downtown Crossing and adjacent areas. It also includes areas of the Theatre District and the Financial District. There are currently 308 property owners.

Massachusetts joins coalition to tax online purchases

As e-commerce sales continue to increase at double-digit rates, state governments are asking Congress for a little help to generate revenue from sales tax. An estimated $20 billion in sales taxes slip through the fingers of state governments each year because online merchants do not have to collect or pay state sales taxes if they do not have a physical presence in that state.

Organizational umbrella decisions crucial to tax requirements

A New England charity aimed at helping to keep the local dairy economy going is having to clean up a little spilled milk. Improper business formation and planning has forced the group to reorganize as s 501C3 Corporation and pay more than a third of its earnings in taxes. However, because it was a self-imposed audit that recognized the mistakes, the IRS is not seeking any punitive tax collection actions.

State legislature says Massachusetts tax breaks too generous

The state of Massachusetts returns an estimated $26 billion in tax breaks each year. That means, the state could have an additional $26 billion in the coffers if it changed its various tax incentives and exemptions for businesses. A panel convened last year by Gov. Patrick and the state legislature called the Tax Expenditure Commission approved the group's final report calling from less tax breaks and a periodic review of our current tax breaks to ensure they are meeting goals.

Fenway Park hits tax credit homer with new historic title

Boston, already full of historic places and American treasures, can now officially add one more to the tour; Fenway Park. The hundred-year-old ball park will forever be protected with its new designation on the National Register of Historic Places. As a thank you for all the preservation work done on the stadium the federal government will return at least $40 million in tax credits to the team.

Merry Christmas Massachusetts and a happy tax audit?

With the New Year just around the corner families in Massachusetts come together to celebrate the close of 2011 with those who are closest to them. They gather around the Christmas tree and share stories, exchange gifts and enjoy one another's company. Nothing puts a damper on the holidays more than a notice from the IRS about a tax audit or a claim that you still owe money from last year.

Tax collection case surrounds Catholic church

Not even Boston churches are immune from tax collection cases. It has been reported that the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston is attempting to recoup past property taxes it already paid on a former church. That church, located in the town of Scituate, was closed in 2004. The tax refund claims in dispute were paid between 2008 and 2011.

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