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Fort Lauderdale Tax Law Blog

Are You Eligible For The Florida Homestead Exemption?

The Florida Constitution (F.C.) (Article 10, Sec. 4) protects homestead property from levy of creditors of the owner. The F.C. provides that homestead property should be liberally construed in favor of the homesteader against the creditor. The person claiming the homestead exemption must be a Florida resident who establishes that he or she made, or intends to make, the real property his or her permanent residence.

Death and Taxes in Florida: What Happens When You Don't File Your Tax Return?

In today's society, many Florida taxpayers do not file their tax returns simply because they cannot pay their taxes. However, one of the most serious offenses an individual can commit, with respect to the IRS, is failure to file a tax return. Under Title 26 of the United States Code, Section 7203, it is a federal crime or offense for anyone to willfully fail to file a federal income tax return when required to do so by Internal Revenue laws or regulations. A person's willful failure to supply information or pay tax is also punishable as a crime under Section 7203. In some cases, a person convicted of these crimes may be imprisoned for up to 5 years.

Can Florida Residents Deduct Medical and Dental Expenses?

According to IRS Tax Tip 2011-21, if a taxpayer itemizes deductions on a Form 1040, a taxpayer may be able to deduct his or her expenses paid in the year 2010 for dental and medical care expenses. This would include dental or medical care expenses paid for the taxpayer, the taxpayer's spouse, and the taxpayer's dependents. For instance, taxpayers may be able to deduct medical care expenses only if the "total" medical care expenses for the year "exceed" 7.5% of total adjusted gross income (AGI).

Do Not Lose Your Florida Homestead Exemption

Every person who owns and resides on real property in Florida on January 1 and makes the property their permanent residence is eligible to receive a homestead exemption up to $50,000. The first $25,000 applies to all property taxes, including school district taxes. The additional exemption up to $25,000, applies to the assessed value between $50,000 and $75,000 and only to non-school taxes.

Be Careful of the Risks of Making Foreign Investments: Basic Overview of the Passive Foreign Investment Company (PFIC) Rules

The Internal Revenue Service developed and enforces rules designed to discourage U.S. investors from deferring tax on investment income by holding passive investments through non-U.S. companies that do not distribute their earnings currently. The rules impose significant additional tax burden on gains and certain dividends derived from investments in a Passive Foreign Investment Company (PFIC) and are very broadly drafted and construed. IRC 1297(a).

Taxpayers Beware! The IRS Does Not Send Emails

Taxpayers beware! Do not open or respond to any emails purporting to be from the IRS. It is important to know, the IRS never uses e-mail to contact taxpayers about their tax issues. Therefore any e-mail you receive that claims to be from the IRS should be viewed with immediate suspicion and not opened or replied to because the IRS will not email taxpayers.

Discharge of IRS Tax Liens In Connection With A Florida Short Sale Part III

If the taxpayer applies under IRC Section 6325(b)(2)(B), there will be a determination of the amount required for a discharge or a determination that the tax lien is valueless within 30 days from the date of the application. As a caveat, the IRS notes that if an application is made under IRC Section 6325(b)(2)(B), the certificate of discharge will be issued, once the foreclosure proceeding has been concluded.

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