Small Business Taxes & ManagementTM--Copyright 2019, A/N Group, Inc.
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July 23, 2019
NewsThe National Taxpayer Advocate has released a special report to Congress on the Earned Income Tax Credit. The report is part of the taxpayer advocate's Objectives Report to Congress.
Rev. Proc. 2019-29 provides indexing adjustments required by statute for certain provisions under Section 36B. Specifically, this revenue procedure updates the applicable percentage table used to calculate an individual’s premium tax credit for taxable years beginning in calendar year 2020 and updates the required contribution percentage for plan years beginning after calendar year 2019.
You may be able to exclude all or a portion of your foreign earned income if you meet certain requirements. In Janice Kay Haskins and Julian William Haskins (T.C. Memo. 2019-87) the wife was working for a contractor who had her stationed in Afghanistan. The taxpayer failed the residency test (in a foreign country). The Court noted the taxpayer did not have strong nonwork ties to Afghanistan and could not leave the military base and concluded the taxpayer's abode was the U.S.
Tip of the DayGetting organized-Part II . . . We recently discussed the imporantance of bank, brokerage, etc. accounts, passwords, relatives, etc. But there's another issue. Title to some of your assets might be outdated, such as the car you inherited from Uncle Fred but never put on the road. It's still in Uncle Fred's name. Getting odds and ends straightened out when you're alive is often much easier than having your executor or a lawyer do it. And, even if someone has a power of attorney, that will lapse on your death and the executor will take over.
July 22, 2019
NewsGenerally, the IRS assessment is presumed correct; it's up to the taxpayer to prove otherwise. There's an exception in the case of fraud. The burden is on the IRS to show by clear and convincing evidence that fraud exists. In Shahram Kohan and Yonina Kohan (T.C. Memo. 2019-85) the taxpayer was a dentist whom the IRS found underreported his income. The taxpayer did not maintain a separate bank account for the business and did not deposit cash payments and copayments. The taxpayer did not dispute that he substantially underreported the income of his dental practice. He testified that the underreporting was not his fault, urging that he does not know much about business, that he kept very poor records, and that he relied on his office administrator to keep his books and on his accountant to prepare proper tax returns. The Court did not find the taxpayer's testimony credible. Moreover the testimony at trial showed the taxpayer took deliberate steps to conceal assets and income. The Court looked at the eight badges of fraud and found the IRS had shown the underpayments for the years at issue were due to fraud.
Tip of the DayDealing with duplicate invoices . . . They present a number of problems. The obvious one is paying the same invoice twice--and it's been done more times that companies will admit--and don't expect the vendor to voluntarily return it. The second is the possibility that an employee embezzled the amount using a dummy company. Stopping duplicate payments isn't that difficult. The first step is making sure the invoice is entered correctly when received. When paying the invoice you should be entering an invoice number into your system. That way you should be able to pick up an invoice has already been paid. If that doesn't stop it you can periodically do a search for duplicate payments by simply searching for duplicate payments. If your business is small, that shouldn't be difficult. On a larger business there are approaches for going into the data base. To avoid the problem you should have a good system and follow it religously. Talk to your accountant. Another point is to avoid "rush" payments. That includes special requests from purchasing to expedite a payment or the treasurer to get the early pay discount.
July 19, 2019
NewsVictims of the severe storms and flooding that took place on June 24-25, 2019 in Texas may qualify for tax relief from the IRS. The President has declared that a major disaster occurred in the State of Texas. Following the recent disaster declaration for individual assistance issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the IRS announced today that affected taxpayers in certain areas will receive tax relief. Individuals who reside or have a business in Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy counties may qualify for tax relief. The declaration permits the IRS to postpone certain deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. For instance, certain deadlines falling on or after June 24, 2019 and before Oct. 31, 2019, are granted additional time to file through Oct. 31, 2019. This includes taxpayers who had a valid extension to file their 2018 return due to run out on Oct. 15, 2019. It also includes the quarterly estimated income tax payment due on Sept. 16, 2019, as well as the employment and excise tax returns due on July 31, 2019. In addition, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after June 24, 2019, and before July 9, 2019, will be abated as long as the deposits were made by July 9, 2019. For more information, go to IRS announces tax relief for Texas victims of severe storms and flooding.
The IRS has issued final regulations (T.D. 9872) that provide guidance concerning the income inclusion rules under Section 50(d)(5) that are applicable to a lessee of investment credit property when a lessor of such property elects to treat the lessee as having acquired the property. These final regulations also provide rules to coordinate the Section 50(a) recapture rules with the Section 50(d)(5) income inclusion rules. In addition, these final regulations provide rules regarding income inclusion upon a lease termination, lease disposition by a lessee, or disposition of a partner's or S corporation shareholder's entire interest in a lessee partnership or S corporation outside of the recapture period. Accordingly, these regulations will affect lessees of investment credit property when the lessor of the property makes an election to treat the lessee as having acquired the property and an investment credit is determined under Section 46 with respect to such lessee.
In Martin A. Kapp (T.C. Memo. 2019-84) the petitioner was a CPA who prepared tax returns for mariners and claimed a per diem meal allowance as a miscellaneous itemized deduction even if they did not incur a meal expense and the meals were furnished by the employer. The IRS was granted a motion for summary judgment holding that the petitioner be permanently enjoined and that the so-called mariner tax deduction was illegal and in violation of Sec. 6694. The Tax Court has issued two addtional opinions related to the petitioner's mariner clients. The Court held that the IRS satisfied its burden of proving that the petitioner prepared tax returns for the years in issued with knowledge that the returns and/or schedules prepared would result in understatements of tax.
Tip of the DayStore credit cards . . . Think twice before signing up. First it's another credit card. Second, the come-on is generally a one-time amount off your purchase when you sign up. Hardly worth it. Interest rates tend to be high and they've got you on a list. There are exceptions. One big box retailer gives 5 percent off to seniors on every purchase--and large purchases are not unusual. There are others that give regular rewards to cardholders. Best advice. Check before signing up.
July 18, 2019
NewsNotice 2019-45 (IRB 2019-320 expands upon previous guidance (Notice 2004-23, Notice 2004-50 and Notice 2013-57) by providing an appendix with a limited list of additional preventive care services and items for certain chronic conditions that may be treated as preventive care for purposes of Section 223(c)(2)(C). These additional services and items are treated as preventive only when prescribed to treat an individual diagnosed with the specified chronic condition, and only when prescribed for the purpose of preventing the exacerbation of the chronic condition or the development of a secondary condition.
You have 60 days to rollover an IRA distribution. In Nancy Burack (T.C. Memo. 2019-83) the taxpayer took a $524,981 distribution to pay for a new home. She planned on rolling over the amount when the sale of her prior home closed. The first part of the plan worked and she overnighted a check for the same amount to the IRA provider, her financial adviser, as per their instructions, which arrived on the 58th day. But the check was not deposited into the account of the custodian until the 62nd day, which turned out to be the day of record. Why there was a delay between the adviser's receipt of the check and the deposit at the custodian wasn't clear. The IRS assessed additional taxes of $214,333 and an accuracy-related penalty of $42,867. The IRS claimed the check should have been sent to the custodian, but the record showed that all the taxpayer's correspondence and contacts were with the adviser and not the guardian, thus she sent the check to the right party. Court accepted the fact that the delay was due to a bookkeeping error and granted a hardship waiver.
Tip of the DayGet organized . . . Generally good advice. You'll be more efficient at work. But it's even more important if you die. You spouse, children, executor, or whoever will take care of your estate will probably find it difficult enough to step into your shoes cold. (An exception might be your spouse.) But if you're not organized and there's no list of bank accounts, credit cards, brokers, passwords and PIN numbers, property (personal and real), debts, the executor the job will be much more difficult. It's even more important if you have a business. Got it all on computer? That probably won't make it easier, but harder. Where are the files? Are they password protected? Are we missing any? Organizing now will mean all you have to do as time goes on is change, add, or delete from the list or the file cabinet.
July 17, 2019
NewsThe IRS has released a number of draft tax forms to be used with 2019 filings. A new form, Form 1040-SR, U.S. Tax Return for Seniors is of particular interest. While it looks very similar to a regular 1040, it includes a standard deduction chart on the first page. Other recent releases of interest are Form 1040, and a number of schedules. To review any of the forms, go to Draft Tax Forms.
The IRS has provided additional information (IR-2019-128 to help taxpayers meet their filing and payment requirements for the Section 965 transition tax on untaxed foreign earnings. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act requires certain taxpayers that have untaxed foreign earnings and profits to pay a tax as if those earnings and profits have been repatriated to the? United States. The law provides details on the income that must be recognized. It also provides a related deduction which generally lowers the effective tax rate to between 8% and 15.5%. Certain taxpayers may elect to pay the transition tax over eight years. IR-2019-128 contains links to information in question and answer format, as well as additional information.
Tip of the DayWithdraw from investments or IRA? . . . We're just talking about after retirement and traditional IRAs. The usual answer is to hit your investments first. If the investment is a savings account there's no tax consequences. If it's investments such as stocks you'll have to pay tax on any gains, but that might be at long-term capital gain rates. Weigh that against the ordinary income generated from distributions from a traditional IRA. Keep in mind that once you reach age 70-1/2 you'll have to take your required minimum distribution each year. But talking more than the minimum one year won't reduce what you have to take the following year (except to the extent you'll have a smaller total amount in the IRA). Get good advice before making a decision.
July 16, 2019
NewsThe IRS has released Tax Tip 2019-92, a number of tips to help organizations understand the tax-exempt application process.
There are some manuevers that can save taxes, but these days it's difficult. Many approaches either won't work or only result in a deferral of taxes. In Samuel Wegbreit and Elizabeth J. Wegbreit; The Samuel Wegbreit Trust Fund (T.C. Memo. 2019-82) the taxpayer-husband had started and investment company which proved successfull and eventually agreed to sell the business. That precipated some serious tax planning. The facts are complicated but what is simple is that the taxpayer assigned his ownership interest in the business to a trust that involved a life insurance policy. The Court noted that the taxpayers, the trust and various related entities failed to maintain adequate books and records, revealing an inattention to detail. Several assignment and transfer documents in the record appear to convey property and assets to the wrong entity, entities that had not been formed yet, and entities of whose existence there is no evidence. The Court found no error in the IRS's reconstruction of income using the bank deposits method. The IRS argued the trust formed was a sham. The Court looked a four factors normally examined in such cases and concluded the trust was, indeed, a sham. The Court noted there ware three versions of the trust's formation agreement and the taxpayer was unable to identify which of the three was the correct one. The taxpayers used funds from the trust for personal purposes without restriction. In another issue the taxpayers exchanged an insurance policy for another policy. This should be a tax-free exchange, but the Court found the policy was not a valid life insurance policy under the tax law. The Tax Court also found that some of the underpayment was due to fraud, noting, among other things, that the taxpayers provided falsified and back-dated documents to conceal assets and income from the Government.
Tip of the DayIRA rollovers . . . While you can still do IRA rollovers by receiving the money in your own hands (rather than a trustee-to-trustee), you're now limited to one per year. And the 60-day rollover period is strict. Miss it by one day and you'll have to pay tax on the money and a 10 percent penalty if you're not 59-1/2 or don't meet one of the exceptions. There's a trap in here too. While most deadlines are postponed to the next business day if they fall on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, that's not true here. If the 60-day period is up on Saturday, you'll have to redeposit the funds on Friday. And be aware that some brokers close their books before closing the office. But in one recent situation the bank made a bookkeeping error failing to record the deposit on the proper day. The taxpayer requested a letter ruling from the IRS and had the income reversed and the penalty abated.
July 15, 2019
NewsThe IRS has added Muscatine to the counties where victims may qualify for IRS relief as a result of severe storms and flooding that took place on March 12, 2019 in Iowa. As a result, the full list of areas where individuals who reside in or have a business where taxpayers may qualify for tax relief include Fremont, Harrison, Louisa, Mills, Monona, Muscatine, Pottawattamie, Scott, Shelby, and Woodbury counties. In addition to other relief, victims may qualify for postponement of certain deadlines. For more information, go to IRS announces tax relief for Iowa victims of severe storms and flooding.
The IRS has issued final regulations (T.D. 9870) that streamline IRS regulations by removing regulations that are no longer necessary after the enactment of recent tax legislation. Specifically, these final regulations remove existing regulations regarding advance payments for goods and long-term contracts. These final regulations affect accrual method taxpayers who receive advance payments for goods, including those for inventoriable goods.
Tip of the DayGrowing by acquisition . . . It's one way of getting bigger. But if you read the financial news and follow companies that make acquisitions, you find that a relatively large percentage don't pan out well. Some of them are disasters. No matter how careful you are, the deal can still be a failure. There is a way to reduce your exposure. Instead of going for a blockbuster that will double the size of your business, consider smaller purchases. That way even if a deal does go sour, it won't jeopardize the firm. That's also a good way to gain experience.
July 12, 2019
NewsVictims of the severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding that took place on April 29, 2019 in Missouri may qualify for tax relief from the IRS. The President has declared that a major disaster occurred in the State of Missouri. Following the recent disaster declaration for individual assistance issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the IRS announced today that affected taxpayers in certain areas will receive tax relief. Individuals who reside or have a business in Andrew, Atchison, Boone, Buchanan, Carroll, Chariton, Cole, Greene, Holt, Jackson, Jasper, Lafayette, Lincoln, Livingston, Miller, Osage, Pike, Platte, Pulaski, and St. Charles counties may qualify for tax relief. The declaration permits the IRS to postpone certain deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. For instance, certain deadlines falling on or after April 29, 2019 and before Aug. 30, 2019, are granted additional time to file through Aug. 30, 2019. This includes the quarterly estimated income tax payment due on June 17, 2019, as well as the employment and excise tax returns due on April 30 and July 31, 2019. It also includes tax-exempt organizations that operate on a calendar-year basis and had a Form 990 due on May 15, 2019. In addition, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after April 29, 2019, and before May 14, 2019, will be abated as long as the deposits were made by May 14, 2019. For additional information, go to IRS announces tax relief for Missouri victims of severe storms, tornadoes and flooding.
Tip of the DayWait for failure, then respond? . . . That's the philosphy of more than a few businesses. Sometimes you have no choice. You maintain the office printer, but it could fail at any time. But the same approach used on other items can be dangerous and expensive. The loose handrail on the stairs, the hydraulic lines way past their useful life, bald tires on equipment, etc. can bring a substantial lawsuit if someone is injured. You may not be able to find all the potential problems, but having a regular routine of checking equipment and other property can help mitigate your liability in a lawsuit or other legal action. Be sure to document the inspections. And weighing the cost of installing a safety feature or doing repairs against the cost of failure can be foolhardy.
July 11, 2019
NewsIf your business fails to deposit taxes withheld from employees' pay, an owner, shareholder, officer, or even an employee could be held personally liable if he or she willfully fails to collect and pay over such tax. Generally, that means a person could be responsible if they had signature authority, paid other liabilities ahead of the IRS, etc. In Troy K. Dixon (T.C. Memo. 2019-79) the IRS claimed the petitioner was such a "responsible person". The petitioner argued that. while a member of the family that owned and operated the business, he was not a responsible person for any of the quarters at issue. The Court examined the facts and found that for the two tax quarters in 2005 he did not know of the failure to pay the taxes until informed of such by the IRS. The business operations continued to be handled by the petitioner's parents until he took a more active role in 2007. From 2007 on the petitioner acted upon his authority as the president and sole director of the corporation and was a responsible person.
Tip of the DaySaving on perks . . . You may think you can save some operating expenses by cutting perks--no more free coffee in the break room, no Christmas party, etc. Often the cutback won't save much, but will have a disproportionately large impact on employee morale. The impact is even greater if the business's owners and executives don't give up anything. There may be ways to cut back on perks, just make sure the savings more than outweigh the negative aspects.
July 10, 2019
NewsThe IRS has issued proposed regulations (REG-121508-18) relating to the tax qualification of plans maintained by more than one employer. These plans, maintained pursuant to Section 413(c), are often referred to as multiple employer plans or MEPs. The proposed regulations would provide an exception, if certain requirements are met, to the application of the “unified plan rule” for a defined contribution MEP in the event of a failure by an employer participating in the plan to satisfy a qualification requirement or to provide information needed to determine compliance with a qualification requirement. These proposed regulations would affect MEPs, participants in MEPs (and their beneficiaries), employers participating in MEPs, and MEP plan administrators.
Tip of the DayRoth or traditional IRA? . . . There are many sides to the argument here. Some taxpayers won't have a choice. If you're covered by a pension plan and your income is high, you may not be able to make a deductible contribution. A high income can preclude you from making a Roth contribution too. But if you're not covered by a plan, there's no restriction on contributions to a deductible IRA. Some advisors claim a deductible contribution makes sense if you're going to be in a lower bracket when you retire. But can you predict that at age 35 or 40? More than a few individuals have discovered that they're actually in a higher bracket after retirement. The advantage of a deductible contribution is, obviously, the deduction. That can keep more money in your pocket, maybe even allowing you to make a larger contribution. There is another advantage to a deductible contribution. Should you find yourself in a low bracket in one year, you may be able to switch funds into a Roth. You'll pay tax on conversion, but the price may be small. For example, Fred has his own business and income can vary widely. Every couple of years income is so low that he can convert $25,000 of his deductible IRA to a Roth and pay little, if any, taxes on the income. He got a deduction up front, but will pay little or not taxes on the conversion. Another point. Keep in mind that one of the biggest advantages of a Roth is that you won't pay tax on either the principal or the income when you take the money out so the money income accumulated in the account, the bigger the advantage. That makes a Roth particularly attractive to younger individuals where there's plenty of time for the money to grow.
July 9, 2019
NewsThe IRS has added Lincoln to the counties where victims may qualify for relief as a result of severe storms and flooding that took place on May 21, 2019 in Arkansas. As a result, the full list of areas where individuals who reside in or have a business where taxpayers may qualify for tax relief include Arkansas, Conway, Crawford, Desha, Faulkner, Jefferson, Lincoln, Logan, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Sebastian, and Yell counties. In addition to other relief, victims may qualify for postponement of certain deadlines. For more information, go to IRS announces tax relief for Arkansas victims of severe storms and flooding.
Travel away from home may be deductible if the job is expected to last less than a year and you have a tax home. In Hector Baca and Magdalena Baca (T.C. Memo. 2019-78) the Tax Court held that the taxpayer's job of moving and operating fracking equipment away from home was so indefinite as to make the out-of-town location his tax home. The taxpayers owned multiple businesses but were denied deductions because of a general lack of documentation and denied auto expenses because of a lack of a log or diary and the required detail for vehicle expenses. The Court also disallowed a Section 179 deduction for tools on his 2012 return. The tools had been purchased in 2011. The Court noted that Section 179 property must be deducted in the year it is placed in service, which is when it is placed in a condition or state of readiness and availability in a trade or business. The Court also denied a number of other expenses because of a lack of documentation or a failure to show a business relationship to the expense. The taxpayers paid a worker by allowing him use of a debit card linked to the their account. The Court denied the expenses for contract labor because the taxpayers could not show how much was paid the worker.
Tip of the DayTransfers between spouses . . . Tax law provides that no gain or loss is recognized on transfers of property between spouses or incident to a divorce. In addition, your spouse (or ex-spouse) takes over your basis. That can be good news or bad. For example, you bought a vacation home in 1990, long before you married Paul. You paid only $125,000 for the lake home and it's now worth $750,000. For business reasons you sell it to your husband for $500,000. No gain or loss is reported and his basis in the event of a future sale is $125,000. Now, instead, assume you and Paul are getting divorced and are splitting assets. You bought a house in town together for $650,000 that's now worth $750,000. In the divorce settlement, Paul takes the $750,000 vacation home and you take the $750,000 house in town. A year later you each sell the homes for $750,000. Paul has a $625,000 gain; you have only a $100,000.
July 8, 2019
NewsThe IRS has added Mahoning to the counties where victims may qualify for relief as a result of severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes, flooding, and landslides that took place on May 27, 2019 in Ohio. As a result, the full list of areas where individuals who reside in or have a business where taxpayers may qualify for tax relief include Auglaize, Darke, Greene, Hocking, Mercer, Mahoning, Miami, Montgomery, Muskingum, Perry, and Pickaway counties. Victims may qualify for postponement of certain deadlines. For more information, go to IRS announces tax relief for Ohio victims of severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes, flooding, and landslides.
Tip of the DayRead that noncompete agreement . . . When you start a job, sell a business, etc. you're probably faced with a number of documents to sign and you're often rushed. But that's no reason to sign something you haven't read. You should have access to documents before you arrive at a closing. If you're pressed for time, at least briefly review all the documents to see how important they are and at least read the ones that will affect you. Noncompete agreements can be particularly important. They're much more widely used than in the past and you could be restricted from working near your home for a company in a similar industry for some time and to make sure you don't inadvertently violate an agreement later and have to defend yourself.
July 5, 2019
NewsThe IRS has adopting final regulations (T.D. 9861) under Sections 6051 and 6052. To aid employers' efforts to protect employees from identity theft, these regulations amend existing regulations to permit employers to voluntarily truncate employees' social security numbers (SSNs) on copies of Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, that are furnished to employees so that the truncated SSNs appear in the form of IRS truncated taxpayer identification numbers (TTINs). These regulations also amend the regulations under Section 6109 to clarify the application of the truncation rules to Forms W-2 and to add an example illustrating the application of these rules. Additionally, these regulations delete obsolete provisions and update cross references in the regulations under sections 6051 and 6052. Employers can truncate employees' social security numbersd on W-2s furnished to them for wages paid, employment taxes withheld, to report wages in the form of group-term life insurance, third-party sick pay, and W2cs to correct errors on W-2s.
Tip of the DayElections . . . Federal tax law provides for a number of elections. How an election is made varies widely. Have a gain of less than $250,000 on the sale of a home? To elect the exclusion, simply don't report the gain. If you want to expense a business asset, you've got to list the asset on Form 4562 (Depreciation) and provide certain information. What about your state return? Some states recognize the federal election automatically; some require an affirmative action; and some may not allow a particular election. If you're preparing your return electronically, the software usually automatically handles the state election. But that's not always the case. Make sure you understand the rules for your state--and any other state in which you have to file.
July 3, 2019
NewsPresident Trump has signed the Taxpayer First Act into law. The Act was a bipartisan effort and effects a great number of changes to how the IRS deals with taxpayers. Some have significant effects. Some provisions of note include:
change the seizure requirements with respect to structuring transactions to avoid the $10,000 financial reporting requirement,
clarification of equity relief from joint liability,
modification of procedures for issuance of third party summons,
make changes to the private debt collection,
modernization of the National Taxpayer Advocate,
make changes to dealing with misdirected tax refunds,
better address and deal with identity theft,
create and internet platform for Form 1099 filings,
expand the use of electronic filing of returns,
mandatory e-filing by exempt organizations,
increase in the penalty for failure to file from $205 to $330,
waiver of some fees by low-income taxpayers,
set new electronic filing requirements for Forms 1099 returns professionally prepared.
The U.S. Supreme Court had denied certiorari in the case of Alpenglow Botanicals, LLC. The case, involving the denial of business expense deductions under Sec. 280E for a marijuana dispensary that was on appeal for the Tenth Circuit. The Court noted Congress has the power to prohibit deductions at its sole discretion. (Certiorari is a writ by a court agreeing to review a lower court case.)
Tip of the DayGetting married? . . . Most couples don't go for a prenuptual agreement. It can be embarrassing to ask the other party to sign one and, in some cases, can destroy marriage plans. But unless you've known your partner for a long time, you should be aware that more than one spouse has come into the marriage with heavy credit card debt, defaulted loans, student loans, etc. You could find yourself responsible for that debt. In addition, a person who can't handle their financial health could spell trouble in other ways as well as being likely to pile on even more debt in the relationship. Of course there can reasons for the issues beyond their control, such as medical problems, loss of a job, paying to take care of a family member, etc.
July 2, 2019
NewsThe IRS has issued final regulations (T.D. 9869) that clarify the employment tax treatment of partners in a partnership that owns a disregarded entity. These regulations affect partners in a partnership that owns a disregarded entity.
There's an old joke around airports--"you know how to make a small fortune in aviation? Start out with a big one." That seems to be true of most horse-related activities. In Sheldon Sapoznik and Melissa McCrossen (T.C. Memo. 2019-77) the taxpayer-husband riding and showing horses as a hobby some years ago. In 2010 they purchased a stallion with the intention of earning stud fees. Unfortunately, after training in 2012 the horse became ill and died before earning any stud fees. In 2011 the taxpayers purchased a gelding for $25,000. With some showing by 2015 the horse gained a top 10 placement in the nationals and they put it up for sale for $60,000. They sold the horse for $25,000 in 2016. The taxpayers deducted substantial losses against their income. The Court looked at the factors normally examined in "hobby loss" cases and noted the lack of a written business plan, no change in the activities despite losses, failure to maintain complete books and records, failure to consult experts, and no evidence of an expectation of future appreciation in the assets. The Court also noted that the taxpayers' recordkeeping represented nothing more than an effort to substantiate expenses reported on their returns. Because of the lack of recordkeeping, the taxpayers could not meaningfully analyze profitability and make informed decisions in a manner resembling that of a similar business. The Court found all the factors either not applicable or in favor of the IRS.
Tip of the DayCrosstraining . . . In a small business, and even in more than a few mid-size ones, there often aren't enough employees to have a backup should someone leave, get sick, or even go on vacation. You may be able to put some restrictions on vacation time during a busy season (check the rules in your state), but there's nothing you can do about someone getting sick. Your only option may be to crosstrain employees. Sometimes crosstraining isn't even necessary. An employee may have come from another department so he can backstop an employee there. Or the employee who works in purchasing but has considerable computer experience can help when your regular IT guy is out. Many employees have skills beyond what they were hired for. If that doesn't fill a slot, training the employee may be the only option. There's no reason a sharp secretary can't be trained to use an accounting program to handle payroll or enter and print checks for vendors. Many jobs are 80 percent routine, easy to train and the remaining 20 percent take special skills and someone who's going to be a short-term substitute doesn't have to handle all the requirements, just the majority.
July 1, 2019
NewsThe IRS has announced changes to forms (8950 and 8951) used on Pay.gov for IRS Voluntary Correction Program (VCP) submissions. You can find more information on the Voluntary Correction Program at Correcting Plan Errors.
The IRS may issue a Backup Withholding CP2100 or CP2100A Notice to payers. These notices let payers know backup withholding may need to begin for some taxpayers. Backup withholding begins if a taxpayer identification number (TIN) is missing or for incorrect name/TIN combinations. Payers who receive these notifications should compare the information in the notice with their records. In missing TINs backup withholding may have to begin immediately, for incorrect TINs compare the accounts on the listing. If they agree notify the taxpayer, if not correct or update. The IRS has updated the information on backup withholding at IRS Tax Tip 2019-77.
Tip of the DayCP2000 Notice . . . It's the most common notice sent out by the IRS. The notice is sent when financial information received from a third party (e.g., 1099, 1099-DIV, 1099-INT) doesn't match the information reported on a taxpayer's return. The notice gives detailed information about issues and provides steps taxpayers should take to resolve those issues. This is not a formal audit notification and the IRS could still select your return for audit later. In most cases a taxpayer will agree with the notice and pay any additional tax due. If you believe the notice is in error, you can return the notice with an explanation. Either way, you should respond to the notice within 30 days. For additional information and some links, go to IRS Tax Tip 2019-78.
June 28, 2019
NewsThe United States and the French Republic have memorialized through diplomatic communications an understanding that the French Contribution Sociale Generalisee (CSG) and Contribution au Remboursement de la Dette Sociate (CRDS) taxes are not social taxes covered by the Agreement on Social Security between the two countries. Accordingly, the IRS will not challenge foreign tax credits for CSG and CRDS payments on the basis that the Agreement on Social Security applies to those taxes. Taxpayers have 10 years to file a claim for refund of U.S. tax with respect to a foreign tax credit. The IRS will update information on claiming these taxes as foreign tax credits soon. For more information, go to Foreign Tax Credit.
Tip of the DayCheck your withholdings . . . That's what the IRS is continuing to urge. It's not always easy, but it's good advice. There can be a number of reasons for owing money on April 15th. Here are some frequently encountered ones:
The IRS has a Withholding Calculator which can make the task much easier.
June 27, 2019
NewsThe IRS has added Turner to the counties where victims may qualify for relief as a result of the severe winter storms, snowstorms, and flooding that began on May 13, 2019 in South Dakota. As a result, the full list of areas where individuals who reside in or have a business where taxpayers may qualify for tax relief include Bennett, Bon Homme, Charles Mix, Dewey, Hutchinson, Jackson, Mellette, Minnehaha, Oglala Lakota, Todd, Turner, Yankton, Ziebach Counties, the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, the Pine Ridge Reservation, and the Rosebud Reservation. For more information, go to IRS announces relief for South Dakota.
The IRS has released more comprehensive tables representing statistics from Forms 1120, U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return. Statistics are presented by industry, asset size, business receipts size, tax form type, and other selected classifiers. Separate tabulations of data reported on Form 1120S, U.S. Income Tax Return for an S Corporation, are also included. The Tax Year 2014 Complete Report presents a significant update to the presentation of corporate tax information. Also released are Partnerships, Withholding on Foreign Recipients of U.S. Income, Tax Year 2016 and Withholding on Dispositions by Foreign Persons of U.S. Real Property Interests, Calendar Year 2016.
Tip of the DaySelling a vacation home? . . . If it's in another state you may be in for a shock. You'll have to file a nonresident income tax return to report and pay tax on the gain. You'll get credit for the tax paid on your home state return. To insure compliance, some states require the real estate agent to report the sale. In some states there's a withholding tax on the sale. The withheld amount can be applied to the return when filed. As always, the rules vary from state to state, but be prepared. You'll also have to file a nonresident return if you rent property in a state or otherwise generate income in that state. Thresholds often apply such that amounts below a certain amount aren't taxed. Check with your accountant or tax advisor.
June 26, 2019
NewsNotice 2019-42 (IRB 2019-29) amplifies Notice 2018-48, which lists the population census tracts that the Secretary of the Treasury designated as qualified opportunity zones. Specifically, this notice adds two additional census tracts in Puerto Rico that have been designated as qualified opportunity zones under Sec. 1400Z-1(b)(3) of the Code.
The IRS has added additional counties where victims may qualify for relief as a result of the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding that took place on May 7, 2019 in Oklahoma. The added counties are Alfalfa, Craig, Garfield, Kingfisher, Pawnee, and Woods. As a result, the full list of counties where individuals who reside in or have a business where taxpayers may qualify for tax relief include Alfalfa, Canadian, Cherokee, Craig, Creek, Delaware, Garfield, Kay, Kingfisher, Le Flore, Logan, Mayes, Muskogee, Noble, Nowata, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Payne, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Sequoyah, Tulsa, Wagoner, Washington, and Woods. For additional information, go to IRS announces tax relief for Oklahoma victims .
Tip of the DayUnderstand the numbers . . . One of the advantages of the computer/internet age is that we can easily generate numerically analyze raw data. Often numbers are generated because we can. One real estate site provides the price of the house in dollars per square foot. But that number calculated by simply dividing the property's price by the square footage of the house. No adjustment is made for the amount of land included--or any other factors. That statistic might be worthwhile in a suburban neighborhood where all the lots are relatively similar in size. But it doesn't make much sense in a rural area where one house might have an acre of land and the one next door 5 or 10 acres. It also doesn't make sense where houses may be in different school districts, one near town, one further out, etc. That's just one example. There are plenty more. If you're going to rely on a number, make sure you understand how it was derived.
June 25, 2019
NewsOnce again recordkeeping comes was the underlying issue in Philip N. Rose and Leanna Rose (T.C. Memo. 2019-73). The taxpayers ended up with two properties, which they claimed as rentals. They ended up abandoning both of the properties. The Idaho property had a number of rental spaces but proved to be a problem when it was vacated in poor condition. The taxpayer-wife spent considerable time cleaning and refurbishing it, staying in the property which the work was under way. The IRS claimed the taxpayer used it for personal purposes more than 14 days and, under Sec. 280A, denied the rental losses. The taxpayers were able to convince the Court that the time spent at the property was time spent on repairs and not personal in nature. But, in the absence of contemporaneous logs, the taxpayers could not convince the Court that the wife's time spent on the property qualified her to be a real estate professional. The IRS also claimed the taxpayers had unreported income. The Service used the bank deposits method to support its claim. The taxpayers argued that some deposits were simply transfers between accounts. The Court accepted that claim where it was clear that funds came out of one account and were promptly deposited in another. But due to poor documentation for other deposits, the taxpayers were liable for a certain amount of unreported income. Tip of the Day Research permitting process first . . . In a rural area getting a permit to open a restaurant, doctor's office, auto repair shop, etc. may be relatively easy. In some cases, no permit may be needed at all. The more metropolitan the area, the more difficult that can be. A business as innocuous as a bicycle shop may require a number of permits and inspections before opening. A restaurant, bar, or liquor store can be particularly problematic. A time frame of a year to year and a half is not unusual for some areas. That can be a real problem if you're losing your current lease or starting up a new business or expanding in a new location. You won't make any money until the business opens. There are some steps you can take. If you're not familiar with the rules of the town or city, get an expert to help. That could be an architect who's done several similar buildings, either from scratch or renovating. An attorney that deals in such issues can also help. The simplest approach is often to buy an existing property that was doing the same or a similar business (e.g., restaurant, night club) and, if necessary, renovate it.
June 24, 2019
NewsIn a collection due process (CDP) case (Atlantic Pacific Management Group, LLC; 152 T.C. No. 17) the IRS assessed penalties under Sec. 6698(a) against the petitioner for late partnership information return filings for 2014 and 2015 and a penalty under Sec. 6038(b) for failing to file an information return with respect to certain foreign corporations and partnerships for 2014. The IRS filed a notice of Federal tax lien and mailed a notice of Federal tax lien filing to the petitioner. The petitioner did not timely request a CDP hearing with the IRS, and the Service closed the case without conducting a CDP or equivalent hearing or issuing a notice of determination. The petitioner filed a petition with this Court, and the IRS moved to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. The IRS argued that the Court lacked jurisdiction because no notice of determination was issued to the petitioner. The petitioner argues that the IRS deprived it of its right to a hearing and the Tax Court should have demanded the IRS give it a CDP hearing. Alternatively, the petitioner argued that under Buffano v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2007-32, the Court should dismiss for lack of jurisdiction on the grounds that the IRS failed to satisfy the requirements for issuance of a valid notice of Federal tax lien filing and invalidate that filing. Finally, the petitioner argued that the Court's jurisdiction was extended under Sec. 7803(a)(3). The Tax Court held it lacked jurisdiction because no notice of determination was issued and that this case was distinguishable from Buffano, and the Court did not apply the rationale of that opinion here. Finally, the Court held Sec. 7803(a)(3) does not confer jurisdiction on the Tax Court and does not extend its jurisdiction provided under other sections of the Internal Revenue Code.
Tip of the DaySales debriefing . . . If your company has worked on a proposal to a major customer and lost the job or sale, you probably want to just forget the experience. That's the wrong approach. You should find out why you didn't make the cut. Was your price too high? The equipment didn't perform as well as a competitor's? Was there something wrong with the proposal content? By knowing why you lost the sale, you'll have an advantage on the next proposal, either for the same customer or another one. Sometimes the customer may tell you why you lost; more often not. If not, there may be hints. If more than one employee worked on the proposal, you may be able to arrive at a probable reason by pooling your information in a debriefing session. If you won the job or made the sale you should do the same thing. Celebrate first, then find out why. Did you have the best price? Give the customer more than your competitor? If the decision was close, you'll want to know that, and why you won. Your competitors might try to outdo you the next time. If it's because you gave away too much, you may be able to increase your price and profit the next time. A similar approach can be used for other projects.
June 21, 2019
NewsVictims of the severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes, flooding, and landslides that took place on May 27, 2019 in Ohio may qualify for tax relief from the IRS. The President has declared that a major disaster occurred in the State of Ohio. Following the recent disaster declaration for individual assistance issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the IRS announced that affected taxpayers in certain areas will receive tax relief. Individuals who reside or have a business in Auglaize, Darke, Greene, Hocking, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Muskingum, Perry, and Pickaway counties may qualify for tax relief. The declaration permits the IRS to postpone certain deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. For instance, certain deadlines falling on or after May 27, 2019 and before Sept. 30, 2019, are granted additional time to file through Sept. 30, 2019. This includes the quarterly estimated income tax payments due on June 17 and Sept. 16, 2019, as well as the employment and excise tax returns due on July 31, 2019. In addition, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after May 27, 2019, and before June 11, 2019, will be abated as long as the deposits were made by June 11, 2019. For more information, go to IRS announces tax relief for Ohio victims of severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes, flooding, and landslides.
The IRS has added additional counties where victims may qualify for relief as a result of the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding that took place on May 7, 2019 in Oklahoma. The added counties are Cherokee, Le Flore, Noble and Nowata. As a result, now individuals who reside or have a business in Canadian, Cherokee, Creek, Delaware, Kay, Le Flore, Logan, Mayes, Muskogee, Noble, Nowata, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Payne, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Sequoyah, Tulsa, Wagoner and Washington counties may qualify for tax relief. For more information, go to IRS announces tax relief for Oklahoma victims of severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding .
National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson has released her 37th and final report to Congress in advance of her previously announced retirement on July 31. In the preface, Olson reflects on her 18 years in the job and provides her assessment of the key challenges facing the IRS and the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) in the coming years. The report also presents a review of the 2019 filling season.
Tip of the DayKeep good records . . . That's always good advice. But it can be critical in the case of sales tax. Some states are famous for using the one-day observation test of restaurants and many other establishments if the business doesn't keep good records for sales tax purposes. The issue can be a real problem if the day the auditor picks is one of your best days of the week. It can get worse if sales have been growing over the last few years. The auditor could simply take the sales for the day and multiply by 313 (365 days less 52, assuming the business is closed one day a week) then multiply by 3 for a 3-year period. That's a real problem if sales two years ago were significantly less than today. Contesting the assessment could be difficult. You may have to have an expert witness show the test was not statistically correct. In some cases, even that won't get you off the hook. You're fighting from a poor position because you didn't maintain the required records.
June 20, 2019
NewsThe IRS has issued its third quarter update of its 2018-2019 Priority Guidance Plan.
The IRS has announced that nearly 2 million Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) are set to expire at the end of 2019 as the IRS continues to urge affected taxpayers to submit their renewal applications early to avoid refund delays next year. Under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, ITINs that have not been used on a federal tax return at least once in the last three consecutive years will expire Dec. 31, 2019. In addition, ITINs with middle digits 83, 84, 85, 86 or 87 that have not already been renewed will also expire at the end of the year. These affected taxpayers who expect to file a tax return in 2020 must submit a renewal application as soon as possible. Taxpayers whose ITIN is expiring and who expect to have a filing requirement in 2020 must submit a renewal application. Others do not need to take any action. ITINs with the middle digits 83, 84, 85 or 86, 87 (For example: 9NN-83-NNNN) need to be renewed even if the taxpayer has used it in the last three years. The IRS will begin sending the CP-48 Notice, You must renew your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to file your U.S. tax return, in early summer to affected taxpayers. The notice explains the steps to take to renew the ITIN if it will be included on a U.S. tax return filed in 2020. Taxpayers who receive the notice after acting to renew their ITIN do not need to take further action unless another family member is affected. ITINs with middle digits of 70 through 82 have previously expired. Taxpayers with these ITINs can still renew at any time, if they have not renewed already. For more information you can see a YouTube video.
Showing consistent losses from an activity of the type frequently scruntinized by the IRS as a "not-for-profit activity" often generates an IRS challenge. In James P. Donoghue and Elaine S. Donoghue (T.C. Memo. 2019-71) that's what happened. They were engaged in thoroughbred horse breeding and racing. They used farms located in Massachusetts, South Carolina, Kentucky, Florida, and New York. From 1985 through 2014 they consistently lost money. The Court noted that the industry norm for racing a horse is 24 races per year. The last year the taxpayers raced any of their horses was 2008. The Tax Court examined the nine factors usually weighed in hobby loss cases and found eight factors favored the IRS and one was neutral. The Court sided with the IRS in disallowing the losses for the three years at issue.
Tip of the DayRead the fine print . . . While it might seem like a routine transaction, be sure to read the fine print. Or at least scan the bold headings. That's especially true if it looks like you're getting a special deal. One business owner signed up for a service that was cheaper than the competition, only to find it wasn't nearly as good as his previous service. When he went to cancel he discovered he signed up for a 3-year contract. The service was $2,500 a year and the penalty for early cancellation of the contract was $1,900. He paid the $1,900. As a business there's a good chance you won't have nearly the same protection as a consumer.
June 19, 2019
NewsThe IRS has issued legal guidance under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 providing information on certain deductions to cooperatives and their patrons. The proposed regulations (REG-118425-18) provide guidance for cooperatives and their patrons on calculating the deduction for qualified business income--the QBI deduction--and the deduction for domestic production activities for agricultural or horticultural cooperatives and their patrons (the Section 199A(g) deduction). In addition, Notice 2019-27 contains a proposed revenue procedure providing guidance on methods for calculating W-2 wages for purposes of section 199A(g).
T.D. 9865 contains temporary regulations under Section 245A that limit the dividends received deduction available for certain dividends received from current or former controlled foreign corporations. This document also contains temporary regulations that limit the applicability of the exception to foreign personal holding company income for certain dividends received by upper-tier controlled foreign corporations from lower-tier controlled foreign corporations and temporary regulations under section 6038 to facilitate administration of certain rules in the temporary regulations. The temporary regulations affect certain U.S. persons that are domestic corporations that receive certain dividends from current or former controlled foreign corporations or are United States shareholders of upper-tier controlled foreign corporations that receive certain dividends from lower-tier controlled foreign corporations.
Gift or taxable income? That was one of the questions in Mikel A. Brown, Sr. and Debra A. Brown (T.C. Memo. 2019-69). The taxpayer was a pastor who received a parsonage allowance. The congregants made contributions, designating them as "tithe", "offering", "building fund", and "special gift". Contributions designated for the first three categories were always recorded in the church's books as contributions. A special gift designated for the taxpayer (or anyone else) was noted on the envelope. If one of these special gifts was by check or credit card, it would first go into the church's account, and the bookkeeper would later make a check out to the taxpayers. Not all contributions made to the taxpayer were made through the envelope system, and therefore not all were recorded by the church. The taxpayer argued that the "special gift" to him were just that, gifts and, therefore, not taxable income. The Court looked at several factors other courts have examined in similar situations to determine whether the amounts received were income or gifts and concluded that here they were income. On another issue the Court found that the taxpayers could not escape the accuracy-related penalty by claiming reliance on their professional tax preparer noting the taxpayers had failed to provide their preparer with relevant information about the gifts.
Tip of the DayPay off that home loan early? . . . That might have made sense in the old days when interest rates were 6%, but probably not if you've got a loan at 3 or 4%. If you're sitting on a wad of cash, there should be better things you can do. Pay down those credit cards, make a larger down payment on your next car, and invest in the market. If you pay the loan off and need money down the road, it's unlikely you'll get such an attractive rate. Moreover, interest on home equity loans is generally no longer deductible. And, if your financial status has deteriorated (lost your job, are disabled, etc.) you may not be able to borrow at all. Talk to your financial adviser or accountant about your particular situation.
June 18, 2019
NewsThe IRS has updated the relief announcement for victims of the severe storms and flooding that took place on May 21, 2019 in Arkansas adding the counties of Arkansas, Desha, Logan and Pope. The complete list of counties now includes Arkansas, Conway, Crawford, Desha, Faulkner, Jefferson, Logan, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Sebastian, and Yell. For additional information, go to IRS announces tax relief for Arkansas victims of severe storms and flooding .
The Senate has passed the IRS reform bill and it now goes to the president who is expected to sign the measure. The bill contains provisions for protecting taxpayers from identity theft and providing more support for victims; reducing the e-filing threshold for electronically filing returns and to provide electronic filing of Forms 1099 directly with the IRS. The bill increases the minimum penalty for failure to file returns to the lesser of $330 or 100 percent of the amount due. This provision takes effect after 2019.
The IRS has issued final regulations (T.D. 9866) that provide guidance to determine the amount of global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI) included in the gross income of certain United States shareholders of foreign corporations, including United States shareholders that are members of a consolidated group. This document also contains final regulations relating to the determination of a United States shareholder's pro rata share of a controlled foreign corporation's subpart F income included in the shareholder's gross income, as well as certain reporting requirements relating to inclusions of subpart F income and global intangible low-taxed income. Finally, this document contains final regulations relating to certain foreign tax credit provisions applicable to persons that directly or indirectly own stock in foreign corporations.
Tip of the DayPlanning to invest in the latest Wall Street vehicle? . . . You may want to talk to your accountant first. There are many investments available that are not taxed like stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. Worse yet, the tax consequences of some of the investments aren't clear. The underwriter may provide an opinion, but the IRS could rule otherwise. The IRS has added staff to try and stay on top of new developments, but it's not unusual for a ruling to be issued several years after a new product hits the market. Consider this along with the other risks before investing.
June 17, 2019
NewsT.D. 9867 provides final rules to expand opportunities for working men and women and their families to access affordable, quality healthcare through changes to rules under various provisions of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act), the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and the Code regarding health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and other account-based group health plans. Specifically, the final rules allow integrating HRAs and other account-based group health plans with individual health insurance coverage or Medicare, if certain conditions are satisfied (an individual coverage HRA). The final rules also set forth conditions under which certain HRAs and other account-based group health plans will be recognized as limited excepted benefits. Also, the IRS is finalizing rules regarding premium tax credit (PTC) eligibility for individuals offered an individual coverage HRA. In addition, the Department of Labor (DOL) is finalizing a clarification to provide assurance that the individual health insurance coverage for which premiums are reimbursed by an individual coverage HRA or a qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement (QSEHRA) does not become part of an ERISA plan, provided certain safe harbor conditions are satisfied. Finally, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is finalizing provisions to provide a special enrollment period (SEP) in the individual market for individuals who newly gain access to an individual coverage HRA or who are newly provided a QSEHRA. The goal of the final rules is to expand the flexibility and use of HRAs and other account-based group health plans to provide more Americans with additional options to obtain quality, affordable healthcare. The final rules affect employees and their family members; employers, employee organizations, and other plan sponsors; group health plans; health insurance issuers; and purchasers of individual health insurance coverage.
The IRS has issued final regulations (T.D. 9868) regarding the statutory expansion of the class of permissible potential current beneficiaries (PCBs) of an electing small business trust (ESBT) to include nonresident aliens (NRAs). In particular, the final regulations ensure that the income of an S corporation will continue to be subject to U.S. Federal income tax when an NRA is a deemed owner of a grantor trust that elects to be an ESBT.
Tip of the DayIneligible shareholder can terminate S election . . . S corporation shareholders must be individuals, estates, or certain trusts. Shareholders must also be either citizens or U.S. residents. Partnerships and corporations cannot be shareholders. If a shareholder (or the corporation) sells or transfers his shares to an ineligible shareholder the S corporation election is automatically terminated at the time of the transfer. (Which will result in the corporation becoming a C corporation from that point on.) One way to avoid the problem can be to put a legend on the stock certificates that prohibit the transfer to an ineligible shareholder, or restrict the transfer (talk to your attorney). All may not be lost. You can request a private letter ruling and if you can show the transfer was inadvertent (see Sec. 1362(f)) you may be able to undo the damage. Be prepared. Between professional fees and the filing fee for the ruling, it can be costly.
Copyright 2019 by A/N Group, Inc. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is distributed with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The information is not necessarily a complete summary of all materials on the subject. Copyright is not claimed on material from U.S. Government sources.--ISSN 1089-1536