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Corporations that make payments to shareholders beware: The IRS may challenge deductions claimed for certain business expenses and other related-party transactions. An inquiry could lead to reclassification of certain payments as constructive dividends, which could have unfavorable tax consequences for the company and its shareholders. Here's a recent Tax Court case that highlights this contentious issue.

Individuals who agree to attorneys' fees that are contingent on the outcome of their case may wonder if they can deduct the fees on their personal tax returns. The federal income tax treatment of contingent attorneys' fees taken out of a taxable non-business judgment or settlement has led to litigation between taxpayers and the IRS. Here, we cover guidance on this issue and provide an overview for taxable and business-related recoveries.

If you sell an asset, will the profit be taxed at the (lower) long-term capital gains rate or the (higher) ordinary income rate? Or, if you incur a loss, how soon can you deduct it? In most situations, classifying taxable gains and losses as capital or ordinary is fairly straightforward but not always. Here's a closer look at this issue and how some courts have ruled on it recently.

Have you made energy-efficient purchases in recent years? If so, certain expenditures including the cost of qualifying residential equipment and certain electric vehicles may be eligible for significant credits to offset your income tax and alternative minimum tax liabilities. Here's what you need to know, including how you can still take advantage of an expanded list of qualifying expenditures for 2016.

If you or a loved one plan to get married this summer, there are some important financial issues the happy couple should consider. Should you file jointly or separately in 2017? Will you be hit with the marriage penalty or be lucky enough to qualify for the marriage bonus? Here's guidance to help answer these questions, along with a tax tip for newlywed property owners who need to combine their households.

Summer is just around the corner. While you're enjoying the warmer weather, don't become complacent about business and personal tax planning. Here are 10 hot summer tax-planning tips. Some of these ideas such as buying a boat, throwing a company picnic and entertaining top clients enable you to combine tax planning with summertime fun.

Many businesses use independent contractors to lower their costs and administrative burdens. A recent U.S. Tax Court ruling provides good news for businesses that may find themselves audited by the IRS over worker classification. The court found that an employer could receive information about whether misclassified workers paid tax on the income, which would reduce the tax liability of the business.

Congratulations! It's the moment you've spent the last few years working for: graduation. You're finally part of the real world and the financial responsibilities can be daunting. You'll have to pay bills, including student loans, and save for future life essentials, like cars, vacations, homes and even retirement. Here's a crash course in financial survival to help you make smart choices.

Which state (or states) do you call home? Many individuals move to a new state with lower personal state income tax rates, hoping to reduce their tax bills. But some people run into problems when they fail to establish legal residency in the new state or terminate it in the old state. Here, we discuss the importance of establishing "domicile" and several effective ways to prove it for state tax purposes, including a recent decision based on the location of the taxpayer's beloved pet.

Tax Day gives many people the urge to purge their file cabinets of extraneous financial records. But some people hold on to personal and business data indefinitely, because they don't want to be caught off guard by an unexpected IRS inquiry. Here are basic records retention guidelines for individual and business taxpayers to help reduce the mounds of paperwork that are collected over the years.

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