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October 2016 Archives

Estate tax exemption limit increased for 2017

Georgia residents who are deciding their assets will be distributed when they die might be interested in learning that the Internal Revenue Service has announced the estate tax and gift tax exemption for 2017. The 2016 limits were $5.45 million per person in 2016. In 2017, the federal exemption is being raised to $5.49 million with married couples being able to exclude $10.98 million. The gift exclusion remains at $14,000 per year.

How to choose an executor for your estate

If you've already created a will and trust, you are ahead of the game. One of the most important parts of planning for your estate is choosing an executor that you can trust to handle your affairs and assets after you are gone. This can be a time-consuming job for someone, so you want to make sure you have the right person with the patience and determination to see it through.

Retired taxpayers and IRS audits

Retired Georgia residents have to file their federal income tax returns just like people that are still in the workforce. The Internal Revenue Service wants to know about income from retirement account distributions, investments, rental properties and even gambling winnings. If retirees doe not fill out their tax form correctly or has income information that raises a red flag, their tax form could be singled out for an audit.

IRS may be changing appeals process

Some Georgia residents and companies have tax problems that lead to enforcement actions by the Internal Revenue Service. When they do, they are able to go through the IRS's appeals process. Cases that are complex and that involve large amounts of money have traditionally been handled by 35 appeals team case leaders, or ACTLs. The IRS is considering taking their settlement authority away and turning it over to their managers instead.

IRS will utilize private debt collectors

Georgia residents with overdue bills are likely aware that the activities of debt collectors can sometimes border on harassment, and they could be alarmed to learn that four private companies have been authorized to pursue unpaid taxes on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service. The Sept. 26 IRS announcement stated that these contractors would respect the rights of taxpayers and abide by the provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, but these assurances may not be enough to calm the fears of consumer and taxpayer advocacy groups.

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