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April 2016 Archives

"Right of publicity" questions in Prince estate

Prince fans in Georgia may have heard that his sister has stated that her brother left no will. Settling his estate may raise a number of issues including one known as "right to publicity." This is an issue that also arose with Michael Jackson's estate. "Right of publicity" refers to the person's image and name, and the IRS expects a valuation to be placed upon it and to be able to levy taxes on that value.

The likelihood of an IRS audit

Georgia residents who have already filed or who will be filing their tax returns may wonder whether they are likely to get audited. The odds are not high. In 2015, the IRS audited less than 1 percent of tax payers, and the number is unlikely to increase in 2016. However, there are certain red flags that make an IRS audit more likely, and one of these is earning more than $1 million. Taking a disproportionately large charitable donation is another.

Repercussions for small business owners who don't file taxes

This year's looming tax deadline is slowly approaching. Despite the extra couple of days provided this year, many people, particularly small business owners, will struggle to get all of their receipts and paperwork together to file on time. Some will just not file at all.

Top 10 states for IRS tax audits

Georgia residents may be happy to know that they do not live in one of the top 10 states for federal tax audits. According to a study by, taxpayers who live in Vermont are more likely to be audited by the Internal Revenue Service than people in other states. The second-worst state for federal tax audits is California followed by Nevada, Massachusetts, Delaware, Colorado, New York, New Jersey, Florida and New Hampshire.

Reducing estate taxes

The current federal estate tax exemption is $5.45 million per person, and after that, any additional part of a person's estate may be taxed. While that may seem like an enormous amount of money, many states also have estate taxes that have much lower taxation thresholds, although Georgia no longer has one. Therefore, if people want to leave the most of their assets possible to their heirs, there are some ways they may want to reduce the value of their estate.

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