Author Archive | Borbala Banto, CPA

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Nina Olson is the most important person you’ve never heard of at the IRS. She’s the “National Taxpayer Advocate,” and she heads up an organization created to cut through the red tape when the Service can’t get the job done itself. If you’re stuck between cogs in the IRS machine, Olson and her staff of […]

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Forensic Filings

We tend to think of the Internal Revenue Service mainly as Uncle Sam’s “collections department.” But it’s also a true law enforcement agency. Special agents from the Criminal Investigations unit take on obvious crimes like tax evasion and tax preparer fraud. They also partner with local police, the FBI, the DEA, and even foreign governments […]

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A Tax in a Pineapple Under the Sea

You know what’s even worse than paying tax on money you make? Try taking a loss on money you lose. Make $100, pay a 40% tax, and you’ve still got $60 left. But lose $100, take a tax loss, and you’re still out your $100. Yeah, you can deduct it against future income. But it’s […]

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What Goes Around Comes Around

Ask anyone what makes them happy. (Go ahead, see who’s around and ask them.) We’re pretty sure they didn’t say “paying taxes.” Most of us just grumble and pay up. But millions of citizens from all walks of life express their unhappiness by choosing not to pay. The IRS currently has over 12 million accounts […]

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Blockbuster Taxes

Memorial Day came early this year, and that means we get more time with our summer whites! (Of course, summer doesn’t “officially” start until June 21, but who’s counting?) For millions of Americans, cooling off at the movies with a bucket of popcorn and gallon of soda is a favorite part of the season. So […]

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Bet They Didn’t Think About This!

Last week, a New York judge issued writs of habeas corpus on behalf of two chimpanzees named Hercules and Leo, currently living in a research lab at the State University of New York in Stony Brook. The next day, she walked back the scope of her ruling, emphasizing she was merely directing the university to […]

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The Tax Man Runneth

The 2016 presidential election is 20 months away. Sadly, for those of us who don’t watch C-SPAN for fun, that basically means it’s right around the corner. (Keep a sharp eye out for negative campaign ads, coming soon to a TV near you!) Candidates are already lining up donors and hustling voters in early primary […]

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007 for a Day

Who hasn’t wanted to be a spy at some point or another? Boys see their first James Bond movie, and they don’t want to be like 007 — they want to be 007. Girls learn how Mata Hari put her charms to work as a lethal double agent and think they can show the boys […]

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Crossing the Finnish Line

You know that sinking feeling. You’re driving down the road, minding your own business, when you see a cop’s “cherries and berries” flashing in your mirror. Then you look down at your speedometer, and realize he’s gunning for you. Sure, it’s a bummer. But it’s not that big a deal. The cop checks your license, […]

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You Taxin’ Me?

Actor Robert DeNiro has played some of the most compelling characters in movie history: the schizophrenic ex-marine Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, the young mob boss Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II, the Chicago bootlegger Al Capone in The Untouchables, the “gentleman” gangster Jimmy Conway in Goodfellas, and the shrewd bookmaker “Ace” Rothstein in […]

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