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Dennis N. Brager
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Dennis Brager’s Answers

139 total


  • Can I seek damages against my tax preparer for filing my taxes incorrectly or get a refund of the amount paid for tax prep?

    I hired a tax person to prepare my taxes for the 2007 tax year while I was living overseas in Asia. He's based here in the US. After having my taxes done by this person in person for about 6 years they decided to put off doing my overseas return u...

    Dennis’s Answer

    One other thing to think about. If while living in Asia you had a bank account, or brokerage account with more than $10,000 in it any time you are required to file a Form TD-F 90-22.1 with the IRS, and check a box on your tax return indicating you had the account. The penalties for failure to do so can be quite costly.

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  • I am a US citizen, worked and had bank accounts in the foreign country where I lived 6 yrs. I did not know I had to file taxes

    I did not declare the bank accts either out of ignorance. I enrolled in the voluntary disclosure last year out of good faith. I am complying with the IRS with all the docs. requested. What are the chances of a 'favorable' outcome for myself. T...

    Dennis’s Answer

    It depends what you mean by a "favorable outcome." If handled properly you can expect that you will pay the tax, plus interest, plus a 20% penalty on the tax, and 20% of the highest account balance. In some cases it may be possible to do better.
    If you had more than a $100k in the outcome you should consult a tax attorney who is currently handling at least a few of these types of cases.

    NOTE: If you find this response helpful, please click on the “thumbs up” button at the bottom.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Dennis Brager is a Tax Attorney, and a State Bar Certified Tax Specialist licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law and Federal Tax Law unless stated otherwise. Any federal tax advice contained in this communication is not intended, nor written to be used, and may not be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein.

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  • My husband owes money to the IRS and would like to know if my inheirtance will be taken because of this( inheirtance from parent

    My husband owes money to the IRS and this has been taken out of my social sercurity check for over a yr. this is money he owed before we were married, now my parents feel that once they pass an inheirtance along to me the IRS will take that also? ...

    Dennis’s Answer

    You really should speak with a tax controversy attorney in your state which seems to be Missouri. In general the IRS should not be taking money from either our inheritance or your social security; the only exception I can think of is if any normal creditor in Missouri would be entitled to go after you for your husband's premarital debts. For example in California, a creditor can take community property for both spouse's premarital debts.
    That's why you need to speak with a tax attorney in your home state.

    NOTE: If you find this response helpful, please click on the “thumbs up” button at the bottom.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Dennis Brager is a Tax Attorney, and a State Bar Certified Tax Specialist licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law and Federal Tax Law unless stated otherwise. Any federal tax advice contained in this communication is not intended, nor written to be used, and may not be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein.

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  • Would I be subjet to taxes once I inherit assests from another country. The benefactor is not a U.S. citizen.

    The assests are held in a foreign bank. Thank you.

    Dennis’s Answer

    Although non-taxable to you must file a Form 3520 with the IRS if the inheritance is more than 100,000. Failure to do so could result in a substantial penalty.
    If the funds remain in a foreign bank account you will need to file a Form TD-F 90.221-1 with the IRS.

    If the amounts are substantial you should consult with a Tax attorney knowledgeable in this area.

    NOTE: If you find this response helpful, please click on the “thumbs up” button at the bottom.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Dennis Brager is a Tax Attorney, and a State Bar Certified Tax Specialist licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law and Federal Tax Law unless stated otherwise. Any federal tax advice contained in this communication is not intended, nor written to be used, and may not be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein.

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  • Liability to apply for EIN as Third Party?

    Dear Sir or Madam, I am going to use my SSN to apply for EIN for a friend’s company, as a third party. My friend is foreigner and has no SSN or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). My question is: What is the liability as thir...

    Dennis’s Answer

    The short answer is this would be a very big mistake. As described above your friend needs to his own ID #.

    NOTE: If you find this response helpful, please click on the “thumbs up” button at the bottom.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Dennis Brager is a Tax Attorney, and a State Bar Certified Tax Specialist licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law and Federal Tax Law unless stated otherwise. Any federal tax advice contained in this communication is not intended, nor written to be used, and may not be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein.

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  • Capitol gains taxes

    when property has been quick claimed from one individual to another does the recieving party have to pay capitol gains on the sale of the property even if said party is a first time owner/seller

    Dennis’s Answer

    If you sell property you have to pay tax on any gain. It doesn't matter whether you are a first time owner.

    NOTE: If you find this response helpful, please click on the “thumbs up” button at the bottom.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Dennis Brager is a Tax Attorney, and a State Bar Certified Tax Specialist licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law and Federal Tax Law unless stated otherwise. Any federal tax advice contained in this communication is not intended, nor written to be used, and may not be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein.

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  • My husband is a British citizen and hold a green card. Is tax fraud a reason for deportation?

    We are divorcing. We filed 5 tax returns jointly on which we did not fully declare our income. He is threatening to tell the IRS about this. What is my position, worst case scenario if he does this? Do I have any way to report him for his part?

    Dennis’s Answer

    You don't say whether or not you are a U.S. citizen. If so then at least you don't have to worry about deportation. In any event you may want to make what is known as a voluntary disclosure to the IRS. As a practical matter this will insulate you from criminal liability. You should see a tax attorney, who has experience handling tax fraud cases.

    NOTE: If you find this response helpful, please click on the “thumbs up” button at the bottom.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Dennis Brager is a Tax Attorney, and a State Bar Certified Tax Specialist licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law and Federal Tax Law unless stated otherwise. Any federal tax advice contained in this communication is not intended, nor written to be used, and may not be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein.

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  • CA FTB claim for additional tax from sale of property in 2005

    I am a Canadian living permanently in Australia. I have not lived in CA since 1973. I have never filed a CA tax return. I lodge an annual tax return in Australia. In 2005 I sold a property in San Diego with proceeds split 50:50 with my wife; each ...

    Dennis’s Answer

    If you sell property in California you are taxable on the gain, without regard to where you live or your citizenship. You may also owe U.S. federal income tax, but that will depend on the treaty between the U.S. and Australia. The withholding from the escrow is intended to be an estimate of your tax, but is not the actual tax. I would start by having a U.S. CPA prepare a California tax return. If that doesn't resolve the problem you may need to hire a tax attorney.

    NOTE: If you find this response helpful, please click on the “thumbs up” button at the bottom.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Dennis Brager is a Tax Attorney, and a State Bar Certified Tax Specialist licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law and Federal Tax Law unless stated otherwise. Any federal tax advice contained in this communication is not intended, nor written to be used, and may not be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein.

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  • Tax court ruling 155

    I recently had an opinion by US Tax court that I have transferee liability for property given to me in 2003. The judge said it will be entered under rule 155. I received IRS computations for interest and they start at date of transfer until presen...

    Dennis’s Answer

    Generally Rule 155 calculations are not done when the TAX amount that is due is different then the full amount set forth in the initial IRS notice.
    I am assuming you were represented in the Tax Court case, and your tax attorney should be able to help with this.

    If not you really should have a tax attorney take a look at it, although it's a little late in the process to get the full benefit of having a tax attorney represent you.

    NOTE: If you find this response helpful, please click on the “thumbs up” button at the bottom.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Dennis Brager is a Tax Attorney, and a State Bar Certified Tax Specialist licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law and Federal Tax Law unless stated otherwise. Any federal tax advice contained in this communication is not intended, nor written to be used, and may not be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein.

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  • What is the statute of limitations of sending a 1099-C?

    I received notification from the IRS that a 1099-C was received for my 2008 tax year from a collection agency, and that I now owe back taxes on this. The collections agency claims the debt is from a credit card from 1998. I had disputed the debt ...

    Dennis’s Answer

    If there is a bona fide dispute about whether or not you owe the money then it may not be forgiveness of debt income which results in income to you. Suggest you consult with a tax attorney assuming the dollars justify the cost.

    NOTE: If you find this response helpful, please click on the “thumbs up” button at the bottom.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Dennis Brager is a Tax Attorney, and a State Bar Certified Tax Specialist licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law and Federal Tax Law unless stated otherwise. Any federal tax advice contained in this communication is not intended, nor written to be used, and may not be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein

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