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November 2016 Archives

Virtual currency and the IRS

Virtual currency and bitcoins are popular subjects on tax blogs. As this involves online transactions, regulations regarding this area are relatively new. It is also a difficult area to regulate because individuals involved in bitcoin transactions are usually anonymous. Finally, the amount of virtual currency used in transactions usually is unreported by third parties. Yet unreported income from virtual currency transactions could possibly trigger an IRS audit.

An increase to the estate tax exemption announced

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced an increase in the estate tax and gift tax exemptions for 2017. Currently the limit is $5.45 million over a person's lifetime, but the amount of this exemption will go up to $5.49 million in 2017. Married couples will be able to exclude up to $10.98 million before having to pay any tax. There is no change to the annual gift exclusion as this will remain at $14,000 per year. In other words, this allows for you to receive $14,000 in gifts each year without having to report this towards the lifetime gift tax exemption.

Did you know it's required to report gambling winnings on your taxes?

Gambling is more than just a form of entertainment or hobby; according to the IRS it is also considered a form of income. Since income must be reported for taxes, any winnings you receive from gambling must also be reported. These winnings can be anything from casinos, lotteries, horse races and raffles to cars, trips and other cash prizes.

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