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If you find your taxes confusing and results odd, you are not alone

The theme for this year’s tax season so far seems to be the double-whammy of a shortened filing period along with complications resulting from the tax reform of 14 months ago. It’s a lot to process!

Even if you hate the IRS, more money for them would be a good thing

The IRS is the government agency that everyone loves to hate.

More than 30 years ago, I was one of more than 100,000 IRS employees. I left many good friends behind in 1982, but I sympathize with the taxpayers (many of whom are now clients) who characterize IRS workers as unresponsive and arrogant. The numbers support the impression: When I was there, we measured our response to taxpayer inquiries at 80 percent. Not great.

Getting a jump on 2019

If history is any indication, more than 33 million American taxpayers STILL have not filed their tax returns as of this writing, and many of those will push it to the absolute limit of April 17.

There’s no place like home: Be wary of claiming office deduction

More and more people these days are working at home, often as an employee or as a small business owner with a home office. In 2003, 19 percent of employed people did some or all their work at home, and by 2015 it was up to 24 percent, thanks largely to broadband Internet access.

Four ways to attract the IRS’ attention ( and not in a good way)

During my career, I have probably represented clients in IRS examinations, or audits, more than 150 times. Although a variety of red flags might attract attention by the IRS, there are a few mistakes in particular that are almost guaranteed to prompt an audit.

New tax law presents opportunities, if you are careful

The major tax overhaul by Congress means immediate changes in how some people file their taxes this season. Fran Coet, founder of Westminster-based Coet2 CPAs, has some advice to navigate the changes. The main thing she emphasizes is to not be in a hurry to file. She said it saves time and money to not refile if there is an error.

When college mixes with taxes, time to unravel the knot

For people who enjoy the challenge of mazes, a huge opportunity presents itself every year in the mix of college financial aid applications and income tax returns. What a labyrinth of rules and potential deductions and credits you can encounter!

Extending your filing by three days, or six months

Attention, all frantic people desperate for some good tax-return news: You have come to the right place. We are pleased to inform you that you get three extra days to file your return this year, thanks to something called Emancipation Day on the East Coast.

Colorado tax collectors giveth, taketh away

Residents may be surprised — pleasantly or otherwise — at some new items and requirements on the 2015 Colorado income tax returns. Specifically, Colorado taxpayers are likely to receive a relatively modest TABOR refund for the first time in 10 years. That’s the good news, from an individual perspective. The bad news is, Colorado now requires residents to pay a retroactive tax on Internet purchases.

Goods that are donated must truly be good

Everybody wins when you rid your house of unwanted items, donate them to charity and then deduct the value on your income tax return. But the Internal Revenue Service wants to make sure you don’t benefit unfairly.

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