Jana M. Luttenegger

Jana M. Luttenegger

Davis Brown Law Firm

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Latest Publications


DIY Will is a 'Cautionary Tale'

The Florida Supreme Court Case of Aldrich v. Basile may serve as a cautionary story that online pre-printed forms that allow a user to essentially fill in the blank may not address the specific needs of the individuals using...more

4/7/2014 - Estate Planning Forms Wills

FICA Taxes on Severance Payments

In certain situations, an employee whose job is eliminated may receive a lump sum severance payment from the employer. The payments vary greatly, often dependent on the length of employment and reason for the termination. The...more

4/1/2014 - FICA Taxes Quality Stores SCOTUS Severance Pay

Filing From Home, and Health Insurance Reporting on W-2s

According to an IRS release last week, the number of taxpayers electronically filing their own returns from home has increased compared to last year at this time by approximately 6%. Overall, the IRS has received about the...more

3/19/2014 - Health Insurance IRS Tax Returns W-2

Tax Law Blog: Taxing Olympic Winnings

You may or may not have known that Olympic medalists receive a cash prize for winning a medal (in addition to the physical medal, the notoriety, and the likelihood of endorsements). U.S. medalists receive $25,000 cash for a...more

2/24/2014 - Income Taxes Olympics Prizes

"Extensive Wait Times" Ahead with the IRS

Yesterday the IRS released a YouTube video from John Koskinen, the new commissioner, assuring taxpayers the IRS is dedicated to assisting taxpayers this filing season, and advising taxpayers the best methods to seek tax...more

2/12/2014 - IRS Tax Advice Tax Preparers TurboTax

Expired Housing-Related Tax Rules

A couple of tax breaks that affect many homeowners expired at the end of 2013, and have not yet been extended for tax year 2014. It is still possible they will be extended retroactive to January 1, 2014, and maybe that is why...more

2/6/2014 - Housing Market Property Tax

Taxing Bike Share Programs

A bike share program allows a customer to rent a bicycle at Point A, use it for a short amount of time, and then return it to one of many other spots in the same city. Most commonly these programs are in big cities such as...more

1/27/2014 - Bicycles Municipalities Public Transit

Tax Law Blog: Reinstating Tax-Exempt Organizations

Section 6033(j)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code automatically revokes the tax-exempt status of an organization for failure to file the required annual return (Form 990, Form 990-EZ, or Form 990-PF) for three consecutive...more

1/3/2014 - Exempt Organizations IRC Tax Exemptions

Who Is Your Company's "Responsible Party"?

When businesses apply for an EIN (employer identification number) with the IRS, the Form SS-4 Application (and the corresponding online application) asks for the name and SSN (if an individual) or EIN (if another entity) of...more

12/17/2013 - Small Business

2014 Mileage Rates

Notice 2013-80 provides the standard mileage rates that apply starting January 1, 2014. The good news is gas prices have been dropping, the not-so-good news is the standard mileage rate will be dropping also. The mileage...more

12/11/2013 - Mileage Reimbursement

IRS Change to Use-Or-Lose Rule for FSA Accounts

Typical Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs) (also commonly called flexible spending accounts) allowed employees to set aside money pre-tax to pay for medical expenses not covered by insurance, including deductibles, copays,...more

11/25/2013 - Carryover Basis Flexible Spending Accounts Healthcare IRS

Tax Law Blog: Electronic Signatures, What's Next?

While more and more transactions are eliminating paper and becoming completely electronic, I think we all assumed certain documents would still need to be signed on paper. For example, real estate documents, tax documents,...more

11/22/2013 - E-Filing Electronic Payment Transactions Signatures

Tax Law Blog: Interactive Form to Assist in Applying for 501(c)(3) Status

The IRS has started a "Stay Exempt" program for exempt organizations to assist in applying for and maintaining tax-exempt status. The website has tips and links to resources and online training videos in an effort to "ensure...more

11/5/2013 - 501(c)(3) Exempt Organizations IRS Tax Exemptions

Social Security Benefits to Increase in 2014

The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced on Wednesday that there will be a 1.5% cost of living adjustment for social security benefits starting with the December 2013 benefits, payable in January 2014. The purpose...more

10/31/2013 - COLA Social Security Adminstration Social Security Income

Estate Planning Awareness Week, Oct 20-26

This week (October 20-26), 2013 is the 5th annual National Estate Planning Awareness Week. I will admit I had not heard of such a week until today. Upon further research, it does not seem to be all that well-publicized since...more

10/25/2013 - Estate Planning

Tax Law Blog: IRS Back to Work, What to Expect

With the federal shutdown over, IRS workers are back to work and starting to tackle the backlog. After 16 days of not opening mail, not processing returns, and not answering phone calls, the IRS is expecting it will take some...more

10/21/2013 - IRS

Tax Law Blog: Deducting Clothing as a Business Expense

The cost and upkeep of work clothes and uniforms are only deductible if you are required to wear the clothing as a condition of your employment, and the clothes are not suitable for everyday wear. As one actress recently...more

9/24/2013 - Tax Deductions Workplace Attire

Tax Law Blog: Tax Evasion Charges for Ty Beanie Babies Creator

I have to think most people at least know what a "Beanie Baby" is, and some of you may still have them in your homes (someday they will be collector items, right?). This morning, Ty Warner, the creator of Beanie Babies, was...more

9/19/2013 - DOJ IRS Tax Evasion UBS

Tax Law Blog: Is This the End of Automatic Gratuities?

Starting in January, the IRS will begin treating automatic gratuities as wages which are subject to payroll tax withholding. Many restaurants add the automatic gratuity to large groups to ensure the server is tipped...more

9/9/2013 - IRS Payroll Taxes Restaurant Industry Tips Wages Withholding Requirements

Tax Law Blog: Sales Tax Holidays in Iowa and around the US

In Iowa, the first Friday and Saturday (but not Sunday) of August is Iowa’s Annual Sales Tax Holiday....more

8/1/2013 - Department of Revenue Retailers Sales & Use Tax Tax Exemptions

Tax Law Blog: IRS Statement on DOMA and Tax Tips for Newlyweds

On June 26, the United States Supreme Court ruled a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional. A full explanation of the article is available on a prior post. Experts in the tax realm have mixed views...more

7/2/2013 - DOMA Income Taxes IRS Itemized Deductions Marital Status Same-Sex Marriage Tax Planning W-4

Emergency Preparedness includes Safeguarding Records

Summer in the Midwest generally means heat, humidity, and the possibility of severe storms. Have you thought about what records could be destroyed if a severe storm damaged your home or business?...more

6/17/2013 - Documentation Emergency Management Plans Photographs Record Preservation

Tax Law Blog: Disclaiming an Inheritance

Most of the time, people are pleased to accept an inheritance. However, there are many reasons to not want the inheritance. For example, in small estates, you may receive a home that comes subject to a mortgage, and you...more

5/8/2013 - Disclaimers Inheritance

Tax Law Blog: IRS Announces Furlough Days

We expected it would happen, and now the time has come. The IRS has sent out furlough notices to the entire IRS workforce notifying employees that the IRS will shut down completely on the following days: May 24, June 14, July...more

4/29/2013 - Furloughs IRS

Tax Law Blog: Common Errors to Avoid in Tax Returns

The April 15th deadline for federal individual income tax returns is less than a week away, meaning lots of people who haven't filed yet are scrambling to finish (or file for an extension). Rushing to get the return filed can...more

4/10/2013 - Income Taxes IRS Tax Returns

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