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The Calm Before the Storm – The Anticipation of the Current Administration’s Federal Tax Legislation Is Creating Anxiety Among Many Taxpayers

StormAs many readers have noticed, I have been silent for the past few months.  That is partly due to exhaustion from reporting on the flurry of tax events that have occurred since the COVID-19 pandemic commenced in 2020 and also partly due to the need to conserve energy to fully learn, digest and report on the highly anticipated, new broad-sweeping federal tax legislation we should see within the next few weeks.  While many commentators are publishing articles on what could be contained in final legislation and what taxpayers should be doing currently, I decided, especially since I do not possess a good crystal ball, to wait until the legislation is passed (or at least gets further along in the legislative process) before reporting on it and advising taxpayers on what they should be doing in anticipation of the legislation.  So, all has been calm on the Larry’s Tax Law blog front.  Once the legislation is passed, however, I expect a nasty storm to ensue.

I plan to provide you with a summary of the most salient provisions of the law and how those provisions may impact taxpayers.  In the interim, I wanted to share some interesting tax trivia just published by the Internal Revenue Service.

IRSIn Tax Stats Dispatch 2021-11, the Service published 2020 individual tax return filing statistics through July 29, 2020.  The data is interesting.  Among the statistics, the following stand out: 

    • 139,540,122 returns were filed.
    • 97 percent of the returns were filed electronically.
    • 81 percent of the returns reflected salaries and wages.
    • 9,709,558 or 7 percent of the returns reflected mortgage interest deductions.
    • 12,253,941 or 9 percent of the returns reflected itemized deductions.
    • 14,760,990 or 11 percent of the returns reflected the payment of SE tax.
    • 64,198 or .05 percent of the returns reflected the payment of the AMT.
    • 9,781,197 or 7 percent of the returns reflected charitable deductions.
    • 28,843,006 or 21 percent of the returns contained no Schedule A.

I expect we will see new federal tax legislation soon.  I plan to provide you with a summary of the provisions, my perspectives and hopefully insightful guidance.

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Larry J. Brant

Larry J. Brant is a Shareholder and the Chair of the Tax & Benefits practice group at Foster Garvey, a law firm based out of the Pacific Northwest, with offices in Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Washington, D.C.; New York, New York, Spokane, Washington; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Beijing, China. Mr. Brant is licensed to practice in Oregon and Washington. His practice focuses on tax, tax controversy and transactions. Mr. Brant is a past Chair of the Oregon State Bar Taxation Section. He was the long-term Chair of the Oregon Tax Institute, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Portland Tax Forum. Mr. Brant has served as an adjunct professor, teaching corporate taxation, at Northwestern School of Law, Lewis and Clark College. He is an Expert Contributor to Thomson Reuters Checkpoint Catalyst. Mr. Brant is a Fellow in the American College of Tax Counsel. He publishes articles on numerous income tax issues, including Taxation of S Corporations, Reasonable Compensation, Circular 230, Worker Classification, IRC § 1031 Exchanges, Choice of Entity, Entity Tax Classification, and State and Local Taxation. Mr. Brant is a frequent lecturer at local, regional and national tax and business conferences for CPAs and attorneys. He was the 2015 Recipient of the Oregon State Bar Tax Section Award of Merit.

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