April, 2009

Message from Nelson & Company, P.S., CPAs

Tax Credits for Home Energy Efficiency Improvements Increase

Homeowners can get bigger tax credits for making energy efficiency improvements or installing alternative energy equipment.

The IRS also announced homeowners seeking these tax credits can temporarily rely on existing manufacturer certifications or appropriate Energy Star labels for purchasing qualifying products until updated certification guidelines are announced later this spring.

“These new, expanded credits encourage homeowners to make improvements that will make their homes more energy efficient,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “People can improve their homes and save money over the long run.”

ARRA provides for a uniform credit of 30 percent of the cost of qualifying improvements up to $1,500, such as adding insulation, energy-efficient exterior windows, and energy-efficient heating and air conditioning systems. The new law replaces the old law combination available in 2007 of a 10-percent credit for certain property and a credit equal to cost up to a specified amount for other property.

The new law also raised the limit on the amount that can be claimed for improvements placed in service during 2009 and 2010 to $1,500, instead of the $500 lifetime limit under the old law. In addition, the new law has increased the energy efficiency standards for building insulation, exterior windows, doors, and skylights, certain central air conditioners, and natural gas, propane or oil water heaters placed in service after Feb. 17, 2009.

IRS guidance issued before the enactment of ARRA will be modified in the near future to reflect the new energy efficiency standards. In the meantime, homeowners may continue to rely on manufacturers’ certifications that were provided under the old guidance and on Energy Star labels for exterior windows and skylights in determining whether property purchased before June 1, 2009, qualifies for the credit. Manufacturers should not continue to provide certifications for property that fails to meet the new standards.

The new law also eliminates the cap on the 30 percent tax credit for alternative energy equipment, such as solar water heaters, geothermal heat pumps and small wind turbines, installed in a home. The cap generally has been eliminated for these improvements beginning in the 2009 tax year. The IRS today issued Notice 2009-41, which explains the effects of this change.

NELSON & COMPANY, P.S.
Certified Public Accountants


IRS Times & Inquirer

Inside This Issue...

Marion Barry Owes $277,000 in Back Taxes
Woman Did Not Pay $1.5m; Gets 41 Months in Prison


Marion Barry Owes $277,000 in Back Taxes

Prosecutors allege Washington, D.C., Council member and former Mayor Marion Barry has failed to pay more $277,000 in back taxes. In a recent court filing, prosecutors told the court the politician had not made a tax payment during a period in which he took a Jamaican vacation and ran for re-election to the Ward 8 council seat.

“There is no excuse for the defendant’s failure to make payments to the District of Columbia because, during this six-month period, the defendant nevertheless had enough time and money, for instance, to take a six-day vacation in Jamaica in Sept. 2008 as well as to run for re-election as a council member,” prosecutors told the court.

In 2006, Barry received three years of probation for not filing tax returns from 1999 to 2004.


Woman Did Not Pay $1.5m; Gets 41 Months in Prison

A San Antonio, Texas, woman was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution to the IRS for her role in a fraudulent tax scheme.

In addition to the prison term, United States District Judge Fred Biery ordered that Terrell Diamond be placed under supervised release for a period of three years after completing her prison term.

According to court records, Diamond, along with her now-ex-husband and co-defendant, William Diamond, conspired to defraud the IRS in the assessment and collection of more than $1.5 million in employment taxes due and owing from November 1996 to June 2003.

The employment taxes owed pertained to temporary employment agencies owned and operated by the Diamonds, including Ameriforce and Primo Labor.

On April 24, 2008, Diamond pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the IRS. William Diamond pleaded guilty to the same charge on February 29, 2008. William, who faces up to five years in federal prison, is scheduled to be sentenced in May.


 

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Nelson & Company, P.S., CPAs Since 1979

====NOTICE REQUIRED BY IRS====
Circular 230 Disclosure:
To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that (i) any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.

 

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