Jun 26

Oklahoma Wins Against Texas

At least in the current issue of water rights. Under a recent ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States, Oklahoma won 9-0 on the arguments. The case stemmed from the Four State Compact wherein OK, TX, AR, & LA agreed to water-usage rights along the Red River and Mississippi Rivers. The Compact stated that each state could get 1/4 of the water along the streams.

Texas argued that this was an undivided 1/4 of the water from any of the states. The main thing they wanted was to be able to access water in Oklahoma for the growing North Texas (Dallas/FW) area. The Court stated that this was not the case and that it would be unconscionable for Texas to violate Oklahoma’s sovereignty to claim water across the border.

The full opinion can be found here: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/11-889_5ie6.pdf

Jun 15

Seminar Next Week

Another reminder: I will be putting on a seminar, open to the public, on the basics of estate and trust planning. We will cover the topics of probate, transfer on death designations, joint tenancy, guardianship, probate and the use of revocable or living trusts. If you are in southwest Oklahoma or Altus and would like to receive the most in-depth information on estate planning (for free!!), then please call to reserve your spot today. You can call Brent directly at 580-318-8829.

Jun 03

IRS issues tax relief for Victims of Severe Storms

Victims of severe storms and tornadoes that began on May 18, 2013 in parts of Oklahoma may qualify for tax relief from the Internal Revenue Service.

The President has declared Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties a federal disaster area. Individuals who reside or have a business in these counties may qualify for tax relief.

The declaration permits the IRS to postpone certain deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on May 18, 2013. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Sept. 30, 2013 to file these returns and pay any taxes due. This includes the June 17 and Sept. 16 deadlines for making estimated tax payments. A variety of business tax deadlines are also affected including the July 31 deadline for second quarter payroll and excise tax returns and the Sept. 3 deadline for truckers filing highway use tax returns.

In addition, the IRS is waiving the failure-to-deposit penalties for employment and excise tax deposits due on or after May 18, and on or before June 3, as long as the deposits are made by June 3, 2013.

If an affected taxpayer receives a penalty notice from the IRS, the taxpayer should call the telephone number on the notice to have the IRS abate any interest and any late filing or late payment penalties that would otherwise apply. Penalties or interest will be abated only for taxpayers who have an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date, including an extended filing or payment due date, that falls within the postponement period.

The IRS automatically identifies taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and applies automatic filing and payment relief. But affected taxpayers who reside or have a business located outside the covered disaster area must call the IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227 to request this tax relief.