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Archive for August, 2017

Bank of America Pays $6 Million for a Wrongful Eviction

August 31st, 2017

bank of america 3

Bank of America was recently ordered to pay $6 million to a California couple who was harassed and illegally lost their home to Bank of America.

If you believe you lost your home to a wrongful foreclosure, contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at

Connecticut is Drowning in Debt

August 29th, 2017


The state of Connecticut may be looking at huge spending cute to education and other spending areas unless they can offload some debt.  Currently, the state faces a $3.5 billion deficit over the next two years.

If you are drowning in debt like Connecticut, contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at

Homeless Cats

August 28th, 2017


Your local cat lady may actually not be as crazy as you think. In 2011, Jan Van Dusen beat the IRS in a case over whether she could claim a deduction for providing foster care for stray and feral cats. She was a volunteer for an approved charity called Fix Our Ferals and she spent significant amounts caring for the cats in her home.

Critical to her victory was that she performed the services in conjunction with the charity and she performed volunteer work for the charity.

The case was heralded as a victory for animal rescuers, but ultimately Van Dusen was a loser as the City of Oakland raided her home and found many of her 100 cats to be suffering from disease and parasite infestation. She was then charged and convicted for animal cruelty, so perhaps your first instinct about crazy cat ladies was correct after all.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime or having tax issues, give us a call at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at

It’s to Help Schools

August 24th, 2017


A California man tried to deduct lottery ticket purchases as donations to the California School system. The claim was that since the proceeds of lottery tickets are supposed to go to the schools, that the tickets could be deducted as a charitable contribution. The problem is that the IRS specifically states that the cost of raffle, bingo, or lottery tickets are not deductible. Just a friendly reminder, if you win the lottery the proceeds are taxable so be sure to find yourself a tax attorney if you win the powerball.

If you or some one you know is having some tax issues, give our office a call at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at

Stop, Thief

August 21st, 2017

pepper spray

In another case of a denied medical expense deduction, a woman tried to apply the old maxim “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure” by claiming that her pepper spray was a medical expense. Her argument was that an attack would kill her due to her weakened heart. The issue with this one is not that she didn’t suffer from a medical condition, it is that there isn’t much of a connection between pepper spray and treatment of a heart condition. The pepper spray also can’t be considered to prevent disease because it didn’t actually prevent her weak heart condition. There just wasn’t enough of a connection between the pepper spray and her condition to justify the deduction.

If you or someone you know is needing help with taxes, give us a call at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at

Dancing with the IRS

August 18th, 2017


Celebrities often use Dancing with the Stars to rehab their image, but the IRS doesn’t allow dancing as an expense to rehab your wallet at tax time. The IRS has consistently rules that taxpayers may not deduct dancing lessons as a medical expense. People have tried this for various conditions such as varicose veins, arthritis, and nervous disorders. All of these have been tried by taxpayers and denied by the IRS.

If you need some help with your taxes, give us a call at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at

Deductible Sex Changes

August 17th, 2017


One exception to deducting medical expenses for changing one;s appearance is that taxpayers have been allowed a deduction for a sex change operation.

The taxpayer in the O’Donnabhain case was diagnosed with a gender-identity disorder because he felt he was a woman trapped in a male body. The taxpayer tried to deduct $22,000 in out of pocket medical expenses for various surgeries, including hormone therapy, breast augmentation, and sexual reassignment surgeries.

The Tax Court ruled that the taxpayer was able to deduct $14,500 as a qualified medical tax deduction because they felt the surgeries and hormone therapy promoted the proper function of the body or prevented or treated an illness or disease.

However, the Tax Court disallowed the cost of the breast augmentation surgery because they felt that it was strictly for improving the taxpayer’s appearance.

If you are seeking help with some tax issues, give us a call at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at

Ink Me

August 16th, 2017


While beauty may be in the eye of the holder, the IRS says it’s not subjective whether expenses to improve or alter your looks are deductible. The rule still applies that you can’t deduct cosmetic surgery or similar items. This means that tattoos, body piercings, and most cosmetic surgeries are not deductible. However, some forms of cosmetic surgery are deductible, if for treatment of a disease or condition. An example would be skin grafts and surgeries for a burn victim.

Regret is not a medical condition, so the removal of that full back tattoo of your first crush is not deductible.

If you are dealing with some tax issues you can contact us by phone at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at

Dressmaker Alfred Angelo Says Its Dresses are Not Coming

August 14th, 2017


Three weeks after filing for bankruptcy, the bridal company Alfred Angelo has told its customers that their dresses won’t be coming. Customers who believe they are owed money should file a proof of claim.

If you need representation in bankruptcy court, contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at

Using Bankruptcy to Escape Student Loans

August 11th, 2017


It is very difficult to have bankruptcy erase your student loan debt.  In order to satisfy the undue hardship portion of the test in order to discharge student loan debt, you will need to show that you are unable to meet your minimally necessary living expenses in order for you to survive.  Bankruptcy courts have ruled that a mere unpleasantness associated with repaying the student loan debt is not sufficient.

If you are thinking of filing for bankruptcy, contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at