Peacock Tales • Spring 2014

Brief Notes

  • The U. S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit held that a college newspaper’s ban of alcohol advertisements was unconstitutional and violated the First Amendment rights of the advertisers.
  • The Pennsylvania Superior Court has ruled that an insurance company must cover fire damage where an estranged wife, who cancelled the homeowner’s policy, unsuccessfully attempted to murder her kids and commit suicide by burning the house down.
  • The Commonwealth Court also ruled that a proposed barn to house horses, hay and farm implements was exempted from the Construction Code Act.
  • The IRS recently imposed a penalty upon taxpayers who claimed a credit and deduction for children who have been removed from their home.

IRS Warning

The IRS and the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), a legitimate IRS organization that helps taxpayers resolve federal tax issues, will never initiate contact with taxpayers by email, texting or social media.

Should you receive an email purportedly from TAS requesting 
personal information it is a scam. Please forward the email to

Tax Update

The exclusion amount for federal estate and gift tax for 2014 is $5.34 million a person, or $10.68 million per married couple. The annual gift exclusion remains at $14,000.00.

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