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By month:January 2008

Tax Guide to Gambling Income and Losses

Gambling requires good strategies not only in your gambling activity, but also for tax purposes. You need to report your gambling income and losses in your tax returns and keep tax records whether you win or lose, whether the gambling is legal or illegal, and whether the gambling is a tax defined business or hobby.


Solo 401(k) with Your Employee-Spouse

The combination of a Section 105 medical plan and a $15,500 salary to the spouse generated a $32,875 tax deduction for the business, no taxable income for the spouse, and a cash contribution to the spouse’s 401(k) retirement account of $19,375.


Real Estate Commission Rebates Are Not Taxable

The IRS ruled that this real estate broker who gives commission rebates and commission reductions at closing does not have to give Form 1099s to his customers who receive the rebates and reductions.


AMT Patched, Mortgaged

In what is becoming an every year outrageous event, lawmakers patched the alternative minimum tax (AMT), adding $50 billion to the federal deficit.


Peanuts for Mortgage Relief

Despite the new law’s press, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 only offers relief to a limited number of qualified homes.


Lawmakers Increase Penalties

To pay for the “Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2007,” lawmakers increased the minimum penalties for failing to file a tax return.


Jail Time for Tax Evasion

Terry Gerber was sentenced to two years and six months in federal prison for tax evasion.


Lack of Knowledge Costs Home-Office Deduction

The taxpayer in this case relied on his lawyer, but that lawyer did not know the home-office rules. Then, the judge misapplied outdated rules to his home-office deduction, costing this taxpayer $7,000.


Quitting Business

When you claim Section 179 expensing or MACRS depreciation, you make a contract with the government. When you quit your business, you probably violate the terms of your tax-law contract and, thereby, trigger recaptures taxes.


Dutch-Treat Entertainment

Under the “objective test,” entertainment does not mean only the entertainment of others. The objective test sanctions Dutch-treat entertainment.


Entertaining My Husband

Talking business with your husband does not create a tax deduction for entertainment. For this to work, you need to create a situation where you can use the closely connected rule.


Depreciation on Home Office

The IRS applies a recapture tax, even when no depreciation is claimed.


When Deductible

Technically, cash basis taxpayers deduct checks when they are delivered and negotiable. For the most part, the courts and the IRS employ practical applications to make this rule easy for you.


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