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By month:September 2006

New Law and New Times Require a Close Look at Your Retirement Funds

This new law requires that you look at your retirement plans through new eyes. Caution is one watchword here. You have much to consider, including how to obtain a strong rate of return on your retirement assets and factors outside your control like the pension bailout of the airline industry. With the new rules, the 401(k) looks better and better, especially if you have employees.

New Law Attacks and Changes Many Charitable Deductions

Public Law 109-280 makes tax deductions for donations to charity far more difficult. Here is one example of the changes: dropping $5 in the collection basket at Church on Sunday is no longer deductible. Now you need a cancelled check or a receipt to claim that deduction.

Tax Planning Quiz

You need to spend an appropriate amount of time on your tax planning.

The AMT Attack Creates Two Surprise Casualties

The AMT taxes the deductions you claim on your regular tax return. For example, the AMT taxes the deductions you claim for state income and sales taxes. Further, the AMT taxes the personal exemptions you claim for yourself, your spouse, and your dependent children. This is not a typo. It’s true. The AMT is the most unfair tax since direct confiscation of assets.

Assignment of Personal Commissions to His Corporation Crushes Insurance Agent

Assigning your personal commissions to your corporation does not work. In this court case, this insurance agent had unfiled tax returns and unpaid taxes for the years he assigned his 1099 income to his corporation.

Business Trumps Medical Mileage

Good tax planning for a trip to the medical doctor includes making a properly-targeted business stop the primary purpose of the trip.

Husband and Wife Business

When the husband and wife work together in the business, but report that business on one Schedule C, they create a tax problem for themselves. Is this a partnership or joint venture where both husband and wife have earned income subject to self-employment taxes? You can avoid this problem by hiring the spouse not reporting on a Schedule C. You then can avoid payroll taxes on the wages to the employee-spouse by making the compensation non-W-2 income.

New Law and “Hire Your Child”

The expansion of the kiddie tax to children under the age of 18 has zero negative effect on the hire-your-child strategy.

1031 Exchange of SUV for Hybrid Car

The SUV is like-kind property to the hybrid car. Thus, you can trade or use an intermediary to complete a Section 1031 tax-deferred exchange of an SUV for a hybrid car.

Upside Down Trade of SUV

You apply the new trade-in adjustment rule to find your new depreciable basis. When you have the combination of an expensed asset and an upside down loan balance, you can generally ignore your personal use and follow the cash outlay to your new basis.

Medical When You Have Two Businesses

When designing the medical plan, you need to consider all your and your spouse’s proprietorships, LLCs, and corporations as one business. If employees exist in one of these businesses, you have employees in all businesses. Plan your discrimination or nondiscrimination accordingly.

Taxable Parts of Rental Property Sale

Taxpayer sells this rental property for $199,000 with $6,000 in closing costs. He paid $118,500 for the property over 10 years ago and has claimed $50,000 in depreciation deductions. As part of this sale, the taxpayer takes back a second mortgage in the amount of $19,400 payable in five years with interest paid annually at 10 percent a year. There are five easy steps to this installment sales tax calculation.


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