The tax rules for determining whether amounts you spend on your rental properties are for improvements (which you must capitalize) or repairs and maintenance (which you can expense) are complicated. But if you qualify as a small business, the IRS has a possible gift for you in the form of hassle-free and income-generating safe-harbor expensing.
If you want to claim retroactively enacted bonus depreciation on ALL the qualifying assets you purchased during the year, smile. But if you don’t want that extra 50 percent depreciation on some or all of the assets, you need to take action on your tax return to avoid phantom depreciation and its very ill effects.
Are you suffering from phantom depreciation? This is when the tax law is depreciating your vehicles and other assets without giving you any deductions. Pretty outrageous, right? You suffer this when you fail to elect out of bonus depreciation. In this article, we show you how to fix bonus depreciation problems and also recoup a missed Section 179 deduction.
Traditionally, tax rules put up major hurdles for small businesses seeking deductions for items such as furniture, computers, smartphones, and tablets. Now the IRS has made an important change that allows all businesses that have the right expense policy in place to elect expensing of these assets. This is a new and important change for 2016 and beyond, but you need to act fast to get this in place.
You may have rental property with a tenant who is behind in his rent payments. A commonly asked question is how to account for this “lost income” if you don’t expect to recover it—ever. Another common question is whether you can still get the benefit of the usual tax deductions associated with rental property during that period for which the tenant hasn’t paid you. This article clears the dust on this important issue and shows you exactly how to record your income and expenses in this all-too-familiar scenario.
When it comes time to sell your business, you likely will face questions about selling the assets only. In this type of sale, you need to carefully consider the fair values of the assets you are selling and what you can do to influence those prices. You need to know how the law taxes each of the assets, including the hit you get from your previous depreciation deductions. The good news is that with this knowledge you can reduce the taxes and collect more after-tax cash.
Yes, December 31 is just around the corner. That’s likely your last day for finding tax deductions to cut your 2015 taxes. And with our existing high tax rates, 2015 is a good year to cut your taxes. In this article, you can find and release tax deductions that the tax code trapped inside your existing business and personal cars, SUVs, trucks, and vans.
A business motor home could provide both big tax deductions and an ideal solution to your business lodging and transportation needs. You would know how clean your sleeping room is. You would know the room’s smoking and no-smoking history. You would know how many pets, if any, have graced the premises.
Here’s an easy question: Do you need more 2015 tax deductions? If yes, continue on. Next easy question: Do you need a replacement business vehicle? If yes, you can solve or mitigate the first problem and solve the second problem at the same time, but you need to read this article now so you know what you have to do, when to do it, and what you might want to wait for before doing it.
One of your first tax steps in buying a rental property is to go through each line item in the closing statement and assign it to one of the following three categories: (1) basis, (2) loan acquisition, or (3) operations. With basis, you allocate costs to land, land improvements, buildings (including perhaps building components), and equipment. Loan acquisition falls into either costs of getting the loan or costs to reduce the interest rate. The assignments have a direct impact on how quickly you realize the deductions.
You need to know the tax rules before you convert business property to personal use. You don’t want the recapture surprise. You don’t want the tear-jerking missed tax deduction. With a little tax knowledge, you can avoid both the surprise and the tears.
Have you been claiming zero depreciation for your home office so that you can avoid the depreciation recapture tax? Surprise! Tax law has allowed and allowable depreciation rules that can make you pay the recapture tax without giving you the actual depreciation deduction. If this happens to you, you are going to pay a double tax.
If you are selling a rental property or your home, you should consider seller financing as a possible method to achieving a rate of return better than you are receiving from your current investments. This article gives you six ways to improve the structure of your seller financing so you can pocket more cash.
You may want to consider seller financing when you sell a rental property. It can boost your rate of return. Now, you might say “Yeah, but what happens if the buyer doesn’t pay up?” There could be a big silver lining here that you haven’t considered, and that’s why you should read this article now.
If you are selling your business, you likely want minimum taxes and no exposure to business-related liabilities once the sale is completed. That’s what this article is about. In an asset sale, you see types of taxes and opportunities that make the asset sale work to your advantage. In a stock sale, you likely get tax-favored capital gains, but you may have to give up something to the buyer.
Lawmakers have yet to decide if they will retroactively enact bonus depreciation and the higher Section 179 expensing limits for 2015 purchases. But if you’re looking to buy a large SUV or truck for your business, you may be surprised to learn how fast you can write off the full cost of the vehicle even if lawmakers fail to extend the tax breaks. Knowing the write-offs may entice you to pull the trigger on that purchase immediately instead of waiting for changes in the law.
You need to know a number of tax rules when it comes to selling your business. For example, you likely want tax-favored capital gains, but your buyer may not like that idea, as it cuts into the buyer’s tax deductions. This article is the first in a series of articles on selling your business, and it will help you understand how this process is going to work.
Tax law gives you several nice tax-saving strategies for your business assets but not many for your personal assets. So what happens when you convert a personal asset to a business asset? Does the personal taint last forever? No! This conversion opens the door to a world of new deductions.
You could add hundreds or even thousands of dollars to your wallet simply by putting the title of your vehicle in the right name—whether yours or the corporation’s. That’s about as easy as it gets to earn extra tax deductions. You put the title in the right name and then enjoy your extra cash.
The IRS recently created a rule to make your life simpler and better. How is that for a change? It’s true. Now when you buy almost any tangible asset for $500 or less, you can immediately deduct the purchase if you follow the two easy steps laid out by the IRS. That means tax savings for you and fewer headaches for you and your tax preparer.
The IRS is making an unusually nice offer to you as a business or rental property owner—but it’s good for just a few months. You can take extra deductions right now if you performed certain major renovations on your business or rental property in prior years. If you think this applies to you, act fast so you do not miss the October (or September, if incorporated) 2015 deadline.
Lawmakers did it again. They retroactively reinstated a number of so-called extender laws, including those tax-favored Section 179 expensing and bonus depreciation deductions. Did you buy vehicles and equipment last year? If so, this new law can make you smile, as this article shows it did for Harry Spencer.
Before you sell or trade your business vehicle, take a minute to think. The actions you take now could come back to haunt you at tax time. You could be creating extra tax for yourself or missing out on tax losses that you could use to offset other income. We’ll tell you what you need to know to be sure you make the right decision.
As the sole shareholder of your S corporation, you may face a situation where you need to purchase a business vehicle in your personal name rather than through the corporation. When this happens, you need to do some tax planning or you could miss out on beneficial business deductions, such as Section 179 expensing and bonus depreciation.
It’s November. It’s also the beginning of year-end tax planning time. And for many business owners, it’s car, truck, van, and SUV buying time. The combination of car, truck, van, and SUV buying time and year-end tax planning can help you make a sizable dent in your 2014 tax burden. And if lawmakers get their act together, they could further increase your tax benefits before December 31.
You can use a motor home for your business. If you are thinking of buying a motor home at this time, your Section 179 expensing election is somewhat in limbo. It’s possible that lawmakers will reinstate last year’s limits on Section 179 expensing. This article examines the gamble you take if you buy before lawmakers take action or if they fail to reinstate last year’s limits.
Are you an S corporation owner who takes advantage of the office-in-the-home deduction? If so, here’s good news. With the right tax planning, you can sell your home containing the office and defer or eliminate 100 percent of your tax, including recapture for any depreciation that you claimed. That news should put a smile on your face. Read this article to find out how you can use this strategy to pocket some extra tax dollars.
When you own a business, you should look at all possible assets that you own personally and how you might use them to increase your business deductions. This is particularly true for vehicles. And the beauty of identifying assets such as personal vehicles that you can use for business is that you don’t spend money to create deductions. You simply use assets you already own.
You may not expect to sell your current home or vacation property any time soon, but you should take these (easy) steps right now to prepare for—or better yet, avoid—the tax burden when that day ultimately comes. If you plan to rely on the home sale gain exclusion to shield all of your profit, don’t do that. We’ll tell you why not in this article. We’ll also show you how certain records can substantially reduce the taxes you owe on the sale of your home.
Tax law grants depreciation deductions. That’s good. It then recaptures or otherwise taxes the deductions you claimed. That’s bad. Don’t let depreciation and Section 179 deductions hoodwink you. Because of the back-end tax, the deductions amount to less than they appear on the surface. This means tax planning is in order if you are to pocket more tax money. This article helps you with that tax plan so that you get more out of your depreciation and Section 179 deductions.
You can create losses without selling assets when you liquidate your S corporation. But be warned: you first need to know exactly how the gains and losses are going to flow. In this article, you see the hurdles erected by lawmakers and the IRS. You learn what you need to know. With this knowledge, you can plan. That plan might include or exclude liquidation. It depends on where the liquidation chips fall.
Let’s say you operate your business as an S corporation but use a personal car for corporate business. To create the proper tax deductions, the right way to handle this situation is for the S corporation to reimburse you using one of two tax law-approved methods.
When you incorporate your business, you have to decide which assets you want to contribute to your new corporation and which you want to keep in your own name. For some assets, you get better tax benefits and better liability protection when you don’t transfer them to your corporation.
When you buy a business, buy the assets—not the stock. The assets will significantly increase your tax savings in the early years of your new business. This article gives you the nuts and bolts of buying a business. It even explains how you can buy the stock of the target corporation and treat the stock purchase as an asset purchase.
Your tax-benefit time for your business and personal vehicles is running out on December 31. If you are going to do something, do it now. This article gives you 10 year-end tax-benefit strategies for replacing or adding a business vehicle.
You likely have a handle on how the acquisition of a new asset is going to give you tax benefits. But have you considered the asset you are replacing? Your first step with the asset that’s going good-bye is to see whether you have a gain or loss. If you have a loss, see last month’s article. If you have a gain, take this short test to make sure you are getting maximum tax benefits.
Tax law treats the built-in desk as either personal or real property depending on where you locate the desk. The personal location, such as your home, can make the built-in desk real property whereas the commercial location, such as your home office, makes the built-in desk personal property. In business, you want the personal property classification so that you can get the vastly quicker write-offs.
You have many ways to make your entertainment facility tax deductible. For example, you can treat use of the facility as compensation to the users. Tax law tags two types of people in your business for purposes of entertainment facility W-2 and 1099 compensation: “specified individuals” and others. For specified individuals whose use of the business beach home, ski lodge, or other entertainment facility creates taxable compensation, tax law limits the business’s deduction for its entertainment facilities. For compensated taxable use by nonspecified individuals, the business faces no special limits on deductions for entertainment facilities.
Let’s say that you calculate a tax loss on the sale of your business vehicle. Tax law gives you tax benefits from a valid tax-loss deduction. But you need to make the right move to realize those tax benefits. And when it’s time to dispose of your old business vehicle, you have a number of choices, only one of which will produce immediate tax benefits for you.
Have you purchased vehicles for use in your business? Did you take a 179 deduction for them? What happens to your deduction if you retire or become disabled before the end of the vehicle’s useful life? What if you die? This article gives you what you need to know.
Do your tenants improve your property? Should they? Under Section 109 of the Internal Revenue Code, landlords receive the tenant improvements at termination of the lease free of income taxes. “Tax free” is what you have to call a nice package of tax benefits.
If you wreck your business vehicle, you will like the involuntary conversion rules that allow you to defer any taxable gain, providing you replace the vehicle within two years. This is true regardless of how you operate your business, corporation, or proprietorship.
As the landlord or the lessee, you get big tax breaks when you can take advantage of a qualified leasehold improvement. We gave you those details last month. But if the landlord and the lessee are tax law-defined related parties, you can kiss those tax-favored benefits good-bye. In this article, you learn who those related parties are so you can avoid the kiss good-bye.
Antique desks, clocks, cabinets, bookcases, rugs, conference tables, paperweights, and even cars can add character and beauty to an office. Antiques also make a great investment because they appreciate in value. And here’s one more neat thing about antiques: you can expense them under Section 179 of the tax code if you (1) actually use them to conduct business; and (2) such use causes wear and tear to the antique.
Do you own an office building or commercial retail building that you lease? Are you a tenant in an office building or retail space? Are you considering some leasehold improvements to the space? If so, you need to get your act together lickety-split, as time is running out on IRS-approved huge tax deductions for “qualified leasehold improvement property.”
How much of a vehicle deduction do you want from your business-vehicle purchase? A lot? A little? Could lawmakers trip you up in your desires? Absolutely. There are big differences in what you can deduct, depending on whether you buy a pickup truck, SUV, or car. Further, the differences among the categories depend on the weight of the vehicles. You need to know what the differences are if you are going to get the vehicle deduction you want.
This article contains a short quiz that will help you understand when you can gain tax deductions by using more than one vehicle for business. You will see what the IRS has to say about driving more than one vehicle, how the mileage log works when you drive more than one vehicle, and what it takes to make this pay off for you.
Although personal considerations come into play, the choice between buying and leasing a vehicle for your business ultimately boils down to cost. So it’s essential to understand how to compute and compare the costs and to have the right tools to make those computations easy. This article gives you what you need.
Tax law picks on “entertainment facilities” and makes them difficult to deduct. This is where tax planning comes in. With good tax planning, you can create deductions for your entertainment facility.
The fiscal cliff is coming on December 31 unless lawmakers do something. What does that mean to you? Does it mean you should pay more taxes this year? Perhaps. For insights into what you need to consider, read this article.
If possible, you want to take money from your corporation in some form other than salaries and wages, on which you pay payroll taxes. One such tactic, the lease of Section 179 personal property to your corporation, can accomplish this, but it rubs against one big gotcha and two steep hurdles. This article shows you how to avoid the gotcha, avoid the hurdles, and get the result you want.
To repair or improve your property? That’s the question. But should you have to wade through 256 pages of regulations to get the answer to whether your fix-up is a repair or an improvement? Perhaps not. The IRS is giving you an out on those 256 pages, at least until 2014
You might have asked yourself this question: Can I claim the home-office deduction and not claim depreciation as part of that deduction? The answer: Yes, but you need to have records that prove your zero amount. And then there’s the sad fact that you likely cheat yourself out of some after-tax cash by not claiming your depreciation deductions. This article explains how this works and more.
The IRS just released the new 2013 standard mileage rates. For business purposes, you can use the standard mileage rates in lieu of actual expenses for depreciation and operating expenses of the vehicle. It’s different for charity, medical, and moving mileage. Here, the rate is in lieu of “out of pocket” operating expenses only.
If you want to do something with your business vehicles this year, you don’t have much time left. This article gives you the year-end strategies you need to ensure maximum tax benefits should you decide to replace or add a business vehicle.
Are you currently using IRS mileage rates to deduct your business vehicle? Is that the right choice for you? If not, you will be happy to know that you can switch to the actual expense method. The IRS gives you two different ways to do the switch, depending on when you want to make the switch.
Although you might have thought you converted an asset from business to personal use, you did not. You now simply use the asset for personal use and that changes your business/personal mix. The business asset retains its business attributes and that means gain, loss, and recapture at the time of ultimate disposal.
Do you own an airplane? If not you, how about your corporation? This month, we are writing about the new IRS regulations that govern your use of your C or S corporation’s aircraft. In this article, you will find more than a half dozen strategies that you can use to minimize the tax bite caused by personal use of your corporation’s aircraft.
Changes in the tax law cause tax-law casualties. If you are the casualty, that’s bad. But if the IRS is the casualty and you are the beneficiary, that’s good. That’s what happened with antiques, and it could happen with a paperweight made of gold.
Could you use your timeshare for business lodging and other business purposes? If so, why should you consider it? Business deductions usually produce better tax benefits than personal deductions do, that’s why. Further, you need to know those special tax rules that can make your timeshare a rental property, personal residence, or business lodging facility.
Is your lease a lease? Are you sure? There are lots of funny rules that make what looks like a lease, a purchase—and what looks like a conditional sales agreement, a lease. This article shows you what happened to Arthur Boyce and gives you a number of tips to help you avoid his plight.
This subscriber owns a timeshare that he is not going to use this year. He wants to know how he can obtain business tax deductions if he lets his employees use it, assuming the employees do some good work. He learns that he has two possible ways to let an employee use the timeshare, one of which is tax-free to the employee. The second method is to call use of the timeshare “compensation” to the employee, which produces the unusual result of taxable income to the employee in an amount often different from the tax deduction for the business.
Learn how this IRS Revenue Procedure allows you to avoid taxes on the sale of a personal residence in which you had a home office or that you used as a rental property. The procedure lays out the methodology, which includes using the $250,000 ($500,000 if married) home-sale exclusion in unison with a 1031 tax-deferred exchange to avoid the taxes and enhance your deductions on the replacement home.
If you own rental property or your business’s building, you need to know what the IRS has in its new set of regulations that define when you have a tax-deductible repair and when you have an improvement that you must capitalize and depreciate. Repair deductions are best, but these are likely a little more difficult to achieve under the new regulations. Also, the new regulations contain a big new break that allows a write-off of the old component’s adjusted basis.
This article answers the question of what happens when you sell your home to your S corporation and then have your S corporation convert that home to a rental property.
Do you operate your business as a corporation, an LLC, or a proprietorship? Your choice of entity impacts a variety of tax deductions, and now the cell phone creates a win for the corporate owner and a loss for the proprietorship and the single-member LLC.
This article has 16 tax-deduction targets that you can use to increase your business car, SUV, truck, and van deductions. You don’t need to buy any new vehicles to get the benefits. You simply need the knowledge as laid out here.
On your rental properties, you need proof of your cost allocation to land and depreciable buildings. If you have no proof of that allocation, the IRS has started using the Web to grab the tax assessor’s allocation and use that against your depreciation deductions.
Okay, it’s December and you have some last-minute tax planning to take care of. This article helps you identify big last-minute tax deductions for bonus depreciation and Section 179 expensing on business cars, trucks, vans, and motor homes, including those you already own and may or may not use for business.
Are you looking for more tax deductions this year? It’s not too late. Learn 12 last-minute tax-planning ideas that you can implement to create or push more deductions into this year so you can pay less in taxes this year.
The chassis of an SUV, truck, or van does not define its status for tax purposes. In other words, the truck chassis does not make that SUV a truck. Similarly, the car chassis does not make that SUV a car. If you want to use Section 179 expensing on your SUV, you need to know what makes the SUV a truck or a car.
Tax law requires your attention to enable tax deductions on your business vehicles. Your tax write-off results differ with certain aspects: vehicle type (car, van, pickup truck, crossover vehicle), new or used, use of Section 179 expensing, and bonus depreciation. This article guides you through the deductions so you can select what gives you the best write-offs.
How does the owner of a corporation claim a tax deduction for an office in the home? Rental is not the best method. Deducting employee business expenses as miscellaneous itemized deductions is not the best method. The best method is to use an accountable plan, as you will learn in this article.
Learn the basics of the two-car tax-deduction strategy and then, best of all, use the magic formula calculator to see if you increase or decrease your tax deductions with this strategy.
When the two-car tax-deduction strategy works for you, you find new deductions without spending a penny or driving a mile farther. In this article, you find that both the IRS and the courts approve of your two-car tax deductions.
If you are thinking about a new business, you need to know the rules on how to deduct start-up costs right now. Why? Your deductible costs could start accumulating simultaneously with your thinking about this new business.
The new 100 percent bonus depreciation enables new tax planning strategies, as it applies to both the carryover and boot basis on a trade-in or other Section 1031 exchange.
Do you claim a home-office deduction? Do you have a garage (attached or detached) at your home? If so, you need to spend a few minutes with this article. You will learn when to include and exclude the garage when calculating your home-office space.
How often do you say, “Thank goodness for the IRS?” Well, you are going to say that when you see how the IRS saves the bacon when you claim the recently enacted 100 percent bonus depreciation on your business car.
You have at least three parties in your divorce: you, your soon-to-be ex, and your Uncle Sam. Yes, as with almost everything, there are tax consequences to a divorce. This article puts you on a path that will help you protect your money and your assets.
Tax law limits depreciation deductions on cars, trucks, and vans that don’t qualify for Section 179 expensing. The IRS updates the limits each year for inflation. This article explains how the limits work and gives you a link to the 2011 revenue procedure that contains all limits for both purchased and leased cars, trucks, and vans.
You want repairs and maintenance deductions on your business and rental properties. Here are tax tips on finding tax deductions in your lawn, landscaping, and other land improvements.
The newly enacted tax cut creates a new 2011 and 2012 estate tax. The new rules are taxpayer friendly in two respects. First, they are easy to understand. Second, they contain a $5 million exclusion (portable, if properly elected, for husband and wife, giving a married couple an exclusion of $10 million).
The new tax law contains some real surprises when it comes to deducting vehicles. In some cases, you can deduct the full cost in the year you place the vehicle in service. In other cases, the luxury auto limits might stretch your depreciation deductions over 30 or more years.
The repair deduction can substantially outperform the capitalized improvement. The added cash comes from two sources.
Tax law penalizes depreciation deductions, whereas it rewards repair deductions. The impact on your net worth can be huge. This article helps you qualify for the repair deductions that increase your net worth.
Spend a few minutes looking at the list in this article to see what qualifies as a repair. Then spend another minute on the list of improvements. This will help you decide what you need to do to your property.
Repairs to property produce more after-tax cash than improvements do. If you invest in property, you should pay close attention to the rules on what is a repair versus what is an improvement.
It used to be that when you claimed a Section 179 expensing deduction, you locked that deduction in stone for the year you claimed it. Because of the economic downturn caused by 9/11, lawmakers wanted to stimulate the economy. Accordingly they increased Section 179 expensing and, fearing that some business people would miss this opportunity, they inserted a window of opportunity during which you may amend your tax return for Section 179 expensing.
You can amend your Section 179 deduction. However, when you chose IRS mileage rates, tax law grants you no Section 179 deduction and no ability to amend your tax return to claim it. You can recover many of those missed deductions by switching to the actual expense method as described in this article.
The properties owned and the activities of the landlord determine whether the landlord can Section 179 expense a snowblower in whole or in part.
This issue contains 21 last-minute tax tips that you can use for 2010. We’ve broken the tips into two articles: one for vehicles and one not related to vehicles. This article contains the tips that apply to vehicles.
The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 spends $12 billion on small businesses, hoping to add a little stimulus to this economy. Make sure you are getting your fair share of this stimulation.
This article contains our Rental Property Analyzer software to help you analyze your possible real estate investments in an absolutely understandable and meaningful way. If you are thinking of buying a rental property, you absolutely, positively must read this article and use this software, which is included in your subscription.
Your claim to Section 179 expensing comes with strings. You make a deal with the government to keep your business use above 50 percent during the depreciation periods for the assets that you expensed. Should you violate your agreement, the government shows up to recapture Section 179 expensing.
The sale or trade-in of a business vehicle has positive or negative tax ramifications. You have a choice in this matter. But first you need to know your gain or loss. This article gives you the six steps to finding your gain or loss.
Here are your only two tax-saving choices when you operate your business as a corporation but personally own the car you use for business.
This subscriber is going to buy a motor home and use it during the first year for travel to and from conventions. In the second year, he is going to convert that motor home to a transient rental property. His plan meets the qualifications for Section 179 expensing and avoids recapture.
The trade-in of your old business car on a replacement car creates additional basis. The subsequent trade-in can also increase basis. This process can create a big tax deduction if you know what to do.
Renting equipment to your corporation requires knowledge of the tax laws. Three special rules apply to the individual taxpayer who rents equipment to others.
Doing business in two different locations requires tax knowledge. The purchase of a town house in the second location brings up many tax planning opportunities and a few hazards to avoid.
What happens when you locate an office (home office or other office) in a duplex or apartment building? It’s possible that this location can produce tax-favored depreciation for the home office.
The tax strategy of renting property you own personally to your businesses needs your attention if you want tax benefits. Similarly, special recharacterization rules apply to rentals of land and also when land is a big part of the rental.
Luxury limits on passenger automobiles and light trucks and vans produce planning benefits at the back end. If you want to beat the luxury limits, you have to buy a vehicle that’s exempt from the luxury limits.
Would Section 179 expensing make the IRS rates a bad deal for you? How about leasing or the luxury limits? Know for sure when you use the analyzer that comes with this article.
IRS mileage rates contain a depreciation surprise for many taxpayers. The depreciation might be hiding cash that can be yours with a simple strategy.
You need to know, and avoid, the five tax problems you can encounter when you gift business property to your parents, children, or others.
This article shows you how to apply the transient rule to use of a motor home for business purposes. By passing the transient test, your motor home can qualify for Section 179 expensing to the extent of business use.
If you understate your gross income by more than 25 percent, the IRS can adjust that return for six years, rather than the traditional three-year statutory period for audits. In this clarifying regulation, the IRS explains that an overstatement of basis counts as an understatement of gross income for the 25 percent test.
Learn how to calculate the tax deduction when you sell your business car at a loss—the most likely result.
The proper tax deduction treatment for decorating a business office with a baseball card and memorabilia collection comes from the courts in their decisions on depreciating antiques.
Learn when to tax deduct flood damage as a casualty loss or repair deduction and avoid capitalization. The law gives business owners an advantage when they fix up their business property after a floor or other casualty.
Whenever possible, you want your rental property to avoid the Uniform Capitalization Rules. If you don’t meet the de minimis rule on your improvements to a rental property, you may have to (1) capitalize the interest and (2) capitalize the direct and indirect costs.
Tax law’s luxury vehicle depreciation limits can apply to business cars, pickups, SUVs, crossover vehicles, and vans costing less than $15,500. That’s bad news. The good news: You often find a hidden tax deduction in the back end of the luxury limits (and mileage rates).
You do not need a tax deductible office in your home to deduct the cost of business furniture and equipment in your home
The official name of the new stimulus is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). Like last year’s version, the 2009 stimulus contains three big deals for business: (1) fifty percent bonus depreciation; (2) Section 179 expensing of up to $250,000; and (3) an increase in first-year luxury car depreciation on new (not used) cars.
The tax-favored like-kind rules for personal property such as cars contain a number of twists. For example, trading a car for an SUV, a crossover vehicle, or another car qualifies as a like-kind trade. But the trade of a car for a pickup truck is not like-kind.
The very first thing you need to do once you make the decision to buy the new asset and replace the old asset is to calculate your taxable gain or deductible loss on the old asset (as if you were going to sell it right now). The result—gain or loss—determines the strategy you should follow.
When you claim a Section 179 expensing deduction, you make a deal with the government. You agree to give back your early tax benefits if, during the recapture period, your business use drops to 50 percent or less.
Your maximum write off on a new $14,000 car purchased in 2008 is $10,960. To get to this number, you need to use Section 179 expensing. Should you have personal use of the car, then you reduce your $10,960 limit by your personal use.
As the end of the year arrives, you still have time to pocket some tax money. The 20 strategies in this article have a wide range, from getting married to selling your old vehicle. Spend a few minutes and pick up some last minute tips.
Take advantage of the government stimulus package in 2008. You need to buy and place in service a business vehicle, business equipment, or a business-related building before the end of the year. Generate fifty percent bonus depreciation, up to $250,000 Section 179 expensing, or an $8,000 increase in first-year luxury car depreciation.
Learn from Michael Birdsill’s mistakes: keep good records of your business vehicle use, and report it on your taxes. Birdsill’s court case proves that you must do this to receive deductions for mileage. Follow our four rules for claiming Section 179 expensing to make sure you do it right.
Rental property treatment starts on the day you place the property in service for rental use, not when you install a tenant. We answer one taxpayer’s questions about reporting a rental house for which he found no tenant.
This could be the perfect year to buy that rental property or building for your office. The new 50 percent bonus depreciation, new $250,000 expensing limit, and new higher luxury limit make 2008 the year to seriously consider making business purchases.
The IRS posted its new luxury limit tables for autos. Also, new vehicles bought in 2008 qualify for the 50% bonus depreciation from the stimulus package.
New tax rules have pretty much killed the once-common tool and car allowances as expense reimbursement methods.
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.
The IRS applies a recapture tax, even when no depreciation is claimed.
Compare IRS rates with actual expenses to find what’s best for you. Should you choose IRS mileage rates, keep this one key point in mind: when you sell, you have gain or loss to consider. You might save thousands and thousands by knowing this one simple rule.
Furnishing your office with antiques can actually make you money. Instead of buying new, depreciable furniture, furnish your office with antiques. Though they have a higher price tag, they can yield 36 times more money than new furniture.
Good tax planning tells you to accelerate your deductions and defer your income. Cost segregation can add tremendous acceleration to the depreciation deductions you claim on a building. That puts money in your pocket.
Cost segregation can save you a lot of money. You can separate the building and the equipment inside to increase your deductions. We include a list of items that count as equipment.
The government penalizes you if you drive a luxury vehicle. Further, the government’s idea of luxury and the reality do not match.
Many people, through keen knowledge of the tax law, have been able to use the law to their advantage and buy personal aircraft. Unfortunately, lawmakers changed the rules for deducting personal aircraft. We summarized the new rules for you.
To calculate the deductions for a business vehicle when you sell it, you must divide the car into business and personal parts, find your adjusted basis for business purposes, and find your loss deduction.
Revenue procedure 2007-16 allows you to make a change in depreciation after you sell, trade, or abandon property. The new procedures make some prior procedures obsolete and make revisions easier.
If you make repairs to your home for the purpose of making the home a rental property, you may deduct them, if you do it right. You cannot, for example, deduct repairs made to your home (not rental property). You might also consider filing the improvements as capital expenditures.
As an individual (not as a corporation), you may use IRS mileage rates in lieu of actual expenses to deduct vehicles you own or lease. The IRS rate has two components: one for operating expenses and the other for depreciation.
Claim the proper amount of depreciation on your home office to take advantage of the time value of money and avoid problems.
You may Section 179 expense up to $25,000 of your business cost when you buy a more than 6,000 pound gross vehicle weight rated (GVWR) new or used crossover vehicle or SUV built not on a truck chassis, but on a unibody frame in a manner that qualifies the vehicle as a truck for purposes of the gas guzzler tax.
You need a tax plan for the sale or trade-in of the business vehicle you are driving today. You also need a tax plan for the business vehicle that will replace your current business vehicle. You need this tax plan if you use IRS mileage rates, actual expenses, Section 179 expensing, MACRS depreciation, or bonus depreciation.
New rules increase the tenant’s ability to first use shorter depreciation periods during the life of the lease and then write off the undepreciated balance of leasehold improvements at the end of the lease. The proper application and intertwining of the new rules enable both landlords and tenants to put cash in their pockets.
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.
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.
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.
Your business motor home is either a lodging facility, like a hotel, or a transportation vehicle. Regardless of classification as a vehicle or hotel, your motor home probably qualifies for Section 179 expensing. Also, regardless of classification as a vehicle or hotel, you should keep at least a 90-day log of use to prove your business percent of use.
How you depreciate property has significant effects on your after-tax cash realization. Further, the punitive effects of depreciation recapture taxes make the Section 1031 exchange possibilities more and more appealing. That’s why it is important to remember the eight financial planning principles about depreciation.
The difference between a deductible repair and a capital expenditure in today’s tax law is huge. The time value of money is one part of the added benefit for the repair. But the biggest deal is that you have no recapture tax with a repair. Thus, when removing mold from a building, you want the tax law to treat that removal as a repair. There are specific steps you can follow that help ensure mold removal classification as a tax-favored repair.
Tax law continues to favor the heavy SUV over the typical passenger automobile. The heavy SUV qualifies for additional first-year expensing of up to $25,000 and it’s exempt from the gas guzzler tax.
Tax law calls the wreckage and totaling of your vehicle both an involuntary conversion and a casualty. Special rules allow you to treat the involuntary conversion as either a sale or a trade-in. Thus, your first step in this process is to find your gain or loss and then decide how you want to claim your tax benefits.
Tax law classifies the business airplane in the listed property category. This means the law requires a log of business and personal use. You deduct your business percentage. To obtain and then retain maximum benefits, you need your business use at greater than 50 percent. Further, the airplane is personal property and that makes it eligible for Section 179 expensing.
Say you are going to buy a replacement SUV that qualifies for Section 179 expensing. Should you trade your old vehicle or sell it outright? The selling outright strategy can save self-employment taxes. Many Schedule C taxpayers pocket thousands with this little-known strategy.
When you operate your business as a corporation, you need to reimburse the business use of the personal car as a reimbursed employee expense. The corporation may use either the IRS mileage method or the actual expense method for the corporate reimbursement to the employee-owner.
The corporate reimbursement to you, the employee, for the business use of your home office requires that you recognize the depreciation component of the reimbursement as if you had claimed the office in the home on your personal tax return.
The trade of a car on a lease is not a like-kind exchange. This is a sale of the old car and a lease of the new car. The sale part gives you a gain or a loss. In addition, the sale part generates a prepayment on the lease where you benefit with an amortization deduction.
Historic rehab tax credits can put you in Donald Trump’s self-proclaimed favorite spot. Tax credits often exceed the cash you invest in the project making the historic rental or office building a “nothing down” deal for you. Add nonrecourse financing to the package and you have no personal risk. None of your cash in the deal and no personal risk—this is Mr. Trump’s favorite spot. You might do as many Congressional leaders do: Donate your personal home’s historic facade to charity so can realize big tax credits.
You probably should hate the IRS for the mileage rate. First, the mileage rate creates the illusion that you don’t need a mileage log (wrong!). Second, individuals who start in business think that the mileage rate makes their tax life easy and that it doesn’t make much difference financially (generally, wrong). Third, mileage-rate addicts think that the mileage rate takes care of everything—then they cost themselves money by failing to deduct a loss on the sale of a business vehicle and overlook the business person’s tax deduction for interest on a car loan.
When you receive property in which you had an interest as a result of a family member’s death, make sure you clarify your income-tax basis in this property right away.