By month: March 2012
You might justify a zero salary to the owner of an S corporation in the right circumstances. But there are some pitfalls, particularly if your purpose is to avoid payroll taxes. Further, and this is often overlooked, state law can come into play on the zero-salary game.
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.
You might qualify for an office downtown, an office in your main home, and an office in your vacation home. Wow! Three offices. And tax law might make all three offices principal offices. (Of course, three principal offices is an oxymoron, but hey, this is tax law, so three principal offices is a true possibility.)
You would think that tax law could make deducting mortgage interest straightforward. Perhaps that’s too logical; for certain, it’s not true. The rules on deducting mortgage interest contain a number of twists and turns that you that need to know to make sure your mortgage-interest payments qualify as tax deductions.
If you own rental properties, you need to know how to qualify for real estate professional status, and then you need to create proof of time spent on your rentals. No time-spent proof, no passive-loss deductions. Next, you have to decide to group or not to group your properties. Don’t leave this grouping decision to the IRS or to the courts.
Rental property managers report gross rental income to the property owners on a 1099-MISC. We have seen confusion about this reporting because new laws were enacted in 2010 and then repealed in 2011. This article eliminates that confusion and explains what the property manager needs to report and what the property owner can expect to receive.