By topic: Capital gains

Is a Property Fix-up and Sale an Investor or a Dealer Property?

If you buy a property, fix it up, and then sell it, is that property a dealer or an investor property? The classification boils down to your facts and circumstances. That makes it a tough call for both you and your tax preparer. And if investor status produces long-term capital gains, you want to avoid dealer status, because that causes ordinary income and self-employment taxes.

Updated 2021 Tax Resource Guide; Download Now

Download this newly updated two-page guide so that you have a handy desktop reference with the 2021 corporate and individual tax rates, estate tax rates, self-employed tax rates, Social Security and Medicare tax rates, capital gain rates, standard mileage rates, standard deductions, luxury auto depreciation limits, and select retirement and IRA limits.

NUA Choice: A Tax Strategy to Consider If You Own Company Stock

If you are an employee with company stock in your retirement plan, you can use the net unrealized appreciation tax treatment to save money on your taxes.

Loophole: Harvest Tax Losses on Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrency

How would you like a capital loss storage box that you could call on when you have capital gains that you want eliminated? Your cryptocurrency holdings can create that capital loss storage box without changing the nature of your holdings, as we explain in this article.

Refresher: Principal Residence Gain Exclusion Break (Part 1 of 3)

The $250,000 ($500,000, if married) home sale gain exclusion break is one of the great tax-saving opportunities. Although the tax code contains many rules on this tax break, most of them are easily understood, especially as we explain them in this article.

IRS Focuses on Cryptocurrency: Are You Ready?

If you are looking for a wild ride, examine cryptocurrency. Not only can it rise to $55,000 and then drop to $30,000 in a matter of weeks, but it can also trigger significant tax consequences. And now, the IRS wants to know about you and your cryptocurrency activities.

Download Your New 2021 Desktop Reference Guide Now

Download this two-page guide so that you have a handy desktop reference with the 2021 corporate and individual tax rates, estate tax rates, self-employed tax rates, Social Security and Medicare tax rates, capital gain rates, standard mileage rates, standard deductions, luxury auto depreciation limits, and select retirement and IRA limits.

Tax Considerations When a Loved One Passes Away (Part 1)

If a loved one passes away and you serve as the executor or inherit assets, you need to consider your duties and/or tax planning. This is Part 1 in a three-part series where we consider your duties should you be the executor, along with planning to avoid the exorbitant tax rates that could apply to a living trust, special filing rules for the widow or widower, required minimum distributions, and more.

2020 Last-Minute Section 199A Tax Reduction Strategies

Remember to consider your Section 199A deduction in your 2020 year-end tax planning. If you don’t, you could end up with a big fat $0 for your deduction amount. We’ll review three year-end moves that (a) reduce your income taxes and (b) boost your Section 199A deduction at the same time.

2020 Last-Minute Year-End Tax Strategies for Your Stock Portfolio

When you take advantage of the tax code’s offset game, your stock market portfolio can represent a little gold mine of opportunities to reduce your 2020 income taxes. The tax code contains the basic rules for this game, and once you know the rules, you can apply the correct strategies. In addition to saving taxes with the game of offset, you can also avoid paying taxes on stock appreciation by gifting stock to charity, your parents, and your children who are not subject to the kiddie tax.

Does Renting My Home for Two Months Kill the $500,000 Exclusion?

Learn how renting out your home while you take a two-month vacation interacts with your ability to use the $500,000 home-sale exclusion ($250,000 if single). Remember, you have to use the home as a home for two of the five years before sale to qualify for the home-sale exclusion.

Taking Advantage of Partnership Special Allocations

The partnership choice of entity allows special allocations of income and expenses to individual partners, which can give the partnership a leg up as your possible choice of business entity. In this article, we explore the allocation rules and give you the ins and outs.

Download Your New 2020 Desktop Reference Guide Now

Download this two-page guide so that you have a handy desktop reference with the 2020 corporate and individual tax rates, estate tax rates, self-employed tax rates, Social Security and Medicare tax rates, capital gain rates, standard mileage rates, standard deductions, luxury auto depreciation limits, and select retirement and IRA limits.

Section 83(b): Restricted Stock Awards and Your Taxes

When you receive restricted stock awards, you need to decide whether you want to make a Section 83(b) tax election. In this article, we explain the nuances to the Section 83(b) election.

Know This About Employer-Issued Incentive Stock Options (ISOs)

With incentive stock options (ISOs), you could be on your way to a very nice payout. But you must consider both the regular federal income tax results and the alternative minimum tax results. In addition, you must pay attention to special rules that apply to so-called disqualifying dispositions of shares acquired by exercising ISOs. This sounds complicated, and it is a little, but we help you find clarity in this article.

IRS Issues New Bitcoin Tax Guidance

Millions of people are buying and selling cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. The IRS just issued new guidance for the first time in over five years on how you’ll treat cryptocurrency for tax purposes. We’ll tell you what the IRS had to say, what you need to do, and what we still don’t know.

TCJA Changes Vacant Land Tax Strategies

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) likely requires that you rethink the tax strategies you were using on your vacant land investments. And the TCJA changes may be such that you have to rethink vacant land as an investment, at least for the years impacted by the TCJA.

2019 Last-Minute Year-End Tax Deductions for Existing Vehicles

Yes, December 31 is just around the corner. That’s your last day to find tax deductions available from your existing business and personal (yes, personal) vehicles that you can use to cut your 2019 taxes. In this article, you will learn how to find and release tax deductions that the tax code trapped inside your existing business cars, SUVs, trucks, and vans. And you will learn how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act makes it possible for you to find a big deduction from your existing personal vehicle.

2019 Last-Minute Year-End Tax Strategies for Your Stock Portfolio

When you take advantage of the tax code’s offset game, your stock market portfolio can represent a little gold mine of opportunities to reduce your 2019 income taxes. The tax code contains the basic rules for this game, and once you know the rules, you can apply the correct strategies. In addition to saving taxes with the game of offset, you can also avoid paying taxes on stock appreciation by gifting stock to charity, your parents, and your children who are not subject to the kiddie tax.

Converting Your Residence into a Rental Property: Tax Issues

The simple maneuver of converting your personal residence to a rental property brings with it myriad tax rules, mostly good when you know how they work. For example, your rental net income can create the Section 199A deduction if the rental rises to the level of a trade or business (most do).

Wow! Pay Zero Capital Gains Taxes on Sale of Small C Corporation

Section 1202 allows you to sell a qualified small business corporation on a tax-free basis. Now, add to this no-tax-on-sale benefit from the 21 percent corporate tax rate from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and you have a significant tax planning opportunity.

Tax-Saving Double Play: Combine Home Sale with the 1031 Exchange

You don’t often get the opportunity to even consider making a tax-saving double play. But your personal residence combined with a desire for a rental property can provide just such an opportunity, as you learn in this article.

TCJA Tax Reform Creates Big Hazard in Loans to Your Corporation

Making loans to your corporation became more hazardous 33 years ago with the Tax Reform Act of 1986. That was pretty awful. But the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act tax reform made things worse for tax years 2018 through 2025. If you operate your business as a corporation, you need to know how the rules apply when you loan money to your corporation.

IRS Issues Final Section 199A Regulations and Defines QBI

Your ownership of a pass-through trade or business can generate a tax deduction of up to 20 percent of your qualified business income (QBI). The C corporation does not generate this deduction, but the proprietorship, partnership, S corporation, and certain trusts, estates, and rental properties do. In this article, you learn how to find your QBI.

IRS Clarifies Net Capital Gains in Final 199A Regulations

New tax code Section 199A can give you a tax deduction of up to 20 percent of your taxable income reduced by net capital gains. Last August, the IRS issued Section 199A proposed regulations that gave you some guidance on what net capital gains are. And now the new final regulations give you clarifying guidance on what the IRS deems are net capital gains for purposes of Section 199A.

Tax Reform’s New Qualified Opportunity Funds: Helpful or Hype?

Qualified opportunity funds are a new tax-planning strategy created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act tax reform. The new funds have the ability to defer current-year capital gains, eliminate some of them later, and then on the new investment make capital gains tax-free. To put the benefits in place, you need to navigate some new rules and time frames.

Q&A: New 2019 Desktop Tax Rates for You

Your new (enhanced on May 16, 2019) 2019 desktop reference containing the 2019 capital gains and federal income tax rates for individuals, corporations, and estates and trusts, plus other desirable quick references you want at your fingertips, is now available with the download link in this article.

2018 Last-Minute Year-End Tax Deductions for Existing Vehicles

Yes, December 31 is just around the corner. That’s your last day to find tax deductions for your existing business vehicles that will cut your 2018 taxes. In this article, you will learn how to find and release tax deductions that the tax code trapped inside your existing business cars, SUVs, trucks, and vans.

2018 Last-Minute Year-End Tax Strategies for Your Stock Portfolio

Your stock market portfolio can represent a little gold mine of opportunities to reduce your 2018 income taxes when you take advantage of the tax code’s offset game. The tax code contains the basic rules for this game, and once you know the rules, you can apply the correct strategies. In addition to saving taxes with the game of offset, you can also avoid paying taxes on stock appreciation by gifting stock to charity, your parents, and your children who are not subject to the kiddie tax.

2018 Last-Minute Year-End Tax Strategies for Marriage, Kids, and Family

If you are thinking of getting married or divorced, you need to consider December 31, 2018, in your tax planning. Here’s a planning question: Do you give money to family or friends (other than your children who are subject to the kiddie tax)? If so, you need to consider the zero-tax-bracket planning strategy. And now, consider your children who are under age 18. Have you paid them for work they’ve done for your business? Have you paid them the right way? You’ll find the answers here.

2018 Last-Minute Section 199A Strategies

Starting now, this year (2018), you have to consider your Section 199A deduction in your year-end tax planning. If you don’t, you could end up with a big fat $0 for your deduction amount. We’ll review four year-end moves that (a) reduce your income taxes and (b) boost your Section 199A deduction at the same time.

Q&A: Deduction for Defunct S Corporation Expenses?

You’ve closed your S corporation and then paid expenses for it afterward. Can either you or the corporation deduct those expenses? We’ll explain what the law says, along with one thing to consider for taking deductions for your leftover expenses.

Defining “Real Estate Investor” and “Real Estate Dealer”

The first good news is that you can be both real estate investor and real estate dealer with respect to your real estate portfolio. The next good news is that you are in control, and by knowing just a few rules about dealer and investor classifications, you can do much to increase your net worth.

How Capital Gains Can Destroy the New 199A 20 Percent Tax Deduction

As you likely already know, your Section 199A deduction depends on where you fall in the qualification process. For example, one qualification process is income below the thresholds that qualify you for the Section 199A deduction on your pass-through income regardless of business type. Another process is income in the phase-in range that qualifies you for a phase-in deduction. Here we explain what that income is and how it impacts your new tax reform Section 199A deduction.

Q&A: Did Goodwill Take a Hit under Tax Reform?

Tax reform changed the tax treatment of certain self-created intangible property. Does this affect goodwill? We’ll review the tax treatment of goodwill in light of tax reform.

Tax Reform: Wow, New 20 Percent Deduction for Business Income

The new 2018 Section 199A tax deduction that you can claim on your IRS Form 1040 is a big deal. There are many rules (all new, of course), but your odds as a business owner of benefiting from this new deduction are excellent.

Tax Reform: Will Section 199A Phase In or Phase Out Your 20 Percent Deduction?

If your pass-through business is an in-favor business and it qualifies for tax reform’s new 20 percent tax deduction on qualified business income, you benefit at all times, including being above, below, or in the expanded wage and property phase-in range. On the other hand, if your business is a specified service trade or business, it is in the out-of-favor group and you benefit only when you are in or below the phaseout range.

Are Your Rental Properties a Business? If So, You Win

If you own rental properties, you don’t want the tax law to call the rentals an investment. Instead, you want the rental properties to qualify as a trade or business so that you achieve tax-favored Section 1231 treatment and many other tax breaks.

Create Extra Cash by Using Depreciable Antiques in Your Business

You really should consider antiques when furnishing your offices or buying a unique second business vehicle. Unlike regular furnishings and vehicles, well-selected antiques increase in value. Also, you can depreciate or even Section 179 expense them. When you run the after-tax numbers, you can easily find that an antique will yield 36 times more after-tax cash than a non-antique.

Shedding Doubts about Selling Your Home to Your S Corporation

If you want to convert your home to a rental property, don’t. Instead, sell your home to your S corporation and then have the S corporation make the property a rental property. We have written about this previously, and we received some questions that we address in this article.

Passive Losses Don’t Destroy Your Tax-Favored Capital Gains

Suspended passive activity losses come about when the losses from all passive activities for the taxable year exceed the aggregate income from all passive activities for such year. These are losses above or beyond what you can deduct under the $25,000 offset for rental activities. When you sell your entire interest in a passive activity at a gain, you have a taxable gain and a jailbreak of those losses and maybe more.

Beat the Recapture Tax on Your Home Office

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.

Should You Accept Bitcoins as Payment in Your Business?

More businesses are accepting bitcoins as payment. To the IRS, bitcoin is not the same as cash. You should know the tax implications of accepting bitcoins in your business and the major pros and cons of doing so.

Buying a Business: Tax Benefits from Including Debt in Your Corporation’s Capital Structure

When you are looking to buy a business and then operate that business as a C corporation, you should consider the tax benefits you can realize by creating debt as part of the corporate capital structure. If you do this, you need to put the debt in place so that the IRS will respect the debt as debt and not treat it as equity.

How to Buy a Target’s Stock and Treat the Deal as an Asset Purchase

When you can buy the target’s stock and treat the deal as an asset purchase, you have a real possibility of bringing tax-benefit smiles to both you and the seller. So if you are buying a business, make sure you know when the tax rules allow you to buy the stock of the target and treat that stock purchase as the purchase of the target’s assets.

Create a Business Partnership Tax-Free

You’ve decided to create a partnership for a new or existing business. Good news: forming a business partnership is usually tax-free. But you must meet the basic requirements for a tax-free formation, and you need to avoid the situations that cause you to owe taxes on the transfer of property.

Tax Secrets of Buying a Business That Owns Intangible Assets

When you buy a business, you have much to consider. As you learned in prior articles, you need to consider the type of entity that owns the business and the type of entity you will use to operate the business. On top of that, every asset of the business you are going to buy impacts your tax results. In this article, you see how this all comes together and what you need to do to get the best results.

Buying a Business: How to Make Tax-Smart Price Allocations

When you are buying a business, you want to buy not only at the right price, but also in a manner that keeps your taxes as low as possible. If you structure your deal as an asset purchase, you can use tax-smart price allocations that give the best tax result. And you likely want to include a stipulation in the purchase agreement that can reduce your chances of an IRS audit.

Buying a Business: Should You Buy Ownership Interest or Assets?

When buying a business, you face many decisions. One such decision is whether you should buy the assets of the business or the ownership interest. Here, you have both legal and tax issues to consider. Also, depending on the entity you are looking at buying, the ownership purchase option may not be available.

2016 Last-Minute Year-End Tax Strategies for Your Stock Portfolio

Your stock market portfolio can represent a little gold mine of opportunities to reduce your 2016 income taxes when you take advantage of the tax code’s offset game. The tax code contains basic rules for this game, and once you know the rules, you can apply the correct strategies. In addition to saving taxes with the game of offset, you can also avoid paying taxes on stock appreciation by gifting stock to charity, your parents, and your children who are not subject to the kiddie tax.

Selling a Business: Who Owns the Goodwill? Does the 3.8% NIIT Apply?

When it comes time to sell your business, it’s likely that you need to consider the intangible asset of goodwill. You have several things to consider, depending on the business entity you used to operate your business. For example, if you operated as a C corporation, how do you avoid double taxation on the goodwill? This article shows you how. Regardless of entity, how do you avoid the net investment income tax (NIIT)? This article shows you how.

Make Sure Your Real Estate Options Pay Off

You may have heard that options are the perfect way to increase profits on real estate investments and rentals. Well, perfect is probably an overstatement, but good profits are available when you know what you are doing. You also need to know the tax rules to avoid clauses, charges, and events that can turn options into sales and trigger taxes when you least expect them.

Selling Your Business: Be Prepared to Meet Buyer’s Due Diligence Requirements

Whether you sell the assets of the business or your ownership interest, you can expect the buyer to check things out before signing off on the deal. This is called due diligence. And there are various aspects of due diligence, depending on the type of sale you are making and the buyer’s needs.

Selling Your Business: Zero-Basis Receivables; Self-Created Goodwill

You have special tax-planning considerations when you sell a business that has zero-basis receivables and/or self-created goodwill. If you operate as a C corporation, you need additional planning because of double taxation. And the good news is that planning helps reduce the tax burden.

Q&A: Yikes! Failed to Deduct Real Estate Taxes on Empty Land

 

Selling Your Business and Including a Noncompete Agreement

When you sell a business, you will likely sign a noncompete agreement, also known as a covenant not to compete. As the seller, the purchase price allocated to the noncompete does not produce the tax result you want. But the noncompete does do for the buyer what the buyer wants. Thus, you need to know how the noncompete works so you can negotiate the sale with knowledge.

Sell Home to S Corporation and Then Make It Rental Property

Take advantage of the government’s tax-free $250,000 home-sale-profit exclusion ($500,000 if married) by selling your home to an S corporation that you establish. This gives you two things: (1) tax-free income and (2) a step-up in basis for the rental house.

Selling Your Business Using a Contingent Price (Earn-Out) Deal

When you sell a business, you and the buyer may structure a contingency that can vary the selling price. The tax code gives you three basic reporting possibilities for contingent prices, and, of course, the three possibilities give you planning opportunities.

Four Tax Strategies That Make Buildings Produce More Cash

The tax implications for your office building and rentals have changed. Now when you fix up and improve those buildings, you need to be alert to additional savings that were not available in some prior years. Further, if you are buying a new building, you absolutely need to examine how you can create deductions where none existed before.

2016 Tax Guide to Foreclosure on a Rental Property

You likely feel some pain when you lose a rental property to foreclosure. And if you have the mortgage structured wrong, tax law adds to whatever pain you experienced with the lender. But in the right circumstances, you can lose your rental property to foreclosure and save money, too.

Golden Nugget: New Write-Offs in New Repair Regulations

Get ready to thank the IRS. With the new tangible property regulations you can write off replaced components and achieve two types of tax savings. Before the new regulations, if you replaced a roof, you likely continued to depreciate the old roof and also depreciated the new roof. The old roof—the ghost roof—usually triggered additional recapture taxes. You are going to like the new rules, especially the two new types of tax savings.

Selling Your Business: Sell Corporate Stock as an Asset Sale

If you are selling your S or C corporation, you have plenty to think about. And of course, the buyer has much to think about too. By using an election in the tax code, you and the buyer can get on the same page so you can sell with one level of taxation and also give the buyer what the buyer wants most—a step-up in basis of the assets acquired.

2016 Tax Guide for Debtors on Foreclosure of a Home

Few things can rock your world like the prospect of losing your home. In a foreclosure, the lender sends you one or two Form 1099s that will worry you too. The 1099s could show that you have cancellation of debt income (that’s taxable income). And then, just to pile on, the foreclosure that took away your home might trigger a taxable gain. That’s all bad news. But when you know the rules, you’ll see that you can make some or all of the bad-news tax problems go away.

Selling Your Business: Selling Intangible Assets

When you sell your business, you face two types of federal income taxes: (a) regular and (b) capital gains. Capital gains are better—much better. If you sell the assets rather than the business interest, your sale of self-created intangibles likely produces capital gains. Of course, the best bet is to sell the business interests rather than the assets, assuming you operate as other than a proprietorship, which can sell assets only.

Selling Your Business: How to Make Tax-Saving Price Allocations for an Asset Sale

2015 Last-Minute Year-End Tax Strategies for Marriage, Kids, and Family

If you are thinking of getting married or divorced, you need to consider December 31, 2015, in your tax planning. Here’s another planning question: Do you give money to family or friends (other than your children who are under age 24)? If so, you need to consider the zero-bracket planning strategy. And now let’s consider your children who are under age 18. Have you paid them for work they’ve done for your business? Have you paid them the right way? You’ll find the answers here.

2015 Last-Minute Year-End Tax Strategies for Your Stock Portfolio

Your stock market portfolio can represent a little gold mine of opportunities to reduce your 2015 income taxes when you take advantage of the Tax Code’s offset game. The Tax Code contains basic rules for this game, and once you know the rules, you can apply the correct strategies. In addition to saving taxes with the game of offset, you can also avoid paying taxes on stock appreciation by gifting stock to charity, your parents, and your children who are not subject to the kiddie tax.

How to Treat Your Coin, Stamp, and Baseball Card Activities

Tax law places your collectible activity in one of four tax categories: (1) hobby, (2) investment, (3) trader, or (4) dealer. This means your collectible activity can, depending on category, trigger the AMT, capital gains, and self-employment taxes. When you know the rules that place you in these categories, you can make adjustments. Sometimes the adjustments are easy; at other times, they require rethinking the collectibles activity.

Use Seller Financing to Create Wealth

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.

Converting a C corporation to an S corporation: Save Thousands by Avoiding the “BIG” Tax Problem

If you want to convert your C corporation to an S corporation, you need a plan. No plan, BIG tax. The BIG tax means the tax on built-in gains at 35 percent. But it’s worse than that, and bigger than that, because after the 35 percent tax payment, you continue to pay at your regular tax rates on the remaining 65 percent that flows from your S corporation to you. This is torturous double taxation. So make a plan to avoid as much torture as possible, perhaps all of it. This article helps you with that plan by showing you four strategies that you can use.

Selling Your Business: It Might Be Worth More Than You Think, and the Tax Implications Are Probably Crucial

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.

Legally Escape the 50 Percent Tax on Goodwill Value When You Sell or Liquidate Your Corporation

If you own a corporation, you need to plan in advance for the eventual sale or liquidation of your corporation—even if you do not expect either to happen anytime soon. In particular, the planning you do regarding your business goodwill could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax savings.

How C-Corporation Owners Can Pay Zero Taxes on Gains: Tax Law Allows a Windfall “Wait to Sell” Strategy

2015 is the first year that stockowners can sell their C corporation stock completely tax free under Section 1202 of the tax code. If you started a C corporation or purchased stock recently and you qualify for this rule, you need to determine the date you acquired the stock and wait five years before you sell. This waiting period could save you thousands and even potentially millions of dollars in taxes.

Drive Down Your Tax on Stock Gains by Selling and Repurchasing at Just the Right Time

If you own stock, you can take action now to escape the tax that you will incur when you ultimately decide to sell. By strategically timing sale and repurchase transactions, you can take advantage of the zero percent bracket for capital gains and gradually eliminate most or all of your tax before you ultimately dispose of the stock.

7 Year-End Tax Reduction Strategies for Your Stock Portfolio

Your stock market portfolio is a great place to look for year-end tax planning opportunities. First, it’s a place where you can avoid paying taxes on stock appreciation by gifting stock to charity, your parents, and your children. Second, it’s a place where you can play a simple game of offset where you cancel out high taxes. This article gives you seven strategies that reduce your taxes and make you smile.

Tax Tips to Know If You Buy Gold, Art, Antiques, or Stamps

If you invest in gold, stamps, or antiques but you don’t know the tax rules governing collectors, you’re probably falling into costly tax traps that you could easily avoid with tax knowledge. When you put yourself in position to improve your tax situation, you put more money in your pocket (which gives you more money to build your collection). Read this article to discover how you can deduct your collection expenses and also minimize your taxes when you sell your items for a profit.

Is a Fix-up and Sale an Investor or a Dealer Property?

If you buy a property, fix it up, and then sell it, is that property a dealer or an investor property? The classification boils down to your facts and circumstances. That makes it a tough call for both you and your tax preparer. And if investor status produces long-term capital gains, you want to avoid dealer status, because that causes ordinary income and self-employment taxes.

How to Lease-Option the Sale of Your Home or Investment House

If you are looking for creative ways to get rid of a house that won’t sell, consider the lease-option. This strategy only works with the right tenant and your correct use. But get this right and it’s a nice deal for everyone involved. Make sure you avoid the traps that blow up the deal and add extra taxes to your tax bill. After all, your real purpose with the lease-option is to increase your cash flow and keep your taxes to a minimum.

Don’t Rely on the Government for a Tax-Free Home Sale

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.

Depreciation and Section 179: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

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.

Use Corporate Advances to Escape Double Taxation

Corporate advances are a nice way to get around the double tax problem of C corporations. But there is a hidden danger. If you take a loan from your corporation without taking all the right steps, then you are asking the IRS to apply its double-tax system (plus penalties). Read this article to learn the right way to take your corporate advances.

Buying a Business? Protect Your Investment and Deduct It, Too

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.

Year-End Tax-Benefit Strategies for Investments in Stocks

You can achieve year-end tax benefits by offsetting your stock market gains and losses in the right way. You also can make a gift of appreciated stock to charity, which will increase your tax benefits over what you would achieve with a cash gift. Be careful here though, as a gift of depreciated (versus appreciated) stock to a charity decreases your charitable deductions, costs you cash, and makes you unhappy when you find out what you’ve done.

S Corporation Tax on Built-In Gains Is Trouble

Are you thinking of converting your C corporation to an S corporation? If so, you need to examine how the built-in gains tax can create trouble for you. Of course, once you know some of the trouble, you can find ways to mitigate it, and if you are patient, you can totally avoid it.

Escape the Lobster Trap of Corporate Tax

You might simply file a form to convert your business from a corporation to a sole proprietorship, but this simplicity can trigger unexpected taxes galore. Don’t let the taxes surprise you. Evaluate the tax costs. See if the conversion works to your best financial advantage. Also, make sure to examine tax law’s three special tax-benefit techniques available to small-business owners.

Tax-Deferred Exchange of C Corporation Stock? Yes, It’s Possible

How would you like to buy a small business, sell it at a huge profit, and defer the taxes as if you had completed a tax-deferred exchange? You can. It’s not a Section 1031 exchange. But it can give you the same exact tax deferral that you can achieve with a Section 1031 exchange. You find this great benefit in Section 1045 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Test Your Tax IQ: Can You Depreciate Antiques Used in Business?

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.

1031 Exchange Survives Rental to Son

If you own rental properties, enjoy being in that business, and want to grow that rental property business, you need to know the ins and outs of the Section 1031 exchange. The word “exchange” is misleading; what you really do in a 1031 is sell an existing property and then buy a new property, but you do this using an exchange intermediary. It’s easy and the intermediary is not expensive. In this article you will learn how to avoid Mr. Adams’s fate as we follow him to court with an exchange that involved a rental to his son that raised issues with the IRS.

Pay More Taxes Now

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.

Tax Deduction for Classic Car Used in Business

How does the tax law treat the classic car when you use it for business? Can you deduct it just as you would any car you use in business? Learn how some tax law changes enabled the classic car as a business asset and why that can work to your advantage.

4 Year-End Tax Tips for You and Your Family

Should you get married or divorced before December 31, 2012? What about your children—do you have them on the payroll? And what about the cash gifts you have been giving to your favorite aunt to help her in her later years—are you doing this gift the best way? You’ll find the answers to these questions in this article.

3 Year-End Tax Tips for Capital Gains and Stocks

Are thinking about harvesting your tax losses? You should be. Leaving tax-deductible losses on the table at the end of the year is very disappointing. And then there’s the stock gift to charity. Are you doing these correctly so as to maximize your tax benefits? Make sure by reading this article now.

Ouch! Court Rules That This Investor Is a Real Estate Dealer

Do you invest in real estate? Are you an investor or a dealer? Make sure you put the nine factors to work for you in your proof of investor or dealer status.

Learn What Happens When You Convert an Asset from Business to Personal Use

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.

Tax Breaks on Shift of Corporate Ownership to Kids (and Others)

When it comes time to remove yourself from your business, what’s your plan? This article gives you one maneuver to consider if you operate your business as a corporation. It’s called the stock redemption, and this article shows how a father used the redemption to transfer ownership to his children in a tax-friendly manner. The principles in this article can also be used to transfer ownership to business associates, employees, and other shareholders

Taxes You Pay When You Convert Your Rental Property to Your Principal Residence

The days when you could convert your rental property or vacation home to a principal residence and then use the full $250,000/$500,000 home-sale exclusion to avoid taxes are gone. Today’s law requires an allocation that keeps part of your rental as a rental so you have to pay taxes on that allocated part.

Home-Office Depreciation Deductions Can Beat Recapture and Capital Gains Taxes

The home-office deduction lives in the world of false myths. One such myth is depreciation recapture. In most cases, the benefits of depreciation deductions far outweigh the recapture. Further, with a little planning, you can easily defer and even avoid the recapture tax altogether.

Avoid Taxes on the Sale of Your Principal Residence That Contained a Home Office

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.

How Tax Law Treats the Foreclosure or Short Sale of Your Principal Residence

You likely hate tax-law surprises. Foreclosures, short sales, and mortgage modifications can both reward and punish you, sometimes during the same transaction. You may not have a problem with your home’s value or its mortgage, but you may have a relative, friend, or client who faces this situation. If so, you may want to know how tax law treats the principal residence foreclosure, short sale, or loan modification.

Sale of Three Rental Properties Releases Passive-Loss Deductions on Six Rental Properties

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.

IRS Arrives at the Audit with Tax Assessor’s Allocation to Land and Building

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.

Use the Estate Tax Value to Avoid Federal Income Tax on Home

Keeping your home until death has advantages. At death, your estate avoids both capital gains and recapture taxes, and passes the home to your heirs at a stepped-up fair market value basis. This combination triggers a good number of income tax planning strategies.

Last-Minute Year-End Tax Planning for Your Business Tax Deductions

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.

Can Home Office Tax Deductions Include Garage Space?

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.

Real Estate Dealer or Investor?

The taxpayer in this case made three major mistakes, one of which was the probable cause of his IRS audit. His assertion of being an investor and not a dealer defied most of the nine factors the courts use in deciding the dealer versus investor question.

Tax Tips for the New Estate and Gift Tax Rules

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).

Tax Choices for Estates of Those Who Died in 2010

Tax law gives choices to the executors who are handling the estates of those who died in 2010. Choice one is to apply the 2010 rules. Choice two is to apply the newly enacted 2011 and 2012 estate tax rules.

Tax Saving Tips: How Repairs Put Extra Cash in Your Pocket

The repair deduction can substantially outperform the capitalized improvement. The added cash comes from two sources.

Better Tax Deductions for Repairs to Business and Rental Buildings

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.

Tax Tips for Repairs—A Short Litany

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.

Tax Tip: The Classic Repair—the Farmer’s Creamery Case

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.

12 Last-Minute Tax Tips Not Related to Vehicles for 2010

This issue contains 21 last-minute tax tips that you can use for 2010. We broke the tips into two articles: one for vehicles and one not related to vehicles. This article contains 12 last-minute tax tips that are not related to vehicles.

New Law: Another Small-Business Economic Stimulus Package for You

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.

Tax Tips to Find a Profitable Rental Property

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.

Tax Tips on Failed Rental Property Purchase

Learn how you treat monies spent when your attempted purchase of a rental property fails. Tax law provides you with a path of special, mostly favorable tax rules.

Tax Tips for the Real Estate Investor/Dealer

Tax law allows an individual to be a real estate dealer with respect to his dealer properties and a real estate investor with respect to his investor properties.

Defining “Real Estate Investor” and “Real Estate Dealer”

The first good news is that you can be both real estate investor and real estate dealer with respect to your real estate portfolio. The next good news is that you are in control, and by knowing just a few rules about dealer and investor classification, you can do much to increase your net worth.

Rental Property Business Tax Attributes

If you own rental properties, you don’t want the tax law to call the rentals an investment. Instead, you want the rental properties to qualify as a trade or business so that you achieve tax favored Section 1231 treatment and other tax breaks.

Cashing Out Real Estate Profits without Section 1031

Section 1031 exchanges are perfect when you are going to stay in the real estate rental or investment business. When it’s time to cash out, you need to look at different strategies that help you avoid taxes and give you cash to spend (liquidy).

Use Safe Harbor to Lock In Capital Gains When You Subdivide Land

Section 1237 grants a safe-harbor to qualified taxpayers who want to subdivide land. The safe-harbor requires the taxpayer to pass seven tests, but then rewards the taxpayer with tax-favored capital gains treatment (versus ordinary income treatment).

Use an S Corp. to Lower Taxes on Subdivision of Land

Good tax planning can avoid ordinary income treatment on the subdivision of land. The planning involves avoiding the partnership entity and using an S corp. for development.

Buyer Defaults on Business Seller’s Take-Back Loan

The business bad debt generates the best bad debt tax breaks, except when the debt is incurred to protect, enhance, or continue your employee relationship (i.e, keep the corporation in business so you have a place to work).

IRS Audits Expanded to Six Years for Overstatement of Basis

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.

Inheritance Advice for the Family Home

Distributing the assets of an estate needs a tax plan to ensure the favorable results embedded in the tax law.

How to Write Off the Investment in a Failed S Corporation

The U.S. government taxes your profits and subsidizes your losses. That’s nice. Not all governments share in the losses.

IRS Loses On Subdivision of Lots

You can be a dealer with respect to some properties and an investor with respect to others. You can also subdivide lots and obtain tax-favored capital gain treatment, but you need the right numbers and a good plan.

Use Imputed Interest Rules to Increase Profits on Sales of Property

Do you own an asset whose sale will produce a capital gain to you? Are you going to take back a note for some of the sales proceeds? If so, consider the “imputed interest” rules as a net-worth building opportunity. You can get up to 57 percent reduction in your tax bite, without changing the buyer’s out-of-pocket spending.

Defined Destruction of Home Produces Sale for Exclusion Purposes

At what point is a home destroyed so that it is eligible for the “involuntary conversion rules and the $250,000 ($500,000) exclusion of capital gains rules? In this chief counsel advice, the IRS gives some clarity.

Tax Quiz—Are You a Stock Dealer, Trader, or Investor?

As a person who buys and sells stocks, you will see a huge difference in how the law treats you if you’re a dealer, trader, or investor.

Dealer or Investor?

Dealer versus investor tax status is a heavily litigated issue. Choosing between dealer or investor status is often a tough call, as is in the case of this taxpayer. There can be a huge tax difference between classification as a dealer or classification as an investor.

Capital Gain Triggers AMT

When planning your taxes, always consider the AMT. This creepy tax seems to come out of the woodwork and attack when you least expect it. For example, in 2002, Kevin Moore sold his farm, and, because of a tax law error, he owed AMT. Had he sold in 2004, after tax writers fixed the glitch, he would have had no AMT.

Tax Quiz—Sell Stock at a Loss to Your Daughter

If you sell stock to your relatives at a loss, don’t lose possible deductions – know the related party rules!

Day Trading Produces Capital Losses

Shahrooz Jamie, a physician in West Virginia, had a side-business as a trader of securities. In his court case, he tried defending his net operating loss carryovers to offset the net income from his medical practice. The court ruled against him, imposing substantial overstatement penalties.

Gift of Home

The $250,000 exclusion on the sale of this home is complicated by the mother and daughter owning this home together.

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.

How Depreciation on Your Business or Rental Property Works

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.

Long-Term Capital Gains Trigger AMT

The AMT can trigger additional taxes on your capital gains despite the fact that the capital gains tax rate for both regular and AMT purposes is identical. Your status as single or married and the amount and nature of your income determine the extra AMT hit. In general, the middle income can suffer the worst AMT impact.

Selling the Home That Contained the Office the Corporation Deducted

When you have your corporation reimburse your home office as an employee business expense, you treat the home as if you had claimed the office-in-the-home deduction personally.

Three New Rulings Where Home-Sale Profits Are Protected by Hardships

Wow! In one day, the IRS released three private letter rulings that provide a roadmap to the $250,000 (single) and $500,000 (married) home-sale profit exclusions for taxpayers who fail, because of hardship, the 2-out-of-5-year tests for ownership and use.

Jack Up Your Profits with Tax Credits

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.

Proving Basis in the Home

The couple in this court case did not keep the right records to prove the improvements they made to their home. This failure to keep the records probably saved them some personal time, but it cost them taxes on $101,907 of capital gains. What do you suppose the hourly cost of this failure—considering that the time spent to keep these records has to be very few hours? You really do need the right tax records and it takes very little time when you know what to keep.