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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.
Inside this article, you’ll find the 14 tax reduction strategies for the self-employed that we identified for you last month. But here you find more—links to the articles so that you have the nuts and bolts of implementing the strategies.
When is an SUV a car, and when is it a truck? How big is the difference in deductions? Does the SUV built on a car chassis get different treatment from the SUV built on a truck chassis?
Learn these four business mileage rules. With them, you have a roadmap to the best tax benefits. And if you ever suffer an IRS audit, these four rules will save your bacon.
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.
Here’s an easy question: Do you need more 2020 tax deductions? If yes, continue on. Next easy question: Do you need a replacement business vehicle? If yes, you can simultaneously solve or mitigate both the first problem (needing more deductions) and the second problem (needing a replacement vehicle), but you need to get your vehicle in service on or before December 31, 2020. This article helps you find the right vehicle for the deduction you desire.
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 2020 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.
Do you have a mileage log that will survive an IRS audit? If so, good for you! If not, get ready to give up all (not some, but all) of your vehicle tax deductions for not just one year but three years, as you will see in this true story.
Do you operate your business as a corporation but use a vehicle that you own in your personal name for the corporate business? If so, be aware that the TCJA changed the rules of the road for tax years 2018-2025. To avoid losing your rightful deductions, you need to have the corporation reimburse you for business use, as we describe here.
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. If you violate your agreement, and depending on when you do that, the government can show up and recapture a big chunk of your Section 179 expensing.
If you or your corporation is unlucky enough to face an IRS audit, there is one record that stands out as critical to your audit health. If you are missing this one record, the IRS examiner knows that he or she should quickly expand to other areas of your tax return.
Do you operate your business as a corporation but own your business vehicle personally? If yes, what happens when you trade your existing personal vehicle for a replacement personal vehicle and then have the corporation reimburse you for the newly purchased personal vehicle? There are nuances that you need to know, as we explain in this article.
Remember 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 three year-end moves that (a) reduce your income taxes and (b) boost your Section 199A deduction at the same time.
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.
Here’s an easy question: Do you need more 2019 tax deductions? If yes, continue on. Next easy question: Do you need a replacement business vehicle? If yes, you can simultaneously solve or mitigate both the first problem (needing more deductions) and the second problem (needing a replacement vehicle), but you need to get your vehicle in service on or before December 31, 2019. This article helps you find the right vehicle for the deduction you desire.
We took a deep dive into the 263 strategy articles that apply to the self-employed and pulled out 10 that you should spend time with.
In this IRS examination, the examiner mistakenly applied the first-and-last-stop business commuting rule. We explain what the IRS got wrong and what documents can be used to overturn the IRS’s decision.
What proof of mileage do I need if I’m using the IRS standard mileage method? Can the IRS require me to provide odometer readings as proof?
Good news, bad news! Bad news: as in prior years, buying the vehicle you lease destroys any opportunity to claim Section 179 expensing. Good news: the TCJA added two new provisions that now allow you to claim bonus depreciation on the purchase of a vehicle that you lease.
How does the tax law treat the classic or antique 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 or antique car as a business asset and why that can work to your advantage.
If you have an office downtown where you spend 40 hours a week, can you claim that you have an office in your home that qualifies as a principal office if you spend only 12 hours a week working in the home office? If you said no, you are not alone. But you would also be wrong, as we explain in this article.
If you operate your business as a corporation but own the business car personally, you have no vehicle deduction possibility without corporate reimbursement, because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act does not allow employee business expenses for years 2018 through 2025.
Is your lease a lease? Are you sure? There are lots of funny rules that make what looks like a lease a purchase—and make 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.
For most business owners, the home office not only produces business deductions for a percentage of personal home expenses but also can create a substantial increase in business vehicle deductions.
Here’s an easy question: Do you need more 2018 tax deductions? If yes, continue on. Next easy question: Do you need a replacement business vehicle? If yes, you can simultaneously solve or mitigate both the first problem of needing more deductions and the second problem of needing a replacement vehicle, but you need to get your deduction in place on or before December 31, 2018. This article helps you find the right vehicle for the deduction you desire.
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.
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.
Your rental properties provide tax shelter when you can deduct your losses against your other income. One step to deducting the losses is to pass the tax code’s 750-hour test. One step to finding the hours you need may be your drive time.
Say you operate your business as an S corporation and the S corporation reimburses you for your business use of your personal vehicle. If you have a loan on the personal vehicle, can your S corporation reimburse the business portion of the interest tax-free to you as it can with other reimbursed employee expenses? Find the answer in this article.
The law contains no reasonableness test for mileage. There are very specific rules for recording mileage. We recommend that you keep a mileage log for at least three consecutive months to prove your business-mile percentage.
Here’s a link to a resource that gives you 10 proven strategies to lower S corporation taxes.
Here’s a resource guide that gives you the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act tax reform articles published at the Bradford Tax Institute from January 1 through July 31, 2018, including for each article the (a) topic, (b) code section, (c) prior law, (d) new law, and (e) link.
Tax reform under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act gives you bonus depreciation and favorable rules for converting your personal vehicle and other assets to business use. On the conversion, you can immediately qualify to deduct up to 100 percent of today’s fair market value on your existing personal vehicle.
You cannot expect IRS auditors and agents to know the tax code and regulations. If you can produce the code or regulations that authorize your deductions, you are miles ahead in your audit.
Depending on how you operate your business and where it’s located, the federal income tax terms “personal home” and “tax home” can have a big impact on your business vehicle deductions. And then there’s the difference between the federal income tax terms “business travel” and “business transportation” and how one very beneficial rule applies when you are inside the area of your tax home.
Finally, lawmakers did the right thing by increasing the luxury auto depreciation limits on business cars. The old luxury limits were unrealistic, punitive, unfair, and discriminatory against any car that cost more than about $15,000. The new limits don’t create parity in all respects, but they are a big improvement.
Tax reform no longer allows Section 1031 exchanges on personal property such as your business vehicle. The trade-in was the most common 1031 exchange of a business vehicle. Now, because of tax reform, the vehicle trade-in is simply the sale of the old vehicle to the dealer and the purchase of a new vehicle. The sale to the dealer creates gain or loss on the sale just as it would on an outright sale.
The business mileage rules can get tricky, and this is especially true if you drive both inside and outside your metropolitan area. This metropolitan area is not what you think it is. The IRS and the courts have created special confusion about your metropolitan area.
If you are looking for some last-minute tips to save on your 2017 federal income taxes, this article has what you need.
What percentage of your business vehicles would you (or your business) like to deduct? To achieve your desired percentage, you need to know and apply the rules that the IRS applies to the mileage that you drive from your home to various business destinations.
The woman in this audit learned how tax knowledge can turn what appears as a nightmare (an IRS audit) into a positive happening—meaning cash refunds for the year of the audit and subsequent years. As the old saying goes, “knowledge is power.”
If you have two or more vehicles in your family, you might find added tax deductions by driving more than one vehicle for business. To know if you benefit or not, you need to put your numbers into our magic two-car formula. This is very easy to do, and the formula result tells you for sure whether you come out ahead or not.
The special rule that applies to administrative or management use of the home office creates a principal office. There are only two ways to create a principal office in your home. The administrative or management office works when you have two offices: (1) an office in the home and (b) an office outside the home.
When the two-vehicle 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 use of two or more vehicles for business.
As a small-business taxpayer, you likely have control of your business. With control, you can do much to increase your tax benefits with a qualifying heavy vehicle and a certain type of office in your home. So, if you’re looking for some major tax savings this year, you will find a path to them in this article.
The Section 1031 exchange is a great tax planning strategy when you are using it to your benefit. But there are two times when you need to avoid the 1031 exchange so as to come out money ahead. The first is pretty apparent, but it does catch many taxpayers by surprise. The second requires thought and knowledge, as you learn in this article.
If you are new in business, your vehicle deductions can prove problematic because you likely do not know what tax records you need. And without the right records, you arrive at your tax preparer’s office hoping for a miracle that’s not going to happen.
If you qualify to use IRS mileage rates to deduct your vehicle, you need to know if you are cheating yourself with the method you select. The good news is, this article includes a tool that will give the one best method for your deduction and also tell you how much after-tax cash you pocket with that method.
Are you going to lease your next business vehicle? Are you eligible to use IRS mileage rates? If so, both the IRS and the leasing company are going to give you rules to ponder and expenses to consider before you select your tax-deduction method—either the IRS mileage rate or the actual expense method.
Do you operate your business as a corporation but own the vehicle you use for the corporate business in your personal name? If so, to avoid losing your rightful deductions, you need to have the corporation reimburse you for business use. The corporation can use one of two methods for the reimbursement.
Mileage-rate addicts usually 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.
Here’s an easy question: Do you need more 2016 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 of needing more deductions and solve the second problem of needing a replacement vehicle at the same time, but you need to read this article now so you know what you have to do and when you have to do it.
Yes, December 31 is just around the corner. That’s your last day to find tax deductions for your vehicles that will cut your 2016 taxes. And with our existing high tax rates, 2016 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 history. You would know how many pets, if any, have graced the premises.
To know if you are money ahead deducting your business vehicle using the IRS mileage rate or the actual-expense method, you need to use our magic calculator. Tax software used by tax professionals and consumers compares the first-year deductions only, and because of the wide variation in first-year deductions caused by the luxury vehicle limits, bonus depreciation, and Section 179 expensing, the first-year-only comparison is going to produce inaccurate results.
You need to know, and avoid, tax-problem surprises when you gift business property to your parents, children, or others. With the wrong method, you can toss tax-deduction benefits into the trash. You can easily suffer recapture. Don’t let your gift of business property surprise you and take money out of your bank account.
There are many reasons why you may want to donate your business vehicle to charity, not the least of which is that you’re helping a worthy cause. But if your goal is to couple that good deed with a nice tax deduction, make sure you do the math before you hand over the keys to avoid suffering an unpleasant tax surprise.
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 the dollar amount of your gain or loss. This article gives you the six steps to finding your gain or loss.
Special documentation rules apply to entertainment and vehicles. One rule requires you to document your vehicle mileage within one week. Another rule says you don’t need receipts if the vehicle or entertainment expenditure is less than $75. This no-receipt rule can be hazardous to your deductions. It also does not relieve you from using the right documentation to prove the expenses.
Follow these three easy steps to an IRS audit-proof tax-deferred Section 1031 exchange of your SUV for a car.
Renting equipment to your corporation requires knowledge of the tax laws. If you as a non-corporate lessor want Section 179 expensing, you need to comply with three special rules. If you can’t comply, you may obtain the benefits of Section 179 in other ways as we explain or simply stay with the rental without using Section 179.
Your business motor home is either a lodging facility, like a hotel, or a transportation vehicle. As a vehicle, it can qualify for Section 179 expensing, but you likely want to avoid that and take the easy road with MACRS depreciation.
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, and depending on when you did that, the government can show up and recapture a big chunk of your Section 179 expensing.
Did you get big tax deductions using Section 179 expensing and/or bonus depreciation on your vehicle purchases in 2012, 2013, 2014, and/or 2015? If so, you now have a vehicle with a low adjusted basis. That gives you a tax problem when you sell the vehicle. To lessen and possibly eliminate the problem, use a Section 1031 tax-deferred exchange.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Don’t Put Your S Corporation Vehicle Title in the Wrong Name! It Could Cost You Thousands in Tax Deductions
If you reimburse your employees for business expenses, or if you operate your business as an S or a C corporation, it’s crucial that you know and follow the IRS accountable plan rules—this will save money not only for you but also for your employees. We’ll give you two easy-to-use tools that will help you seamlessly incorporate these rules into your business routine.
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.
Your trip from home to the office each day certainly feels like part of your workday, but it’s not—at least according to the IRS. Unless you fall into certain exceptions, your commute creates personal mileage, which is not deductible. But there’s a solution, and it’s so easy that if you don’t do it, you’re simply giving money to the government that you could keep for yourself.
The IRS is more than happy to take away your deductions for your vehicle’s operating expenses if you do not follow their perfectionistic standard of record keeping. But you can beat them at their own game. This article shows you the easy way to satisfy even the most demanding of IRS agents when it comes to proving the usage of your business vehicle.
December 31 is just around the corner. That’s likely your cutoff date for finding tax deductions that will cut your 2014 taxes. And remember, your 2014 taxes are the highest they’ve been in 28 years. This article helps you identify tax deductions embedded in your existing business and personal cars, SUVs, trucks, and vans.
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.
There is one part of tax law that you should ignore. It will get you into trouble. If you read the literal language of the tax code, you might get the impression that receipts are not always necessary. Don’t fall into this trap. Make it a general habit to keep your receipts and you will make your tax life much, much easier.
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 need basic books and records to avoid trouble with the IRS. If you have inadequate books and records and also make a large cash deposit in the bank, you might visit with the IRS every two weeks for about a year as the taxpayers in this case did. That’s a lot of unpleasant face time with an IRS agent.
Lease or buy? That’s the question you often face when you want to replace your business vehicle. To help you get maximum tax-deduction benefits should you decide to lease, examine the three often overlooked tax deductions in this article.
If you drive 36 miles to your parents’ home but spend time that day doing business research in the library around the corner from your parents’ home, are those 36 miles business or personal miles? They could be business miles. You need two types of proof: (1) library proof and (2) vehicle proof. How would you prove that you used the library? How would you prove that you drove the miles?
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.
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, . If you have a gain, take this short test to make sure you are getting maximum tax benefits.
You provide your employees with an automobile for business use. You know that their personal use of the vehicle must be included in their wages, but how do you calculate that amount? What valuation rules are available? This article tells you what your choices are and how to apply them.
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.
Say the IRS sent you one of those lovely letters that says: “Come on down and bring your tax records with you.” How would your tax records hold up in an IRS audit? That’s a scary question. You need to make sure that you have this one tax record in good shape when you appear for an audit. Mr. Dunford, the subject of this article, failed that one record and it cost him plenty.
Have you considered providing your employee with an automobile? Would that automobile be used by the employee for business purposes or personal purposes? The tax effect for the employee depends on the answers to that question. This article gives you what you need to know.
Are you timid about claiming your rightful home-office deductions, especially when you have a business location outside your home? You’re not alone. This article addresses the rule that causes much misinformation and worry. Join us as we dispel this home-office deduction doubt!
Does stopping at the bank create business miles and eliminate personal miles? Is the bank a business stop for purposes of the temporary stop rules? This article explains the mileage rules that apply when you drive to the bank.
Depending on how you operate your business and where it’s located, the federal income tax terms “personal home” and “tax home” can have a big impact on your business vehicle deductions. And then there’s the difference between the federal income tax terms “business travel” and “business transportation” and how one rule applies when you are inside the area of your tax home.
You can’t claim a home-office deduction if you also have a second location for your business outside the home. Right? Wrong!!! Here’s why.
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.
Do you operate your business as a corporation? Does the corporation own the business car? Do you drive the corporate-owned car or other vehicle for personal purposes? If so, you need to know how the IRS treats your personal use and what that personal use does to the corporate tax deductions.
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.
You may be leaving thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars in unclaimed tax deductions on the table if you traded in a vehicle you owned on the lease of a business vehicle. Here’s a look at why the money gets left on the table. It’s a simple matter of thinking that this was a trade. For tax purposes, it was not a trade. And that’s usually good for your pocketbook.
Once you decide whether to buy or lease your business vehicle, you need to ensure that the actual transaction you enter into is the one you intended. It’s not simply a matter of what you call it. The actual terms of the agreement must make it a “true lease” or a purchase. If the IRS finds that the lease is not a lease or that a purchase is not a purchase, the IRS re-characterizes the transaction, charges you additional taxes, and then hits you with hefty penalties.
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.
How do you treat a trip from your home to your rental property? Does the trip produce deductible mileage? Or is the trip a personal commute? If it’s a personal commute, what could you do about it?
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.
Buy or lease? That is the question you must answer when you acquire a new vehicle for your business. Unfortunately, like most business owners, you may simply not know the right way to weigh the options. Result: You could end up paying more than you should and/or miss out on glorious tax savings. Here’s what you need to know to ensure this doesn’t happen.
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.
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.
As a subscriber, you likely remember that the trade of a business car for another business car is a Section 1031 exchange. Most businesspeople and real estate investors use the 1031 exchange to avoid paying taxes on the profits that would exist if the asset had been sold outright. In this article, you see how poor Mr. Bird made a $47,000 tax loss not deductible because he used Section 1031 when he traded in his old car on a new car.
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.
Have you ever wondered what you can do to eliminate commuting mileage? Perhaps you received some advice on how to do this. Was the advice correct? In this article, a tax preparer told a physician that she could deduct her mileage to her regular office if she simply stopped at the bank every day. Unfortunately, this advice is wrong.
Your mileage log may not be an estimate of mileage. Further, you need a mileage log that proves mileage. With a weak, suspicious, or error-filled mileage log, by law, neither the IRS nor the courts may give you any vehicle deductions—and we mean none, not a penny.
You have a wide variety of choices on how to travel for business. You can use a car, train, plane, or boat. You can fly economy, business, or first class. Should you own a plane, you can use it for business travel. Special rules apply to the plane, boat, and car; accordingly, if you travel for your business, you should know the rules in this article.
Doing your taxes yourself using tax preparation software is dangerous business. You might realize the danger up front and decide that you need some type of audit defense or representation insurance in case of an IRS audit. And then, once the audit commences and you engage your audit defense team, find yourself in the soup like the couple in this article.
Here are four answers to questions you might have regarding your business mileage, such as how to treat mileage from an administrative office in the home to yoga and then to your downtown office. Or how would you treat mileage to a Lions, Rotary, or Shriners meeting or activity? This article gives you both ideas and answers.
Whether you use the IRS mileage method or actual expense method, you need to know business and personal miles. Business miles either increase your deduction directly or increase your percentage for the actual expense method. Regardless of your choice of entity, incorporated or not, this article gives you one sure way to increase business miles and reduce personal miles.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
The IRS mileage rate can produce misleading results. Often the new person in business wrongfully thinks that the IRS standard mileage rate overcomes the need for a mileage log. This article contains a magic calculator and gives you the ins and outs of what you need to know to ensure that you are picking the best after-tax cash result for your business vehicle.
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.
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.
New Law Inadvertently Kills Business Car Depreciation; IRS Rescues Deductions with a Safe-Harbor Escape
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Poor planning for the S corporation owner’s business expenses can cost the owner every penny of his deductions.
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.
Should you or your corporation be unlucky enough to face an IRS audit, there is one record that stands out as critical to your audit health. If you are missing this one record, the IRS audit can quickly expand to other areas of your tax return.
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.
The no-receipt-under-$75 tax rule applies only to certain travel, entertainment and listed property.
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.
Wow! This new IRS private ruling expands the number and types of like-kind vehicles available for Section 1031 exchanges.
You need a mileage log on your business vehicle. With no mileage log, you can try the alternate-proof method, but the odds are better than 9 to 1 that you will lose. This article gives you a perfect mileage-log system free.
The woman in this audit learned how knowledge can turn what appears as a nightmare (an IRS audit) into a positive happening—meaning cash refunds for the year of the audit and subsequent years. As the old sayings goes, “knowledge is power.”
Learn how to calculate the tax deduction when you sell your business car at a loss—the most likely result.
Learn the federal income tax rules on business mileage to increase vehicle deductions. The four questions and answers in this article give you a clear roadmap of the rules along with the strategies you need to pocket more cash from your business.
Show me the proof that I can have an office in my home when I have an office downtown! Have you ever wanted that proof? This article gives you the law, legislative history, and IRS authorization for the office in the home deduction.
This article empathically answers the “show me where it says that you can use three cars for business” question.
You may not claim a home office deduction when you rent your home office to your S corporation employer. Therefore, redo this arrangement by taking advantage of your employee status.
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.
The law gives you no choice but to keep the proper tax records on a timely basis. This is pretty easy when you know what to do. One easy rule to follow is to never commingle your activities in your bank accounts. Both the rule that requires a mileage log and the rule that requires a time log are more difficult, but absolutely essential to proving your deductions.
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.
The section 179 deduction can allow a write-off of up to $250,000 on a Toyota Tundra truck. The big write offs are easy to lose if the truck is not kept and used correctly and for the appropriate amount of time.
The IRS has issued the 2009 standard mileage rates that self-employed taxpayers and employees may use for deductions in the use of business cars, vans, pickups, and panel trucks.
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 about Gary Larson’s legal fight to deduct his business gas mileage. His logs ended up satisfying the court, but you can do better to avoid what he went through – by keeping good records! Also, take a look at Tax Diary System. This training tutorial gives excellent tax record-keeping tips, whether or not you use this system.
Buying the vehicle you lease destroys any opportunity to claim Section 179 expensing.
In court, David Choe succeeded proving that his laptop was business use, but a bad mileage log took away all his automobile deductions. Ouch! Learn how to avoid this egregious error.
Gone are the days of estimating deductions for expenses. Today, you need better tax records than ever. We give you a chart to help you avoid common mistakes, and to see what you need and why you need it.
Are you turning in a leased vehicle? For the business use of the vehicle, you can deduct excess mileage charge and the early termination fees.
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.
Lawmakers finally let the IRS deal with deducting charitable mileage! The IRS annually updates its deduction rates for mileage, but lawmakers haven’t updated their charitable mileage rate since 1997. Read how a new law applies the IRS rates for charitable mileage, and how this affects you.
When using tax preparation software, be alert to automatic calculations that could place improper amounts on your tax returns.
Pay attention to the rules on what makes a business mile and what makes a personal mile so that you can achieve the best possible vehicle deductions.
The new IRS mileage rates give you an extra $1.60 per gallon. Does this mean that gas prices will go higher? Also, don’t forget to log your mileage correctly to get those deductions.
The IRS standard mileage rates might save you more money in lieu of actual expenses. Note, though, that there are important details regarding who qualifies, what the mileage rate includes. Also, there are a number of common pitfalls to avoid.
The trade of a vehicle on a lease is not a like-kind exchange. It is more like a cash sale, which has its benefits. You can get big deductions if you do it right.
You can avoid recapture with a Section 1031 deferred exchange or a delayed exchange. You can also make your Section 1031 deferred exchange strategy forever, making your deductions permanent.
If you sell an asset, you should know the details about depreciation and Section 179 expensing. You can sell or trade, and choose if you want an intermediary. The result: you could save a lot of money.
Learn from one couple’s court case: keep good records! It’s easy, but important. Follow our strategy to make sure you don’t miss a critical element.
There is no such thing as zero interest for tax purposes.
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.
How a Buy-and-Sell Strategy Combined with Section 179 Expensing Can Put Self-Employment Tax Dollars in Your Pocket
You can take advantage of Section 179 expensing to put money in your pocket! By working the tax law, you can arrange your business assets to decrease your self-employment tax and save money.
Don’t blow your deduction – use your vehicle more than 50% for business. If you don’t, you must recapture Section 179 deductions and recapture MACRS deductions. Aim gun, shoot foot.
When a business vehicle is given away as a personal gift, it is subject to recapture on any expensing or depreciation deductions in excess of straight-line depreciation.
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.
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.
Robert Walters’ auto deductions sank from $10,878 to $966 because of poor record keeping. Do the best thing you can do for yourself. Keep a good mileage log next to your appointments. This can be easy, and it will save your bacon if you get audited.
You have very little time left to impact your 2007 taxes. Here is a meat-and-potatoes list of last-minute opportunities.
Getting your numbers on the right tax forms is critical to properly filing your tax return and claiming your money. This means that you need to pick a preparer who knows what he or she is doing, and you need to know enough yourself to know that your preparer is right.
Again, Colvin fails to provide sufficient evidence for his deductions. This time, it’s a $6,000 auto deduction, for which he was denied all but $780.
If your SUV qualifies as a truck, you can write off up to $25,000. What qualifies as a truck, however, is very specific. It must pass the weight test, be a legal gas-guzzler. The bed size is important, too.
The $25,000 SUV expensing might disappear in 2008. We won’t speculate on what might happen next year, but the current rules still apply until the end of 2007.
The government penalizes you if you drive a luxury vehicle. Further, the government’s idea of luxury and the reality do not match.
Save yourself time and trouble. Reimburse employees for actual expenses. Forget those two troublemakers: per diems and allowances.
4% of Americans are audited each year. Do you know what two line-item expenses are most vulnerable to a Schedule C audit? Take our quiz and find out!
We help one business owner plan her vehicle purchases. She uses her husband’s car on occasion, and wants to purchase a new SUV for her business. We give information both on the larger-scale, and specific to her case.
Yung Chong worked a full-time regular job, and had a Section C side business. His records, while present were not enough to satisfy the court, which disallowed all of his nearly $10,000 in deductions for his side business. This case makes it clear: even if you have some records, if you do not have all the required records, you get no deductions.
For employees under the Section 105 Medical Plan, the law authorizes a medical deduction for transportation to receive medical care. You may reimburse any medical expense that you could otherwise deduct on your Form 1040.
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.
If you personally own the vehicle that your corporation uses, the IRS authorizes the reimbursement of the vehicle expenses. To make this work, you must submit an expense report and mileage log to your corporation.
William Lenihan, a well-educated tax lawyer, lost every deduction he claimed on both his Schedule C consulting business and his Schedule E rental businesses because he did not keep good records. Know the law! Keep good records!
The law contains no reasonableness test for mileage. There are very specific rules for recording mileage. We recommend that you keep a mileage log for three consecutive months to prove your business-mile percentage.
There are very specific regulations regarding what qualifies as an SUV for the $25,000 expensing. Does a Subaru Outback qualify?
Section 274 is merciless. You need a mileage log and the required elements that prove your overnight stays. Having your CPA prepare these records after the fact fails.
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.
You may amend your tax return for missed Section 179 expensing on a unibody SUV. The truck chassis is not required for an SUV to qualify as a truck for purposes of the SUV deduction.
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.
Advertising your business on your vehicle does not change either your business or personal use of the car.
Good tax planning for a trip to the medical doctor includes making a properly-targeted business stop the primary purpose of the trip.
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.
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.
Bad records can cost you just about every tax deduction. You can testify as to your deductions, but without the records that turns out worthless. When it comes to your taxes, paper talks.
Not filing your tax returns on time because you lost or misplaced your tax records is going to make your tax life miserable. The trouble is so bad that you need to consider an “offer in compromise.”
This taxpayer won his deduction for going to the library located 36 miles away from his home and next to his parent’s home. The IRS lost its argument that the taxpayer should have used the library near his home rather than drive 36 miles to the library where he also could visit with his parents.
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.
When you start a new business activity or you do a business activity on the side, you must establish a profit motive. One easy way to demonstrate the profit motive is to show the time you spend on the activity. This taxpayer had no proof of time worked, so he looked suspicious to the court.
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.
The law requires the taxpayer to maintain records sufficient to establish his income and deductions. In select circumstances, estimates provide a rational basis for deductions. With respect to vehicle, entertainment, meals, travel, and gifts; estimates are out and neither the court nor the IRS may grant your deductions without the prescribed records.
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.
The auto dealer sent this customer a bogus 1099 because the customer refused to return to the dealership and redo the “no interest” loan to an interest bearing loan. The dealer made a mistake originally and then wanted the customer to help fix the problem—at the customer’s expense. The customer said, “No.” Later, when the bogus 1099 showing interest income from the no-interest loan showed up in this customer’s mailbox, the customer took this dealership problem to the IRS.
The IRS told lawmakers that a number of people were cheating on vehicle donations and that some changes in the rules could put a quick stop to that. This court case explains why lawmakers went along with the IRS and enacted the changes that are in effect today.
Under tax law, your vehicle is considered “listed property.” The IRS has a regulation that applies the $75 receipt rule to listed property.