Recent Feature Headlines


January 2021

PPP Alert: New Shot for Your Tax-Free Cash

The new COVID-19 stimulus adds new money to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for those who missed out on the first round. If you missed out, don’t do that again. The PPP money is a tax-free gift with no downside and all upside.


New PPP Forgiveness Rules for Past, Current, and New PPP Money

A new law makes the already terrific Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) better for everyone. It clarifies that the PPP money is tax-free and that expenses paid with the money are deductible. This applies retroactively to the inception of the CARES Act on March 27, 2020, so it benefits past PPP loans, current PPP loans that are outstanding, and new loans.


Round 2: Additional Tax-Free PPP Money for You?

If you have or had a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, you might qualify for a new, second round of PPP monies. To get a second-draw PPP infusion of money, you have to have 300 or fewer employees; suffered a 25 percent or greater loss in revenue during at least one quarter of 2020 when compared to 2019; and already used or plan to use your original PPP monies.


Home-Office Deduction—Show Me the Proof!

“Show me the proof!” Have you ever wanted proof that you can have an office in your home when you also have an office downtown? This article gives you the law, legislative history, and IRS authorization for the office-in-the-home deduction.


New Laws—COVID-19-Related Government Grants: Taxable or Not?

Billions of dollars in grants have been doled out to individuals and businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19-related grants to individuals are ordinarily not taxable, but grants to business are taxed unless Congress makes an exception. Congress has made some exceptions for businesses, as you will see in this article.


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.


ABLE Accounts: A Great Deal for the Disabled and Their Families

ABLE accounts allow disabled individuals and their family members to save a substantial amount of money without losing government benefits. The money grows tax-free and can be withdrawn tax-free to use for a wide variety of expenses. But only people who became disabled or blind before age 26 qualify for these tax-advantaged accounts.


Tax Considerations When a Loved One Passes Away (Part 2)

If you become an executor of your loved one’s estate, you may have some important tax decisions to make, as we describe in this article. For example, on the decedent’s final Form 1040, should you elect to deduct medical expenses that are unpaid at the date of death? Should you file Form 706 when not required by law to do so?


New Stimulus Law Grants Eight Tax Breaks for 1040 Filers

The massive new stimulus law contains eight new tax breaks that help the average non-business taxpayer. These include something for everyone, both rich and poor. Wealthy taxpayers can contribute more to charity and still get a deduction; average people get an extension of the universal charitable deduction; and low-income taxpayers can get a larger earned income tax credit. Popular programs such as the lifetime learning credit are expanded to help more people. The bill also extends some favorable tax rules, such as the 7.5 percent adjusted gross income floor for the medical deduction.




December 2020

New IRS Efforts to Destroy Tax Deductions for PPP Paid Expenses

Lawmakers and the IRS disagree on whether you are permitted to deduct the expenses you pay with your Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The problem started with poor drafting of the original forgiveness wording by the lawmakers. The IRS says it has to follow that bad drafting and disallow deductions for expenses paid with PPP loans. There’s much to this story, as you will learn in this article.


Five Things to Know About Employing Your Spouse

If you own your own business, hiring your spouse to work as your employee can be a great tax savings strategy. But the tax savings may be a mirage if you don’t pay your spouse the right way. And the arrangement is subject to attack by the IRS. Here are five things to know before you hire your spouse that will maximize your savings and minimize the audit risk.


Download: IRS Key Contact Information and Helpful Links

Would you like to have at your fingertips IRS key contact information and helpful links for information about amended returns, estate and gift taxes, tax transcripts, power of attorney, stimulus checks, tax help for businesses, and many other topics? If so, simply download the PDF linked in this article.


COVID-19: The IRS Goes Easy on Taxpayers Who Owe Back Taxes

Over 11 million taxpayers owe back taxes to the IRS. Following a brief suspension of most collection efforts, the IRS is again starting to go after delinquent accounts. But the IRS has promulgated a Taxpayer Relief Initiative that gives taxpayers more time to pay what they owe, obtain and modify installment agreements, and avoid tax liens.


2020 Retirement Plans Desktop Reference for One-Person Businesses

Download your PDF copy of the 2020 retirement plans desktop reference for one-person businesses.


Good News If Your PPP Loan Is for $50,000 or Less

As you likely know by now, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan and its forgiveness process have been an ever-changing (and often confusing) ride so far. With the new rules for PPP loans of $50,000 or less, you escape from the most difficult part of the loan forgiveness if you had to consider employees. And you may even obtain more loan forgiveness than you would have otherwise.


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.


Refresher on Tax-Smart College Savings Strategies for Parents

College is expensive. Data for the 2019-2020 academic year indicates that the average cost of tuition, fees, room, and board was $30,500. Tax law has provisions to help you cover the costs, including Coverdell, Section 529 savings, and Section 529 tuition plans. There’s more, of course, as you will learn in this article.


Use the IRS Safe-Harbor Tax Relief for Ponzi Scheme Losses

If you are the victim of a Ponzi scheme, you absolutely, positively must read this article to learn how the law gives you favored victim status. This includes a safe harbor election that gives you an upfront deduction of up to 95 percent, possible net operating loss treatment, and more.




November 2020

2020 Last-Minute Year-End General Business Income Tax Deductions

Your year-end tax planning doesn’t have to be hard. This article takes your daily business activities and identifies easy year-end tax-planning moves you can make today. Our seven strategies will increase your tax deductions or reduce your taxable income so that Uncle Sam gets less of your 2020 cash.


If the SBA Made Six Loan Payments on Your Behalf, Are You Taxed?

The CARES Act requires the SBA to make six months’ worth of payments for non-disaster SBA loans, including 7(a) loans, 504 loans, and microloans. If you have such a loan, do you have to pay tax on these payments? The IRS has said yes in the past, but it could change its mind this time.


2020 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, 2020, in your tax planning. Here’s another 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-taxes 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.


2020 Last-Minute Vehicle Purchases to Save on Taxes

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.

 


2020 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 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.


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 Medical Plan Strategies

Are you eligible for COVID-19 tax credits for yourself and/or your employees? Have you reimbursed your employees (including your employee spouse) as stipulated in your health reimbursement arrangements? And if you operate as an S corporation, do you have your health insurance set up correctly for your best tax deduction? In this article, we help with these matters and more.


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.


2020 Last-Minute Year-End Retirement Deductions

Does your business have a retirement plan for you and your employees, if any? It should. You have more new reasons in 2020 to get your retirement plan in place and perhaps make changes in existing plans.


Be Sure to Pay the PCORI Fee if You Have an HRA

Business owners who have established 105-HRAs, Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSEHRAs), and Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Accounts (ICHRAs) to reimburse their employees for medical expenses need to pay an annual fee to help support the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).




October 2020

Government to Landlords: Drop Dead!

An unprecedented nationwide moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent is in place through the end of 2020 (and for even longer in some states). But landlords may still be able to evict some problem tenants, and even sue for overdue rent. Other options include entering into payment plans with struggling tenants, seeking forbearance from lenders, and obtaining low-interest SBA loans. That’s the practical problem—and then you have the tax issues. Rental losses may or may not be deductible against non-rental income, subject to complex passive loss rules, as we explain here.


The Latest Payroll Tax Deferral: An Offer You Should Refuse?

Following a presidential executive order, the IRS says employers can stop withholding and paying employee Social Security taxes for the rest of 2020. But employers who do so face potential risks. Do employers have to accept the offer?


Download This Free Guide to Choosing the Right Business Entity

Are you starting or buying a new business? If so, you have a decision to make regarding the best operating entity for this business. Choose wisely, and you will benefit in many ways, including possible huge tax savings. Choose the wrong entity, and you’ll feel the pain for years to come.


Avoid Trouble: Don’t Let the IRS Set Your S Corporation Salary

Have you set your S corporation salary so you can save on payroll taxes? If so, are you using one of the three approaches to establishing that salary that are contained in the “Reasonable Compensation Job Aid for IRS Valuation Professionals”? You should be.


The Insurmountable Sin in an IRS Audit: A True and Sad Story

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.


How Many Whole or Partial Rooms Can You Use for Your Home Office?

Three questions for you: (1) Can you use part of one room as a deductible home office? (2) How about a dozen full-sized rooms? (3) Can you deduct the portion of your home that you use for storage of your business records? Find the answers here.


TCJA: Don’t Lose Out When Corp. Vehicle Is in Your Personal Name

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.


New Law Kneecaps Stretch IRA—Here’s What You Can Do About It

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act) passed last December makes a big change in the stretch IRA—an estate planning device favored by well-off IRA holders. To cope with the downside of this new law, you need to do some planning, as we explain.