Recent Feature Headlines


June 2018

Hit with IRS Penalties? Pay $0 with IRS Mercy

As a small-business owner, you have good odds of someday facing a penalty for late filing and/or late payment of your or your corporation’s taxes. It’s likely you will think that you have to pay the penalties. But as you’ll learn here, when you know the rules of the road, you can travel the IRS mercy path and have those penalties forgiven.


Reduce Your Taxes: Make Your Spouse a Business Partner

Tax reform changed the rules of the game when choosing your best tax structure. A properly structured spousal partnership could now be your best choice, even over the S corporation in some circumstances. But beware, you need to navigate nuances in the law to do this correctly.


Tax Reform (TCJA) Expands Your Section 179 Deduction Privilege

The new and improved Section 179 deduction gives you more ways to take advantage of immediate tax deductions. It’s somewhat like having a flexible tax shelter in your back pocket for when you need it (and also need the property, of course).


Tax Planning to Winter in Florida and Summer in Massachusetts

You can plan your tax-deductible business life to avoid cold winters and hot summers. To do this, you need to know what a tax home is and where your tax home is located. The good news is that you have just one tax home unless you are one of those rare individuals who has no physical home.


Q&A: 100% Deduction for Long-Term Care Insurance with 105-HRA

If you are married, operate as a sole proprietor or as a single-member LLC taxed on Schedule C of your Form 1040, and have no employees, you absolutely, positively must consider hiring your spouse and creating the 105-HRA medical reimbursement plan. In this situation, the 105-HRA can cut your taxes without you spending one penny.


Beware: Conflicting IRS Rules for Deducting Your Business Gym—Don’t Use the Wrong Ones

If you are thinking of a gym for your employees, this is the article for you. The article keeps you from using the wrong set of IRS regulations. Yep, there two different sets of regulations from two different code sections that could apply.


Q&A: Does My Spouse Rob Me of My New Section 199A Tax Deduction?

When it comes to the new 20 percent Section 199A tax deduction, does a spouse in an out-of-favor business taint the Section 199A for you? The good news is no. But because of the multiple businesses, you may have a problem on the taxable income front.


How to Beat Some of the New TCJA Limits on State Tax Deductions

Tax reform went hard after your state and local tax deductions. The reduced deduction for your state income taxes has some states pretty riled up. The IRS is about to issue regulations that conflict with what the states are attempting to do. From your standpoint, count on the IRS winning for the moment, and use the clear planning opportunities you have available to you that will create more deductions for your property taxes.


TCJA Tax Reform Q&A: Does Moving W-2 Income and Employee Business Expenses to Schedule C Increase Taxes?

If you can qualify to move your W-2 income to Schedule C so as to enable those legitimate business expense deductions that you are losing to tax reform, should you do it? Maybe. You need to run the numbers to see if the new Schedule C taxes outweigh the monies you lost by not being able to deduct employee business expenses.




May 2018

Don’t Let the Cliff Kill Your New Section 199A Tax Deduction

How will you fare with the new Section 199A tax deduction? This article can help you make sure that you realize the 20 percent deduction. It’s simply a tax gift if you qualify. And you can do some planning to help you qualify, but you may have to start now.


Tax Reform Update on Strategy for Business Meals with Clients and Prospects

Should you deduct your client and business meals in spite of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act? This article explains why that is what you should do and gives you reasons for doing it.


Do Your Business Losses Make You an IRS Target? If So, Do This

The tax law has always treated your hobby activities unfairly. Tax reform under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made that unfair treatment even worse by preventing you from deducting any business expenses against hobby income. In this article, you see a strategy that can save your bacon on your hobby activity.


Divorce? Alimony? Tax Reform Says Get Divorced Now—Don’t Wait

Learn how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changes the alimony rules and what you need to do at this moment if you are in the process of getting a divorce and paying alimony. If you don’t act quickly, your cost of alimony could double.


Danger: Your Personal Home Is Not Your Tax Home

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.


Reduce Self-Employment Taxes by Renting from Your Spouse

If you operate your business as a sole proprietorship, the government takes a big chunk of your profits in the form of self-employment taxes. But there’s good news. With the help of your spouse, you can reduce your self-employment tax bill by using a simple rental strategy.


Hiring Your Children to Work on Your Rental Properties

If you own rental property in your name or in the name of a single-member LLC, you report your rental property income and expenses on Schedule E of your IRS Form 1040. But what happens when you have an expense for which the IRS has not created a line item on the form? No problem—simply insert it as we explain in this article.


Four Ways to Deduct Your Legal Fees after Tax Reform

Tax reform made it more difficult for you to deduct your legal fees. But don’t worry: the tax law still allows for a full deduction of your legal fees in certain circumstances. We’ll review four ways you can continue to deduct your legal fees after tax reform.




April 2018

S Corporation Fringe Benefits after the Recent Tax Reform

More than 2 percent shareholder-employees of S corporations don’t catch a lot of breaks when it comes to the taxation of fringe benefits. But arming yourself with the correct information will help you maximize your deductions and avoid costly penalties.


Proving Travel Expenses after Tax Reform

Whether you operate your business as a corporation or as a proprietorship, you need to record your tax-deductible travel expenses in an IRS-approved manner. This means you need to know technically what a receipt is—and when you do or do not need one. By the way, the credit card statement is not a receipt.


Tax Reform Increases the Tax Benefits of Employing Your Child

If you or you and your spouse own your business and you have children, you need to consider the financial benefits of hiring those children to work in your business. Some businesses benefit more than others, but almost all businesses likely come out ahead with this strategy. And every business needs to thank tax reform for the new increased standard deduction that a business owner’s child can use to pay zero in taxes.


Q&A: Loophole to Deduct Hobby Expenses after Tax Reform

Tax reform killed the ability for you to deduct expenses for your hobby activity. But if you sell items in your hobby activity, the IRS allows you to deduct the cost of those items—if you do this the right way. Not knowing this rule can cost you thousands of dollars in extra taxes.

 


Q&A: Changes to IRS First-Time Penalty Abatement

You hate IRS penalties; everyone does. The IRS’s first-time abatement procedure is a valuable tool to defeat IRS penalties. This article explains recent changes to this procedure and how they could affect your ability to qualify for this relief.


Tax Reform Makes Professional Gamblers Who Lose Money Suffer More

If you’re a professional gambler, tax law did you no tax favors before tax reform. But now, because of tax reform, tax law has you between a rock and a hard place for tax years 2018 through 2025. The recent tax reform gives you one choice only for those years.


Good News: Tax Reform Lands a Blow to AMT

You likely have to worry about alternative minimum tax (AMT) in addition to the regular federal income tax. Tax reform made changes to the tax law that significantly impact AMT. The changes could mean more money in your pocket and less going to the government.


Q&A: New Section 199A Guide

The new Section 199A deduction created by tax reform is a source of excitement and confusion for tax professionals and small-business owners alike. Download our new guide and get all the details.




March 2018

Tax Reform Puts Screws to Hobbies

Hobbies have been mistreated by the tax law for a long time. But the most recent tax reform brings the grim reaper to the party and it’s not pleasant. This means you need to focus on making your activity a business and not a hobby.


Tax Reform Does Much to Help Your Rental Real Estate

The recent tax reform, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), added some good benefits to your real estate rentals, both commercial rentals and residential rentals. Notably, your qualified business income from your real estate rentals creates a possible 20 percent tax deduction with no effort on your part. And if you want less taxable income, the TCJA gives you enhanced bonus depreciation and new avenues for Section 179 expensing.


Did Tax Reform Goof When Disallowing Deductions for Client Meals?

We, you, and just about everyone else have been looking for a ray of sunshine that would allow tax deductions for business meals with clients and prospects. In this article, you learn that lawmakers may have intended to grant deductions for business meals with clients and prospects in spite of how they put together the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.


Tax Reform Punishes W-2 Employees—Get Even!

The recent tax reform created both winners and losers. One big loser is the W-2 employee who incurs out-of-pocket business expenses to earn his or her W-2 income. Tax reform simplified those W-2 employee business expense deductions by simply making them not tax deductible.


Tax Reform Attacks Home Mortgage Interest Deductions

The home mortgage interest deduction rules did not fare well in the recent tax reform. First, a chunk of your home equity mortgage interest is no longer deductible. Second, you now face a new lower ceiling on mortgages that can qualify for the home mortgage interest deduction.


New Court-Approved Way to Defeat IRS Penalties

You hate IRS penalties, right? Everyone does! There are a lot of strategies you can use to potentially defeat an IRS penalty. Thanks to the courts, though, you now have a brand-new way to beat an IRS penalty.


Helicopter View of Meals and Entertainment After Tax Reform

Tax reform has had a significant impact on the tax deductions you can now claim for business entertainment and meals. The chart in this article shows you how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act treats 12 meal and/or entertainment events.


New Section 199A Tax Reform Calculator for Your Use

The new 20 percent tax deduction under new tax code Section 199A has many nuances based on your type of business, taxable income, qualified business income, wages, and depreciable property. Here you have an easy-to-use Section 199A calculator that takes away the pains of manually computing your possible benefits.


Tax Reform Imposes a Penalty Tax on Transportation Fringe Benefits

The old saying that “no good deed goes unpunished” could certainly apply to the transportation fringe benefits that lawmakers penalized with the recent tax reform.