Recent Feature Headlines


June 2019

Know These Tax Rules If Your Average Rental Is Seven Days or Less

If you own a condominium, cottage, cabin, lake or beach home, ski lodge, or similar property that you rent for an “average” rental period of seven days or less for the year, you have a property with unique tax attributes. For example, it’s not a rental property under the tax law, but it does produce either taxable income or a tax-deductible loss.


Q&A: QBI and Self-Employment Tax Savings for S Corp. as a Partner

It’s common to consider making your S corporation (versus yourself) a partner in your partnership: it saves you self-employment taxes. Does this affect your Section 199A deduction? We’ll explain how it does, what that means, and strategies for you to make things better.


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.


Q&A: The IRS Audit Is Wrong on First-and-Last-Stop Rule

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.


Avoid This Super-Costly Mistake with Your Payroll Taxes

Is your last payment of payroll taxes in the hands of the IRS or in the hands of an embezzler? How would you know? There’s one easy way to know: simply use the IRS’s online service to check. But that’s a bit of trouble, so why bother? Because if the money has been stolen, you (1) are out the original money and (2) now have to pay a duplicate amount to the IRS. If you have to pay twice, you are going to be furious. Don’t let this happen.


Avoid This S Corporation Health Insurance Deduction Mistake

If you own more than 2 percent of an S corporation, you have to follow special rules to deduct your health insurance premiums. The health insurance rules can also apply to family members who work in the business and don’t own a single share of stock. Don’t let the zero stock be a surprise and cost your family money.


Q&A: Making Rental Property Work with the Section 199A Deduction

You’ll find much to love about the new Section 199A tax deduction when you qualify for it. One area where you can find mass confusion is with rental properties. To avoid much of this rental property muddle, download the special report you find in this article.


Q&A: Can the IRS Require Odometer Readings with the Mileage Rate?

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?


Update on New Court-Approved Way to Defeat IRS Penalties

The Tax Court gave you a brand-new penalty relief strategy back in December 2017. Since then, both the Tax Court and the IRS have told us more about how they view tax code Section 6751(b). In this article, we update you on the most recent tax cases relating to your use of Section 6751(b)—and one of them is a big help to you in your battle against IRS penalties.




May 2019

IRS FAQs on Section 199A: Nasty? Helpful? Wrong?

On April 11, likely after you filed your tax return, the IRS updated its Section 199A frequently asked questions (FAQs) by increasing the number of questions and answers from 12 to 33. We noted three of the FAQs that will cause problems for many taxpayers. In fact, there will be taxpayers who will need to file amended tax returns because of the FAQs.


How to Handle Multiple Rental Activities and the 199A Deduction

Applying the Section 199A deduction to your rental activity isn’t easy. If you’ve got multiple rental activities, it’s more complex with additional complications. Don’t worry, though—we’ll go step by step through the considerations so that you know you’ve got all your bases covered.


Q&A: Simple Recap of TCJA Articles

In this article, you see three easy ways to find the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) articles that we have written: (1) use the resource guide to find the articles by topic with short summaries of the prior and new laws; (2) use the Browse by Topic function; or (3) use the search engine.


Q&A: Deduct Your Costs of Sponsoring Sports Teams

What does it take to deduct the costs of sponsoring a sports team? What if you play on the team? Could you pay for the team travel expenses? This article answers the sports team sponsorship tax deduction questions for you.


Uncertain of a New TCJA rule? Do This to Avoid Penalties

Tax reform gave you hundreds of new tax law provisions and, in some cases, only basic guidance. What if you see a provision where you can benefit, but you are not certain you fit the profile for the deduction? You don’t want to claim the deduction, lose it to the IRS, and then pay big penalties. As we explain in this article, you have two options for handling the situation.


TCJA Allows Bonus Depreciation on Purchase of Leased Vehicle

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.


Fraud by Tax Preparer Creates Big Trouble for Client

In this precedent-setting case, the Tax Court had to decide for the first time whether a tax preparer’s fraud extends the statute of limitations for the IRS audit of the client’s return even when there is no charge of fraud against the client. Because this court ruled against the taxpaying client, according to precedent, a tax preparer’s fraud now extends a client’s allowable audit period from three years to forever.


Taxpayer Saved 15 Hours of Paperwork, Lost $35,000 to the IRS

How much per hour do you collect in tax savings when you keep the right tax records? We don’t know for sure, but it’s a lot of money. We estimate that with the right records, the taxpayer in this court case would have earned about $2,333 an hour. And the thing is, the records this taxpayer needed in this case are very easy to keep.


Roth IRA After TCJA: The Backdoor Is Still Open

The Roth IRA is an excellent way to grow your retirement savings, but the ability to make contributions to a Roth is phased out beyond certain income limits. A backdoor Roth allows you to make an end run around the limits.




April 2019

Caution: 199A Calculator Is Business-by-Business without Aggregation

Your 199A deduction requires W-2 wages and/or property when your taxable income is greater than $415,000 married, filing jointly, or $207,500, filing as single or head of household. When you are above these amounts and want to calculate your 20 percent deduction, make sure to enter separate businesses separately in the Section 199A calculator if you do not formally elect aggregation of your Section 199A businesses.


Tax Deduction for Classic or Antique Cars Used in Business

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.


How to Reimburse Medicare When You Have Fewer Than 20 Employees

The Affordable Care Act’s $100-a-day penalty for improper medical reimbursements likely has your attention. It should. But you can find many reimbursements that are allowed without penalty, including the ability to reimburse Medicare when you have fewer than 20 employees.


Good News: Most Rentals Likely Qualify as Section 199A Businesses

The IRS safe harbor that you find in Notice 2019-7 may well represent a red herring for you because your rental properties likely already qualify as a business for the Section 199A deduction. If so, you can avoid the complexities of the safe harbor.


Q&A: No Business Income, No Home-Office Deduction: Wrong

If you have no taxable income, should you claim the office-in-the-home tax deduction? Answer: yes. Even with no taxable income, you have two for-sure tax benefits from the home office, and you likely have a third benefit, as we explain.


Life Insurance Policy Loan: A Tax Nightmare

Do you have an inside buildup of cash value in your life insurance policy? Are you taking loans from the policy or letting the policy ride with premiums being paid from the cash value? If yes, make sure you know the tax consequences of your actions.


Q&A: What Can I Do If My K-1 Omits 199A Information?

Tax reform’s Section 199A deduction often confuses small-business owners and tax professionals alike. It’s quite possible you’ll get a Schedule K-1 from a business that omits the information you need to calculate your deduction. What do you do?


TCJA Planning: Terminating Your S Corporation Election

Tax reform may have you thinking of changing your S corporation to a C corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. To do this, you’ll have to terminate your S corporation election and possibly make other tax elections. We’ll explain how you do this and the tax consequences of doing so.


Q&A: Improvement Property Update

Congress wanted qualified improvement property to have tax-favored status under tax reform. But Congress made an error in writing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and made improvement property treatment worse than before. Did Congress fix its goof?




March 2019

IRS Saves Many Vehicles from the TCJA Bonus Depreciation Debacle

Tax law limits depreciation deductions on what it considers luxury vehicles. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created 100 percent bonus depreciation, and that means you can totally deduct the cost of qualifying assets. One major exception is the $8,000 bonus depreciation cap that applies to a tax law-defined luxury automobile, crossover vehicle, pickup truck, or sport utility vehicle (SUV).


When the Second Office in the Home Is a Principal Place of Business

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.


Q&A: Deducting a Swimming Pool as a Medical Expense

You could qualify to use your swimming pool as a medical expense deduction just as Herbert Cherry did. Cherry deducted the cost of the pool to the extent it exceeded the increase in the value of his home. He also deducted the yearly cost of heating and insuring the pool, electricity for the pool room, and repairs for the pool room walls that suffered mildew damage.


How to Deduct Medicare as a Business Expense

When you are in business for yourself, you have options when it comes to creating tax deductions for your health insurance. The tax rules treat Medicare as health insurance, and that means you have options for how to create your tax deductions for Medicare.


TCJA One Way to Deduct Personal Vehicle Used for Corporate Business

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.


Q&A: Is a Triple Net Lease to a C Corporation QBI?

You operate your professional practice as a C corporation. Your spouse rents your office to your C corporation on a triple net lease. Does your spouse qualify for the Section 199A deduction on the rental income, and if not, what can be done about it?


Employee Recreation and Parties Survive TCJA Tax Reform

When you know the rules, you can party with your employees and deduct 100 percent of the cost. Interestingly, if you feed your employees during a training program, your deduction is only 50 percent. Make sure you know the rules that give you the 100 percent deduction for employee entertainment.


Q&A: How to Calculate and Improve Your QBI from a Partnership

It’s tough to calculate the Section 199A deduction. Under the final regulations, it’s even more difficult, with more adjustments than we expected. We’ll walk through an example of a partner in an LLC to show you how the calculation works. And then we’ll discuss some planning opportunities to increase the deduction.


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.