Recent Feature Headlines

December 2023

How to Beat and Mitigate the Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT)

You are more likely to owe the net investment income tax (NIIT) this year. And the government has made sure that you will have an even better chance next year. It’s sad that this built-in tax increase has been going on every year since 2013. But here’s some good news: with good planning, you can beat or at least mitigate the NIIT.

Businesses and Rentals Existing on Jan. 1 Trigger FinCEN Filings

The Corporate Transparency Act goes into effect on January 1, 2024. This law imposes a new requirement for federal filing on or before December 31, 2024, for most existing corporations, limited liability companies, and limited partnerships, and many other types of business entities. Failure to comply can result in hefty monetary penalties and up to two years in prison.

Beware of the Dreaded Wash Sale Rule When Harvesting Tax Losses

You generally think of harvesting tax losses at the end of the year—and that’s a good year-end strategy. But the real deal is to harvest tax losses when they need harvesting. For example, you know you’ll need tax losses in 2024 to offset big gains. Harvest those losses when they’re available—say, in January or July 2024.

Is “Don’t Die with Capital Loss Carryovers” a Good Rule to Live By?

Learn how Revenue Ruling 74-175 can lead to improper application of the popular tax-planning statement “Don’t die with capital loss carryovers.” Learn how Revenue Ruling 74-175 can lead to improper application of the popular tax-planning statement “Don’t die with capital loss carryovers.”

Adjusting for the New Retirement Plan Catch-Up Contribution Rules

SECURE 2.0 created a bevy of friendly catch-up contribution changes for employees ages 60-63. That’s the good news. The bad news is that SECURE 2.0 does not aim to treat employees with incomes greater than $145,000 in an equally friendly manner.

IRMAA Tags Recreational Gambler with Big Medicare Premium Increase

If you are on Medicare and you gamble, there’s a good chance that your gambling increases your cost of Medicare, even when you lose money.

Deducting Start-Up Expenses for a Rental Property

If you purchase a rental property to begin a new rental business, many of the costs you will incur before the property is offered for rent are classified as start-up expenses for tax purposes. There are strict limits on how and when you can deduct these costs

Tax Road Map for the Foreigner Who Wants to Start a U.S. Business

You can open a business in the United States if you are a non-citizen. But beware: you travel a perilous tax and reporting path when you know little or nothing about the territory. Here’s a tip: follow this road map for successfully launching your U.S. business.

Bedroom Rental—Five Possible Outcomes You Need to Know

Do you have a bedroom rental in your home? If so, make sure to know the five possible federal income-tax outcomes from such a rental.

November 2023

The ERC Story: From Double Benefits to IRS Warnings

From its origins in the 2020 CARES Act to the 2023 IRS alerts and warnings, the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) has undergone significant shifts. Discover the pivotal changes, and see how this tax credit’s twists and turns could impact your business.

2023 Last-Minute Vehicle Purchases to Save on Taxes

Here’s an easy question: Do you need more 2023 tax deductions and credits? If so, continue reading. Next easy question: Do you need a replacement business vehicle? If so, you can simultaneously solve or mitigate both the first problem (needing more deductions and credits) and the second problem (needing a replacement vehicle), but you need to get your replacement vehicle in service on or before December 31, 2023. This article helps you find the right vehicle for the deduction or credit you desire.

Don’t Let Your Weekend Gambling Create a Tax Nightmare

If you gamble but are not a tax-law-defined professional gambler, you need to know the gambling rules to avoid a tax nightmare. One rule to know: the casino or other payor of your winnings may report your winnings to the IRS.

2023 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 six strategies will increase your tax deductions or reduce your taxable income so Uncle Sam gets less of your 2023 cash.

2023 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 2023 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 (note the terms “existing” and “personal”).

2023 Last-Minute Tax Strategies for Marriage, Kids, and Family

Are you thinking of getting married or divorced? If so, you need to consider December 31, 2023, in your tax planning. Here’s another question: Do you give money to family or friends (other than your children who are subject to the kiddie tax)? If so, you need to consider the zero-tax 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.

Tax Implications of Dual Citizenship: What You Need to Know

If you are a citizen of both the U.S. and another country, you need to know about taxes in each of the two countries. In this article, you will learn how to take advantage of tax breaks to minimize the taxes you owe as a dual citizen.

2023 Last-Minute Year-End Retirement Deductions

Does your business have a retirement plan for you and, if you have employees, your employees? It should. You have more new reasons in 2023 to get your retirement plan in place and perhaps make changes in existing plans.

2023 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 2023 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 avoid paying taxes on stock appreciation by gifting stock to charity, your parents, and your children who are not subject to the kiddie tax.

2023 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.

2023 Last-Minute Section 199A Tax Reduction Strategies

Remember to consider your Section 199A deduction in your 2023 year-end tax planning. If you don’t, you could end up with a useless $0 for your deduction amount. We’ll review three year-end moves that simultaneously (a) reduce your income taxes and (b) boost your Section 199A deduction.

October 2023

IRS Makes a Mess of the ERC—What to Do Now?

The IRS is on a tear against improper ERC claims, and this intimidates some tax professionals and business owners. Read this article for insights on what’s going on and what you need to consider.

Tax-Free Income from 14-Day Augusta Rule for S Corporation Owners

The Augusta rule gets its name from the Masters Golf Tournament where some members and others who live in the area receive tax-free rent by renting their homes for a week or two. You don’t have to live in Augusta to benefit from this rule, as this article shows.

Why Did Duncan Bass Make 172 Trips to Goodwill and the Salvation Army?

Pay less in taxes this year by donating clothing and household items. When you know what to do and how to do it, the non-cash deductions available here can help you pocket some after-tax cash that costs you nothing but a little time and effort.

How to Deduct Travel by Car, Train, Plane, or Boat

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 car, plane, and boat; accordingly, if you travel for your business, you should know the rules in this article.

Should You Convert Your Personal Vehicle to Business Use?

If you can convert a personal vehicle to business use, you likely can increase your tax benefits—and do that without spending any money or driving another business mile.

HSA for Employees? Beat the Dreaded 35 Percent Penalty Tax

If you discriminate when you contribute to the health savings accounts (HSAs) of your employees, the IRS will make you pay a 35 percent penalty tax on the total amount of your contributions. This tax can add up quickly, and if you have to pay it, you’ll kick yourself when you discover you can escape the tax entirely by following the three rules in this article.

Beware: New 2024 Businesses and Rentals Trigger FinCEN Filings

If you are going to form a new business in 2024, or use an LLC to buy a rental property, or change your sole proprietorship to a corporation, you need to know about the Corporate Transparency Act’s new filing requirements. Why? Penalties for failure to file are $500 a day, capped at $10,000, and can trigger criminal charges with imprisonment of up to two years.

Want to Leave the U.S.? You May Have to Pay These Taxes

Planning on leaving the U.S.? If so, you have two choices from a tax perspective, but neither is painless. The tax law that applies to foreign living and expatriation can be tricky, so it’s essential that you depart the country correctly.

September 2023

Act Now! Get Your Safe-Harbor Expensing in Place

If you have not done so before, put your safe-harbor de minimis expensing election in place now. The de minimis rules make your tax record-keeping easier. With this safe-harbor expensing, unlike with Section 179 expensing, you don’t need to track the assets and keep them in a depreciation schedule.

Test Your Tax IQ: Deducting More Than One Business Vehicle

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.

Key Insights into Depreciation from Beginning to Middle to End

Understanding when and how property depreciation starts is essential for maximizing asset value and ensuring compliance with tax regulations. This article offers clear insights and real-world examples, ensuring you’re well equipped to navigate this crucial financial concept efficiently.

Hobby Loss Rule Raises Its Ugly Head

Did you know your hobby or supposed business-loss activity could leave you with a hefty tax bill? Discover the implications of the hobby loss rule, and learn from the real-life case of Carl and Leila Gregory.

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

The initial good news is that your real estate portfolio can contain both investor and dealer properties. The additional good news is that you are in control, and by knowing just a few rules about dealer and investor classifications, you can do much to increase your net worth.


Wildfires and Storms: Tax Relief—A Joke

It’s been a busy year for natural disasters—the wildfires in Maui are the most recent as we write this article. The IRS is one of the government agencies that offers relief from disasters. Here’s what you need to know about IRS tax relief.

Court Denies Clothing Donations to Goodwill and the Salvation Army

Your non-cash charitable contribution must run the gauntlet before giving you tax benefits. This article examines a court case in which one hurdle prevented clothing donations to Goodwill and the Salvation Army.

Why Some Business Owners Prefer Individual HSAs

As a business owner with fewer than 50 employees, you should consider the health savings account (HSA) as an option if you don’t want to provide health coverage to your employees. And of course, if you don’t have any employees, you should consider the HSA.

Tax Facts for Foreigners Moving to the United States

If you are moving to the United States from a foreign country, your income tax obligations will depend on your tax residency status. The U.S. tax system categorizes foreign individuals as resident aliens or non-resident aliens. Find out what this means and how to comply with U.S. tax laws.