Recent Feature Headlines


January 2020

Top Eight Changes in the SECURE Act You Need to Know

Our lawmakers did it again. They made more last-minute tax law changes, which the president signed into law on December 20, 2019. One such new law is called the SECURE Act. This new law made a lot of changes to how you save for retirement and spend money in retirement. Don’t worry, though. We’ll give you the most important provisions you need to know, and how they impact you regardless of age.


Unlock Tax Deductions with a Rental Property Home Office

Home-office deductions aren’t just for Schedule C businesses. You can have a rental property home office and deduct those expenses on a Schedule E. Besides the usual tax benefits of a home-office deduction, you will gain time that can qualify you as having tax code–defined real estate professional status, and thus unlock 100 percent of your current-year rental losses for immediate deduction against all income.


Congress Reinstates Expired Tax Provisions—Some Back to 2018

Every year, we wonder whether Congress will renew various expiring tax breaks, many of which are known as “extenders.” Many extenders died on December 31, 2017, and Congress let them remain dead for all of 2018. Now Congress has brought them back from the dead—and retroactively to January 1, 2018, meaning an amended return may be in your future.


Retirement Plans Desktop Reference for One-Person Businesses

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


Congress Kills TCJA Kiddie Tax Changes

In December 2017, Congress enacted the TCJA and changed how your children calculate their tax on their investment-type income. The TCJA changes led to much higher tax bills for many children. On December 19, 2019, Congress passed a bill that the president signed into law on December 20, 2019 (Pub. L. 116-94). The new law repeals the kiddie tax changes from the TCJA and takes you back to the old kiddie tax rules, even retroactively if you so desire.


Should You Operate Your Business as a Partnership (or an LLC Taxed as a Partnership)?

When looking at your taxable entity choices, consider the partnership, especially the multi-member LLC taxed as a partnership. Often the LLC taxed as a partnership gives you the same liability protection as a corporation as it produces superior tax results. Your situation will determine the best entity, but here in this article you find what you need to help with your decision.


Divorce: Beat Alimony, Redeem Spouse’s Stock in Your Closely Held Corp.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act altered the rules of the road in divorce planning. The significant change is that alimony is no longer tax-deductible; therefore, you want to avoid paying alimony. You may be able to sidestep alimony by transferring assets to your ex—and also have your ex carry the tax burden associated with those assets.


Solo 401(k) Could Be Your Best Retirement Plan Option

If you operate as a sole proprietor or are the sole owner of an S or C corporation, the solo 401(k) can create the ideal retirement plan if you don’t have employees who work more than 1,000 hours a year for your business. This article provides you with great insights into the solo 401(k).


Why a SIMPLE-IRA Could Be Your Best Retirement Plan Alternative

Talk to a business owner who has been in business for a while, and he or she will tell you to make sure that you put a retirement plan in place. When you are starting out and have modest income, the SIMPLE-IRA can be the perfect plan, as explained in this article.




December 2019

IRS Issues New Bitcoin Tax Guidance

Millions of people are buying and selling cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. The IRS just issued new guidance for the first time in over five years on how you’ll treat cryptocurrency for tax purposes. We’ll tell you what the IRS had to say, what you need to do, and what we still don’t know.


TCJA Changes Vacant Land Tax Strategies

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) likely requires that you rethink the tax strategies you were using on your vacant land investments. And the TCJA changes may be such that you have to rethink vacant land as an investment, at least for the years impacted by the TCJA.


Know These Divorce-Related Tax Issues for Small-Business Owners

As with all financial transactions, divorce comes with tax consequences. And those consequences have changed for tax years 2018 and later thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). If you are thinking of divorce or are currently in the process, make sure to read this article.


Dynamex Causing Incorrect W-2 Classifications for Independent Contractors

Many workers across the U.S. are going to suffer improper reclassifications because of the California Supreme Court’s decision in Dynamex and the resulting new California law. As you will see in this article, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) compounds the tax problems for the workers who are reclassified.


Q&A: No 1099, No Deduction?

You didn’t issue Form 1099s to your contractors. Now, the IRS is auditing your tax return, and the auditor claims you lose your deductions because you didn’t issue the Form 1099s. Is this correct?


Buy the Building. Rent It to Your Business. Avoid Passive Losses.

If you plan to buy a building that you are going to rent to your business, you need to know the tax rules to obtain the best benefits. Here, you will learn about an income tax election that you can make on your IRS Form 1040 to avoid the passive loss rules that deny current-year rental losses.


Section 105 Medical Expense Deduction Plan for Statutory Employee

The tax code has a carve-out that creates statutory employees out of certain independent contractors. These contractors receive a W-2 with the “statutory employee” box checked, which means that the contractor reports the W-2 income and associated business expenses (including a Section 105 plan) on his or her Schedule C.


Self-Employed Senior? Collect Your Rightful Tax Breaks

If you are self-employed, you have much to think about as you enter your senior years, and that includes retirement savings, Medicare, and grandchildren, as explained in this article.


Q&A: QBI Calculation Conundrum?

When your taxable income is in the phaseout range, your Section 199A deduction calculation is more complicated. With an out-of-favor specified service trade or business, you add more complications. Now, let’s add to the equation a business that shows a business loss. In this article, you will see how to do the calculations when you have all three issues.




November 2019

Will the Newly Released Section 199A Rental Safe Harbor Work for You?

In January, an IRS Notice gave you a Section 199A safe-harbor option for your rental properties, possibly making it easier for you to qualify for this new tax deduction. Now, the IRS has made a number of changes to its original notice and finalized the safe harbor in a Revenue Procedure. We’ll tell you all you need to know about the final version. Then you can decide if you want to use the safe harbor or find other ways to qualify your rentals for the Section 199A deduction.


9 Insights on the New Individual Coverage HRA for Small Business

The new individual coverage HRA (ICHRA) has much to offer a small business (businesses with fewer than 50 employees). Last month we introduced the ICHRA. In this article, we expand on the abilities of the ICHRA to get a smile from the small-business owner who wants to offer health benefits to his or her employees.


2019 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 five strategies will increase your tax deductions or reduce your taxable income so that Uncle Sam gets less of your 2019 cash.


2019 Last-Minute Section 199A Strategies That Reduce Taxes, Too

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.


2019 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 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.


2019 Last-Minute Vehicle Purchases to Save on Taxes

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.


2019 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 2019 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.


2019 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, 2019, 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.


2019 Last-Minute Year-End Medical and Retirement Deductions

When you get busy with your business, it’s easy to forget about your retirement accounts and medical coverages and plans. But year-end is approaching, and now’s the time to take action. This article gives you six action steps for 2019 that can help you reduce your taxes and pocket extra money.




October 2019

New Individual Coverage HRA Turns the Clock Back to Pre-ACA Health Care Options

The ACA destroyed a lot of the advantages of the Section 105 medical reimbursement plan. While the QSEHRA was, and remains, a good option for small employers, something even better has arrived—for employers of all sizes—starting in 2020.


Converting Your Residence into a Rental Property: Tax Issues

The simple maneuver of converting your personal residence to a rental property brings with it myriad tax rules, mostly good when you know how they work. For example, your rental net income can create the Section 199A deduction if the rental rises to the level of a trade or business (most do).


Capture Your 199A Tax Deduction

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act brought sweeping changes to the tax laws―some good and some bad. But the one change that can potentially provide you the biggest tax benefit is the Section 199A deduction.


Q&A: Spousal Business and 199A Deduction

Both you and your spouse have your own businesses. Your spouse’s business provides paid services to your business. Could this arrangement cause you problems when claiming a Section 199A deduction?


Q&A: Does a Cash Overdraft Kill Tax Deductions?

This taxpayer’s checking account shows a negative cash balance. He writes checks on December 31 when he has a negative balance. Can he deduct the expenses on his tax return?


2019 Brings You New Partnership Audit Procedures

Congress changed the IRS procedures for auditing partnerships, and they apply beginning with your 2018 partnership tax return. Under the new rules, an audit can lead to a partnership-level tax at a 37 percent rate. We’ll explain the new rules and how your partnership can potentially avoid paying this new audit tax.


How to Deduct Assisted Living and Nursing Home Bills

Assisted living and nursing home expenses can quickly deplete your income and savings. One way to minimize their financial hit is being able to deduct them as medical expenses on your tax return. We’ll explain when you can do this.


Q&A: Is My Trip a Deductible Business Expense?

You booked a short personal trip. Now you find that an important vendor is going to the same location where you are taking your personal trip. Does dinner with the vendor convert this trip from personal to a tax-deductible business trip?