Recent Feature Headlines


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?




September 2019

New Tool for Your Use: 2019 Section 199A Calculator

When planning your Section 199A tax deduction, avoid difficult calculations and save time by using the new 2019 Section 199A Deduction Calculator. Inside this article, you find the rules you need to know to find your QBI, Section 199A wages, and Section 199A property that can figure into your Section 199A deduction possibilities.


TCJA Creates New Reasons for Accountable Plan Expense Reimbursements

Failure to use an accountable plan for your employee expense reimbursements (including yourself if you operate as a corporation) turns those improperly reimbursed expenses into taxable wages. In other words, by failing to comply with the accountable plan rules, you turn the tax-free reimbursement into taxable W-2 wages. That’s about as ugly as it can get.


Federal Tax Deductions for Section 127 Education of Grandchild

You can use a Section 127 education plan to obtain tax benefits for yourself (or your corporation) while you help your employee-grandchild through college or other training.


Q&A: Do I Get a 199A Deduction Working Abroad?

Many people just like you are self-employed and living and working abroad. Does your business income still qualify for the Section 199A deduction? This article tells you the answer to that question and describes other big-dollar tax breaks you might be entitled to receive.


How Corporations Reduce IRS Audits of Home-Office Deductions

You have probably read that the home-office deduction increases your chances of IRS audit. We’ve read that, too, but we don’t believe it. Regardless, there are a few things you can do to make your home office less likely to ever appear in an audit.


Q&A: Claim 30% Tax Credit for a New Roof to Hold Solar Panels

You’re eligible for a generous 30 percent residential tax credit when you install solar equipment on a residence and have it in use before midnight on December 31, 2019. The IRS instructions for claiming the credit are not as clear as you would like. But nicely, the tax code reveals the answer.


Make the RMD from Your Traditional IRA Tax-Free

Once you turn age 70 1/2, the tax code mandates that you withdraw a tax code–defined required minimum distribution (RMD) from your traditional IRA. But by using the RMD or other IRA distribution with a qualified charitable distribution (QCD), you can eliminate the RMD tax bite, possibly reduce your Medicare premiums and income taxes on your Social Security benefits, and more.


Q&A: No FICA on Health Insurance for the More-Than-2% Shareholder-Employee

There’s no excuse for it, but how to treat the payroll taxes (Social Security, Medicare, and federal unemployment taxes (FUTA) when the S corporation pays for or reimburses health insurance for the more-than-2-percent shareholder-employee sits in muddy waters—but perhaps only until you read this article.




August 2019

Creating More Business Meal Tax Deductions After the TCJA

If you have been looking for some good news on tax-deductible business meals, you will find it in this article. And along with the good news, you will find clarity as to what post-Tax Cuts and Jobs Act rules currently apply to your tax-deductible business meals.


Wow! Pay Zero Capital Gains Taxes on Sale of Small C Corporation

Section 1202 allows you to sell a qualified small business corporation on a tax-free basis. Now, add to this no-tax-on-sale benefit from the 21 percent corporate tax rate from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and you have a significant tax planning opportunity.


Personal Use of Your Rental Triggers Ugly Vacation Home Rules

When you have both personal and rental use of a dwelling, you trigger some tricky tax code rules you need to know. With both personal and rental use, you create the possibility of tax-free rent, rental property deductions, and additional personal residence deductions.


Check Your Beneficiary Designations Now, Before Disaster Strikes

Surprise! You have an agreement in place that says your retirement account goes to person 1. But you have a beneficiary designation that says the account goes to person 2. Read this article to see which wins and why the winner is likely a big surprise.


Beware: IRS Error in Rental Property Deduction Publication

The IRS publication on rental properties contains an error. It states that you may not deduct mortgage insurance on your rental property. That’s wrong, as we explain in this article.


Your Guide to Select Overlooked Medical Deductions

Inside this 22-page medical deduction guide, you will find business and personal tax deductions that you would likely overlook. For example, is your dog or cat a tax-deductible emotional support animal? How would you deduct special needs education as a business expense? Can a health savings account turbocharge your retirement plan?


Roth IRA versus Traditional IRA: Which Is Better for You?

Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs both offer tax advantages when saving for retirement. But is one universally better than the other? If not, how can you decide which is right for you?


When Renting to a C Corporation Creates QBI

What rules apply for purposes of the new 20 percent deduction under Section 199A when you rent an office or other building to your personally owned C corporation?




July 2019

Proprietors and Partners Mistakenly Pay Themselves Illegal W-2 Wages

Why is it wrong for the sole proprietor to pay himself or herself a W-2 wage? Also, why is it wrong for a partner to be paid by the partnership as a W-2 employee?


Secrets to Pocketing Cash by Renting a Bedroom in Your Home

If you want to rent one, two, or 20 bedrooms in your home, you need to know five sections of the tax law to obtain your rightful tax benefits. This is an area where tax knowledge is power. Without the knowledge, you could create a very unsatisfactory tax result.


Use a Single-Member LLC as a Tax-Smart Real Estate Ownership Vehicle

You find much beauty and little beast in using a single-member LLC for your real estate ownership. Of course, the big beauty is corporate-style liability protection without tax complexity, as you see in this article.


10 Proven Tax Reduction Strategies for the Self-Employed

We took a deep dive into the 263 strategy articles that apply to the self-employed and pulled out 10 that you should spend time with.


Impact of Death, Retirement, and Disability on the 179 Deduction

Have you purchased vehicles for use in your business? Did you claim Section 179 deductions on them? What happens to your Section 179 deductions if you retire or become disabled before the end of the vehicle’s useful life? What if you die? This article tells you what you need to know.


How to Deduct Cruise Ship Conventions, Seminars, and Meetings

If you want to attend a convention, seminar, or similar meeting onboard a cruise ship and deduct all your costs, you face some very special rules. It can be done. But when you know the tax code rules, you will find an enlightened workaround that removes almost all the hassle and gives you what you want.


Dealer Got Mad, Sent Customer a Fraudulent 1099 to Get Even

An auto dealer sent its customer a bogus 1099 because the customer refused to return to the dealership and redo the “no interest” loan to an interest-bearing loan. The dealer made a mistake originally and then wanted the customer to help fix the problem—at the customer’s expense. The customer said no. Later, when the bogus 1099 showing interest income from the no-interest loan showed up in this customer’s mailbox, the customer took this dealership problem to the IRS.


Advance Account Shows That Incorporation Is Not for Everyone

To operate successfully as a corporation, you need to be good at paperwork. Also, you may not treat the advance account on the corporate books as your personal slush fund.