Recent Feature Headlines


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.




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.