Recent Feature Headlines


August 2021

Don’t Miss Out on the Employee Retention Credit

You likely qualify for the employee retention credit. It has the potential to really help you. The credit is up to $5,000 per employee during 2020 and up to $28,000 per employee in 2021. That’s $33,000 per employee. With 10 employees, that could total $330,000.


Loophole: Harvest Tax Losses on Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrency

How would you like a capital loss storage box that you could call on when you have capital gains that you want eliminated? Your cryptocurrency holdings can create that capital loss storage box without changing the nature of your holdings, as we explain in this article.


PDF Download: Guide to Deducting Meals and Entertainment in 2021-2022

As a business owner, your expenses for business meals and entertainment for most of 2020 were likely little to zero due to COVID-19. But that will probably change for the remainder of 2021 and 2022. And with the new tax law changes, you need to make sure you know the rules so you can maximize your tax savings and deduct up to 100 percent of these expenses.


Know Why the Court Denied Losses on Four of Six House Rentals

When the government allows your rental property losses to offset your other income, it subsidizes your rental property profits. If tax law passive-loss rules deny your current rental losses, your profits go down. Therefore, you need to know how the passive-loss rules work so you can maximize your rental profits and avoid unpleasant visits with the IRS.


Refresher: Principal Residence Gain Exclusion Break (Part 1 of 3)

The $250,000 ($500,000, if married) home sale gain exclusion break is one of the great tax-saving opportunities. Although the tax code contains many rules on this tax break, most of them are easily understood, especially as we explain them in this article.


Payroll Taxes Embezzled; Owner Has Huge Business and Tax Problems

Do you own a business that withholds taxes from employees? If so, you need 100 percent assurance that the withheld payroll tax monies are going to the IRS and not into the pockets of an embezzler. This article explains how you can obtain such certainty.


Big Mistake: Filing Your Tax Return Late

What one mistake can you make with your taxes that will cause you to pay penalties of up to 47.5 percent? And when might that not even be the worst part? What could be worse than a 47.5 percent tax penalty? How about both the penalty and a full-blown IRS audit? That’s far worse.


Tax-Savings for Married Taxpayers Claiming Section 179 Deductions

If you are married, you need to consider your spouse’s W-2 and other income sources in your Section 179 expensing eligibility. The inclusion of your spouse often enhances the amount you can deduct using Section 179 expensing, as we explain in this article.


2021 Tax Loss Nightmare: Return of the TCJA NOL Rules

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) limited your ability to get immediate value from your net operating loss (NOL). While Congress gave you a break in the CARES Act—the

ugly TCJA NOL rules are back in tax year 2021. We’ll tell you the limits and how you can maneuver other tax positions to gain immediate value for your NOL.




July 2021

Two Ways to Fix Tax Return Mistakes Before the IRS Discovers Them

It’s easy to make a mistake on your tax return. The tax law is complicated and always changing. If you did make an error, it’s not the end of the world. The tax law gives you two ways to undo your mistake at little to no cost to you. We’ll go over the two ways and how you can use them to your best advantage.


IRS Makes Income Limit Mistake on the Home-Office Deduction

What happens if the IRS makes a mistake in its publication or instructions? Is this your problem? How would you know if the IRS made a mistake? This article explains a mistake on the gross-income limit in the IRS home-office publication. Make sure this mistake is not costing you money.


Find the Winning Tax Law for Your IRS Audit

If you are suffering or about to suffer an IRS audit, you should know how your tax positions stack up against the IRS examiners’ positions. In most cases, you are discussing the facts, not the law, and you prove your facts with receipts, canceled checks, and logbooks. Once you get into the law, however, you need to know the rules that trump other rules. This article explains how you use the tax law, rulings, and other IRS documents to prove the legal side of your case in an audit. And this article helps you understand what the courts are looking for, should your case advance beyond the IRS audit to the courts.


How the IRS Lost $55,000 in This IRS Rental Properties Audit

The thought of an IRS audit is a worry—no question about it. But it’s worse when the IRS wants a lot of your money. And it’s even worse yet when the IRS wants your money because it interprets the law incorrectly and, at the time you see the IRS adjustment, you have no idea whether the IRS is right or wrong.


Can Home-Office Tax Deductions Include Garage Space?

Do you claim a home-office deduction? Do you have a garage (attached or detached) at your home? If so, you need to spend a few minutes with this article. You will learn when to include and exclude the garage when calculating your home-office space.


You Took Coronavirus-Related IRA Money Last Year: What Now?

If you took the coronavirus-related IRA distribution of up to $100,000 during 2020, here are your options for avoiding taxes on that money.


Tax Rules That Allow Tax Deductions for Your Yacht

To get a tax deduction for your yacht, use it for business travel and avoid the entertainment facility rules. If you run afoul of the entertainment facility rules, you have one small hope. To maximize your deductions, you want more than 50 percent business use and knowledge of the luxury water transportation tax deduction limits.


14 Tax Reduction Strategies for the Self-Employed

Inside this article, you’ll find the 14 tax reduction strategies for the self-employed that we identified for you last month. But here you find more—links to the articles so that you have the nuts and bolts of implementing the strategies.


How the Law Decides If Your Travel Day Is Personal or Business

If you travel out of town overnight on business, you need knowledge of the tax rules that allow and disallow such travel. This article clarifies the days that tax law deems to be business and the days that tax law deems to be personal.




June 2021

New Law: Time to Benefit from the Work Opportunity Tax Credit

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit rewards your good deeds. And now, because of new legislation, the rules are in place for longer than usual. If you need to hire workers in your business, this dollar-for-dollar reducer of your taxes is one to know about.


Congress Closes the PayPal 1099-K Reporting Loophole

The PayPal loophole is going away seven months from now. You may remember the strategy where you can avoid giving 1099s to contractors and vendors when you use PayPal or a similar service as your payment platform. In the past, PayPal often did not have to provide those contractors and vendors with a 1099. According to lawmakers, this created a situation where those people who use PayPal have an easy ability to cheat (i.e., not report the income on their tax returns).


How to Deal with the New $142,800 Base for Self-Employment Taxes

In 1935, the self-employment tax topped out at $60. In 2021, the first part of the self-employment tax tops out at $21,848, but the 2.9 percent Medicare part continues after that without limits. Good tax planning for the self-employment tax is like an annuity: it gives you monetary returns—year after year—every year you are in business. So, plan now and consider everything from choice of entity to hiring your children.


2021 Retirement Plans Desktop Reference for One-Person Businesses

Download your PDF copy of the 2021 retirement plans desktop reference for one-person businesses.


IRS Focuses on Cryptocurrency: Are You Ready?

If you are looking for a wild ride, examine cryptocurrency. Not only can it rise to $55,000 and then drop to $30,000 in a matter of weeks, but it can also trigger significant tax consequences. And now, the IRS wants to know about you and your cryptocurrency activities.


IRS Audit Issue: SUV Built on Car Chassis

When is an SUV a car, and when is it a truck? How big is the difference in deductions? Does the SUV built on a car chassis get different treatment from the SUV built on a truck chassis?


IRS Arrives with Tax Assessor’s Allocation to Land and Building

On your rental properties, you need proof of your cost allocation to land and depreciable buildings. If you have no proof of that allocation, the IRS has started using the Internet to grab the tax assessor’s allocation and use that against your depreciation deductions.


Do You Owe the Nanny Tax?

The tax law can jump up and bite you in unexpected places. One example of that is the nanny tax.




May 2021

Self-Employed During the Pandemic? Washington Did Not Forget You

The self-employed normally get the short end of the stick when it comes to government aid in times of economic disruption. But the COVID-19 pandemic is different. Congress has provided the self-employed with aid never seen before, including forgivable PPP loans, tax credits for sick leave and family leave, increased Affordable Care Act subsidies, and even unemployment benefits. But the benefits are temporary, so take advantage of them now.


Helicopter View of Meals and Entertainment (2021-2022)

COVID-19 is going away, perhaps by early summer. It’s time to start thinking business meals and partying with your employees. The chart in this article gives you a helicopter view of the latest business meal and entertainment rules.


IRS Defines Real Property for Section 1031 Like-Kind Exchanges

Section 1031 exchanges are a great way to acquire new property without paying tax on the gains from selling old property. But the rules have changed. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act limits so-called exchanges (they are actually sales and purchases) to real property. Personal property is now boot. New IRS regulations define real property broadly for Section 1031 purposes and allow a certain amount of personal property to be included in an exchange. They also make it clear that the real property owners can use cost segregation and still benefit from Section 1031 exchanges.


How Renovating a Historic Building Can Put Money in Your Pocket

The federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit provides a 20 percent tax credit for owners or leaseholders to renovate certified historic buildings. Most states offer similar tax credits, with different percentages, providing additional cost savings. But this is tax law, and as you would expect, there are some tricky rules that you need to follow to qualify for these huge subsidies.


Deduct 100 Percent of Your Business Meals under New Rules

Congress wanted to help restaurants due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so they created a special rule that allows you to deduct 100 percent of most of your restaurant business meals for tax years 2021 and 2022. You can take proactive steps now to ensure all your business meals going forward qualify for this 100 percent deduction. Here’s a hint: if you are deducting per diem amounts for your business travel meals, you’ll lose out.


Deduct 100% of Your Employee Recreation and Parties

Here’s good news: Partying with and entertaining your employees remains 100 percent deductible after the many tax changes that have taken place during the past three-plus years. Further, your employee parties are not subject to the new restaurant rules.


Q&A: How Do I Get My Rental Losses onto Schedule C?

Does creation of a single-member limited liability company move rental losses to Form 1040, Schedule C? Answer: no. Changing the type of entity does not move the rental to Schedule C, but changing the attributes of the rental can qualify the rental for Schedule C.


Know These Four Magic Business Mileage Rules

Learn these four business mileage rules. With them, you have a roadmap to the best tax benefits. And if you ever suffer an IRS audit, these four rules will save your bacon.


Disaster Strikes: Next Trouble, an IRS Audit

Disasters can happen at any time. As far as your business records go, you’ll be most equipped for a disaster if you’ve backed up and stored your most critical data online. To the extent you fail to do this, you’ll have to get copies of vital records from the IRS and other government agencies, your bank, clients, customers, and others. You’ll have to re-create other data as best you can.