Tax Planning Articles

Tax Planning Articles

Tax Watch

TAX ALERT: Mileage Rates & Business Interest Deductions

The Internal Revenue Service issued the 2019 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. There are new business interest deduction limitations for companies with tax years beginning after 12/31/17.

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New Business Interest Deduction Limitations for Companies with Tax Years Beginning After 12/31/2017

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 revised and broadened the already in existence Internal Revenue Code “IRC” §163(j) business interest deduction limitation rules for companies with tax years beginning after December 31, 2017. The IRS released initial guidance on these new rules on April 2, 2018, with Notice 2018-28. And then on November 26, 2018, the IRS issued expansive proposed regulations (439 pages to be exact) which may be relied upon until the final regulations are published. Depending on the size and nature of your business, these regulations could have a significant impact on you and your business’s ability to deduct all interest expense incurred for 2018 and future tax years.

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IRS Issues Regulations on Qualified Opportunity Zones

The IRS has issued proposed regulations and a related revenue ruling regarding the designation of certain low-income community population census tracts as Qualified Opportunity Zones (“QO Zones”), eligible for favorable tax treatment as created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”). Since passage of the TCJA in 2017, many taxpayers have eagerly awaited guidance as to how to defer their capital gains into QO Zone property. The gain deferral incentive is aimed at encouraging economic growth and investment in businesses within the QO Zones.

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Cryptocurrency Tax Reporting

The IRS reports that less than 1,000 taxpayers reported sales of virtual currency on their tax returns between 2013 and 2015. This is just a fraction of the virtual currency transactions, even though the IRS announced in Notice 2014-21 that virtual currency is property (not like foreign currency), so the sale of a Bitcoin (for example) is essentially the same as a sale of a share of stock.

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The IRS Finally Issues Regulations on The New 20% Business Deduction – What Have We Learned?

On Wednesday, August 8, 2018, the Department of the Treasury released proposed reliance Regulations on Section 199A, also known as the 20% deduction on qualified business income (“QBI”). The words “proposed” and “reliance” are important and meaningful. “Proposed” means that these are draft Regulations that are open to public comment, and may change before they are finalized as a result of the comments of tax professionals received. “Reliance” means that although they are draft and subject to change, taxpayers can rely on these for the time being, which is helpful given that they take effect for the 2018 calendar year, which is more than half over at this point.

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Converting a Home Into Rental Property

If you have decided to move but have been unsuccessful in selling your current home, you may contemplate converting it into rental property. If you are thinking of taking this step, you no doubt are fully aware of the economic risks and rewards. However, you also should be aware that renting out your personal residence carries potential tax benefits and pitfalls. Prior to any potential conversion, you should review how the conversion will affect your income/deductions as well as any gain/loss on the eventual sale of the property.

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How Does the Home Office Deduction and Renting Your Home Affect the Personal Residence Exclusion?

Most taxpayers know that an individual can exclude up to $250,000 ($500,000 for certain joint filers) of the gain from the sale of his principal residence if he has owned and used the residence as his principal residence for at least two years out of the five-year period before the sale. What you may not know is how claiming the home office deduction and/or renting your home affects the personal residence exclusion.

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Local Transportation Costs

Many taxpayers, especially ones that are self-employed, have questions regarding the deductibility of local transportation costs. Please consider the brief overview below to help you distinguish between deductible and non-deductible transportation costs that you may incur in your business activities.

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