TaxAudit Blog

Tag: tax planning

Stock Chart

Hello fellow taxpayers. The Wily Tax Blogger is back to kick off 2016 with a new blog about an investment management tool I’ve discovered.

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Lite Christmas tree on the floating barge

Were you a good tax planner this year? We hope so. January is right around the corner, so let’s make a tax list and check it twice for last minute tax saving...

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Wrapped gift

We have our own marketing and design business. This year we ordered expensive gourmet chocolate gift baskets for each of our ten clients to thank them...

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Pencil on Monthly Expense Guidelines paper

There are only two months left in the year. What can I do now to avoid paying a big tax liablity on my Schedule C business next year?

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Crime scene tape and magnifying glass over 1040 tax forms

Tax nightmares aren’t just for scammers. They can happen to people who make innocent mistakes, and even to those who believe they are doing the right thing.

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diamond ring

While I was working out at the gym, someone broke into my locker and stole my diamond ring. It’s my wedding ring and I always take it off before doing...

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Glass globe on financial statements

I’m hoping you are relaxing somewhere with an umbrella drink after tax season. My wife and I are considering installing a solar electrical system on our house..

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hot cup of coffee

Starbucks? Coffee beans? Lattes? What do they have to do with taxes? Don’t worry, we will get to that! But first, let’s discuss your Golden Years again...

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businessman in wheelchair

Are disability payments taxable? This is a good question, but there is no correct general yes or no answer. The taxability of disability payments depends on...

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Woman

I do PR in the Bay Area. My hairstylist says I can deduct my entire salon bill on my taxes because it helps me look good at events. Is this correct?

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path going through forest

I want to donate to my favorite politician’s 2016 campaign for our state’s House of Representatives. Are there limits to how much I can deduct?

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1040 Pie Chart

To increase the business offerings at my mailbox rental business, I became a Notary Public this year. So far I made about $1,000 from my notary service.

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Pen, calculator, and blocks that spell out TAX on financial papers

I would really appreciate some advice on filing estimated taxes. Please let me know if you provide this service.

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inside of church

My husband spends a lot of time printing church service bulletins and other special design and print jobs. Can he deduct the time he works as a volunteer?

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Old orange truck

What is the best option are for getting rid of an old vehicle? Should I donate it for the auto valuation guide value of $ 3,000 or sell it now for $1,500? 

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Roof on brick house

The expenses I paid out on my rental were $12,000 more than my rental income, yet my tax return shows a deductible rental loss of zero. Why?

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Yellow sign that says Retirement Ahead

You want to save money towards your retirement, but your employer does not offer a retirement plan, such as a 401(k). You are not alone...

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young toddler girl in a swing

What do I do with a stepdaughter who doesn't live with us? She is in college and lives with her mom. How do I list that? My husband pays child support.

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Block with Tax words on it

You have your traditional IRA account invested at your bank but you are not happy with the rate of return. You’ve heard that it’s possible to move your IRA...

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Calculator and pen on top of 1040 tax forms

My wife made a $5,000 contribution to her IRA in last year. Through using TurboTax, we learned that we don't have the earned income to support a deduction...

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Green sign that says Retirement Next Exit

You just found out your Uncle Jerry passed away and that he had listed you as the sole beneficiary to his traditional IRA account. You go down to the bank...

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Rx bottle that says Affordable Care Act

You might have thought that with the new Health Care Reform more of all the money you spend on health insurance and medical expenses would be deductible.

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woman on the phone holding baby

I am a policy and procedure writer for a company. Due to my long commute, my boss lets me work from home one day a week. Can I write off my home office?

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Couple sitting in chairs relaxing on the beach

You have been talking to your financial advisor or hear in the news how great Roth IRAs are and that you should be contributing to a Roth IRA.

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keyboard that says Crowd Funding

Crowdfunding is a popular way to raise funds for businesses, charities and individuals. It occurs when someone asks others to contribute to their idea or cause.

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man and woman getting married

My wife and I are preparing our taxes, and, due to her employment situation(s) and our investments, we have received a number of 1099s...

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Doctors and nurses walking down hospital hallway

My brother was moved to a nursing home/memory care unit. He had to live in the nursing home area until the memory care unit had an opening. When he was in...

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Internal Revenue Service building with traffic signal in front displaying a red light

Are you short on cash and don’t have the money to pay your tax bill? The IRS does have a few options for the taxpayer who is cash short at tax time.

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W-2 Wage Statement

 filed my tax return, and then a W-2 came in the mail for a job I worked earlier this year that I had forgotten about. How do I file this? 

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books, diploma, and graduation hat

If you have started a family, you know there are many things to take into consideration, including planning for your child’s education. 

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house on top of a green hill

My wife and I bought a townhouse in 2014. What tax deductions can we take?

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two people looking over financial charts

My wife has an IRA under professional management with a financial advisor here in Portland. Can we deduct the fees charged for his services?

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$100 bill

The holidays have come and gone, footballs are filling the air as bowl games and playoffs are well underway, and it’s time to start thinking about…taxes.

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Tax scammer

What form do I file with the IRS for 2014 for a fraud case where I lost lots of money. The fraud case was adjudicated and the offender now sits in Fed Prison.

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TAX spelled out with tiles

Want to pay less taxes on inherited retirement accounts? Beneficiaries have options available that  may result in increased benefits and less taxes due.

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Dress Shirts

I use suits for work, and the dry cleaning expense is substantial. I don't use the suits outside of work. Can I deduct the dry cleaning as a business expense?

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The Grinch

The holiday season is a time for giving, but if you don’t follow the carefully prescribed rules for charitable giving, the IRS may disallow your deduction.

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Gift wrapped in five dollar bill

I’ve never been married and I have no children. I’ve been successful in my career and have some money saved. I want to give my six nieces and nephews $20,000

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Rx bottle that says Affordable Care Act

We heard about it all the way back in 2010, but the Individual Mandate − or Minimum Essential Coverage − did not go into effect until this year.

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Block with Tax words on it

My husband passed in February of this 2104. We have always filed a joint return. What do I need to do this year?

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Hands holding a heart

We loaned our car to a missionary home for a visit and fundraising. Can we deduct the mileage as a charitable contribution?

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Roof on brick house

I had a new roof put on the house. Is it tax deductible? A new roof is generally considered to be an improvement to the structure.

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Calculator that says Tax Help? on top of 1040 tax forms

A long time ago, before there were tax software programs, before our social welfare programs were written into the Internal Revenue code, and when Federal...

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Nurse helping woman

My wife is a nurse, but she does not have a degree. She is interested in taking classes to get a BSN degree - a bachelor of science in nursing.

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Little boy blowing bubbles

I took care of my three nieces and a nephew (all under 17 years of age) up until the end of last month, August 28, 2014, to be exact. I claimed these kids...

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Blender

Uncle Sam expects to see that Fair Market Value (FMV) listed on your tax return for that tax year as income.

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RV driving on the road

Can I claim the interest I pay on my RV on Schedule A as mortgage interest on a second home? As long as your RV loan is secured by the RV and the...

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Flood

Casualty losses can happen to taxpayers, such as a fire caused by a faulty heater. Do you have copies of your important documents in a safe place? 

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House on top of stack of money

If I'm going to do home repairs, such as a roof and heating, which will cost about $15,000, would it be better to take out a home equity loan to pay for it or..

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Woman filling out a tax form

When it comes to proving deductions taken on a tax return, the burden of proof is on the taxpayer, according to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). 

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Spoon full of vitamins

I had bariatric surgery and must take a number of vitamins daily. These vitamins are purchased over the counter without a prescription.

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Woman filling out a tax form

It’s still not too late to make adjustments to your withholding or estimates to make sure your 2014 taxes will be done correctly and you will not be surprised..

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Wooden walkway towards beach with palm trees

We live in Florida, and we are thinking about buying a second home in Maine for the summer months. Will we be able to deduct the mortgage interest on our taxes?

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Woman holding house keys

We bought our home in 2009, in Arkansas, did major improvements, and then leased it out from 2010 though 2014. We now have the place up for sale...

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Clock pointing the time hands towards the word TAX

The overall percentage of individual tax returns examined in 2013, published by IRS, is about 1%; however, this number only takes into account “examinations”

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Nurse helping woman

My brother is in assisted living; what part of his expenses can be deducted? He needs assistance with getting dressed and all daily hygiene activities.

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Soldier Saluting the American Flag

Let’s talk about business deductions for members of the military. The same rules apply for active duty personnel and reservists.

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houses

My personal residence cost basis is higher than the expected sale price. Is there a way to get a tax benefit from a loss on this property?

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3 Armed Forces Members

If you are a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, there are tax breaks written just for you. Merchant Mariners and American Red Cross employees do not qualify...

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Ocean

We have been asked to build some basic boxes to be used as a stage for a company. They plan to pay us but are not placing us on their payroll as employees.

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Dice

If you like to gamble, you probably already know that your gambling winnings are considered income, especially if you gamble within the United States.

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Yellow house with white fence

I completed a short sale in 2014 and was wondering if it’s possible to avoid taxes on the difference. I sold it for $142,000, the bank got $127,000, and the...

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Man asleep at desk

Years ago, I was just like most people when it came to taxes. Just the thought of doing my tax return gave me hives. I had been burned twice at tax time...

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Flooded street with sign that says High Water

My house got water in it this past month. I needed to clean up the mess, replace the carpet, pad and doors.  My insurance would not cover the loss.

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boy with glasses thinking

1. Taxes Might Be Your Biggest Expenditure 2. Many Major Life Decisions Have Tax Consequences 3. Knowing About the Latest Tax Breaks Could Save Money 4. Taxes..

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Application for Health Coverage form

Now that the furor, for the most part, over the Affordable Care Act has subsided a bit, let's take a quick look at the PENALTY for not abiding by this law?

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Retirement Ahead Sign

I would like to know if I need to declare my Roth IRA and traditional IRA accounts on my tax return even if I haven't contributed to them in the last 4 years.

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Dress Shirts

Could you advise on how the value of items is determined for charitable contributions? I am about to donate several of my designer suits to charity. 

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Gavel

Yes, Uncle Sam loves lawsuit settlements just like plaintiffs do. Before you start spending the money, there are some things you need to know.

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stacked books, diploma, and graduation hat

We adopted our grandson three years ago - he is now a freshman in high school. When he goes to college, will his tuition be tax deductible? 

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Woman in white hat in a swimming pool

I bet you all do not want to even see the word TAX right now! I know what you are doing. Lying in your hammock or lounging by the pool drinking a lemonade.

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glasses and pen laying on top of tax form

There are so many ways that taxpayers have tried to do an end run on the tax system that the IRS issues an updated consumer alert each year titled...

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Divided wedding cake with groom on one side and the bride on the other

Taxpayers who must pay alimony to a former spouse may deduct it from his/her tax return as an adjustment to income.

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Room partially painted

How do you know if you have spent substantially full time repairing and maintaining a rental property when you stay in it so it doesn't count as a personal day?

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Rolled up receipt

If you have a dedicated credit card for your business, can you use the statement as the receipt for your business entertainment, meals, travel, etc.?

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drive through window

First job ever? What do you do about those pesky tax forms they gave you at the job? How do you fill them out? Why are they taking all that money out!?

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Handcuffs laying on a 1040 form

We took out a home equity loan to redo our basement. The contractor did not perform the work as agreed and what was performed had to be torn out...

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The Capital

Some of the more popular tax breaks the bill would have extended are the tuition and fees deduction; the state and local sales tax deduction...

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man laying on grass relaxed

You may have heard that if you are self-employed, or you are expected to entertain clients as part of your job, you can deduct the costs of those meals...

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Woman until holding up key by model of house

I have a good friend who owns two rental homes here in California. The tales he tells regarding these “assets” are not for the faint of heart.

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church

Is there a tax benefit to making a charitable contribution to my church directly from my IRA rather than writing a check and deducting it from my tax return? 

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Piggy bank with handcuffs hanging on it

Continuing on with Scams 8-12, let’s look at the third set of scams in The Dirty Dozen. False Income, Expenses or Exemptions: Another set of scams...

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Homes surrounded by mountains

I bought a house in Arizona in 1996 for $95,000. I did two cash-out refi’s totaling about $30,000 through 2004. I sold the house in 2014 for $165,000, and..

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Woman at the Dentist

I took out a medical loan for $36,000 dollars for full mouth restoration by two dentists due to infections. My insurance only covered $890. Can I deduct it?

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Tax Day and April 15th stamps by stack of papers

The April 15th deadline is approaching. Taxpayers are most likely to make errors on returns when they are rushing to finish their returns before the deadline.

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dog sitting on green chair

I travel for a living and my company knows I have pets. I have to have them kenneled when I am traveling for work.  Can I expense the cost of the kennel stay? 

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Cube with Tax words on written on it

A refund is NOT a bonus and a balance due is NOT a penalty. When you began working, you filled out a W-4 stating how many exemptions you wanted.

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TAX spelled out with tiles

They say that happy employees make for happy customers, and at TaxAudit.com those happy employees start with managers like Eric.

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Calculator and Stethoscope

Feeling sick? Broke a foot? Broke a tooth? Kids in braces? Are these deductible on your taxes? Well – maybe. Medical, dental, and even alternative health care..

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Partially painted room

I was an owner contractor on the restoration of my house. I bought some used construction equipment to do the work, items like gas powered pressure washer...

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Money wrapped in a bow

Our adult Sunday School class had a Christmas project of supplying Christmas clothes and toys for a needy family with several children and a disabled father. 

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Family in swimming pool on a raft

I lived with my younger cousins, ages 11 and 4, in 2013 except for about 2 months when I stayed with my father while he was sick. I provided more than...

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Woman filling out a tax form

It’s that time of year when taxpayers begin to get massive headaches. If you feel your head pounding, following these simple tips could save you more pain.

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Tax Time written out on a calculator

Have you ever thought about New Year’s Tax Resolutions? What can I do better when it comes to my personal and business taxes?

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