February 1, 2024 - Think Outside the Tax Box

February 1, 2024

Did the Other Shoe Just Drop on Last Year’s IRS alliantgroup Raid?

Lane Grigsby is back in the “news” as one of the major backers and advisers of Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry, but that’s not what gets the chairman of Cajun Construction in Think Outside the Tax Box. For that, we have a recent decision in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Judge Patrick Higginbotham wrote the opinion, and it’s all about the research credit.

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A Winner of a Losing Hobby Case

Wolfgang Frederick Kraske, representing himself in Tax Court, pulled off a rare feat. He managed to get two opinions for the price of one in a relatively low stakes case . My friend Lew Taishoff found the regular decision about the $4,574 Section 6662(a) accuracy related penalty to be of great interest . I think the more interesting story is in the memo opinion that covers the tax deficiency of $22,687 for the years 2011 and 2012. It is mostly about Section 183: Activities not engaged in for profit, commonly referred to as the hobby loss rule. Although in this case, the activity does not even seem to get up to the level of a hobby, much less a business conducted for profit. I didn’t dig any deeper into the case, so the story you are getting is what Judge John H. Gale concluded. Kraske might have had something to say if I had interviewed him.

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Section 1244 Still Worth Remembering

The inherent optimism of entrepreneurs makes thinking about things that mitigate the effect of failure not that unpleasant. In a career in accounting, you are likely to see many deals that don’t work out, so it’s best to remember anything that will lessen the pain. Section 1244 is such a provision. Section 1244 allows what would otherwise be a capital loss to be treated as ordinary. Its significance has been somewhat diminished, but every little bit helps.

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The Constitution for Tax Pros

A case currently before the Supreme Court, Charles Moore, G. Moore et ux. v. United States , has the court looking at some of the fundamentals of the Constitution’s treatment of taxation. Advocates of various views are hoping for an earthshaking result. Also, many “tax protester” arguments base themselves on misreading of Supreme Court decisions from around the time of the 16th Amendment. Knowing a fuller version of what surrounds the snippets they feed you probably won’t help you bring them around if they have drunk deep of the tax protester Kool-Aid, but it will help you maintain your own sanity. Let’s start with what the Moore case is about.

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