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By Sandy Botkin

Hire Your Kids and Save Money on Your Taxes

Whether you’re preparing to have kids in the future or already have kids, there are tax strategies available (but often overlooked) that you should take advantage of. These are proven ways to save you money on your tax return. How do I know? Well, I use them myself.
Bringing children into this world is a great joy and brings immense satisfaction. It’s important to remember, though, having children is a significant responsibility you should take seriously. From a very early age, you need to begin planning for your financial future to ensure you care for your children.
There are 10+ unique ways the wealthy families in this country use their families to “qualify” for deductions that often go unused by the middle class. They go unused, not because the middle class can’t qualify; it’s that they don’t make the time to take proactive steps to prepare themselves.
Here are just a few of the things you should know as you begin tax planning for your family.

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How To Report Officer’s Compensation For A Late S Election

BY Staff Writer

Question: If I am making a late S election for a client, how do I handle that the officer received no officer’s compensation throughout the year?

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Defer and Eliminate Capital Gains With Opportunity Zones

BY Tyler Davis

The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) created Opportunity Zones (OZ). Taxpayers who invest in Qualified Opportunity Zones can reduce capital gains tax and pay zero tax on the investment’s future appreciation. For this reason, Opportunity Zones have a significant edge over traditional capital gain deferral strategies like the 1031 Exchange.
With more than 8,500 economic zones throughout the United States, investors and business owners have plenty of choices. Additionally, the investment gives them a chance to do some good in an economically depressed area, make some tax-free money, and achieve some permanent capital gain savings even after you’ve already sold your asset. What’s not to love?
There are a number of intricate rules concerning OZ investment tax breaks so if you want to begin or expand your business or real estate holdings using these tax breaks, read on to learn more.

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When a 1031 Exchange May Not Actually Save On Tax

BY Natalie Kolodij

The 1031 Like-Kind Exchange (LKE) provides a great potential benefit to taxpayers who want to sell rental properties to purchase others in the United States.
IRC § 1031 allows you to defer a taxable gain that would normally be taxed at the time of sale of a rental property. However, there are situations when a 1031 exchange may not be the best option for the taxpayer, and it could potentially dilute the tax savings when compared to a traditional sale or other gain minimization strategies.
To take advantage of the tax deferral benefits of a 1031 exchange, you’ll need to follow a specific set of guidelines. Here, we will dive into the circumstances that you should review to determine if a 1031 exchange will be the best option in mitigating the taxes you owe.

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How to Do a Backdoor Roth IRA (Safely) and Avoid the IRA Aggregation Rule and Step Transaction Doctrine

BY Michael E. Kitces, MSFS, MTAX, CFP®, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, CASL

The basic concept of the “backdoor Roth IRA contribution” is relatively straightforward. Contributing directly to a Roth IRA is restricted for higher-income individuals; once a married couple has an AGI in excess of $193,000 (or $131,000 for an individual), the maximum contribution limit to a Roth IRA reduces to zero. However, anyone with earned income can contribute to an IRA, regardless of how high their income is; at worst, higher income levels may limit the deductibility of that IRA contribution (for those who are an active participant in an employer retirement plan), but not the ability to make the IRA contribution.
In addition, under the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 (TIPRA), there have been no income limits on Roth conversions of traditional IRAs since 2010. As a result, anyone who has funds in a traditional IRA, whether originally deductible or not, is eligible to do a Roth conversion. In other words, while income limits remain on Roth contributions, there are no income limits for a Roth conversion.

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Is Trader Tax Status Worth It?

BY Matt Metras, EA

As we navigate a world with COVID-19, large swings in the stock market have become the norm. Many buy and hold-style investors are more actively managing their portfolios to take advantage of these swings. The IRS has a special trader status for taxpayers who frequently engage in trading. This status includes a special accounting method, not available to the average investor, that can come with substantial tax savings. The status allows an investor to make special deductions and opens the door to a wide range of tax reduction strategies unavailable to the casual investor. However, with potential savings also come risks that could end up costing the taxpayer/trader more than the average investor. Weighing the pros and cons of this status is crucial in minimizing tax liability. The big question for tax planning is this — does obtaining trader tax status result in less tax?

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When a 1031 Exchange Should Be Used for Tax Savings

BY Natalie Kolodij

If you made money on your real estate investment, congratulations! You’re now in the same club that more than 90 percent of the world’s millionaires do to create wealth. Now it’s time for tax on that profit.
A large tax bill generally means you made a large profit. But avoiding the tax can be like having your cake and eating it too. A 1031 Exchange is an incredibly powerful tool for you to defer the tax when used in the right circumstances.
Many real estate investors and landlords look to the 1031 Like-Kind Exchange (LKE) as an excellent method of selling investment real estate without paying tax at the time of sale. This gives you more use of the cash you get at the sale and more time to use it.

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Will Changes to Qualified Improvement Property Get Me a Refund?

BY Staff Writer

Question: I’m familiar with Qualified Improvement Property (QIP) and the technical correction made in 2020. What is everyone doing for returns when, if corrected, the client could benefit? Is it something you can amend the 2018 tax return for if you took a 179 expense instead of a bonus?

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Get Automatic, No Questions Asked Penalty Relief

BY Thomas Gorczynski, EA USTCP CTP

The IRS loves to issue penalties to taxpayers. In fiscal year 2019, the IRS imposed a whopping $40.5 billion in civil penalties.1
If a taxpayer wants to contest an IRS penalty, it usually takes a really good explanation plus a lot of time and effort.
However, there is a little-known IRS policy that allows a taxpayer to get penalty relief with no explanations required.
Taxpayers who file returns late can quickly rack up huge penalty bills.

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