All Articles - Think Outside the Tax Box


By Annette Nellen, CPA, CGMA, Esq.

Inflation Reduction Act 2022 Energy Tax Incentive Considerations

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (P.L. 117-169; 8/16/22) could easily have been named the Energy Incentives Act of 2022. Over 20 provisions in the Act provide tax credits or special deductions to encourage the production and use of clean energy. The cost of these energy provisions over ten years is about $271 billion. In contrast, the ten-year revenue projection for the corporate AMT and one percent excise tax on certain stock buybacks is about $296 billion.

Most of the energy credits are for businesses and are specialized such as for the production of clean hydrogen or sustainable aviation fuel or zero-emission nuclear power production. Four credits are designed for individuals including three revised credits and one entirely new one (§25E, Previously-owned clean vehicle credit).

This article highlights key aspects of the credits and special energy provisions as a whole, offers tips for dealing with the complexities that exist in these IRA 2022 rules, and provides suggestions to help individuals obtain the greatest tax savings from the new and revised energy credits and rebates. A few charts are included to aid in understanding these credits.


“Retired” CPAs Touring America in an RV

I recently wrote a sort of case study to illustrate the economics of RV tourism . I thought that my fellow tax pros might appreciate a little more analysis of the numbers. I also have some observations on working out of an RV, because I wasn’t actually entirely retired...

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Potential Pitfalls of Digital Assets and the “Kiddie Tax”

Those of us who are parents of Gen Z children know it’s “no cap ” that we have no clue what our children get up to on the internet. My son, for example, makes a lot of YouTube videos of our cat for some reason. Thankfully, he hasn’t monetized his videos (yet!), so they don’t carry any tax consequences. However, many taxpayers are finding out that their dependents have spent their time in the metaverse, defi gaming, or nfts, and as a result have engaged in dozens to thousands of taxable transactions without even being aware it. Those transactions may also trigger the “Tax on a Child's Investment and Other Unearned Income,” also known as the “Kiddie Tax.” Read on to learn more...

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TAX COURT ROUND-UP – January 2023

I'm new here, but I know enough not to try to do what everyone else does. I won't try to cover the wider tax picture. I cover United States Tax Court on my blog, so here's a brief round-up on what went on in Tax Court during the last month that I think is of interest to the tax planner and practitioner...

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Live Webinar Event: The DeFi & Digital Asset Taxation Course

Join nationally recognized speaker and educator Matt Metras, EA, as he guides you through the ins and outs of mining, staking, forks, airdrops, DeFi swaps, yield farming, liquidity pools, NFTs, and more. With little guidance in these areas, you'll learn how to apply existing code sections to cryptocurrency situations, with a focus on finding tax-saving opportunities. We'll also cover how to extract transactions from the blockchain and introduce you to a number of helpful tools. This two-hour course is packed with valuable information, but it’s more than just information - we're also offering continuing education credits to qualifying attendees, courtesy of the American Institute of Certified Tax Planners.

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Year End Tax Saving Tips for the Digital Currency Investor

As a financial expert, I know that 2022 has been a roller coaster year for investors. With only days left in the year, the Dow is down and the S&P 500 is down . On the high-risk crypto side, Bitcoin has fallen 64 percent and former Top 10 coin Solana has fallen more than 92 percent thanks to Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX. While the markets may be down, taxpayers can still come out ahead through careful tax planning. By taking the time to assess your financial situation and make strategic decisions, you can minimize their tax burden and potentially save money. It's important to consult with a tax planning professional to ensure that you’re taking advantage of all available tax savings opportunities. Here are a few of the things to do before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve.

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Inflation Reduction Act – Energy Credits for Your Home

The Inflation Reduction Act has brought back and revised credits we have seen before. One of these credits had a $500 lifetime value but now can be $1,200 for each eligible tax year. That is a potential $11,500 increase in savings for your clients. They do not have to build a new house to take advantage of these savings. Taxpayers can receive this credit for improvements made to their home. The tax savings do not stop there. If your client buys an electric vehicle, they are going to need somewhere to charge it, right? Well, the Inflation Reduction Act has considered that, too. Homeowners can save an extra $1,000 on their taxes by installing the charging equipment at home. Let's explore how you can help your non-business clients capitalize on these types of tax savings on these improved energy credits. We will look at both credits now.

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Making Smarter Retirement Account Distributions by Asking When, Why, and Where

As a proactive client, you often ask your tax professional about the tax effects of taking distributions from your retirement accounts. Unfortunately, it seems that proactive clients are in the minority. More often, your tax professional only learns about your retirement account distribution when the Form 1099-R arrives with your other tax documents. Proactive tax planners can improve their tax savings strategies by asking the when, where, and why that can help reduce negative tax consequences and can make you look like a problem-solving rock star to your clients. Whether you are looking for proactive ideas to implement on your own, or you want to be a problem-solving rock star with your tax planning clients, keep reading to learn how to make smart retirement account distributions.

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Client Alert

Don’t Forget the Cohan Rule but Try Not to Need It

We are creeping up to the centennial of the Cohan rule. Learned Hand’s opinion for the Second Circuit in Cohan v. Commissioner came out on March 3, 1930 . I love this rule so much that I've made it the Prime Directive in my own book, Reilly’s Laws of Tax Planning: “If you don’t have documentation, at least have a plausible story.” However, subsequent legislation, changes in societal expectations, and the passage of time have eroded the usefulness of the Cohan rule for taxpayers. In recent years, there have been more instances of courts refusing to apply it than allowing its use. That’s why in Reilly’s Sixteenth Law of Tax Planning, I advise people to “being right without substantiation can be as bad as being wrong.”

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