All Articles - Think Outside the Tax Box


By Keith Schroeder, EA

Intentionally Filing a Defective Tax Return

Creativity on a tax return is a natural tendency. Many strategies and behaviors we know are wrong, e.g. not reporting all income. However, is it ever okay to disregard some deductions and pay more tax? At first glance, it would seem that the IRS should like the idea of more reported income and a higher tax liability attached to the additional income. The IRS does not.


Side Hustles and Tax Tussles: Tax in the Gig and Share Economy Part Two

The gig economy involves more than one-off and part-time jobs. It also includes when you share your property in exchange for money. This can be a residential property, a vacation home, or even a vehicle. The gig economy has connected those who need rides and places to stay with owners via online platforms. We refer to this part of the gig economy as the share economy. Accessing these accommodations is easy with the online platforms. But how the people participating should report their income isn't quite as straightforward. Last time we looked at how your clients should report gig income, just like any other income made as a sole proprietor. But making money from renting your property out is different, right? If you have clients with rental properties, you report their income on Schedule E (1040), Supplemental Income and Loss. We know from last time that we report gig economy income on Schedule C (1040), Profit or Loss from Business. So, how does rental income derived from the share economy get reported on a tax return? Every taxpayer's favorite answer, it depends.

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Loose Change in Your Couch and Maybe a Tax Break at Your Kitchen Table

A 2023 Tax Court decision upheld what many small business owners and tax practitioners have wondered about for some time. The court found that shareholders of an S corporation could exclude rental income paid to them by their S corporation for holding planning meetings in their homes. While the IRS and court found that the amounts charged by the shareholders were excessive, the court found the arrangement itself within the bounds of the law. This article examines this case and underlying law and when and how this is a planning idea worth pursuing, the limitations and unknowns involved, and the policy implications of this long standing exclusion. The case is Sinopoli, TC Memo 2023-105 involving the exclusion at IRC Section 280A(g).

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When Clients Leave, Look for a New Niche

What are clients, especially niche clients, generally looking for in an accounting firm? How do they look for an accounting firm? Those questions need answers if you’re to grow your firm as clients inevitably drop away and need to be replaced. Here’s a look at why and when clients might want a new accounting firm – or be thinking about moving on from yours – and niches you might want to investigate to replace these clients.

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Month's-end brought signs of things to come. Earlier we saw clarification of the non-jurisdictional limit in employee classification cases, a new IRS tactic in syndication conservation easements, and, as always, sharpeners for the practitioner's toolkit.

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An Update on BOI Reporting

Misinformation, misinterpretations, and catastrophizing – much has been written these past few months about BOI (Beneficial Ownership Information), all coming from a range of voices, from tax professionals to politicians. There have been dire predictions of small business owners being ushered to jail for failing to file and fears of tax professionals rounded up for the unauthorized practice of law (UPL). Then there are those who mistakenly say BOI has been ruled unconstitutional and who reject any need to worry about it. That is profoundly wrong. Let’s look at the facts and put an end to all of this fearmongering.

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Side Hustles and Tax Tussles: Tax in the Gig and Share Economy Part One

I can recall looking for a part time job in local newspapers when I was in high school. Sometimes a friend and I would ride around with our $2.29 per gallon gas looking for places that were hiring. Facebook was gaining popularity but not for job posting. So, searching for jobs on my phone via an app was unimaginable. Advances in technology have changed the way that we do things in the world. Everything an individual needs to find a job is right at their fingertips. There are more opportunities to find gigs and be your own boss if that’s what one desires. There’s no question that the way people find ways to earn income has changed. What has not changed is the fact that the IRS wants their share of the income earned. But how do we apply the tax code to these new ways that taxpayers are earning money? We are going to break that down in this three-part series. Whether your client is doing odd jobs on an app like TaskRabbit, driving for Lyft, renting out their home or car, you will know how to guide them. This is what we are going to cover today with a focus on rideshare, delivery, and other service gigs.

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Building Your Firm’s Succession Plan from Within

One day, you won’t want to work anymore, at least not at your current firm. How do you pass on your firm for the best chances of success for everyone? That day when you step out the door for the last time may still seem far off, but when it comes – and it will – you’ll be thankful for an orderly departure. That many accounting firms never make it to a second generation indicates that a lot goes into successful succession plans: impressions of senior staff; the bottom line on your firm’s value and future; and, trickiest of all, just admitting that you need a succession plan. Hammer out details beforehand, especially if you, rather than merging your firm into another or selling your firm, want to groom your firm’s next leaders from within. How and when to start?

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Innovative Marketing Trends in 2024

As the accounting industry progresses, staying up-to-date with the latest marketing trends is crucial for us accountants as we aim to attract and retain clients. The marketing landscape is witnessing a significant transformation through major technological advances and continuous changes in consumer purchase behavior, affecting how we attract clients as accountants and business owners. Therefore, to thrive in this dynamic environment, as accountants, we must embrace these innovative marketing strategies that resonate with modern clients. In this article, I'll discuss ten groundbreaking marketing techniques and how you can use them in your firm's marketing strategy.

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