Individual Strategies Archives - Think Outside the Tax Box

Individual Strategies

By Matt Metras, EA

Cryptocurrency Staking and the U.S. Tax Code

Cryptocurrency is currently one of the hottest topics in taxation. The use cases of crypto are continually evolving, and official IRS guidance is perpetually several years behind the types of transactions investors engage in. We are left trying to force a crypto transaction to fit into the existing code that was not written with crypto in mind. Additionally, with the lack of official guidance, we are forced to attempt to anticipate how the IRS will interpret novel transactions or worry about potential penalties and interest down the road. Staking is a transaction that has become extremely common among crypto users, yet the IRS is silent on how to report and tax it. Read on to learn more about cryptocurrency “mining”, staking, and how the current IRS interpretations of the tax code (or lack thereof) may affect your income reporting.

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Airline Miles, Other Reward Programs, and Taxes – What You Need to Know

Frequent flyer miles and similar programs for other forms of consumption like grocery shopping raise a host of tax issues. There are the concerns of the recipients of the “rewards” and also of the issuers of the various sorts of points. A recent Tax Court decision brought the taxability of rewards into focus again and the opinion encourages the IRS to provide more guidance. Here is where we seem to be now. This is the first of two articles discussing the tax strategies available to boat owners. Part 1 focuses on using a boat as a residence, but if that doesn’t meet your needs, stay tuned because Part 2 will cover boats for business use (including as a home office). Why not consider both options and see how your tax savings can help fund your floating condo? Keep reading to learn more.

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What Is the Best Way Tax Advisors Can Charge for ERC Claims?

Question: How are you pricing Employee Retention Credit claims? Answer: The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) has seemed more confusing than some of the other tax credits simply because it was mostly ignored by the tax community early in the pandemic. While small businesses happily pocketed PPP funds rather than claim the credit, the choice between the two benefits was clear. As we now know, business owners can have both PPP loan forgiveness as well as access to the ERC tax credits. But many smaller firms and payroll processors felt overwhelmed by the demand, and with refunds taking months to process, some businesses are often looking for help on their own. So many new players have entered the game selling access to these credits, up to $33,000 in cash per employee. Firms selling R&D studies and cost segregation are advertising – hard. Most are charging a percentage of the total credit amount. You don’t want to miss out on this valuable service for your client to capture this free cash, yet many advisors are passing on this work due to the time, research, and education requirements for something that has such a short shelf life. Is it worth losing income to meet everyone’s needs? Continue reading to check out the results of a short survey asking tax pros how they are charging for this type of work.

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Any Port in The Storm – Tax Strategies for Boat Owners (Part 2 of 2)

Ever thought of using a recreational vehicle like a boat to lower your taxes? Yes, it’s possible using the right strategies, and there’s no time like the present to make that happen. Even more than pre-pandemic taxpayers may be considering buying their own island. Those for whom buying an actual island is beyond the budget may be considering buying a boat or an RV for use as a residence, an office, or both. Whatever the type of use, there are tax strategies available for boat owners if they meet the requirements. As with any tax strategy it is important to have a full understanding of the requirements to ensure the deduction is legal and to ensure the taxpayer can substantiate the deduction should the tax authorities examine the return. This is the first of two articles discussing the tax strategies available to boat owners. Part 1 focuses on using a boat as a residence, but if that doesn’t meet your needs, stay tuned because Part 2 will cover boats for business use (including as a home office). Why not consider both options and see how your tax savings can help fund your floating condo? Keep reading to learn more.

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Any Port in the Storm – Tax Strategies for Boat Owners (Part 1 of 2)

Ever thought of using a recreational vehicle like a boat to lower your taxes? Yes, it’s possible using the right strategies, and there’s no time like the present to make that happen. Even more than pre-pandemic taxpayers may be considering buying their own island. Those for whom buying an actual island is beyond the budget may be considering buying a boat or an RV for use as a residence, an office, or both. Whatever the type of use, there are tax strategies available for boat owners if they meet the requirements. As with any tax strategy it is important to have a full understanding of the requirements to ensure the deduction is legal and to ensure the taxpayer can substantiate the deduction should the tax authorities examine the return. This is the first of two articles discussing the tax strategies available to boat owners. Part 1 focuses on using a boat as a residence, but if that doesn’t meet your needs, stay tuned because Part 2 will cover boats for business use (including as a home office). Why not consider both options and see how your tax savings can help fund your floating condo? Keep reading to learn more.

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Other State Taxes to Consider During Relocation – Not Just Income Tax!

Looking to save money by moving to a low tax state? If so, determining how much you will save in taxes by moving is a question many people are often asking that doesn’t have a simple answer. Many people miss out big time because they simply think about state income taxes. However, there are so many other types of taxes that can be just as important when thinking about moving to a new state. Simply because a state has low (or no) income taxes doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a low overall tax state. Other taxes such as sales tax, payroll tax, and property tax can have just as big an impact on your taxes as the traditional income tax. Don’t get hit with unexpected “stealth taxes,” when moving to a low tax state, while state tax free states are great, out of the seven states without an income tax, three are not in the top 10 lowest tax burden states. Keep reading to learn how to choose the lower tax places to live.

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Is Your Spouse Innocent or Injured? Part 2: The Innocent Spouse

Jack Sprat did pay no tax. His wife paid all of hers. But when they filed a joint return, She learned she owed all of his! This is the heart of the innocent spouse! The innocent spouse filed a joint return with a balance due – but didn’t really create the tax obligation. S/he did everything right, paid all the proper withholding or estimated tax payments. Yet, s/he suddenly finds out that the spouse has a balance due and doesn’t have the money to pay it all.

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How to Deduct Even More Expenses as Self-Employed Health Expenses

Question: Can I still deduct self-employed health insurance if my spouse has insurance through their employment? Answer: You may potentially qualify for the deduction even if your spouse has insurance through their employment. Healthcare costs seem to be always on the rise, and if you’re self-employed if can be tough to find an affordable option for a single participant plan. The good news is, the Self-Employed Health Insurance deduction provides an “above the line” write-off helping you not only save tax through a lower taxable income, but it also helps to slash your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). Lowering your AGI also helps mitigate the disadvantages of AGI based tax laws. For example, some itemized like medical expenses and charitable contributions can be hampered by the amount of your AGI. In other words, AGI determines how much of certain deductions and tax credits you can take. There are three steps to qualifying for this deduction including some special provisions that let you sweeten the deal. Did you know you can even write off dental and long-term care insurance as self-employed medical expense? You can! Here’s how to get even more write-offs if you’re self-employed.

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Here’s How a Family Limited Partnership Can Protect Your Assets From Tax

Planning for your future generations often means being real about how much (or how little) will be left behind for your heirs. If you’re like most, it is difficult to imagine telling your grandchildren they may be forced to sell the family home to pay off the IRS in estate tax. One solution is to look for a legal way to move assets and money to your children (or others) while minimizing your tax. A Family Limited Partnerships (FLP) might be the perfect mechanism for you to accomplish this. These special types of partnerships provide solutions to two main issues: asset protection and estate tax reduction. Not only will this help you create a legacy of giving, but it will also ensure that the family business or home actually stays, “in the family.” Asset protection is important as it limits your risk exposure and liability to lawsuits, bankruptcy, and other claims. FLP’s are used to move assets during your life leaving the amount of your taxable estate smaller, and helping you gift much more than the law typically allows. But if you’re thinking this means giving a seat to Jr. at the board room table, think again. You can optimally set up this arrangement to ensure you maintain control until you are ready to step down. All is not rosy in the world of FLPs however. These types of arrangements can be viewed by the IRS as abusive tax shelters to transfer wealth tax free. Keep reading for an in-depth look at FLP’s.

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