When United States Tax Court Judge Paris issued the opinion in the case of Ryan Fleischer in 2016 , it caused quite a stir in the tax blogosphere. And from what I have been able to gather off the record it remains of interest. The Fleischer decision makes it very difficult, if not impossible for some financial professionals to use S corporations to mitigate self-employment tax. Rather than attack on reasonable salary, the IRS took an assignment of income approach, which succeeded throwing planners for financial professionals like Fleischer into a bit of an uproar…
Accountants are facts and figures folk. Accountants rely on data and analysis, not myths and tales.
Well, not always. In 2020, we asked 4,671 tax advisors whether the IRS recognized rules of thumb such as a 50/50 split between distributions and reasonable compensation. Thirty-three percent said yes.
The IRS “rule of thumb” is a myth. But it’s a fact that we found 1,555 professional accountants who relied on this myth.
It’s not that they didn’t have the facts. All of those surveyed had just attended a continuing education class on reasonable compensation that walked them through, step by step, recent court cases, the IRS’s definition, rules, guidelines, and criteria for determining reasonable compensation. Nowhere in the class were they taught that the IRS accepts “rule of thumb” or “safe harbor” calculations based on percentage of distributions, sales, or revenue.
So, what gives? Why do so many accountants believe these rules of thumb are actually “rules”? And more importantly, does the IRS follow the same?READ MORE
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More