Edition 28 Archives - Think Outside the Tax Box

Edition 28

By Peter J Reilly CPA

How $15,000 in Cryptocurrency Created a Half Million Dollar Tax Bill

Tax Court Docket 26425-21 can serve as a wake-up call to your clients who have been dabbling in cryptocurrency. TaxNotes has published the petition if you want to know the name and profession of the taxpayer involved, but I am just going to call him Joe. Joe is doing pretty well in his profession. Just for the heck of it he decided to dabble in crypto. He never had more than ten to fifteen thousand dollars invested in crypto. What could possibly go wrong?


OSHA and CDC Guidelines Are Not ERC Suspensions

The Employee Retention Credit is worth big bucks. Qualifying companies can get significant relief money – sometimes millions of dollars. So, it was no surprise to me when I heard some outlandish eligibility statements such as “the national emergency declaration counts” or even some “every business gets it” claims. There is a lot of desire to qualify out there and plenty of credit consultants looking to make money. But recently I have heard a different argument from multiple sources which has intrigued me. The argument is dressed up much better and almost looks legitimate. Here is a summary of how the line of thinking goes: OSHA rules mandate compliance with CDC guidelines creating partial suspension eligibility for ERC. I call it the “OSHA argument.” That thinking has not set well with some – particularly as the argument results in qualification for every business for all of 2020 and 2021. Red states have had little or no restrictions in 2021 and even deep blue states generally lifted their restrictions in the spring of 2021. But conveniently, the OSHA argument would mean state and local orders do not need to be reviewed at all as a national order is in place. For a consultant charging a percentage of the ERC, they can sell this service now to everyone and avoid the headache of eligibility discussions. Let’s take a closer look at this argument and reasons why it does not work.

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Segregating Activities Can Optimize Tax Savings for Professional Gamblers, Gamers, and Contestants

You’re tax professionals. You don’t need me to tell you that the money you are going to win in the virtual office pool on “the big game” is taxable income. You also don’t need me to tell you can’t net your winnings with the cost of the wager. You don’t, right? Most of the rules for reporting gambling income and deducting gambling losses for individuals are well understood with the possible exception of the session rules for slot machine play. I’m not going there—well, not in this article. This article is going to explore the nuances of tax optimization for people who have decided to go all in and turn their leisure time activities into a job.

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The Final Word on Hobby Loss Developments In 2021

Pedants will argue that you shouldn't refer to Code Section 183 - Activities not Engaged in For Profit as the "hobby loss rule", because the word hobby appears nowhere in the statute. The pedants scored a point in 2021, but I will still be sticking with the term. It looked like a slow year for hobby loss developments, but we finished with two major cases including a big taxpayer win. Let’s take a look.

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