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…
Congress created one of the best tax savings vehicles in 2003. It wasn’t the individual retirement account (IRA). It wasn’t the Roth IRA.It was the health savings account (HSA). The HSA is the only tax-preferred savings vehicle in which a taxpayer potentially gets both an upfront tax deduction in addition to tax-free and penalty-free distributions.
The IRS wrote the HSA rules to give taxpayers maximum flexibility in how they use their HSAs for medical expenses. Strategic use of the HSA can lead to lifelong tax savings opportunities.
Let’s review the basic rules as to how an HSA operates, the little-known rules that create tax savings opportunities, and examples of how the HSA can be used to provide tax-free and penalty-free distributions when the taxpayer has a cash need.READ MORE
Enjoy Decades of Tax-Free Growth With a 529A
If you’re disabled or support someone who is, a 529A plan can be a powerful way to save for the future. Potential earnings grow tax-free, and you won’t have to pay taxes when you withdraw, as long as the withdrawals meet qualifications. Also known as Qualified ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) programs, these will not only assist you next time you are playing Tax Code Jeopardy but help you create a tax advantaged savings account. One reason you may not hear much about these tax vehicles is that there really is no way I can discern that advisers can make money on them. But since you and I are members of the same club as tax practitioners, I’m confident you will tell your clients about things that can help regardless of whether there is any profit in it. As my first managing partner the late Herb Cohan used to say, “The world is longer than a day.” To learn more about future tax-free money, keep reading.Read More
Maximizing Your Home Office Deduction
Question: Can I avoid depreciation recapture by not claiming it before I sell? Answer: Nice try. You may save yourself unnecessary worry and fear about so-called recapture, but it won’t save you any tax impact when you do sell. If you want to learn the truth about depreciation, keep reading to learn more.Read More
Just Good Business – Review Your Insurance Policies
Regular readers of this column may know that I came involuntarily to the tax business. I inherited it from my mother in 2010. Less well known is that the tax business was Mom’s side hustle. Mom’s main business was as an independent insurance agent. The insurance side of the business closed in 2017, but during the time I was administering that side of the business (I was never a licensed agent), I learned a lot about insurance. One of the most important lessons I learned was that the longer you hold a policy, the more the rates increase and that it pays to make the effort to review (and shop) your various insurance policies regularly. Another important lesson was that all coverage is not equal and, just as when looking for a tax professional, price should be a consideration but not the consideration. The third important lesson was to know your coverage before you need the insurance. Many times we had to remind a customer they had refused uninsured motorist coverage to save a few dollars after an uninsured motorist totaled the client’s vehicle or to explain the limits of flood coverage after a building flooded. Regularly reviewing your insurance policies for coverage and value provides peace of mind and is just good business. Click here to learn the ins and outs of getting a great deal.Read More