Edition 69 Archives - Think Outside the Tax Box

Edition 69

By Jeff Stimpson

Electronic Commerce Creates Confusing Sales Tax Obligations

Any company engaged in e-commerce, i.e., selling online, knows that the ability to reach buyers and customers remotely can juice the bottom line. State and local tax jurisdictions around the country know that, too, especially the bottom line of their sales tax coffers.

Now every state with a statewide sales tax has a threshold past which remote sellers must collect and remit state sales tax. Failure to do so can incur big penalties, or worse, and there’s a lot to know based on where and what you sell online.


Content Marketing for Accountants: Creating Valuable and Engaging Content

If you read my article Building a Strong Personal Brand as an Accountant: Strategies for Success you’d have learned about how I started my entrepreneurial journey in 2018, knowing absolutely nothing about marketing. I was one of those CFOs who would need to understand why a company has to spend more money on marketing; however, I did understand that having a robust online presence was necessary for a new digital age. Little did I know that marketing is senior to any other activity in a business.

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Some Harsh Lessons on Being Late from the Tax Court

Penalties for procrastination in tax matters can be somewhat harsh. Judge Albert Lauber of the United States Tax Court gave us some lessons on the topic earlier this year. The “strategy” of over withholding so that you can file your return whenever the spirit moves you rather than by the due date has a serious downside. The statute of limitations will not work in your favor, but it will work against you. It is a little like you are playing in a chess tournament and you and your opponent are staring at the board. Your clock is ticking and theirs is not.

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Can You Write Off Your Vacation on Your Taxes?

I saw a meme that said, “accountants go on vacation just so they can work from another location.” This might be true. So maybe, just maybe you can write your vacation off on your taxes. But on a serious note, this is a question that taxpayers have. “Can I write off my vacation on my taxes?” I hate to blame everything on the internet but...it is a dangerous place for taxpayers. There is an infamous Tik Tok video turned reel that has found its way into my DMs and e-mail inbox several times. I’m often amused by the bad tax advice that goes viral online. The comments tend to make me giggle or give me cause for concern. This particular video gave me more cause for concern. The main reason it did this is because of the amount of tax professionals that shared in agreement. I’m all for advertising on social media but often we must be careful as tax professionals. We have certain ethical obligations that unfortunately do not apply to other industries. We do not want to mislead taxpayers for “likes” or potentially going viral. Let me get to the details of the video. A tax professional whose credentials I won’t mention, was sharing how taxpayers can use their entire family vacation as a write off on their Schedule C. Rightfully so, this made taxpayer’s ears perk up. Why not kill two birds with one stone, right? What should not have happened was tax professionals sharing the video with filling in the blanks. I know you would never do that, and that’s why you’re here. To find out what parts of travel your client can write off on their taxes. So, let’s look at what constitutes something being a business expense. Then we’ll look at the due diligence you should take to make sure their travel and meal expenses are legitimate.

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