June 1, 2021 - Think Outside the Tax Box

June 1, 2021

Does the Cohan Rule Still Matter?

Looking to write off your favorite wine? Better yet, how about deducting it while lacking the receipts? For nearly a century, freewheeling salespeople, hobnobbers, and schmoozers alike have treated potential customers and employees to fine dining and entertaining all while seeking the maximum tax break in the process with minimal substantiation. While proving these expenses has certainly gotten easier with technology, smart planners have made use of the so-called Cohan rule to enjoy the deductions without the paperwork nightmare. Want to make use of it yourself? Read on 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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Can I Double Dip? Qualifying for Both PPP Forgiveness and COVID-related Tax Credits

Question: Is it possible to qualify for both PPP forgiveness and COVID-related tax credits? Answer: The short answer, of course, includes, “it depends.” We were fortunate that the Consolidated Appropriations Act passed in December 2020 made it so that businesses that received PPP loans may now be eligible for the Employee Retention tax credits retroactively. The tax credits are great – a dollar for dollar reduction of tax, and for 2020 the value is up to $5,000 per employee! It is a credit against the employer’s share of the Social Security tax, but it is refundable, so if the amount of the credit is more than the tax, you’ll get free cash from the IRS. In addition, we’ve discussed previously in Think Outside the Tax Box about paid leave tax credits and even how to get them if you are a small business. These credits are also applicable even if you received PPP forgiveness provided you otherwise qualify. Here’s where it gets complicated. You can stack the benefits, but you can’t double dip. While no one likes a double dipper at the snack bowl (especially during COVID) there are ways to get the benefit from forgiven PPP funds and tax credits allowing you to have your chips and “dip” them too. Keep reading to learn how to legally take these benefits.

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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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