Joseph Michael Balint had some really hard luck. He was in prison in Florida from December 17, 2013, through January 6, 2015. Fearful of forfeiting assets, he transferred everything to his wife, Jacqueline, and gave her power of attorney early in his prison term. What he had not planned on was her emptying the retirement accounts and leaving him with the tax tab. His luck turned a bit in Tax Court, as we shall see.
Tax shelters offered high income taxpayers an easy way to reduce and even eliminate federal income taxes at the individual level. The growing tax avoidance schemes, many questionable in nature, threatened to collapse the U.S. tax system. Hence the need for tax reform and the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 (ERTA). New rules cannot keep a tax professional down. Real estate was once again the favorite tool for reducing taxes. Enter cost segregation. Couple that with bonus depreciation and the automatic change of accounting method using Form 3115 , and you have a recipe for serious tax reduction. The tax shelters of the 1970s were often questionable. Cost segregation is still a valid way to accelerate deductions for income property owners. But none of that compares to the tax benefits available under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (the IRA).