Eva Rosenberg, EA CTC, Author at Think Outside the Tax Box

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

Eva Rosenberg, EA CTC

Eva Rosenberg is the Internet’s TaxMama®. She answers tax questions, provides a free daily TaxQuips podcast and weekly Ask TaxMama® ezine, and a wealth of resources to help folks like you deal with your personal and business tax issues at www.TaxMama.com.

Eva was a syndicated national columnist, writing a tax column for Dow Jones’ www.MarketWatch.com for nearly 15 years. She is a best-selling, award-winning author of several books, including the 4th edition of Small Business Taxes Made Easy, due out in March 2020.

She teaches tax law and representation to tax professionals at TaxMama’s EA Exam Review Course www.IRSExams.school

A popular speaker at tax workshops for Internet businesses, organizations, and tax professionals, Eva helps you see the fun side of taxes and the IRS, while saving you buckets of money. After all these years, if TaxMama® doesn’t know the loopholes, who does?

TaxMama® is a favorite tax guest of radio show hosts around the country, because she’s usually got an interesting and helpful twist on tax laws and strategies – and what a voice!

Oh yes, credentials – my bona fides!

BA in Accounting

MBA in International Business

Enrolled Agent credential – authorized to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service

READ MORE BY Eva Rosenberg, EA CTC

Yes, Virginia, There is a Tax Bankruptcy!

In society, bankruptcy no longer carries the humiliating stigma of failure ; which is why there are hundreds of thousands of bankruptcy filings each year. Interestingly enough, filings have been dropping dramatically since 2018. The total individual and business filings for fiscal year 2022 are nearly half of those from 2018.

The statistics don’t include specific information about how much tax debt was extinguished in bankruptcy. Filing bankruptcy is not for everyone. It can be a viable option for those people whose tax debt meets certain criteria. The following is a basic overview of the concept…

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What Would You Do? A Fun, But Serious Ethics Quiz

Do your clients ever insist on having you do something that makes you uncomfortable? Do your clients tell you that their previous tax pro always did it this way – and why can’t you just do that, too, without question? Do you know something about your client’s activities that they didn’t disclose?

What are you supposed to do?

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Reporting Cannabis on a Federal Return: A Very Basic Primer

You can find new cannabis dispensaries or head shops on every corner in my neighborhood. But purchase and sale of marijuana has not been legalized on the federal level. What’s an ethical tax professional to do, when your client walks in with the news that they’ve started a cannabis business in your state? Read on to find out!

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Quick Guide to Claiming Work-From-Home COVID-19 Expenses to Reduce Your Tax Bill

This information is particularly important if you are the owner/shareholder of your own corporation – C or S corp. You can set up payroll and designate tax-free reimbursements for you to be working at home – as well other tax-free money for you and for your employees. (We will discuss employees momentarily. Yes, it’s essential.)

If being an employee is your main source of income – watch out! The short answer to employees claiming an office in home deduction this year is…

There is no deduction!

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No One Wants to Pay SE Taxes on Royalties

Most of the Tax Code is “gray.” No, I don’t mean the color font it is written in. Unlike a lot of rules, the Tax Code is difficult to judge what is right and wrong. Perhaps it has to be written this way because to try and define every possible money situation is unfeasible. Perhaps, the writers like it this way because as we’ve said here many times at Think Outside the Tax Box, the gray area provides opportunity for tax savings.

Take for example the official Tax Code definition of taxable income. Rather than affirmatively define it, the authors chose to negatively define it. Generally, an amount is part of taxable income unless the law specifically exempts it.

Certain types of income get taxed twice. If, for example, you are subject to net investment income tax, you’ll not only pay income or capital gains tax, but an additional tax, as well. The same is true for royalty income.

In some instances, it is necessary to pay income tax and self-employment tax on royalty checks you receive. To take advantage of breaks we must examine what loopholes or gray areas exist for royalties, and more importantly, how can you shield it from as much tax as possible.

Continue reading to learn how.

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Is Your Spouse Innocent or Injured? Part One: The Injured Spouse

Jack and Jill went up the hill
to have a lovely wedding
Jack fell down and broke his crown
When Jill learned all his tax debts

That pretty much describes the origin of the taxes faced by an injured spouse: The taxpayer was not married to that spouse at the time he or she incurred the tax obligation or it was assessed or did not sign the tax return where the balance due originated.

In other words, it was never the injured spouse’s debt or obligation in the first place.

What kinds of debts or taxes might the IRS collect (or “offset”) that would affect the injured spouse’s refund?

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Is Your Spouse Innocent or Injured? Part 2: The Innocent Spouse

Jack Sprat did pay no tax.
His wife paid all of hers.
But when they filed a joint return,
She learned she owed all of his!

This is the heart of the innocent spouse!

The innocent spouse filed a joint return with a balance due – but didn’t really create the tax obligation. S/he did everything right, paid all the proper withholding or estimated tax payments. Yet, s/he suddenly finds out that the spouse has a balance due and doesn’t have the money to pay it all.

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Do Your Clients Know Their Own Business Entity?

Have you been working with a partnership client or Schedule C client for a couple of years, only to find out: “Oh, by the way, we incorporated two years ago?” Or the taxpayer brings you a notice for non-filing penalties on the partnership or S corporation you didn’t know existed?

When you are working with existing business clients for several years, you are not concerned about their prevailing business structure. After all, if you have been filing the wrong entity’s tax return, you would have been alerted by now. Right?
As it turns out, not always.

When you find out about the error, your gut reaction is that it’s your fault. Is your errors and omissions insurance (or malpractice insurance) up to date? Take a deep breath; it’s not your fault. Probably. Let’s keep reading and find out.

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10 Reasons Your Clients Should Get a Tax Divorce

As a married individual, you can select a tax filing status as either married filing jointly or married filing separately, and in some cases neither of these statuses achieve what is possible for two single taxpayers each filing their own tax return. In many cases it can seem you are getting penalized for being married in the U.S.

You may get frustrated that you seem to keep getting hit with “wealth taxes or penalties.” Of course, you may not refer to it that way. But when you see things like the Alternative Minimum Tax, The Net Investment Income Tax, the Additional Medicare Tax, and a whole variety of other taxes that are higher for married filers than they are for two single people…you may be tempted to think about a divorce.

And “live in sin”?

No matter your personal beliefs there are at least 10 tax attributes that cost married filers more than two single people. In some instances, children are in the mix, as they relate to specific credits. Some of these situations only apply to wealthy couples. Some only apply to those earning $50,000 or less or seniors.

These attributes, commonly known as the so-called “marriage penalty” refer to situations where it may pay to file as two single individuals rather than as a married couple. However to qualify, you cannot legally be married as of December 31.

To learn more about these penalties and find out how to work around them, continue reading.

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CURRENT EDITION

Avoid IRS Red Flags in Multiple Business Strategies: A Guide for the Wary Tax Business Owner

In the labyrinth of tax planning and business structure, the path to protecting your client’s multiple business strategy from the ever-watchful eye of the IRS can be as intricate as a well-played game of chess. However, while the strategic moves might be complex, the rules of the game are quite clear. Today, let’s dissect these rules with a blend of cautionary tales and cheeky wisdom, ensuring your business maneuvers stay sharp and IRS-compliant.

Ever heard of the tax strategy to just “create a new C corporation” and shift income by paying management fees from your main company? Well, so has the IRS, and they are highly skeptical when they see it in the field. The Aspro, Inc. v. Commissioner case serves as a stark reminder for taxpayers about the importance of meticulous documentation and the strict adherence to IRS guidelines for deducting management fees. Aspro, an Iowa-based C corporation in the asphalt-paving business, faced scrutiny over its practice of paying “management fees” to its shareholders, which the IRS and subsequent court rulings reclassified as non-deductible disguised dividends.

The Role of Webinars in Accountants’ Marketing and Sales Efforts

In modern business, accountants face a dual challenge: They must maintain a firm grasp of financial intricacies and regulatory frameworks and navigate the increasingly competitive marketing and sales landscape. As traditional methods evolve, entrepreneurial accountants must leverage innovative marketing tools to bolster their outreach and attract clientele. Webinars have emerged as a powerful medium among these marketing tools, offering a dynamic platform for education, engagement, and lead generation. Herein, I will explore the fundamental role of webinars in accountants’ marketing and sales efforts, shedding light on their benefits, strategies, and best practices.

Navigating the Plagiarism Minefield: Strategies and Solutions for Certified Tax Planners

In the AI era, especially with tools like GPT, plagiarism isn’t just copying another’s work, but also presenting AI-generated content as one’s unique thought without understanding or modifying its output. It’s about intent and attribution. If someone blindly takes an AI’s output and presents it as their own, especially in professional or academic settings, it can be considered a form of plagiarism. For certified tax planners, understanding and addressing this nuanced form of plagiarism is crucial for maintaining professional integrity and credibility.

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  • Avoiding Passive Loss Limitations Through Short-term and Alternative Rentals

    Short-term rentals like AirBnb are becoming increasingly popular with taxpayers who invest in real estate. For many taxpayers, the appeal of these properties is the flexibility and cash flow potential. However, there may be an overlooked third tax benefit. In many situations these short-term rentals may not qualify as a rental activity to the IRS, and that may offer a big tax break. While many rental activities generate losses, this can leave taxpayers facing the frustrations of not always getting to deduct those losses right away due to the passive activity limitations.

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    How Business Owners Can Boost Income by Avoiding the $10,000 SALT Cap

    Taxpayers have been whipsawed by confusing rules for the $10,000 limit on deducting state and local taxes (SALT), the most politically charged piece of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017. The cap has caused nearly 11 million individuals to lose an annual deduction worth $323 billion. But many owners of private businesses known as passthroughs can avert that financial pain. If you own your company and thus report your business income on your personal federal income tax return, here’s what you need to know.

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    GOFUNDME & KICKSTARTER: TAXABLE? DEDUCTIBLE?

    Millions of taxpayers in the United States are using crowdfunding websites like GoFundMe and Kickstarter to raise money for important needs, such as paying medical bills, paying legal fees, or funding a new business venture. Both the IRS and the courts have been surprisingly silent on the tax consequences of crowdfunding platforms. The good news is that established tax law provides a clear road map for answering most tax questions created by raising money from a crowdfunding website. By knowing these rules, taxpayers can use crowdfunding to raise cash and minimize their overall tax exposure.

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    My Client Stuck with a Mistaken C Corporation Election?

    My client formed three limited liability companies (LLCs) to hold his rental properties. Without consulting me, he filed Form 8832, Entity Classification Election, to elect C corporation treatment, effective January 1, 2020, for these LLCs. I want the LLCs to be disregarded entities, which is the most tax-efficient structure for his situation. What is the best way to undo these elections?

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    Quick Guide to Claiming Work-From-Home COVID-19 Expenses to Reduce Your Tax Bill

    This information is particularly important if you are the owner/shareholder of your own corporation – C or S corp. You can set up payroll and designate tax-free reimbursements for you to be working at home – as well other tax-free money for you and for your employees. (We will discuss employees momentarily. Yes, it’s essential.) If being an employee is your main source of income – watch out! The short answer to employees claiming an office in home deduction this year is... There is no deduction!

    Read More

    Five Tax Reduction Strategies for the Casual Cryptocurrency Owner

    With so many people looking for more ways to make money outside their 9 to 5 jobs, many are turning to money making methods using technology including trading in cryptocurrency. For tax purposes, the IRS considers cryptocurrencies property, not as currency. Just like other property types, stocks, investments, or real estate, when you sell, swap, or otherwise dispose of your cryptocurrency for more or less than you acquired it for, you incur a tax reporting obligation. As an example, there would be a $1,000 capital gain if 0.1 bitcoin is bought for $2,000 in June of 2020 and then sold for $3,000 two months later. This profit must be reported on the tax return and a certain amount of tax is due on the gain, depending on the tax bracket of the taxpayer. In this example, the gain would be short term requiring the profit to be taxed at the filer’s ordinary tax rate. These rates range anywhere from 0-37%.

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    Extra Taxes on S Corporation Distribution?

    My client plans to take about $15,000 in distributions in excess of his basis from his S corporation construction business. I know this generates tax for him. He’s in the 32 percent tax bracket and single. Does he also have to pay the 3.8 percent net investment income tax and the 0.9 percent additional Medicare tax on this amount? Is there a way for him to avoid taxes on this amount?

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    Reduce Taxable Income Up to $25,000 with Passive Rental Losses

    You have likely heard that owning rental real estate provides great tax benefits. This is true for a multitude of reasons, but there’s one benefit that is arguably the best of the bunch: The Small Taxpayer Allowance for Deducting Passive Rental Losses. Based on average household income levels, more than three-quarters of taxpayers can potentially qualify for this fantastic tax benefit that offers taxable income reduction of up to $25,000.

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