Keith Schroeder, EA, Author at Think Outside the Tax Box

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

Keith Schroeder, EA

Keith Schroeder, EA started his practice part-time in 1982, going full-time in 1989, and become an enrolled agent in 1992. He also has experience in insurance and securities but is no longer licensed in those fields. He managed a hedge fund for 15 years in the charge-off receivables industry. His blog, The Wealthy Accountant, was the winner of the Plutus Award for Best New Personal Finance Blog of the Year. In his free time Keith is shacked up with his wife of 35 year. There is also a herd of cats protecting his farm in the Backwoods of Nowhere, Wisconsin. You were warned.

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S Corporation Shareholder-Employee Reasonable Compensation

The S corporation is a powerful tool for small business owners to manage their business efficiently and reduce payroll taxes on owner’s profits.

The primary benefit small business owners get, when organized as an S corporation, is the opportunity to avoid payroll taxes on distributions after paying reasonable compensation. A reasonable wage/salary is a must for shareholder-employee/s. However, the shareholder-employee soon discovers that the lower her wage is, the lower the payroll taxes. Why not pay no wage? Or only a token wage?

Of course, the IRS knows those tricks and requires the company to pay “reasonable compensation” to shareholder-employees so they’ll submit proper payroll taxes. The IRS can adjust wages to reflect reasonable compensation. Family members of the shareholder must also receive reasonable compensation for services rendered.

In this article we will begin by debunking urban legends surrounding S corporation reasonable compensation followed by calculating a reasonable compensation package before finishing with a strategy.

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Life Cycle of a Cost Segregation Study

The concept of cost segregation began in the 1960s, when taxpayers argued specific components of real estate had a shorter life than the depreciation tables allowed (39 years for commercial property and 27.5 years for residential real estate). After decades of legal cases, the IRS provided rules and safe harbors in 1996 and 2002. Taxpayers now can use cost segregation and remain compliant with IRS regulations. The real question now is: Does a cost segregation study really reduce a taxpayer’s liability? And if so, by how much?

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Buying Tax Credits: Inflation Reduction Act

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).

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CURRENT EDITION

Charitable Contributions From Your IRA: Tips and Traps

A really neat thing happens when you turn 70 and ½. Your IRAs essentially turn into donor advised funds if you don’t need all the money in them to make ends meet. Rather than withdraw money from your IRA to make charitable contributions, you can make them out of the IRA. So instead of an itemized deduction, you get an exclusion from adjusted gross income. For some people this might be a wash, but for most it probably isn’t. Besides the possibility of not being over the standard deduction threshold, there are a host of computations and thresholds that involve AGI. There are some things you need to watch out for, but first let’s go over the basics.

Segmenting Your Prospects: A Targeted Approach to Business Development

In the accounting field, where client relationships and personalized service are paramount, understanding and segmenting your client base must be a priority. As the accounting landscape evolves and clients diversify, a tailored approach to client segmentation becomes indispensable. Clients are no longer interested in a one-size-fits-all approach to sales and marketing. Therefore, as an accountant and a firm owner, you must adopt a targeted approach tailored to different customer segments’ unique needs and characteristics. In this article, I will delve into the importance of client segmentation within accounting firms and provide insights into implementing this strategy so you can drive growth and enhance your client satisfaction.

10 Ways CTPs Can Use the New Adobe AI Assistant to Analyze PDFs

Launched as a beta in February 2024, the Adobe AI Assistant is a generative AI-powered conversational engine feature within Adobe Acrobat. The app enables you to “chat” with PDF files in natural language and unlock new levels of document productivity.

The AI Assistant can be likened to a knowledgeable librarian for digital documents. Just as a librarian assists you in finding the right books, navigating through complex archives, and answering detailed inquiries about content, the AI Assistant helps users navigate, understand, and extract key information from PDF documents. It provides summaries, clarifies content through answers and suggestions, and links to relevant sections, all designed to make your interaction with digital documents as enriching and efficient as a visit to a well-staffed library.

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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!

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    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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