Tony Nitti, CPA MST, Author at Think Outside the Tax Box

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

Tony Nitti, CPA MST

Tony Nitti is a Partner in RubinBrown’s Tax Services Group. Nitti is a well-known contributor of tax content to Forbes, as well as a frequent speaker and trainer at seminars and webcasts across the country. He has 20 years of accounting and tax experience, including working in the tax departments of Arthur Andersen LLP, Price Waterhouse LLP, and, most recently, Withum. Tony also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Denver’s graduate tax program as well as Golden Gate University’s graduate tax program.Nitti focuses primarily on corporate and partnership tax planning, with a special focus on the consolidated return regulations and the reorganization provisions, including the structuring of acquisitions, mergers, reorganizations and spin-offs.

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More Free Money With the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

On Wednesday, March 11, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021, a $1.9 trillion COVID stimulus package. The ARPA contains a mix of retroactive and prospective tax breaks in the form of credits, exclusions from income, and even new tax-free grant programs.

Let’s take a look at the most tax significant items in the bill.

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COVID Tax Relief Allows Companies to Make Tax-Free COVID-19 Payments to Employees

For a business owner, almost nothing in life is more uncertain than running a company during a pandemic. Like most people, worry about your own livelihood, family, friends, and loved ones and how you’ll cope during COVID-19 is at the top of your mind. But unlike others, you’ve got the added concern about your employees – both for their health and safety, as well as their financial health.

While the government made some relief available in the earlier days of the pandemic such as forgivable loans like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Emergency Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) one of the biggest benefits provided has to do with a little known tax provision to the tax law.

This provision makes it possible to provide certain payments without tax during a terrorist attack or disaster, but if it weren’t for a certain interpretation of President Trump’s declaration in March 2020, this benefit wouldn’t exist for COVID-19.

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CURRENT EDITION

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?

Three Rules for the Augusta Rule

Today I want to talk about the quick question, “Can I rent my home to my business tax free?” The answer is not straightforward. It takes time to look at the specific set-up of that taxpayer’s business. It requires a bit of research. You need to know things like:
● What’s the fair market value of renting your home?
● How many days will you rent your home to your business?
● Can we substantiate that this rental is ordinary and necessary?

Amber Gray-Fenner already did an excellent job of explaining the Augusta Rule in an earlier issue of the newsletter. So, I won’t go over all the same points. I want to look at what the Augusta Rule is and how it came about. Then, we’ll look at three takeaways for you to remember in your practice and give to your clients.

Death and Taxes: What Clients Should Know About the Death of a Spouse

Even your most financially savvy client isn’t going to think clearly after the death of their spouse. Taxes will be last on their minds. That’s where you’ll come in, nudging them toward tax and money moves both immediate and long-term, from filing returns to budgeting income to taking a step-up in basis. Above all, don’t assume grieving clients know these details or that they’ll remember them in one of life’s toughest moments.

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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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