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Archive for Harold Goedde

Recent Court Decisions And IRS Rulings

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1. Alimony.

(A) Alimony paid subject to a contingency is not deductible (taxable). A divorced couple’s agreement provided that spousal maintenance would end when their child, who had a learning disability, moved out of the mother’s home The IRS denied the alimony deduction due to the contingency clause and held the payments to be non-deductible child support. The law states support payments are considered alimony only if the payments are for spousal support ordered by a court and cease upon the death of the spouse. The IRS decision was upheld by the Tax Court [Resnik, TC Summ. OP. 2015-11].

(B) Paying attorney fees for an ex-spouse is not considered deductible alimony. For Read more

New Developments (As of December 23, 2014)

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Recently, there have been several important IRS and court opinions affecting various areas of taxation.

A. Distribution of benefits to estate beneficiaries.

An executor was aware that the estate would owe significant taxes but instead of distributing the assets to the beneficiaries, he had the estate distribute money to himself and other heirs. As a result, the estate did not have enough funds to pay the taxes. The IRS put a lien against other property owned by the executor. The executor appealed the IRS decision to a Pennsylvania District court. The court upheld the IRS decision stating that the executor is personally liable for depleting the assets of the estate [Stiles, D.C., PA]. Read more

Deduction For Home Office Allowed


To claim a home office deduction the IRS requires that the location be used 100% exclusively for business. If any of it is used for personal use, the deduction will be disallowed. This does not mean that part of a home can’t be used for personal use but the part used for business must be exclusively used for that purpose.

Recent Case

In a recent situation, a taxpayer was the account director for a New York public relations firm based in Los Angeles and was the only employee in the New York office. The company did not provide an office and required her to use part of her apartment for an office which included a desk, file cabinets, shelves, a bookcase and a sofa. Her home address, business phone number and business email address were listed in the Read more

Premium Credits Under The Affordable Health Care Act

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Under the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA), individuals who purchase health care coverage through an exchange and whose income is under certain amounts will be eligible for tax credits. Form 8962 will be used to enter any advance credits received and amounts entitled to for the current tax year. The net amount (credit entitled to less the advance credit) is then entered on a separate line on the back of Form 1040 or 1040A. Taxpayers who claim the credit cannot file Form 1040 EZ (for AGI less than $100,000 and do not itemize and don’t have any dependents) but must file Form 1040 or 1040A. If you are eligible for the credit, you can choose to:

• Get it now: have some or all of the estimated credit paid in advance directly to your insurance company to lower what you pay out-of-pocket for your monthly premiums. Read more

Penalties For Not Having Healthcare Coverage Under The Affordable Health Care Act

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The 2010 Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) (“Obama Care”) provided that taxpayers who elect not to be covered by health insurance will be subject to a penalty starting in 2014. The penalty will be paid when their federal tax return is filed. There are some exceptions when the penalty will not apply. Taxpayers who purchase coverage through an exchange will receive Form 1095-A reporting the monthly health care premiums paid and any advance premium credit payments.

This article will discuss the penalties, penalty exceptions and tax forms required to report.

Flat Amount

In 2014, this will be $95 per adult and $48 for each child under age 18. The maximum Read more

IRS Issues Final Regs On Deductibility of Local Lodging Expenses

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On September 30, 2014, the IRS issued final regulations in T.D. 9696, allowing employees to deduct expenses paid or incurred for local lodging as business expenses.

The general rule is that local lodging expenses for an individual are nondeductible personal expenses. The new regulations provide that local lodging expenses that meet certain criteria are deductible as ordinary and necessary business expenses under IRC 162.

The regulations state that local lodging expenses that meet either a facts and circumstances test or satisfy safe harbor requirements are deductible by an individual if incurred directly. Read more

Exclusion of Gains In Excess of Passive Losses On Sale of Rental Property

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If a taxpayer converts a personal residence to rental property, he can deduct expenses against rental income. The basis for depreciation is the lesser of the adjusted basis or fair market value at the date it is converted to rental property. If the taxpayer does not materially participate in and actively manage the property, the losses from rentals are treated as passive losses and cannot be deducted in the current year. They are suspended and carried forward and can offset rental income of future years but any resulting loss is not deductible and is carried forward.

If a taxpayer continues to have non deductible passive losses, they accumulate and can be offset against the gain on the sale of the property. If the gain on the sale exceeds the cumulative non deductible losses, a question arises as to whether the gain is taxable and Read more

Preventing Fraud And Embezzlement

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In the past year there have been numerous reports of fraud and embezzlement, mostly involving small businesses. These can be prevented by a few low cost controls.

One of the most important is separation of responsibilities of asset custody and record keeping for these assets. For example, someone other than the person who receives and disburses cash and writes checks should record these in the accounting records.

Other essential controls include, but are not limited to:

(1) approval of payments by the owner or other responsible person who does not write the checks, or authorize credit card payments and maintain the accounting records. Read more

Recent Important IRS And Court Rulings

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1. If an employer offers both a FSA and a HSA, the IRS indicated that a participant covered by a health FSA during the year, solely as a result of a carryover, cannot make payments to a HSA during the year. This is the case even for months of the year after the balance of the FSA is fully liquidated.

2. Low income earners receive a refundable tax credit to purchase health insurance through an exchange. If the taxpayer is married, they must file a joint return to claim the credit. But the IRS said it will allow victims of domestic abuse to file separately if the victim is not living with his or her spouse at the time their return is filed.

3. To be able to deduct passive losses, the Tax Court previously ruled that real estate Read more

Deduction Denied For Repayment of Medical Grant

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While in medical school a student agreed to work after completing medical school for four years as a doctor in the medically underserved area of Murfreesboro, TN. In exchange for doing this the University of Tennessee College of Medicine agreed to pay his tuition and reasonable expenses. After completing his residency, he changed his mind and went into private practice. Because he didn’t live up to his agreement, the school required him to repay $121,440.

He took a deduction for the repayment on Schedule C as a ordinary and necessary business expense. The IRS disallowed the deduction and he sued the IRS in a U.S. District Court. The court upheld the IRS’s disallowance. He then appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Read more

Investing In A Roth 401(K) And Tax Free Rollovers

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Roth 401(K)

Employees should consider making contributions to a Roth 401(K) if their employer allows them to do so. The account is funded by after tax contributions. Since there are no income limitations on making contributions to a Roth 401(K), these provide a good way for high income taxpayers to invest in a Roth IRA without converting a traditional IRA. For 2014, you may contribute up to $17,500 to a Roth 401(K) a traditional 401(K), or a combination of the two. If you are 50 or older, the contribution limit is $23,000 annually If the employer matches the employee contribution, it goes into the traditional 401(K) as a pretax contribution.

Both withdrawals from a Roth IRA and a Roth 401(K) are tax-free if the account has been Read more

Bond Premium Carryforward

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In TD. 9653, the IRS issued final regs on the tax treatment of bond premium carryforwards in the final accrual period. The final regs adopt ,without substantiative change, the proposed regs [Reg. 140437-12, January 2013] and withdrew the temporary reg-T.D. 9609.

The temporary reg was issued to answer a holder’s question concerning the treatment of a taxable zero-coupon debt instrument, including a Treasury bill, acquired at a premium but having a negative yield. Under prior regs, a holder who elected to amortize the bond premium, would have a capital loss if the security was retired or sold.

The IRS said this situation arose as a result of market conditions and was not contemplated when the prior regs were issued in 1997. The new regs deal with this issue by adding a Read more