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Archive for Deductions

Tax Reform Allows Bigger, Faster Business Car Deductions

Finally, lawmakers did the right thing by increasing the luxury auto depreciation limits on business cars. The old luxury limits were unrealistic, punitive, unfair, and discriminatory against any car that cost more than $15,800. The new limits don’t create parity in all respects, but they are a big improvement.

If you bought a car in 2017 and paid more than $15,800, you were driving a luxury car that lawmakers punished you for by putting a lid on your depreciation.

For example, say in 2017 you bought a $40,000 car and drove it 100 percent for business. Your maximum depreciation deductions for the first five years would total only $15,060. To fully depreciate this car under the old rules would have taken 19 years.

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Tax Reform Impact On Meals, Entertainment, And Automobile Parking

If you’ve formed certain habits related to how you handle meals, entertainment, transportation, and parking as it relates to your business and taxes, the time to change those habits has come.

As this report notes, tax reform law commonly referred to as H.R. 1 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has changed the deductibility of certain meals, entertainment and transportation expenses. Before 2018, a taxpayer could deduct 50 percent of business meals and entertainment and 100 percent of meals provided through an in-house cafeteria or meals provided for the convenience of the employer (i.e., also known as a de minimis fringe benefit).

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IRS Clarifies Interest On Home Equity Loans Can Still Be Deductible

In an Information Release, IRS has announced that in many cases, taxpayers can continue to deduct interest paid on home equity loans under the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Taxpayers may deduct interest on mortgage debt that is “acquisition debt.” Acquisition debt means debt that is: (1) secured by the taxpayer’s principal home and/or a second home, and (2) incurred in acquiring, constructing, or substantially improving the home. This rule hasn’t been changed by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Under pre-Tax Cuts and Jobs Act law, the maximum amount that was treated as acquisition debt for the purpose of deducting interest was $1 million ($500,000 for marrieds filing separately). Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017, and before Jan. 1, 2026, the limit on acquisition debt is reduced to $750,000 ($375,000 for a married taxpayer filing separately).

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Business Or Hobby, What Is The Difference?

Maybe you cater for your friends, maybe you make jewelry, maybe you sell your artwork, maybe you have a lemonade stand- regardless of what you do, do you know how the IRS views this? Here are some tips on how to tell if your activity is a business or a hobby and the tax implications of each.

1. The IRS has a checklist for determining if your activity is a business or hobby. The list is basically intent. Is this for fun or do you intend to make a profit? Do you want to depend on the income? What is the intent of your activity?

For the IRS list that discusses the difference between a business and a hobby click here.

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Are There Advantages To Owning A Second Home?

Whatever the location, size, or value of a second home, certain tax advantages are built in. However, your opportunity to benefit from them depends on how you use the property.

Personal Use

Both property taxes and mortgage interest are as deductible for a second home as they are for your primary residence — and are subject to the same limitations. If you file a joint return, you cannot deduct interest on more than $1 million of acquisition debt ($500,000 for married persons filing separately) on one or two homes. Read more

Charitable Miles Deduction: Is It Changing Under The New Tax Reform?

Now that the effects of last year’s tax reform bill are being felt, the proposals to reform the reform keep rolling in. Last month, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) put forth a bill to reinstate unreimbursed job expenses. This week, Rep. Richard Nolan (D-MN) introduced H. R. 5662, also known as the Volunteer Driver Tax Appreciation Act of 2018.

The purpose of the bill is to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to equalize the charitable mileage rate with the business travel rate. For 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) optional standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck are 54.5 cents per mile for business miles driven but a mere 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations. Read more

How Does Negative Gearing Work For Australian Expatriates? Cash And Non-Cash Deductions

If you’ve paid attention to the news lately, you’ve no doubt heard the term “negative gearing”. It has become somewhat of a political football – with the Liberal and National parties supporting current arrangements, while Labour intends to change it. But what exactly is negative gearing and how do the rules apply to Australian expatriates?

Negative Gearing 101 Read more

New Tax Bill May Eliminate Right To Deduct Fees Expended “In Connection With The Determination, Collection, Or Refund of any Tax”

All taxpayers, whether individuals or not, may deduct as business expenses the costs relating to tax matters that are ordinary and necessary in the conduct of their trade or business under Section 162 of the Internal Revenue Code.

However, certain non-business expenses are also deductible under Section 212, “Expenses for production of income.”  Notwithstanding the somewhat limiting title of Section 212, subsection (3) currently permits a deduction for non-business expenses that can have nothing to do with the production of income, namely expenses paid or incurred “in connection with the determination, collection or refund of any tax.”  Read more

How To Deduct Toll Expenses On Your Taxes

In this Ask a Tax Expert, our tax pro answers how to deduct tolls on your taxes. Remember, you can deduct nearly any toll as long as it’s related to business. But, what if your tolls are related to charity?

Can I Deduct Toll Expenses On Taxes?

Q. My wife volunteers for a hospice care organization. She travels there daily and pays a lot of tolls to get to some of her patients. Most of our monthly toll bill is for her volunteer work. Would we be able to deduct those from our taxes? Read more