Changing a corp tax year
I’ve been teaching myself how to improve the vidcasts, and here is the first one with the semi-new style. The built-in hyper-link to my article on corp fiscal years doesn’t seem to be working, so here it is.
Selling Two Residences
Each taxpayer can only have one primary residence at a time. However, if a married couple can prove that they lived in separate homes, a couple can have two primary residences, as discussed in this vidcast.
Screwing with the IRS
Last week's episode of Nip/Tuck had an encounter between one of the plastic surgeons and an IRS auditor unlike any I have have ever seen or heard of. It’s wacky enough to amuse taxpayers, tax pros, and IRS employees.
Think ahead when setting up corp
If the future plans for a business include taking it public or bringing in venture capitalist funding, those will materially affect the most appropriate entity to use, usually ruling out an S corp, as I discuss in this vidcast.
Taxes Paid In vs. Taxes Owed
Tax planning and ensuring that you have enough paid in to avoid penalties has never been crazier. The Feds have reduced withholdings and given rebates to encourage spending in the economy; while the geniuses in Sacramento are trying to force California taxpayers to intentionally overpay their withholdings as an interest free loan to Governor Arnold and his fellow idiots in control of that sinking state.
That’s the subject of this vidcast.
Investing retirement funds into C corp
In 2005 you recommended the use of the BeneTrends rainmaker plan for using your 401k funds to finance a company. Have you had anymore experience with them in the last four years? I am thinking of using them, but am worried that there may be some problems with the IRS.
Any help you might give would be appreciated.
Using Multiple Entities - Vidcast
Using multiple entities for tax, liability, and other business reasons has been a very common and useful strategy for longer than I’ve been in this business. Why many tax pros are unaware or unwilling to recommend them is still surprising to me.
Sec. 179 On Converted Assets - Vidcast
You need to be careful about violating anti-churning rules.
Sec. 179 For Yachts?
Another question that really depends on multiple factors.
Advice For New CPA - VidCast
If the embedded player doesn’t work, go to the YouTube page.
Maximum Sec. 179 For Vehicles - VidCast
It’s not a cut and dried answer as to the maximum that can be claimed, as I explain in this vidcast Q&A.
If the embedded player doesn’t work, you can access the video directly on YouTube.
Financing an SUV For an LLC - VidCast
We have been looking at ways in which to improve the quality of our content; so we are adding short videos (VidCasts) of my answering reader questions. These should be more enlightening than the completely text versions.
This is going to be an evolving process as we become more proficient in utilizing this medium and our skills with the software and equipment improve. Our goal as of now is to do the same kind of Q&As as I have been posting for several years on my blog in these free short YouTube videos.
As we become more comfortable with this technology, we also plan to present some more intense live online webinars on some of the topics that seem to have the most interest around the country. There will be a charge for these to cover the costs, as well as for our time. As charitable as we are, we are evil capitalists and do intend to make a profit on this venture. The mini-classes will be of particular interest to small business owners and investors who are interested in learning techniques on how to minimize their taxes, as well as professional tax advisors with whom I can share my 34 plus years of experience. The costs will be very reasonable and much less than the $250 per hour that clients are paying me for one on one consulting.
This first batch of VidCasts that we produced are rough as we learn how to operate everything; but the information they contain should be useful for anyone wanting to keep their taxes down.
If the embedded player doesn't work in your browser, you can go directly to the YouTube page to watch it.
Video tribute to Charlie Rangel
From Scott Ott:
YouTube link if the embedded player doesn’t work.
Class Warfare Tax Policy
Crocodile Dundee's Tax Audit
This film trailer parody from the Australian show Chaser’s War On Everything cracked me up, especially the special way Crocodile Dundee has of dealing with his tax auditor.
Peeking behind the curtain...
A recent episode of South Park had the following bit on how our exalted rulers in DC are making the insane financial decisions they have been pummeling us with over the past several months. It can’t be any more ridiculous than what is really happening with blithering idiots like President 0bambi, Tax Cheat Geithner, Banking Queen Barney Frank and Corrupt Senator Christopher Dodd in charge of the USA’s financial systems.
Visiting IRS HQ...
Last night, we were watching a NetFlix DVD by the extremely funny and talented ventriloquist, Jeff Dunham, and he had the following short bit about our favorite government agency. As Jeff has said in interviews, he is lucky by being able to say a lot of politically incorrect things through his dummies that wouldn’t be tolerated from a human.
100% Fair Tax
This latest video from F.R. Duplantier’s mock presidential campaign has a tax plan that sounds very much like Obambi’s
Jay Leno on Charlie Rangel's Tax Problems - Video of one of the jokes I posted previously.
Charlie Rangel vs. Wilbur Mills
From a Reader:
Subject: OUPblog and Rangel
I am the blog intern at Oxford University Press, and I found your blog very informative and humorous (I love the cartoons!).
I noticed that you recently posted about the scandal over Congressman Rangel’s failure to comply with tax law. Edward A. Zelinsky recently posted on this topic on our site, and I thought that perhaps you’d like to recommend it to your readers.
Zelinsky is a Professor of Law and the author of The Origins of the Ownership Society: How The Defined Contribution Paradigm Changed America. He discusses Rangel’s situation in light of the achievements of his predecessor, Wilbur Mills.
If I can help you in any other way, please let me know!
That is a very interesting comparison of the differences in the Ways & Means Chairmen over the decades.
Even though I wasn't yet living in Arkansas back in the 1970s, I remember following many of the exploits of Wilbur Mills, both on the tax writing committee, as well as with his friend, Fanne Fox.
I would be glad to post a link to this on my blog.
Thanks for sharing that and feel free to pass along other ideas you have for items I should add to my blog.
Here is a short news video covering Rangel’s current problems.
Tips on Donating Your Car
Here is a short video with Tom Herman of the WSJ discussing the rules for claiming a deduction for a donated vehicle.
After all of these years reading Tom Herman's columns in the WSJ, this is the first time I have seen what he actually looks like.
Over the years, I have discussed this topic several times and the biggest misconception seems to be with the term Fair Market Value. Even Mr. Herman glosses over this point in this video.
Most people assume that the Kelley Blue Book value is gospel as establishing a vehicle's value. The truth is that the only true determination of an item's worth is what it will actually fetch on the open market, as per this definition from all over the web.
The price that an interested but not desperate buyer would be willing to pay and an interested but not desperate seller would be willing to accept on the open market assuming a reasonable period of time for an agreement to arise.
That is why the relatively recent IRS rule requiring people to use the charity's actual sales price of the vehicle for the charitable deduction makes a lot of sense. That isn't something you ever see me say very often; IRS doing something that makes sense.
I don't follow used car prices or track what Kelley Blue Book has been doing in response to the higher fuel prices. However, if they haven't dropped values of gas hogs to reflect their decreases in the real world, that is no excuse to consider the Blue Book prices as Fair Market Value.
A day after posting this, I sent the following to a client:
We received your 2007 personal tax organizer and other docs. I've
looked them over and the only item that is obviously incomplete has to do with the Jeep you donated to St. Vincent de Paul (SVP).
I see that you wrote $2,000 in the organizer as the value, but that won't be enough documentation. As the letter from SVP says, you need to have a 1098-C from them showing how much they actually sold the vehicle for if you are going to claim a value of more than $500. I didn't see a 1098-C among the documents that you sent in. Please contact SVP to obtain a new copy of that form or else we will have to stick with a deduction of just $500.
To help you understand more about this issue, I have attached a copy of the page from The TaxBook, my main tax reference book with the section on vehicle donations circled in red. Please look it over and see how your situation matches up with the examples shown.
Also, just by coincidence, I recently posted an entry on my blog, with a video from the WSJ, on exactly this subject.
Thanks for you help with this. Let me know if you would like to set up a phone appointment to discuss the details of this in more depth.
The client wrote back:
I don't have any such documentation. In that case, I'll go ahead and claim $500.
Over the years, many people have described lotteries as taxes on stupidity and taxes on people with no math skills. I still got a kick out of this scene from the most recent episode of Reaper, where Ray Wise as the Devil claims that he invented the lottery and has a familiar nickname for it.