Decisions — The 25% Solution

Image source: Mart9212 (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (]

There are several exceptions to the general rule that taxes must be “assessed within three years after a return is filed.” (Internal revenue code section 6501(a))

Posted in Taxing Lessons From Court Decisions Tagged with: , ,

Case – S Corporation Material Participation

TL Case Summ

THE QUESTION: Did a taxpayer continue to materially participate in an S corporation when he turned the day-to-day operations over to his son and focused on product development and customer retention?

Posted in Taxing Lessons Case Summaries Tagged with:

Definition – Benefits and Burdens

Image source: Stuart Miles at

Once again the tax court deals with the zombie-like first-time homebuyer credit. In this iteration, the case turns on when the taxpayers assumed the “benefits and burdens” of home ownership.

Posted in Taxing Definitions Tagged with: , , ,

Decisions – Flying into a Loss

Image source: HL Carpenter

Does a company that trains automobile dealership employees how to handle phone calls belong on the same Schedule C as an airplane rental activity?

Posted in Taxing Lessons From Court Decisions Tagged with: , ,

Definition — Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses

Image source: Dreamstime Stock Photos Free Picture ID: 198174 © Anatoliy Babiychuk

Think you know the rules for deducting employee business expenses? Take the quiz.

Posted in Taxing Definitions Tagged with: , ,

Case — The All-Events Test

TL Case Summ

THE QUESTION: When can a taxpayer take a deduction for a customer loyalty program?

Posted in Taxing Lessons Case Summaries Tagged with:

Definition — Fines and Penalties

Source Dreamstime Stock Photos Free Picture: Case Of Money ID: 219116 © Liz Van Steenburgh

Internal revenue code section 162 starts out with a general rule of allowing a deduction for all the ordinary and necessary expenses paid or incurred during the taxable year in carrying on any trade or business.

But when the business expenses are fines and penalties paid to a government for the violation of any law, the general rule no longer applies. Those expenses are not deductible (section 162(f)).

Posted in Taxing Definitions Tagged with: ,

Decisions — Points of Interest

Image source:

This week’s published cases included discussions about the deductibility of mortgage interest and points.

Posted in Taxing Lessons From Court Decisions Tagged with:

Decisions — The Case of the Missing Clue

Image source: Syker Fotograf (Own work) [GPL (], via Wikimedia Commons

When you think about the statute of limitations, three years is probably what comes to mind. That’s the standard time limit for the IRS to assess and collect a deficiency after you file a return.

But the US tax code contains more than one statute of limitations, as well as related exceptions and extensions.

Posted in Taxing Lessons From Court Decisions Tagged with: ,

Case — Independent Contractor or Employee?

TL Case Summ

THE QUESTION: Is a lawyer’s wife his employee or an independent contractor?

Posted in Taxing Lessons Case Summaries Tagged with:

How well do you know tax law?

Whether you're a professional preparer or you simply enjoy staying on top of a complex, constantly changing topic, there's always more to learn.

Taxing Lessons can help.

We condense selected US Tax Court cases into interesting, informative summaries. You read a synopsis of the facts, review the provided tax code citations–then answer the question:

What would you decide?

Comparing your answer to the court decision gives you the opportunity to update and enhance your knowledge.

Who knew Taxing Lessons
could be so much fun?

You be the judge.

Taxing Lessons presents US tax court cases in a format that puts you behind the bench.

Get e-mail updates

Like what you're reading? Enter your email address, pick your preferred format, and click "Subscribe." Once you respond to the opt-in message from MailChimp, you'll receive an email once a week with the latest Taxing Lessons posts.

email format

Prior Posts

Useful Tax Law Links

US Tax Code- Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute. Searchable. - Office of the Law Revision Counsel. Searchable. Downloadable.

US Tax Court - TC Opinions, Memorandum Opinions, Summary Opinions. Searchable. Downloadable.

Treasury Regulations - Government Printing Office provides the Federal Tax Regulations. Searchable. Downloadable.

Other Official US Tax Guidance - US Internal Revenue Service. Searchable. Downloadable.

Useful Downloads by Taxing Lessons

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion - free PDF - Graphic of Internal Revenue Code Section 911

Questions? Comments? Suggestions?

Contact information here