Decisions — Nothing personal

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Whether you think everything is personal or nothing is, the general rule in tax law is that no deduction is allowed for personal, living, or family expenses (internal revenue code section 262(a)). But what happens when personal and business overlap?

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Case — Fun and games

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THE QUESTION: Does an organization that offers a recreational activity to achieve a charitable purpose qualify as a charitable organization?

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Definitions — Dealing with the unreasonable

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Unreasonably high compensation may seem like a problem you wish you had. But when a C corporation pays excessive or unreasonable wages to a shareholder/employee, part of those wages could be nondeductible. What do you call that nondeductible portion?

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Definitions — Bearding the validity

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In order to start the statute of limitations on a tax return—that is, the amount of time the IRS has to make an assessment against that return—you must first file a valid return. What makes a return valid?

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Case — Carry On

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THE QUESTION: Can an IRA deduction that is disallowed due to active participant status in an employer plan be carried forward and deducted in a future year?

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Definitions — Auditing the IRS

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How much do you know about IRS operations?

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Decisions — Red ink and silence

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What happens when you file a joint federal income tax return signed by only one spouse? Does silence necessarily mean “yes,” as in the nonsigning spouse consents to filing a joint return?

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Decisions — An ounce of inaccuracy

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While an ounce of inaccuracy can save a ton of explanation, in the world of US taxation the weight of the accuracy-related penalty may make the tradeoff less appealing.

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Decisions — Vestiges of value

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Deductions for bad debts generally take one of two forms on your tax return: business or nonbusiness.

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Definitions — Bad apples and rotten behavior

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In 1998, the US congress passed the Internal Revenue Restructuring and Reform Act in response to Internal Revenue Service abuses in the administration and enforcement of tax laws.

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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

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