Category Archives: Personal Tax

Defaulting on Retirement Plan Loans Causes Taxable Distributions

Want to borrow money from your retirement plan? Not so fast. Retirement plan loans can be a viable way to get money in a crunch, but you need to follow the rules about repaying them. If you don’t, it could lead to unfavorable tax consequences, as two taxpayers recently learned the hard way in U.S. Tax […]

When Can You Deduct Theft Losses?

The tax law allows you to deduct your personal losses resulting from casualties and thefts within certain limits. And a “theft” for tax purposes isn’t strictly limited to house burglaries or stolen cars. However, as you will see from several U.S. Tax Court cases, the deduction can hinge on the application of state law. Basic ground […]

Coming Soon: Deadline to Reverse 2016 Roth Conversions

Do you regret converting your traditional IRA into a Roth IRA? Fortunately, a taxpayer-friendly aspect of the Roth conversion rules is that you have until October 15 (adjusted for weekends) of the year following the year of a conversion to reverse it. In other words, the deadline for reversing any 2016 Roth conversions is October 16, […]

How to Maximize Tax Breaks for Work-Related Education Costs

School is back in session. So, it’s time for a refresher on tax breaks for work-related education expenditures. Here’s what individual taxpayers need to know. American Opportunity Credit The American Opportunity credit equals 100% of the first $2,000 of qualified postsecondary education expenses plus 25% of the next $2,000 of qualified education costs (subject to certain […]

Maximize the Tax Deductions Available for Your Generosity

The reporting requirements for claiming charitable contributions of cash on your tax return can be strict. If you don’t follow them, your deductions may be disallowed by the IRS. You should also be aware that stringent rules also apply to donations of non-cash property. Let’s review the key tax rules. Cash gifts: You cannot claim an itemized […]

Learn the ABCs of Higher Education Tax Breaks

Back-to-school season is a good time to review the federal tax breaks that are currently available if you or a loved one will be attending college or graduate school this fall. After all, a higher education degree is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. Cost Overview How much does an advanced degree typically cost? […]

IRS: Swap Your Vacation Home in Tax-Deferred Exchange

Many taxpayers own vacation homes that they’ve rented out and also used as their personal residences. Can one of these homes be traded for another vacation home in a tax-deferred Section 1031 exchange? According to the IRS, the answer is “yes” under the right circumstances. The IRS has even issued guidelines for how to do it. […]

Know the Rules for Amending a Federal Income Tax Return

What should you do if you discover an error on a previously filed individual tax return? For example, you might have missed some tax-saving deductions and credits on your 2016 personal federal income tax return that you filed in February. Or you might have recently discovered that you failed to claim some legitimate tax breaks on […]

Sharing Tax Issues in the Sharing Economy

Do you provide car rides through a mobile app, rent out your spare room using an online platform or repair computers for local businesses on demand? If so, you may be considered part of the “sharing economy” (also known as the Gig or on-demand economy). Participation in this emerging method of distributing services can be a […]

Notify the IRS if You Change Your Address

It’s important to notify the IRS if you move and change your address. Under tax law regulations, a taxpayer’s last known address is the one that appears on the tax return you filed most recently — unless the IRS is otherwise notified. In one court case, it was made clear that the burden of informing the IRS […]