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Tax Articles

Domestic Partners: Income Reporting

The IRS issued three rulings in 2010 to address how the income of registered domestic partners in California should be reported and taxed for both state and federal income tax purposes. In Chief Counsel Advice 201021050, the IRS determined that for tax years beginning after December 31, 2006, registered domestic partners in California are to report one-half of the community income,…


The Use of Quick Books by IRS Auditors

In January 2011 IRS agents began to audit Quickbooks data files and will require a copy of your QuickBooks data, if used, to help them with the audit. YIKES! These are some of my suggestions to prepare for a tax audit involving Quickbooks. Make an annual backup that matches the tax return and store it away offsite to be…


Characterizing Partner Distributions

Generally if payments are in exchange for partnership property, the amount received in excess of the partner’s outside basis in his/her partnership interest is taxed as capital gain. However if the payments represent a distributive share of partnership income or are deemed to be guaranteed payments, the payments are taxed as ordinary income. According to Tax Court Memo 2009-243 Wallis v. Commissioner, retirement payments to…


Tax Scams by Tax Practitioners Including CPA’s and ‘Tax’ Attorneys Have Been on the Rise

Most paid tax return preparers provide honest and professional service, but there are some who engage in fraud and other illegal activities.   Regardless of professional designation unscrupulous promoters, even those with CPA’s and Law degrees, deceive people into paying for advice on how to file false claims. Some promoters may charge unreasonable amounts for…


Hobby v. Business determined based on how records were kept: TC Memo 2010-92

If you think you have a viable ongoing business with a profit motive be sure to maintain adequate financial records on a computer that you back up off site on a regular and consistent basis.  Also be aware that in the tax court case of Chandler v. Commissioner (TC Memo 2010-92) the significance of inadequate hand…


Medical Expense Deductions

Many medical costs are deductible including the cost of treatment to alleviate conditions or diseases and the cost of prescriptions and certain diagnostic services. Additional deductible medical expenses include: Capital expenses for special equipment installed in, or improvements made to, a home that provides a medical benefit; these include wider doorways, entrance ramps, modified bathroom or…