Legislative History as Tax Authority: an Obsolete Concept?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in IRS, Legal, Tax Planning, Taxes

Early in my professional tax career I learned about the concept of legislative history as tax authority. In fact a large part of any legal education is learning to evaluate evidence based on its qualitative characteristics, statutory consideration or local rules. In tax law this hierarchy of authority becomes the logical and legally supportable basis that […]

Terminology of Federal Income Taxes

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Tax Planning, Taxes, Wealth Management

Lately we’ve heard plenty of discussion about tax law. It seems especially common right now when tax terms have come up multiple times in casual conversation this past week at coffee, family dinner and email from a client. In some cases the terms are misused or misunderstood. Like many types of discussion, meaningful communication depends […]

The Tax Organizer Fallacy

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Taxes

This is the time of the year when tax preparers sent their clients “Tax Organizers” with a note saying this is necessary to properly prepare your tax return. The Tax Organizer presumably makes the tax preparation process go more smoothly and minimizes omissions. The organizer is a multi-page document that can take hours to complete. […]

All taxes are political: Where we stand today with tax reform fallout

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Tax Planning, Taxes

Here’s an update in bullet point format: Strong public opposition – It is clear from multiple sources now that the majority of Americans are opposed to the new tax law on the basis that it borrows from our future through massive deficit spending immediately. When the temporary tax cut expires our taxes are expected to […]

When business expenses are not deductible

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Law firm, Legal, Tax Planning, Taxes

A general principle of tax accounting is that we deduct ordinary and necessary business expenses from our gross income before reporting the net taxable income. However, this is not always the case. In some cases it is necessary to modify your tax accounting to comply with specific tax laws – even sometimes when the tax […]

2018 tax rates for married filing jointly

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Financial Planning, Tax Planning, Taxes

While most taxpayers get a decrease in marginal tax rates some small group of ‘married filing jointly‘ taxpayers will face higher marginal tax rates. This means that a married taxpayer with taxable income of $237,951 to $315,000 will see slightly less of a tax cut as a percentage of income compared to married taxpayers in other […]

The three basic principles of individual tax reform

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Financial Planning, Tax Planning, Taxes

The tax reform bill, as passed, does three key things for individual taxpayers: Temporarily changes the way we calculate “taxable income”. No longer do we calculate personal exemptions. Most deductions are eliminated. The standard deduction is increased. To estimate the impact on your taxes subtract the total amount of your current deductions and personal exemptions […]

First five strategies to deal with the new tax law

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Financial Planning, self-employed, Tax Planning, Taxes

My action plan for bringing actionable information to clients as soon as the tax bill becomes law. Update December 31, 2017: Major parts of the law become effective tomorrow. I’ve moved past most of the preliminary points in this article and am now focused on the actions that can make the most immediate impact on […]

Why the tax law might not mean much to you (but a lot for the rich)

Posted 1 CommentPosted in News and Politics, Tax Planning, Taxes

We now have the final details of the federal income tax bill published about 10 hours ago1. It seems natural for a tax geek like me to immediately calculate the effect the tax bill has on my family. My family is clearly in the ‘middle of the middle class’ by any measurement we may choose […]