business expenses

Getting a New Car for Business? Buy or Lease? Part 1: Leased Vehicles

Many business owners rely on transportation to achieve the goals and purposes of their business. A car purchased for use in a business has certain tax advantages for the owner. However, many business owners are now leasing cars for business use. More Americans lease autos than ever before because of attractive monthly costs and the ability to change cars frequently to keep up with new technology and safety features. But what’s better for your business, an owned or leased car?

Hobby v. Business Loss – Ramifications Of The Herb Vest, TC Memo 2016-187

The rules for reporting the income and expenses associated with a “hobby” or “pastime” is dependent upon whether or not the activity has the genuine purpose of making a profit. The Herb Vest case is an interesting Tax Court Memorandum decision regarding a wealthy taxpayer’s attempt to deduct from gross income, expenses related to the investigation of his father’s mysterious death. Among several issues discussed in the case, the Tax Court discussed not-for-profit activities and the factors considered in determining profit objective.

Trump’s Tax Plan Then And Now, Part 2

Every American taxpayer is waiting to see what specific tax plan Donald Trump will implement as President of the United States. The first part of this blog addressed the differences between Trump’s 2015 proposed tax plan and his current 2016 tax plan. While there are differences, there are, of course, the constants in Trump’s tax proposals, which demonstrate the tax policies that Trump has emphasized as important from the beginning of his presidential candidacy.

Top Tax Deductions for Seniors and Retirees

Here are some of the most important tax deductions for seniors and retirees. 

  1. Higher standard deduction.

Any taxpayer that is 65 and older by December 31 of the tax year is entitled to a higher standard deduction. Taxpayers may take the higher standard deduction if a spouse is age 65 or older and together they file a joint return. Also, the higher standard deduction may be taken if the taxpayer files a separate return and can claim an exemption for a spouse because the spouse had no gross income and can’t be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. 

Tax Breaks for Home-Based Businesses

Home-based business owners may not be aware that there are many ways to cut their tax bill. Many tax breaks are available for home-based businesses, here are some tips for taking advantage of these allowable business expenses.

Business structure

Sole proprietors must pay self-employment taxes. Forming a corporation or another business entity like an LLC and electing to treat it as an S Corporation may help reduce self-employment taxes. S Corporations allow home-business owners the opportunity to pay themselves a “reasonable salary” and treat any remaining profits as a profit distribution, both of which are not subject to self-employment taxes.

When, If Ever, Can I Deduct Pet-Related Costs?

Believe it or not, there are some pet-related expenses which may be deducted from your taxes. Here is a summary of such expenses. And you thought all you were ever going to get out of this relationship was love, affection, and undying loyalty!

Medical Expenses

Taxpayers may include the expenses of buying, training and maintaining guide dogs used for assistance in cases of either reduced vision or hearing. This may include all necessary food, training, grooming and veterinary care. You may also deduct this expense if you’ve been diagnosed with a physical or mental condition that benefits from the attention of a trained therapy animal. Keep in mind that unless the animal is trained or certified as treatment for a diagnosed illness or condition, the IRS will disallow any deduction.

Uber drivers – employees or independent contractors? (What’s the significance anyway?)

By now everyone is familiar with Uber. And in case you’re not, Uber is an online taxi dispatch company that uses its own mobile app that allows its customers to submit a trip request on their smartphones for drivers who then pick up riders using driver-owned vehicles.

Uber’s business is built on an independent contractor (IC) model, which in Uber’s case means that ideally, Uber drivers receive no benefits, use their own vehicles, and pay all expenses for gas, maintenance, and insurance. Twenty to twenty-five (20 to 25) percent of driver earnings are paid to Uber as a fee to use its service. Some estimate that this contractor model can save businesses up to 30% on labor costs.

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