Category Archive: Accounting

Family Office Structuring in Light of Lender Ruling

Recent court rulings and tax reform legislation has an impact on family office expense deduction. The lack of definition and bright-line test determining “trade or business activities” means that we must carefully consider the distinct ...

Final Regulations Remove Two-Year Deferral of Advance Payments for Inventoriable Goods Under Section 1.451-5

On July 11, 2019, the IRS and Treasury released final regulations removing Section 1.451-5 of the Income Tax Regulations as a result of the changes made to Section 451 under the 2017 tax reform known ...

7 traits to look for in a CPA firm

Consider the human lifecycle. No two are exactly alike. We can, however, credit the IRS for imposing at least one trait that unifies us all. That is the expectation that we taxpayers must boil down ...

Does the IRS Call You?

Ring ring, ring ring…. have you ever been asked why aren’t you picking up your phone? Well, in my case it’s because the phone number from which I’m receiving the “call” appears to be following ...

As Proud As I Can Be!

I have always been associated with outstanding professional women. My mother is a CPA.  My wife is an acclaimed family law attorney and former judge.  Our two daughters are accomplished licensed professionals with graduate degrees. ...

TurboTax Made Me Do It

Sometimes you should not do your own brain surgery.  Well, make that almost always.  Actually, I can’t think of an exception.  A recent Tax Court Memorandum reminds us of the perils of taking on complicated ...

Hey Vance, Can I Deduct the Costs of my MBA?

On occasion, I am asked if a taxpayer can deduct the costs of graduate education.  I consulted with a client about deducting the costs of his MBA as recently as a month ago.  I confidently ...

Alternative Investments in IRAs – Part II: Be Creative

WARNING:  Do not try the following strategy unless, at least: -Your daddy built a big company that exports products -You have the nerve to battle the IRS for many years -You have creative and careful ...

Unconventional Investments in IRAs – Part I: Be Careful

I remember when Individual Retirement Accounts (“IRAs”) were first established in 1974. (Yep, I’m no spring chicken.) At first, these tax-deferred IRAs were restricted to those workers who were not already covered by a qualified ...

What’s The Difference Between An Actuary And An Accountant?

An accountant looks at your shoes when he talks to you.  An actuary looks at his own shoes when he talks to you. There is a difference between an actuary and a mathematician, too.  This ...

When in Doubt, Fill it Out

Some of the most draconian financial penalties levied by the U.S. Treasury are associated with the Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts Report (“FBAR”).  This report is made on FinCEN Form 114 by U.S. persons having ...

Aw, the IRS has a heart

Today, the IRS issued Announcement 2016-25:  Tax Treatment of Payments made on Behalf of or Reimbursements Received by Residents Affected by the Southern California Gas Company Natural Gas Leak. Let’s refresh our memories.  The Aliso ...