Category Archive: Finance

Retirement Minded

Huselton, Morgan & Maultsby colleagues, don’t become giddy.  My retirement is still a few years away. However, I am approaching a traditionally epochal birthday, so my thoughts turn to the next chapter of my life.  It is time to start thinking seriously about what retirement will look like and where it will be spent.  So, […]

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 tax advisors (like me!) -You have the money to hire white-shoe lawyers, who probably charge $1,000 per hour, to represent […]

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 employment-based retirement plan. In 1981, that restriction was removed. IRAs became big business. Then Roth IRAs came along in 1997. […]

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 difference is well illustrated in a Tax Court case published last week. In Pizza Pro Equipment Leasing, Inc., the Tax […]

Don’t Tell My Clients About This Case

I always tell my clients to keep good records.  Often, I tell them again and again annoyingly.  It is my experience, and I daresay the experience of most other tax practitioners, that a taxpayer’s failure to keep good books and records will almost always result in a bad experience, if the taxpayer has to tangle […]

A Trillion Here, A Trillion There . . .

I ended my last blog with a quote attributed to the late Senator Everett Dirksen:  “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking real money.” How about:  “a trillion here, a trillion there . .  .”? Relatively quietly, the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Defense released a report on July 26, […]

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 a financial interest in or signature authority over foreign financial accounts, if the aggregate value of the foreign financial accounts […]

Caught Twixt a Rock and a Hard Place: The IRS and Hobby Losses

I’ve blogged about hobby losses a few times.   Section 183 of the Internal Revenue Code generally disallows business tax deductions for activities “not engaged in for profit” – hobbies.  The regulations under Section 183 provide a nonexclusive list of nine factors used to analyze a taxpayer’s profit objective with respect to an activity.  In the […]

A Couple of S Corporations, A Couple of Rental Arrangements, A Couple of Taxpayer Losses

Recently, two Circuit Courts shot down the taxpayers in two cases involving rents and S Corporations. In the Estate of Stuller, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals addressed a Tennessee Walking Horse breeding operation held in an S Corporation.  Surprise! The IRS, the District Court, and the Seventh Circuit found that the breeding operation was […]

Mo Vaughn Strikes Out

Remember Mo Vaughn?  Big man and big hitter.  American League MVP in 1995 with the Red Sox.  Mo had his best year in 1996, when he hit for a .326 average, played in 161 games, with 44 home runs and 143 RBIs.  His recent case before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals is a cautionary […]

Tax-Friendly and Not-Tax-Friendly States for Retirees

Kiplinger recently released its 2015 survey about states and their relative tax-friendliness to retirees. Of course, one quickly focuses on the absence or presence of a state income tax.  That is definitely a factor in determining the tax burden of living in a particular state.  However, there are other important tax considerations for retirees, including […]

HAPPY 80TH BIRTHDAY, SOCIAL SECURITY!

On August 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act. Today, Social Security provides benefits to about one in five U.S. residents, including retirees, people with disabilities, young children whose parents are deceased or disabled, widow(er)s and spouses. Without changes in Social Security, the system is projected to run out […]