Category Archive: Vance Maultsby

OK, President Trump. Game On!

I was planning to pen a short note wishing all my clients, friends and readers a happy and prosperous 2018.  Plans change. On Thursday, December 28, President Trump told the New York Times that he knows taxes “better than the greatest CPA.”  Them’s fightin’ words, Mr. Trump. I may or may not be the greatest […]

Making Laws and Sausages: Not A Pretty Sight

My Comments on December 4, 2017: A quote attributed to 19th century German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck crosses my mind frequently of late.  “Laws are like sausages.  You should never watch them being made.” He is right.  For a time, I lived and worked in the sausage factory on the Potomac.  Law-making wasn’t pretty then. […]

IRS: The Nice Guys Once Again

About two weeks before the wildfires struck northern California, my wife and I spent a few days in Napa Valley.  We went to a stunning estate to celebrate the perfect nuptial ceremony featuring a beautiful bride.  There aren’t many places more gorgeous than California wine country.  My friends there tell me that still is true, […]

The Tax Court Likes Hockey

Usually, the income tax deduction for meals and entertainment is equal to half the amounts spent for meals and entertainment.  There are some exceptions, one of which is where the meals are a de minimis fringe benefit.  Tax Court Senior Judge Robert Ruwe decided that the away-game pre-game meals of the NHL’s Boston Bruins were […]

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 tell my inquirer that, in the vast majority of cases, if the costs were deductible, the costs would be treated […]

Trump’s Tax Plan – Kind of Like a Butt Sketch

First, let me acknowledge that Butt Sketch is trademarked by Krandel Lee Newton.  I give him all the well-deserved credit for the term and the concept.  Mr. Newton and his crew of associate Butt Sketchers are famous across the nation now.  About 25 years ago, the Cedar Hill, Texas resident was a bit less well-known […]

Fleischer – Unsettling News for Independent Wealth Advisers

This is a very long blog because it is an important, complicated and current topic! I am privileged to count among my clients some of the elite wealth advisers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I team with them and a number of other prominent wealth advisers and financial planners to serve my high and ultra-high […]

POOF! $64 Million Charitable Contribution Deduction Disappears

Alright, the facts in the case are a bit more complex than a “poof.”  But it got your attention for my at-least-annual reminder to obtain a contemporaneous written acknowledgment (“CWA”) from the donee for any contribution that is valued at $250 or more. A CWA must state, among other things, (a) the amount of cash […]

Happy New Year 2017! A Little Gift

I was cleaning out my “blog topic” file this morning and readying for the new year.  I found a note that I should send this link to my friends and readers. The IRS website is full of helpful information, if you can navigate to it.  Take a look at “A-Z Index for Business” at https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/a-z-index-for-business […]

Hey Vance, How Long Should I Keep My Tax Records?

Regularly, I am asked how long one should keep tax records.  This is an important and straight-forward question.  My usual answer is less direct: “it depends.” As you can see below, that’s a pretty good answer.  Except for my comments in italics, the following advice is from the IRS website and IRS Newswire IR-2016-162.  Click […]

FEARLESS FORECASTS

Warning:  Take anything that I forecast with a grain of salt.  Along with most of the civilized world, I predicted wrongly the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. Once I overcame the shock of the presidential election results, I began to watch, listen, discuss and read about possible tax changes that could occur.  For the […]

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 […]