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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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Home Is Where The Dog Is

Three times during this spring busy season I researched extensively the facts and the law surrounding the states of residence of taxpayers in order to determine where state taxes should or should not be paid. Maybe I should have just posed a simple question:  “Where’s your dog?” In February 2017, the State of New York […]

Where Does All the Money Go?

If you are like me, you know pretty much where your income comes from.  Where does it go?  That sometimes can be a little less transparent. As I straightened up my office last night at the end of the tax busy season, I ran across a recent study published annually by The Committee for a […]

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. […]

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 […]

National Taxpayer Advocate’s 2016 Annual Report to Congress – Some Key Takeaways

Every year, by law, the National Taxpayer Advocate, “an independent voice for the taxpayer within the IRS,” issues a report to Congress.  For 15 years, the National Taxpayer Advocate has been Nina E. Olson.  She knows her stuff. Issued last week, the 2016 report is about 965 pages, give or take a page or two.  […]

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 […]

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