Category Archive: Accounting

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 ...

OUCH!

I agree with the IRS’ and Tax Court’s interpretation of the law, but Mr. Udeobong sure paid through the nose – twice, to be exact.  I’ll save you the gory details.  In fact, they might ...

Health Care Forms: They are Confusing – For Everyone, It Seems

Some of my confusion may come from the fact that I am following my spring busy season sleepless pattern.  Does the following make any sense to you? At 3:11 p.m. yesterday I received an “IRS ...

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 ...

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, ...