Author Archives: redsoxbuff

IRS sends warning shot to deduction-hunting job searchers

There’s a little bit of good tax news for anyone looking for a new job: The costs of that search can be tax-deductible. Qualifying job-search costs are deductible on Schedule A of your returns to the extent that they and other “miscellaneous deductions” exceed 2% of your income. CBS Moneywatch has a good summary of the breaks that are available.
The bad news is that the IRS is focusing on job-hunting expenses, and made clear in a recent “Tax Tip” release that only expenses related to looking for a job in your current field are deductible.
If you’re in the middle of a career change and switching occupations, no tax breaks for you. Similarly, if you’ve been out of the workforce for several years, you don’t get a deduction for the costs of re-entry.

Boston Bruins and IRS facing off over meal deductions

Businesses can deduct 100% of most ordinary expenses, but only 50% of the cost of business-related meals. When is a meal not a meal for tax purposes? One definition is when it’s an ordinary expense and provided for the convenience of the employer. That’s what the National Hockey League’s Boston Bruins say about the costs…Continue Reading

IRS should drop “service” from its name

How hard was it for taxpayers to deal with the IRS this past filing season? A new report, outlined by Government Executive and other publications, says that the agency didn’t even answer the phone — as in, pick up a call — almost 9 million times. Of those calls that were picked up, only 37%…Continue Reading

IRS plays dead on campaign finance

Any small business that has been audited knows the IRS can be a junkyard dog when examining records for deductible meals, travel, mileage, and other business expenses. Not so when it comes to reviewing political organizations. As The New York Times summarizes, the IRS has pretty much rolled over on groups that use nonprofit “social…Continue Reading

Hastert and FIFA cases prove the oldest rule in the book: Follow the money!

What does Dennis Hastert’s indictment on apparently Very Very Bad Horrible Terrible Behavior (kudos to Kaili Joy Gray of Wonkette) and the FIFA bribery and kickback scandal (New York Times version here) have in common? They both in part involve people charged with trying to hide or disguise transfers of money—something that is of tremendous…Continue Reading