Category Archives: Deductions

How complex is the tax code?

Each year more than a few clients will say something to me along the lines of, “Well, the tax rules are pretty much the same as last year, right?”

Sometimes I smile; sometimes I laugh. This year, thanks to my friend and fellow tax professional Tony Johnson, a Lincoln, California, CPA, I can tell you just how much the tax code changes every year.

Tony says that since 2001, there have been at least 4,680 (!) changes in the tax code. That’s about one change per day for more than a dozen years.

No wonder it seems like most tax pros have all the work they can handle.

A winning tax picture for money-losing artists

You are an artist, or a photographer, or a writer who is trying to make money from your venture but usually don’t succeed. Can you still claim losses on your tax returns? I’ve often told clients that the answer is yes, if you are conducting yourself in a businesslike manner, attempting to make a profit,…Continue Reading

“The Situation” is in a not-so-good tax situation

Did you know that “Jersey Shore” reality show personality Michael Sorrentino, aka “The Situation”, and his brother Marc, grossed almost $9 million in a variety of ventures over four years? Me neither, until I read the U.S. District Court indictment, reported inThe New York Times,charging the brothers with conspiracy and filing false tax returns. Michael…Continue Reading

Arranging a tax-deductible fire

Ever want to help support your local fire department? Several taxpayers over the years have done just that, by allowing the fire department to use their house for training purposes, including–yes–burning down the house. Why would someone do that? Well, for the tax benefit! No kidding. The idea is that you get to deduct the…Continue Reading

Sneaky Congress raises taxes on the self-employed — by changing the rules

For years people who are self-employed have been able to deduct 100% of their qualifying health insurance premiums against their self-employment income to reduce their income taxes.  But most self-employed individuals pay more in self-employment tax (15.3% of profit) than they do in federal income tax.  And the health insurance break did nothing to help…Continue Reading