Category Archives: Uncategorized

Losing money on your sideline business? The IRS may be coming after you.

I’ll try to be as clear as possible on this: If you make a pretty good living but also file a Schedule C that regularly loses money, the IRS has been told to come after you.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) put out a report in mid-2016 saying that the IRS should turn its guns toward high-income individuals with money-losing Schedule C’s. The report concluded that of the money-losing Schedule C’s it reviewed, fully 88 percent “showed an indication that the Schedule C businesses were not engaged in for profit.”

The report, which has been written about in Forbes and by tax geek maven Paul L. Caron on his TaxProf blog, has a title which really tells you all you need to know: Opportunities Exist to Identify and Examine Individual Taxpayers Who Deduct Potential Hobby Losses to Offset Other Income.

OK, you’ve been warned. Here’s a link to the TIGTA press release, which you can use to connect to the report.

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

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

Delta Airlines pays zero tax on $2.7 billion in earnings in 2013

When people have a bad financial year, they generally don’t get any tax benefit. But when corporations lose money, the losses don’t disappear. For tax purposes, they are carried forward to future years, and can result in companies making billions but still owing nothing. Case in point: Delta Airlines, which, as Bloomberg Business Week explains,… Continue Reading

Google employees may be worth more dead than alive

I had to post this just so I could write the headline. Here’s the deal: Google provides life insurance for their employees. But not just the typical $50,000 policy you may have seen at your job, or a death benefit of one year’s pay. Nope. Google’s policy provides the surviving spouse or domestic partner of… Continue Reading

Socialism in action: America’s military

Nicholas Kristof doesn’t write only about do-gooder groups valiantly addressing third-world social horrors–although he does do plenty of that, and with an effectiveness that often makes you want to whip out your checkbook. Sometimes he addresses inequities at home, as in this column in today’s New York Times, where he suggests that people looking for… Continue Reading