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Personal Taxes

Fixing Electronics Side Business - What Info Do I Need Come Tax Time?

Asked Tuesday, September 21, 2021 by Codee B.

Congratulations on your new business venture.

I will give you some general thoughts to help you.

First and foremost, you should open a separate bank account where you deposit all the income and from which pay your expenses. You absolutely do not want to use a personal account. Why? If you ever got audited, if any business activity went through a personal account (meaning you commingled funds), IRS can and will force banks to surrender all your bank accounts, and IRS will treat any deposits to your personal account as income (even if it’s not truly income). IRS is correct that taxpayers should never commingle funds. Taxpayers do it all the time, but it’s to their detriment because they hand the IRS the right to audit all their personal accounts. Why make it harder on yourself?

To answer your question, you should keep any records pertaining to your business. That means copies of invoices you give to customers, copies of deposit slips when you make deposits to the bank account, copies of bank statements, copies of check stubs, copies of receipts when you make purchases for parts, etc.

As far as expenses are concerned, you can deduct any legitimate business expense you pay on behalf of the business. That includes the parts you mention. You cannot deduct things like meals, entertainment, clothing (unless you pay to have a logo added to the clothing), haircuts, etc. You can deduct business mileage. That’s going to be a big deduction for you, so you need to keep a complete and accurate mileage log.

It’s best to keep all your records for seven years, in case you’re audited. If you don’t have records, IRS has the right to deny deductions.

If you need a CPA now or in the future, I am available. I’m here in Texas, but I service clients across state, across the country, and even internationally.

Finally, if you found this free advice helpful, please leave me a review, either through Google (search for Adam Dickreiter or by using the following link or through this website (CPAdirectory).

Answer Provided by: personimage Adam Dickreiter

Personal Taxes

Gift taxes

Asked Wednesday, July 07, 2021 by Jacqueline D.

Seeing that there was no paperwork to document the loan, I assume no interest was ever paid. While the intention may have been for it to be treated as a loan, neither party behaved like it was a loan (by having a written promissory note, periodic payments, interest to be paid, etc.).

If your father every got audited and this issue arose in audit, he would first have to prove that the receipt of the $30,000 was not income to him. Again, it’s difficult for your father to assert it was a loan when it was never treated as such. Assuming that you could prove it was not income, then the IRS might argue that it was a loan (if that was in the IRS’ best interest). If the IRS could win on that front, they’d go after your father’s friend for imputed interest income, as you can’t have a loan with no interest. However, if it ended up being treated as a gift, I recommend the following.

To keep things simple, your father should repay the $30,000 in two pieces, making sure not to exceed the annual exclusion (presently $15,000) by giving no more than $15,000 each calendar year. So it would take two payments – one for $15,000 this year (2021) and the second for $15,000 next year (2022). By doing it this way, your father would not need to file a gift tax return for the total transfer of $30,000 back to his friend. Also, your father would not need to pay any tax.

To summarize, I would assume it was a gift all along and take the aforementioned steps to do damage control. Of course, it would have been better to simply have done things right from the beginning, rather than try to find a legal way out of the mess later.

Answer Provided by: personimage Adam Dickreiter

Personal Taxes

Wage and Income Transcript

Asked Saturday, July 03, 2021 by John D.

I don’t think this is a reason to panic. On the other hand, I do think this is a reason to take proactive steps, which you have already been doing.

If you have not already done so, I recommend you prepare and file your return showing just the one Form W-2. You should not show the duplicate Form W-2. Hopefully, you’ve been documenting (writing down dates, times, names, phone numbers called, etc.) for all your contacts (with your employer, Social Security Administration, and Internal Revenue Service). Because you’re in a panic and quite motivated now (and the details are fresh in your mind), you should compose a letter to the Internal Revenue Service right now, to explain why you reported just one Form W-2 and to document all your efforts (even though unfruitful) to make things right.

Once you file your return, the Internal Revenue Service will process it. You can expect that they will send you a notice for what they perceive is unreported income. Don’t be surprised if they also assess penalties and interest. However, if you write your letter now, you will have most of the details on hand for when you get the IRS notice. Then, you’ll just need to tweak your letter to directly address the points raised in the IRS notice. If you choose, you could even include a copy of your letter when you file the return (if you paper file it). However, I don’t recommend it. The letter will probably be ignored. Also, if you paper file, the processing of the return will definitely be delayed.

So, I wouldn’t panic. You haven’t done anything wrong. Unfortunately, know that you have a long road ahead of you. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s a long tunnel ahead of you.

Answer Provided by: personimage Adam Dickreiter

Personal Taxes

Avoiding Capital Gains Tax for selling my home in under a year of buying

Asked Thursday, July 01, 2021 by Philip R.

Good question. It sounds like you already have a buyer and sales price in mind, so it sounds like a like-kind exchange isn’t an option for you.

You are right that a sale after only 9 months would force short-term capital gains tax on you. However, I you could hold the property for more than one year, you would get long-term capital gain tax treatment. Perhaps you could work out a deal with the buyer to rent it to him/her long enough to get you well over the one year holding period. Perhaps you could come to an agreement that would be beneficial for both of you.

Feel free to contact me if you wish to engage me to help. Even though I practice as a CPA in Texas, I have clients in other states.

Answer Provided by: personimage Adam Dickreiter

Personal Taxes

How do I pay taxes as a contractor?

Asked Sunday, June 06, 2021 by Rosa S.

As a CPA, I came across this website and joined just last week, and I just came across your question.

You use Form 1040-ES to make estimated income tax payments. You can download the form (with instructions on where to mail, etc.) on the website for the Internal Revenue Service ( On the home page, click on Search Forms & Instructions. Then, in the Search box, you can type 1040-ES.

Estimated income tax payments are normally due April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15.

Answer Provided by: personimage Adam Dickreiter

Alternative Minimum Tax

2018-Alternative Minimum Tax

Asked Thursday, December 20, 2018 by an anonymous user
Two significant changes were made to the AMT for the years 2018 through 2025. All of the changes will be subject to inflation adjustment in years after 2018.

a. The exemption amounts that were scheduled to be $86,200 for joint filers (one-half of that amount for separate filers) and $55,400 for unmarried taxpayers, for 2018, have been increased to $109,400 for joint filers ($54,700 for separate filers) and $70,300 for all others.

b. The AMTI threshold, above which the exemption is phased out $1 for every $4 of excess, has been increased to $1,000,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly and $500,000 for all others. These amounts were scheduled to be $164,100 for joint filers, $82,050 for separate filers and $123,100 for all other taxpayers.
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Alternative Minimum Tax

AMT Exemption amounts

Asked Wednesday, January 15, 2014 by an anonymous user
The AMT Exemption amounts for 2014 is $53,900 for single and head of household taxpayers and $83,800 for joint filers and qualifying widow(er) taxpayers
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Casualty Losses

Casualty Loss - Figuring the Loss

Asked Thursday, March 07, 2013 by an anonymous user
You figure the amount of your loss using the following steps.
1.Determine your cost or other basis in the property before the casualty or theft.
2.Determine the decrease in fair market value (FMV) of the property as a result of the casualty or theft. (The decrease in FMV is the difference between the property's value immediately before and immediately after the casualty or theft.)
3.From the smaller of the amounts you determined in (1) and (2), subtract any insurance or other reimbursement you received or expect to receive
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Casualty Losses

Casualty Loss - Deduction limits

Asked Thursday, March 07, 2013 by an anonymous user
After you have figured the amount of your loss, as discussed earlier, you must figure how much of the loss you can deduct. You do this on Form 4684, section A. If the loss was to property for your personal use or your family's, there are two limits on the amount you can deduct for your casualty or theft loss.
1.You must reduce each casualty or theft loss by $100 ($100 rule).
2.You must further reduce the total of all your losses by 10% of your adjusted gross income (10% rule).
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