Wealth & Risk Management Blog

William Byrnes (Texas A&M) tax & compliance articles

Posts Tagged ‘accounting’

IRS Gives High-Income Taxpayers a Break on New 3.8% Tax

Posted by William Byrnes on January 2, 2014


The IRS has finally given high-income taxpayers a break with the release of the final regulations governing the new 3.8% tax on net investment income.

These final rules mark a dramatic shift from the IRS’s previous position. By adding flexibility to the rules, the IRS’s unanticipated amendments ease the sting of the investment income tax.

Read Professor Robert Bloink and William Byrnes’ analysis of the shift in the IRS’ position at > Think Advisor <  

tax planning case studies for individuals and small business available on Tax Facts online

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Act Now on End of Year Expiring Tax Breaks: IRA Charitable Rollovers, Bonus Depreciation

Posted by William Byrnes on December 18, 2013


Individual clients may have one final chance to satisfy required minimum distribution (RMD) requirements without increasing taxable income.

Small business clients, on the other hand, should be advised that the time to expand is now, as special expensing and bonus depreciation rules are also set to expire at year’s end.

Regardless of your client’s situation, the list of expiring tax breaks is robust enough to grab everyone’s attention.

Read Professor William Byrnes and Robert Bloink’s end of year planning tips at > Think Advisor <

 

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Tax Court Provides Help for Estate Planning Using Gift Tax Valuation

Posted by William Byrnes on November 19, 2013


In the gift tax arena, the value assigned to the transferred property can often make or break your high-net-worth clients’ tax planning strategies, leading many clients to move conservatively through the valuation minefield.

Despite this, the newest strategy to emerge in the world of gift tax valuation can actually allow these wealthy clients to reduce their estate tax liability. Reversing course from a previous line of cases, the Tax Court recently blessed a cutting edge valuation strategy for lifetime gifts that can be used to reduce overall estate tax liability for these clients by simultaneously reducing the bite of the often-overlooked three-year bringback rule—a rule which can cause even the most carefully laid estate plans to fail.

Read William Byrnes and Robert Bloink’s analysis of the tax court case and the three-year bringback rule at > http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2013/10/29/tax-court-provides-help-for-estate-planning-using <

 

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Net unrealized appreciation tax break: Still a tax break in 2013?

Posted by William Byrnes on September 4, 2013


The tax break provided for net unrealized appreciation (NUA) on 401(k) account distributions once provided a powerful tax savings strategy for clients with large 401(k) balances — allowing some clients to reduce their taxes on these retirement funds by as much as 20 percent.

Today, as high-net-worth clients are increasingly seeking strategies to help minimize their tax burdens in light of higher 2013 tax rates, the NUA strategy may have become more complicated than ever.   Read the full analysis of William Byrnes & Robert Bloink at > Life Health Pro <

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Tax Court Confirms that Surrender Charges Reduce Value of Life Insurance Policy

Posted by William Byrnes on September 30, 2011


The Tax Court recently determined that the fair market value (FMV) of a life insurance policy distributed by a terminated 419 welfare benefit plan is reduced by surrender charges. [Lowe v. C.I.R., T.C. Memo. 2011-106 (2011)].

This ruling strengthens the Tax Court’s position on surrender charges that was enunciated in Schwab v. Commissioner [Michael P. Schwab et ux. v. C.I.R., 136 T.C. No. 6 (2011)]. The IRS continues to challenge taxpayers who apply surrender charges to reduce or eliminate their tax liability when a policy is distributed to them by a welfare benefit plan. However, this ruling adds another degree of certainty to the FMV calculation.

Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

For previous coverage of Tax Court rulings in Advisor’s Journal, see Tax Court Revives Partnership Self-Employment Tax Debate (CC 11-56).

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Aggressive IRS Gift Tax Audit Initiative: John Does Summons

Posted by William Byrnes on July 29, 2011


In recent years, the IRS has increased  its search for taxpayers who fail to disclose a gift tax return for reportable transactions. Now, the Justice Department’s Tax Division is getting in on the action, initiating an unprecedented fishing expedition and scouring state government records for information that may lead to taxpayers who have failed to file a gift tax return.

The Justice Department hopes to collect the identities of taxpayers who have gifted real property to relatives without reporting the transaction to the IRS. Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

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IRS Announces Lenient Lien Program for Small Businesses

Posted by William Byrnes on July 11, 2011


If you have small business clients who are struggling with back taxes and/or tax liens, you can tell them help is on the way. The IRS is offering assistance for both individuals and small businesses that are struggling to “meet their tax obligations, without adding unnecessary burden to [the] taxpayers.”  The new program includes a number of features discussed in today’s Advanced Markets Journal.   Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

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Did You File Your Taxes?

Posted by William Byrnes on May 2, 2011


A recent report by the Internal Revenue Service shows that total return filings are down this year as compared to the same time last year.  The report shows that over 51.927 million individual taxpayers have filed through the end of February 2011.  During this same period for the 2009 taxable year/2010 filing year the total number of returns by the end of February was around 53.556 million.  The difference between the two years amounts to approximately a decrease of three percent.

What’s more, the average refund for the 2010 tax year/2011 filing season is also down from calculations from the same time last year. This year’s average individual refund is currently $3,129, down $20 from $3,149 in 2010.  Read the analysis at AdvisorFYI

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Advanced Markets Preview: Personal and Nonbusiness Deductions

Posted by William Byrnes on March 30, 2011


Why is this Topic Important to Wealth Managers? This topic presents discussion on the individual and nonbusiness deductions offered under the Internal Revenue Code.  Since April 15th is fast approaching, it is important to review common tax positions with regards to client planning.

In addition this blogticle presents a excerpted preview of new, updated material from Advanced Markets which will be available soon (see www.advisorfx.com).   Over the coming 9 months, the entire AUS service is being revised and will be rolling out monthly.  The updating will include many new areas and a sharper focus with practical explanations and client presentation aides for current areas.  We look forward to helping you secure your next sale.

An expense of an individual may be business, nonbusiness, or personal, depending upon which of the individual’s spheres of activity gave rise to the expense.  This Blogticle discusses personal and nonbusiness expenses generally.

Personal Expenses

Personal expenses are all expenses incurred by an individual that are not business or nonbusiness expenses. These would include, for example, food and clothing for the individual and his family, repairs on the family home, and premiums paid on the individual’s personal life insurance. Generally, no deduction is permitted for personal expenses.[1] By specific statutory provision, however, deductions are allowed for some personal expenses, such as certain personal taxes, a limited amount of charitable contributions, medical expenses, certain interest on a principal residence, and alimony.

Most deductible personal expenses are “itemized deductions” and thus may be taken only if the taxpayer chooses to itemize his deductions instead of claiming the standard deduction.

Nonbusiness Expenses

A nonbusiness expense is generally an investment expense incurred in connection with the production of income, other than a trade, business or profession. Expenses of this type would include, for example, fees for tax or investment advice, and the cost of a safe deposit box used to store taxable securities. The deduction of nonbusiness expenses is governed by Code section 212. Specifically, Section 212 allows a deduction for expenses incurred in connection with: (1) the production or collection of income; (2) the management, conservation, or maintenance of property held for production of income; or (3) the determination, collection or refund of any tax.

The deductibility of nonbusiness expenses may be limited or deferred if they arise in connection with a “passive activity” or are interest expenses. Very generally, a “passive activity” is any activity which involves the conduct of a trade or business in which the taxpayer does not “materially participate.” [2] A passive activity also includes any rental activity, without regard to whether the taxpayer materially participates in the activity. Special rules apply to rental real estate activities. Aggregate losses from “passive activities” may generally be deducted in a year only to the extent they do not exceed aggregate income from passive activities in that year; credits from passive activities may be taken only against tax liability allocated to passive activities. Disallowed losses and credits may be carried over to offset passive income in later years. [3]

Once other limitations have been applied to the deductibility of nonbusiness expenses (e.g., the passive loss rule), they are generally deductible only to the extent that the aggregate of these and other “miscellaneous itemized deductions” exceeds 2% of adjusted gross income. “Miscellaneous itemized deductions” are deductions from adjusted gross income other than deductions for (1) interest, (2) taxes, (3) non-business casualty losses and gambling losses, (4) charitable contributions (including charitable remainder interests), (5) medical and dental expenses, (6) impairment-related work expenses for handicapped employees, (7) estate taxes on income in respect of a decedent, (8) certain short sale expenses, (9) certain adjustments under the Code’s claim of right provisions, (10) unrecovered investment in an annuity contract, (11) amortizable bond premium, and (12) certain expenses of cooperative housing corporations. [4]

A nonbusiness expense must also be “ordinary and necessary” to be deductible. [5] It must, therefore, be reasonable in amount and must bear a reasonable and proximate relation to (a) the production or collection of taxable income, or (b) the management, conservation, or maintenance of property held for the production of income. [6]

Tomorrow’s blogticle will discuss important planning aspects of 2011.

We invite your opinions and comments by posting them below, or by calling the Panel of Experts

 

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Advisor/Trustee Ends Up Responsible for a Trust’s Tax Bill?

Posted by William Byrnes on March 19, 2011


You’d better think twice before agreeing to act as trustee for your clients’ trusts, since doing so can cost you far more than the goodwill and fees it generates.

We all know that, depending on the circumstances, a trust, its grantor, or its beneficiaries can be held responsible for tax liability stemming from trust income.

What about its trustee?

Although trustees are not usually personally responsible for a trust’s taxes, a trustee can be stuck with the tax bill if the trustee breaches his or her fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries. A U.S. District Court recently considered a trustee’s liability for GST taxes when the trust’s beneficiaries claimed that the trustee failed to keep them informed of their potential liability for taxes stemming from trust distributions.

The trustees’ mistake in this case could cost them over $1 million.  Read the full analysis by linking to AdvisorFX!

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Congress Extends Deduction for State and Local Sales Taxes

Posted by William Byrnes on February 12, 2011


The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (Tax Relief Act) extended the income tax deduction for state and local sales taxes through December 31, 2011.  The deduction expired on January 1, 2009, but Congress amended the provision retroactively, which will allow taxpayers to take the deduction on their 2010 taxes.  The deduction, which has been slated to expire a number of times, has been revived by Congress repeatedly since it was introduced but has not yet been made a permanent part of the Code.   Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

For previous coverage of the Tax Relief Act of 2010 in Advisor’s Journal, see Obama Tax Compromise Provides 100 Percent Bonus Depreciation of Business Assets Through 2011 (CC 11-01), Obama’s Social Security Tax Holiday: Penny Wise and Pound Foolish? (CC 10-119), Does the New Estate Tax Make the Bypass Trust Obsolete? (CC-10-122), & 2010 Estates: To Elect or Not to Elect (CC 10-124).

For in-depth analysis of income tax deductions, see Advisor’s Main Library: B4—Business Income and Deductions.

We invite your questions and comments by posting them or by calling the Panel of Experts.

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Selected Provisions and Analysis of the Tax Relief Act of 2010

Posted by William Byrnes on February 8, 2011


Written by the foremost experts in the field – Professor William H. Byrnes, Esq., LL.M, and Robert Bloink, Esq., LL.M

Understand the Act’s Implications for You and Your Clients

  • Analyzes important insurance, estate, gift, and other elements of the Act
  • Provides pertinent information on other important 2010 tax developments
  • Convenient Q&A format speeds you to the information you need – with answers to over 100 important questions

Summary Table of Contents

  • Analysis of the Tax Relief Act of 2010
    • Income Tax Provisions
    • Estate Tax Provisions
    • Generation Skipping Transfer Tax
    • Deduction for State and Local Sales Taxes
    • Alternative Minimum Tax
    • Tax Credits
    • Payroll Tax Holiday
    • Wage Credit for Employees who are Active Duty Members of the Military
    • Charitable Distributions from Retirement Accounts
    • Bonus Depreciation and Section 179 Expensing
    • Basis Reporting Requirements for Brokers and Mutual Funds
    • Regulated Investment Company Modernization Act of 2010
    • Health Care Act
    • Form 1099 Reporting Requirement for Businesses
    • American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010
    • Requirements for Tax Return Preparers

Price: $12.95 + shipping & handling and applicable sales tax

To order:

With our Custom Imprint program, you can place your company’s logo on the cover of this analysis and you’ll leave a lasting impression.  Call 1-800-543-0874 for additional information.

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Obama Tax Compromise Provides 100 Percent Bonus Depreciation of Business Assets Through 2011

Posted by William Byrnes on January 27, 2011


Although some items purchased by a business can be written off 100% for income tax purposes in the year of purchase, many types of property are not eligible to be deducted fully in the year they are purchased.  The tax deduction for purchase of a piece of depreciable property is spread out over the life of the property.

Each year during the depreciation period the business is allowed to take a tax deduction for some portion of the purchase price of the property. The Tax Relief Act includes a provision allowing 100% bonus depreciation for some business assets.  It also extends for an additional year the 50% bonus depreciation provisions previously scheduled to expire at the end of 2011.  Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

 

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Selected Provisions and Analysis of the Tax Relief Act of 2010

Posted by William Byrnes on January 18, 2011


Written by the foremost experts in the field, Robert Bloink, Esq., LL.M and Professor William H. Byrnes, Esq., LL.M, CWM 

Understand the Act’s Implications for You and Your Clients

  • Analyzes important insurance, estate, gift, and other elements of the Act
  • Provides pertinent information on other important 2010 tax developments
  • Convenient Q&A format speeds you to the information you need – with answers to over 100 important questions

Summary Table of Contents

  • Analysis of the Tax Relief Act of 2010
    • Income Tax Provisions
    • Estate Tax Provisions
    • Generation Skipping Transfer Tax
    • Deduction for State and Local Sales Taxes
    • Alternative Minimum Tax
    • Tax Credits
    • Payroll Tax Holiday
    • Wage Credit for Employees who are Active Duty Members of the Military
    • Charitable Distributions from Retirement Accounts
    • Bonus Depreciation and Section 179 Expensing
    • Basis Reporting Requirements for Brokers and Mutual Funds
    • Regulated Investment Company Modernization Act of 2010
    • Health Care Act
    • Form 1099 Reporting Requirement for Businesses
    • American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010
    • Requirements for Tax Return Preparers

Product Information:

Softcover/64 pages total;  42 pages of questions and answers

Publication Date: January 2011

Publication Number: 1350011

Price: $12.95 + shipping & handling and applicable sales tax

To order:

With our Custom Imprint program, you can place your company’s logo on the cover of this analysis and you’ll leave a lasting impression.  Call 1-800-543-0874 for additional information.

Posted in Taxation | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Gift Tax Return Disclosures—Adequate or Else

Posted by William Byrnes on October 1, 2010


A recent IRS Chief Counsel Advice addressed the importance of making adequate disclosures to the IRS when filing a gift tax return, demonstrating the dangers of a tight lip. There, a taxpayer failed to disclose the method and valuation discounts used to value gifted stock.  As a result, the taxpayer was unable to seek the protection from gift tax changes based upon the three year statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations for the IRS to question an item on a gift tax return is essentially unlimited if a gift is not “adequately disclosed” on the return, so taxes—and fees and interest—can be imposed on the inadequately disclosed gift any time after the return is filed.

For the complete analysis of this development regarding the disclosures required on a gift tax return by our Experts Robert Bloink and William Byrnes, please read the article via your AdvisorFX subscription at Gift Tax Return Disclosures—Adequate or Else?

For in-depth analysis of this topic, see Advisor’s Main Library Section 7. Gift Taxes D—Valuation For Gift Tax Purposes and from a tax perspective see Tax Facts Q 1534 What are the requirements for filing the gift tax return and paying the tax?

After reading the analysis, we invite your questions and comments by posting them below, or by calling the Panel of Experts.

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Accounting for Corporations and Limited Liability Companies and How it Relates to Insurance

Posted by William Byrnes on August 24, 2010


This blogticle explores the importance of corporate accounting and how it relates to financial planning.  Basics of accounting and financial statement presentation are discussed in connection with insurance planning.

Please read my blogticle at Advisor FYI Accounting for Corporations and Limited Liability Companies and How it Relates to Insurance

Posted in Insurance, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Bankruptcy Taxation, Accounting and Financial Reporting course – online lectures

Posted by William Byrnes on December 15, 2009


Bankruptcy Taxation, Accounting and Financial Reporting course is related to the tax and accounting principles and financial documents required in a bankruptcy case including monthly operating statements, and disclosure statements, as well as pro-forma financial statements prepared as part of a proposed bankruptcy plan. The taxation half of the course will consider such areas as the post-confirmation carry forward of losses, and tax planning for entities in financial difficulty. In addition, this course will provide a working knowledge of accounting practice and procedures related to bankruptcy.

Faculty Professors Ole Oleson and Grant Newton

Ole Oleson Esq, served as a research and writing attorney for each of the bankruptcy judges of the Southern District of California and is currently serving as law clerk to the Chief Judge. He practiced in the Financial Services department at Brobeck, Phleger and Harrison representing institutional creditors and corporate debtors.

Grant Newton, CPA, author of Bankruptcy and Insolvency Accounting: Practice and Procedure, 6th edition and co-author of Bankruptcy and Insolvency Taxation, 2nd edition; Executive Director of the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors; Member, AICPA Task Force on Financial Reporting by Entities in Reorganization Under the Bankruptcy Code.

Course period: January 18th – April 9th

Lectures: 36 lecture hours using webcams / headsets with sharing of applications – also recorded for later on-demand viewing

Enroll with Assoc. Dean William Byrnes  wbyrnes@tjsl.edu  (619) 374-6955

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