Does the Government Subsidize Gambling Losses?

Does the Government Subsidize Gambling Losses?
A while back, I had a client receive a notice from the IRS demanding why he didn’t include his over $100k in gambling winnings on his tax return. “But I don’t gamble!” he promptly reported, figuring that the issue was a mistake and would be quickly put to rest. The IRS responded by sending slip ...

Itemized Deductions — Other Expenses

Itemized Deductions -- Other Expenses
(Get more 1040 help here) The IRS likes to have the littlest item explained in great detail, like the Victor Hugo of the accounting world. But just like Hugo’s best attempts to describe every tiny detail of the Paris sewers in Les Miserables must have passed over a lichen or two, the IRS can’t capture everything in their ...

Deducting Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses

Deducting Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses
(More 1040 deductions are explained here) The employers I’ve worked for so far have been good to me with the expense account: if something comes out of my pocket, they cough up the dough to put it back in. Not everyone is so fortunate. Congress knows this, and in an attempt to provide some relieve for employees ...

Useless Deductions: Tax Preparation Fees

Useless Deductions: Tax Preparation Fees
(More 1040 deductions are explained here) Let me set up the scene: It’s the middle of the 20th century, and the income tax code, which started out as an adorable 30 page pamphlet, has exploded into a hideous monster like a gremlin given food after midnight. Elected officials all over the nation are fighting to make the returns ...

2014 Excel Tax Forms are Now Available!

2014 Excel Tax Forms are Now Available!
Want to know how to get an accountant excited? Make and Excel version of something. Although I’d like to get into all the amazing games people have made in Excel, my point here is to promote something even more exhilarating: The 2014 1040 Tax Forms are now available in Excel! Head over here to download your copy. ...

Are Points Tax Deductible?

Are Points Tax Deductible?
(NOTE: if you’re looking for a list of itemized deductions, or more help with filling out your 1040, go back to the 1040 summary page here) Points. Origination fees. Maximum loan charges. Loan discount. Discount points. Sometimes, when I look at the number of phrases in the Real Estate industry has that mean the same thing, ...

Can I Deduct Those Ridiculous Mortgage Insurance Premiums?

Can I Deduct Those Ridiculous Mortgage Insurance Premiums?
(NOTE: if you’re looking for a list of itemized deductions, go back to the 1040 summary page here) When we bought our first house, the payments that frustrated me more than cat trying to catch a laser pointer were the Mortgage Insurance Premiums. While all the other payments felt more or less justified, Mortgage Insurance came as a punishment. I could ...

Section 179, Other Provisions Extended

Section 179, Other Provisions Extended
Looks like someone convinced Congress they’d only get their fruitcakes if they figured out our tax laws for 2014. I mentioned that the House passed this bill already, so this is the Senate rubber stamping the the bill and moving it to Pres. Obama’s desk. I’m not a Precog, but I’d put my money on the President signing the ...

Mortgage Interest Deduction 2014

Mortgage Interest Deduction 2014
(NOTE: if you’re looking for a list of itemized deductions, or more help with filling out your 1040, go back to the 1040 summary page here) Let’s be honest for just one minute, me to you: there’s more deductions out there than dog pee spots on my carpet (which is a friggin’ ton), yet almost all ...

Sales Tax Deduction 2014

Sales Tax Deduction 2014
(NOTE: if you’re looking for a list of itemized deductions, or more help with filling out your 1040, go back to the 1040 summary page here) Before I begin talking about the General Sales Tax Deduction on the Schedule A, I should mention that technically there’s no sales tax deduction in 2014. That doesn’t mean there won’t ...