Working with Jerry has literally taken a load off my back. He explains what you can and cannot do with clarity and makes “year end” a painless concept and not the nightmare we are all expecting to face. Jerry truly listens to our problems and concerns and customizes a product to our needs. He has put us “in control” of our business. You can’t go wrong when Jerry has your back!
Shirley & Jack S., Owner, Apex Grading
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Tax Court Puts Up Roadblock to Travel Deduction

Travel Expenses approved stamp

If you incur unreimbursed expenses while traveling away from home on business, you are generally entitled to deduct the cost of your travel expenses, within certain limits. But the tax law imposes strict substantiation requirements. In a new case, Near, TC Memo 2020-10, 1/14/20, the Tax Court denied a deduction because the taxpayer didn’t establish the requisite relationship between his business and the travel expenses.

Background: Generally, if you’re self-employed, you can deduct ordinary and necessary expenses incurred when traveling on business. This includes transportation costs back and forth from your business destination, as well as any business-related expenses at your business destination, such as lodging. The full amount is deductible if the trip is completely business-related.

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Taxpayers Must Only Pay What they Owe

Jerry Jones Tax Payers Must Pay What They Owe

When taxpayers complete their tax returns, some of them will owe money when they file. Here’s the thing…they have the right to pay only the amount of tax that is legally due.

This is one of ten Taxpayer Bill of Rights. They are fundamental rights taxpayers have when dealing with the IRS. One of which is the right to pay only the amount of tax legally due, including interest and penalties, and to have the IRS apply all tax payments properly.

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Tax Court Puts Up Roadblock to Travel Deduction

Jerry Jones Mileage Reimbursement

If you incur unreimbursed expenses while traveling away from home on business, you are generally entitled to deduct the cost of your travel expenses, within certain limits. But the tax law imposes strict substantiation requirements.

If you incur unreimbursed expenses while traveling away from home on business, you are generally entitled to deduct the cost of your travel expenses, within certain limits. But the tax law imposes strict substantiation requirements. In a new case, Near, TC Memo 2020-10, 1/14/20, the Tax Court denied a deduction because the taxpayer didn’t establish the requisite relationship between his business and the travel expenses.

Background: Generally, if you’re self-employed, you can deduct ordinary and necessary expenses incurred when traveling on business. This includes transportation costs back and forth from your business destination, as well as any business-related expenses at your business destination, such as lodging. The full amount is deductible if the trip is completely business-related.

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Popular Scams that Make Us All Vulnerable During Tax Season

Click on the image or here to watch a very informative video on how to spot scammers calling you.

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New Publications Help Taxpayers Get Ready and Stay Ready for Tax Filing Season

Tax Time

With the tax filing season almost here, taxpayers should check out two new IRS publications available on IRS.gov. These publications can help people get prepared to submit their tax returns and stay organized with tips for year-round tax planning.

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IRS Issues 2020 Standard Mileage Rates

mileage log calculator

The optional standard mileage rates for business use of a vehicle will decrease slightly in 2020 after increasing significantly in 2019, the IRS announced on Tuesday (Notice 2020-05 (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irsdrop/n-20-05.pdf)). For business use of a car, van, pickup truck, or panel truck, the rate for 2020 will be 57.5 cents per mile in 2020, down from 58 cents per mile last year after increasing from 54.5 cents per mile in 2018. Taxpayers can use the optional standard mileage rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile.

Because the law known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), P.L. 115-97, suspended the miscellaneous itemized deduction under Sec. 67 for unreimbursed employee business expenses from 2018 to 2025, the notice explains that the standard mileage rate cannot be used to claim a deduction for those expenses during that period.

However, self-employed taxpayers can deduct automobile expenses if they qualify as ordinary and necessary business expenses. And an exception to the disallowance of a deduction for unreimbursed employee business expenses applies to members of a reserve component of the U.S. armed forces, state or local government officials paid on a fee basis, and certain performing artists. They are permitted to deduct mileage expenses on line 11 of Schedule 1 of Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, (an above-the-line deduction) and may continue to use the 57.5 cents-per-mile business standard mileage rate.

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New Retirement-Savings Law Likely to Help 401(k) Plans, but Not IRAs. Here's Why.

Jerry Jones 401K info

A hefty piece of federal legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump in December has been hailed as one of the most far-reaching retirement savings reforms in at least a decade – a package that will broaden the reach of workplace 401(k) plans.

While the legislation makes several important tweaks to Individual Retirement Accounts, too, it’s not likely to enhance their popularity all that much.

Granted, IRAs already are popular, accounting for $9.7 trillion, or 33%, of all retirement assets as of a mid-2019 tally by the Investment Company Institute, a mutual fund trade group.

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Inheriting a parent's IRA or 401(k)? Here's how the Secure Act could create a disaster

Inheriting a parent's IRA or 401(k)? Here's how the Secure Act could create a disaster

Beneficiaries of individual retirement accounts may not see their inheritances for a decade under the newly passed Secure Act, and when they do get the money, they may be taxed heavily for it.

Congress passed the SECURE Act, a retirement bill intended to expand retirement security for Americans across the country, but one provision may actually hinder that.

Under the new retirement legislation, which was signed into law just days before Christmas, beneficiaries of inherited IRAs will need to withdraw that money within 10 years — that is, if they have access to it at all within that time.

Previously, nonspousal beneficiaries could opt to take only required minimum distributions over their life expectancy, rather than taking all the money within five years. (Required minimum distributions are calculated with factors such as the beneficiary’s age, life expectancy and account balance.) That tax-advantaged possibility disappears with the Secure Act, which only allows one option: up to 10 years to drain the account.

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Don't Be Like These Celebrities Convicted of Tax Evasion

Tax Evasion, Offshore Account

Celebrities Convicted of Tax Evasion

Every American has to pay taxes, and some celebrities have learned the hard way that they’re not above the law. Whether they deliberately falsified a tax return or inadvertently chose an inept tax advisor, Uncle Sam always finds out. These are just a few celebrities who were caught committing tax fraud.


Wesley Snipes

In 2008, Wesley Snipes was convicted on three misdemeanor counts of failing to file tax returns from 1999 to 2001. During this time, he kept $7 million in taxes from the federal government, reported the New York Daily News.

The “Blade” actor was sentenced to three years in a Pennsylvania federal prison. He began serving in December 2010, before being released to house arrest in April 2013, which Reuters reported was scheduled to end July 19, 2013.

But Snipes’ tax woes didn’t end there. In November of 2018, Snipes was ordered by the Internal Revenue Service to pay $9.5 million in back taxes, according to The Hollywood Reporter.


Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino

“Jersey Shore” star Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino pled guilty to tax evasion in January 2018, reported TMZ. The reality star was accused of failing to pay taxes in full on nearly $9 million in earnings from 2010 to 2012. He was sentenced to eight months in prison, and he began serving his term in January 2019 and was released on September 12, 2019.


Stephen Baldwin

In March 2013, actor Stephen Baldwin pled guilty to not paying New York state income taxes for 2008, 2009 and 2010, totaling $400,000, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Baldwin told reporters his tax avoidance was not deliberate, but that he had received bad advice from lawyers and accountants. He dodged jail time and paid the debt off within one year, which allowed him to avoid probation, according to CBS News.

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It’s Not Certain Ben Franklin Was First with That Famous Quote

ben franklin

IT'S NOT CERTAIN BEN FRANKLIN WAS FIRST WITH THAT FAMOUS QUOTE

As Benjamin Franklin said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." Although he's often credited with the idea, that line comes from a 1789 letter, and similar quotes date to 1716 and 1724.


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Jerry Jones, CPA
The "Tax Planning" CPA
775.828.0767
fax 775.348.9518
jerry@thetaxplanningcpa.com