Houston Tax Attorney: Tax Disputes Blog

Avoiding Cancellation of Debt Using Rebates or Refunds

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Can taxpayers avoid cancellation of debt income by structuring debt reductions as rebates or refunds?  The court touched on this issue in French v. Commissioner, T.C. Summary Opinion 2018-36. The Facts & Procedural History The taxpayers borrowed money to purchase a home.  When they failed to make their payments on the mortgage, the bank made contacted […]

Construing Tax Laws Tied to Activities, Time for a New Rule?

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When Congress provides a tax benefit contingent on some activity, there is often a question as to whether the activity can be read broadly to encompass many sub-activities or has to be read narrowly.  The NextEra Energy, Inc. v. United States, No. 17-12304 (11th Cir. 2018) case provides a good example of the subjective distinctions taxpayers have make […]

Perception Can Be As Important as Substance in Tax Disputes

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Taxpayers voluntarily submit information to the IRS.  The IRS not only evaluates the substance of this information, but also the taxpayer’s candor in preparing and providing the information.  The perception of candor is just as important as the substance in many cases.  The Guess v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2018-97, provides an example of how things can […]

Loaning Money to Business Triggers Trust Fund Penalty

Houston Tax Attorney

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You work hard to build a business, you find success over the years, and then you find out that your long term accountant did not remit payroll taxes and you owe a significant balance.  What do you do?  The recent McClendon v. United States, No. 17-20174 (5th Cir. 2018) case provides some answers. The Facts & Procedural […]

Shareholder Cannot Make S Corp. Separately Stated Item Election

Houston Tax Attorney

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S corporation’s account for separately stated items that flow through to the shareholder’s tax returns. They are computed on page 3 of the Form 1120S and then listed separately on the Schedule K-1. The idea for breaking these items out separately is that they can impact the shareholder’s individual returns differently. That makes sense, but […]

The Statutory Employee Classification Post-TCJA

Houston Tax Attorney

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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) made several changes to our tax laws. One such change is that employees are no longer able to deduct unreimbursed expenses incurred as an employee. Given this change, employers and their workers may need to re-evaluate their relationship. For some workers, this may mean re-evaluating whether the worker […]

Guaranteeing a Loan for Your S Corporation

Houston Tax Attorney

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In Phillips v. Commissioner, No. 17-14439 (11th Cir. 2018), the court concluded that a judgment against the owner of an S corporation for guaranteeing the business debts does not increase the owners tax basis in the S corporation.  This is one area where a little advance planning can go a long way to avoiding a tax […]