Is my stock worthless? Part I

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Stock which is worthless results in a capital loss. However, the devil lies in the details, and in this instance, the details are important

Say a long-time client comes to your office, with a stack of yellowed papers and tells you that he ‘found these while cleaning out some boxes in the attic over the summer,’ and his ‘co-worker/neighbor/friend told him that he could write these off as a loss’. He also tells you that the papers are the ...

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When a home sale could result in capital gain

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Given the current economic situation, a taxpayer selling their home may not be a frequent occurrence, but tax preparers should still be vigilant. It’s all too easy to look a the current mortgage rules – exempting the first $250,000.00 to $500,000.00 of capital gain – and forget that these rules have only been in force since May, 2007. Prior to May 2007, the old rules – allowing a deferral of gain, provided reinvestment of the funds within two years – ...

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This just in….

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Yesterday, the Federal Government announced that rebate payments would be going out as soon as today.

Predictably, I got this email today (including spelling and grammar errors):

Over 130 million Americans will receive refunds as
part of President Bush program to jumpstart the economy.

Our records indicate that you are qualified to receive the
2008 Economic Stimulus Refund.

The fastest and easiest way to receive your refund ...

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The siren call of the Home Office Deduction…

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As tax season approaches, prognosticators start to write on ‘hidden’ or ‘secret’ (or some other descriptive term) tax deductions, telling taxpayers not to ‘miss out’ on these ‘tax saving’ devices. One deduction which almost always seems to make the list is the infamous Home Office deduction.

In fact the myth of the missing home office deduction has become so prevelant that the House Committee on Small Business recently jumped on the bandwagon. But is it really a good ...

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The Myth of ‘But my buddy told me…’ PART I

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All too frequently, I find myself having to explain to a client that the deduction they want to claim is, in fact, not a deduction at all. Often, this explanation is prefaced by the client telling me “my buddy/friend/co-worker/cousin/neighbor/trusted-adviser told me that I could write off…”

Case in point: the lovely Unreimbursed Employee Business Expense (or UEBE, for short).

The purpose of the UEBE is to allow employees to deduct job-related expenses that are not reimbursed by their employer. The actual result ...

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Recovering from Tax Season

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As the post-tax-season recovery begins, it bears taking some time to review the last 10 weeks….

  1. This was easily my busiest tax season: 270 tax returns, and counting, as a few are still
  2. outstanding via extension. Most should be wrapped up in the next two weeks, though some will take longer.

  3. Considering that tax season is roughly 10 weeks long, that translates to 27 returns a week, or about 4.5 returns a day. The busiest days were February 18th and April 14th ...
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