Author: John Stevko

Understanding the Substance Over Form Doctrine

Substance over form. For tax practitioners this can be a big issue. Is that a real business loss your client has or is it just a hobby? Do you get to deduct all of your expenses related to the Becker Annual Tax Conference or is that merely a disguised gambling trip to Las Vegas? Two recent court...


Recent Tax Changes to Keep in Mind For 2019

Now that tax season is over, it is important to look at some recent tax changes that affect compliance and planning for 2019.  These changes have been brought about by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), new regulations, revenue procedures, notices, and other rulings. Medical deduction: The...


Opportunity Zone Investments

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created a new investment our clients need to be aware of. Referred to as the “Opportunity Zone” program, this new investment vehicle provides spectacular tax benefits for those who can take advantage of its features. This article explores the key aspects of investing in...


Recent Rulings Affecting the Deductibility of Charitable Contributions

Years ago my wife, kids, and I would staff a Salvation Army kettle outside a Target store during the holiday season. In those days if you put money in the pot you got a deduction.  Now it is not as easy. This article explores some of the recent rulings that impact the deductibility of charitable...


Court Ruling Gives Surprise Twist to Meaning of Tax Home

If a new Tax Court ruling is correct, it means that a tax return I recently prepared is not correct. The issue for the taxpayer in this case, and for my client, is whether or not they are allowed to deduct “away from home“ expenses under code section 162 (a)(2). Those expenses must be incurred...


Tax Provisions Included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act

On March 23, 2018 President Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018. The $1.3 trillion spending bill funds the federal government through September 30. This article explores the tax-related provisions included in this new law. Low-income Housing Credit  The low-income...


The New Deduction for “Pass –Through” Businesses

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted Code Section 199A which provides a   20% deduction for businesses. However the deduction is not always 20%, and not every business qualifies. This article explores the key elements of this new provision. Overview The deduction for years beginning after 2017 is...


President Trump’s Tax Proposal

On September 27, 2017, President Trump revealed a tax plan that he and key Republican leaders in Congress have been working on.  The plan is entitled “United Framework For Fixing Our Broken Tax Code.” If enacted, the proposal would affect most tax paying Americans. However passage is uncertain,...