Taxes and Investing

The Master Archive!

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Finding a Good Accountant for Your Income Properties

By Keith Taxguy / July 1, 2019 / 16 Comments

Finding a qualified tax professional takes time and work. It is all worth it in the end. The best tax professionals are selective in who they take on as clients so you will be vetted at the same time you are vetting. This is a good thing as you want a good fit for all parties involved because it is your investment and money is on the line.

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Investing in a Retirement Account is Like Taking Out a Loan

By Keith Taxguy / June 17, 2019 / 50 Comments

Traditional retirement plan contributions come with a loan attached to it with a variable rate of interest, to be determined at a later date by the tax code and your income level.

We all know that traditional retirement accounts get a tax deduction at your ordinary tax rate to the retirement plan contribution limits. We should also know that these account grow tax-deferred and that all distributions are taxed at ordinary rates.

This is a real problem if your goal is to maximize your net worth. In the early years the tax benefit makes it seem like it is the best deal on the planet. But as time passes the math tells a darker tale.

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Solutions to an Accounting Industry in Crisis

By Keith Taxguy / May 30, 2019 / 15 Comments

The crisis in the accounting industry is self-feeding. The worse it gets the more workload is shoved onto the desks of the remaining souls. Stress is taking a toll.

Several support groups for tax professionals exist on social media platforms. Tax season reveals a serious level of stress for practicing tax professionals. Complaints of long hours and clients unwilling to pay higher fees to compensate for the added complexities of the new tax laws has more professionals looking to leave the industry.

And it isn’t the tax pros facing the worst pinch. The ultimate loser is the client. With fewer experienced tax professionals accepting clients it has put taxpayers at risk. The IRS knows taxpayers have limited choices when defending themselves in an audit which means the IRS’ advantage is larger than ever.

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Why You Should Rent to Your Business

By Keith Taxguy / May 24, 2019 / 8 Comments

There are no drawbacks to separating the real estate and business into separate LLCs that I’m aware of. Every attorney I’ve ever spoken with agrees on this. Real estate should never be held inside an S corporation or LLC treated as such. Any tax negatives are easily resolved with elections.

The issues involved with combining real estate and a business under an S corporation are many. Legally you limit your option and put asserts unnecessarily at risk. The tax problems are hard or impossible to resolve without inflicting additional tax pain.

Structured properly your business and assets can enjoy legal protections while basking in the light of lower taxes.

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The Best Rental Property You Can Buy

By Keith Taxguy / May 17, 2019 / 6 Comments

It’s official. I’m back in the real estate business!

Before you get too excited, let me explain. Waaaay back in the day I was a third owner of a real estate partnership with my dad and brother. We bought investment properties of all kinds. We specialized in single-family homes, but owned plenty of multi-unit buildings, storage and rooming houses. 

My partners were more along the lines of the silent kind. I, of course, could bounce ideas off them, but the workload fell on me. I hired maintenance staff and crews and was always interviewing potential property managers. Before we closed shop we had taken an interest in 179 buildings (not all at once). At the peak we had somewhere north of 80 units scattered all over NE Wisconsin.

We sold properties frequently once our inventory grew. We held some properties longer — our first property was one of the last to be sold.

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Hiring a World Class Tax Professional

By Keith Taxguy / May 12, 2019 / 11 Comments

What is the largest expense you’ll have in your life?

Some will say it’s the purchase of their home or their college education. Others, thinking about it a while, feel transportation expenses lead the list of lifetime expenses. You would be justified in thinking medical costs, including medical insurance, are the biggest expense you will face in life.

Yet none of these expenses are close to what you will pay in taxes over a lifetime. 

Taxes will consume over half of what the average American earns over a lifetime. This means no other expense can possibly be larger.

The list of taxes in nearly inexhaustible: federal income taxes, state income taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes, payroll taxes, property taxes and now tariffs are being added to the costs of many goods you buy.

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The Once-in-a-Lifetime IRA Transfer to an HSA

By Keith Taxguy / April 28, 2019 / 9 Comments

The concept is rather simple. The benefits are fairly small, but worth it if your situation dictates. Those facing large RMDs and those seeking to turn a small portion of their tax-deferred tIRA into tax-free growth in an HSA will find the most value.

Now I need to make a confession. When I first saw the question in the private Facebook group I thought the person posting was smoking something. I never heard of such a tax strategy (or it went in this ear and out the other.) I had to look it up to believe.

If you plan on using this strategy don’t get mad at your tax professional if they never heard of this. Just tell them to go to their software’s Special Situations tab on the 1099-R screen. All they need to do is add one simple number (the amount transferred to the HSA up to the contribution limit).

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