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Posts Tagged ‘taxes’

Burn It Down

October 4th, 2017

Growth is usually followed by decay; life is followed by death, and here is another case where fire follows construction. Some Taxpayers have donated their house to the fire department so that the fire department can practice their skills and burn the house down. These taxpayers have then claimed a deduction that is hotly contested by the IRS if all the following haven’t been followed.

Donate the house and the land to the fire department. This is best done by deeding the entire property over to the fire department.

Do not replace the home or have already slated it for demolition. Replacing the house disallows any charitable deduction being taken.

But, if done correctly, you can get a huge tax deduction in the amount of the fair market value of the house and land. Something to think about.

I you have questions about tax deductions, call our office at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at

Lawyer Jailed for 18 Months for Defrauding NFL Players

September 27th, 2017

A former Chicago attorney has been sentenced to 18 months for orchestrating a tax fraud scheme that defrauded millions of taxes from the IRS and financially harmed NFL players.

If you have been charged with a crime and need legal help, contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at

A Happy Little Tree

September 20th, 2017

bob ross

Bob Ross was fond of painting happy little trees to improve his landscapes, and if you own a home office or your own business property you might want to plant your own happy little tree to improve your landscaping. In Langer v. Commissioner, a sole proprietor who had a qualifying home office was allowed to deduct the costs of landscaping that coincided with his business use of the property. This particularly generous court also allowed a portion of the cost for lawn care and driveway repairs.

If you have a business and need help with your taxes, give our office a call at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at

Homeless Cats

August 28th, 2017


Your local cat lady may actually not be as crazy as you think. In 2011, Jan Van Dusen beat the IRS in a case over whether she could claim a deduction for providing foster care for stray and feral cats. She was a volunteer for an approved charity called Fix Our Ferals and she spent significant amounts caring for the cats in her home.

Critical to her victory was that she performed the services in conjunction with the charity and she performed volunteer work for the charity.

The case was heralded as a victory for animal rescuers, but ultimately Van Dusen was a loser as the City of Oakland raided her home and found many of her 100 cats to be suffering from disease and parasite infestation. She was then charged and convicted for animal cruelty, so perhaps your first instinct about crazy cat ladies was correct after all.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime or having tax issues, give us a call at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at

It’s to Help Schools

August 24th, 2017


A California man tried to deduct lottery ticket purchases as donations to the California School system. The claim was that since the proceeds of lottery tickets are supposed to go to the schools, that the tickets could be deducted as a charitable contribution. The problem is that the IRS specifically states that the cost of raffle, bingo, or lottery tickets are not deductible. Just a friendly reminder, if you win the lottery the proceeds are taxable so be sure to find yourself a tax attorney if you win the powerball.

If you or some one you know is having some tax issues, give our office a call at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at

Stop, Thief

August 21st, 2017

pepper spray

In another case of a denied medical expense deduction, a woman tried to apply the old maxim “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure” by claiming that her pepper spray was a medical expense. Her argument was that an attack would kill her due to her weakened heart. The issue with this one is not that she didn’t suffer from a medical condition, it is that there isn’t much of a connection between pepper spray and treatment of a heart condition. The pepper spray also can’t be considered to prevent disease because it didn’t actually prevent her weak heart condition. There just wasn’t enough of a connection between the pepper spray and her condition to justify the deduction.

If you or someone you know is needing help with taxes, give us a call at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at

Dancing with the IRS

August 18th, 2017


Celebrities often use Dancing with the Stars to rehab their image, but the IRS doesn’t allow dancing as an expense to rehab your wallet at tax time. The IRS has consistently rules that taxpayers may not deduct dancing lessons as a medical expense. People have tried this for various conditions such as varicose veins, arthritis, and nervous disorders. All of these have been tried by taxpayers and denied by the IRS.

If you need some help with your taxes, give us a call at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at

Deductible Sex Changes

August 17th, 2017


One exception to deducting medical expenses for changing one;s appearance is that taxpayers have been allowed a deduction for a sex change operation.

The taxpayer in the O’Donnabhain case was diagnosed with a gender-identity disorder because he felt he was a woman trapped in a male body. The taxpayer tried to deduct $22,000 in out of pocket medical expenses for various surgeries, including hormone therapy, breast augmentation, and sexual reassignment surgeries.

The Tax Court ruled that the taxpayer was able to deduct $14,500 as a qualified medical tax deduction because they felt the surgeries and hormone therapy promoted the proper function of the body or prevented or treated an illness or disease.

However, the Tax Court disallowed the cost of the breast augmentation surgery because they felt that it was strictly for improving the taxpayer’s appearance.

If you are seeking help with some tax issues, give us a call at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at

Ink Me

August 16th, 2017


While beauty may be in the eye of the holder, the IRS says it’s not subjective whether expenses to improve or alter your looks are deductible. The rule still applies that you can’t deduct cosmetic surgery or similar items. This means that tattoos, body piercings, and most cosmetic surgeries are not deductible. However, some forms of cosmetic surgery are deductible, if for treatment of a disease or condition. An example would be skin grafts and surgeries for a burn victim.

Regret is not a medical condition, so the removal of that full back tattoo of your first crush is not deductible.

If you are dealing with some tax issues you can contact us by phone at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at

Cisco Systems Announces 1,100 Layoffs

July 27th, 2017


Cisco Systems, Inc. has announced that it will be laying off another 1,100 employees due to declining revenue.

If you have declining revenue and need some advice, contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at