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Chapter 9

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Chapter 9

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  1. Chapter 9 Deductions: Employee and Self-Employed-Related Expenses

  2. The Big Picture (slide 1 of 2) Morgan, a recent college graduate who majored in Finance, has accepted a job with Kite Corporation. The job is in sales and will require travel and some entertainment (i.e., business lunches). She will be based in a major metropolitan area in another state. Kite has no available space in the locale, so she will have to maintain her own work facility. In addition to her salary, Morgan will receive a travel allowance. However, Kite has made it clear that the allowance will not cover all of her travel expenses. 2

  3. The Big Picture (slide 2 of 2) Morgan is delighted with the new job since it will enable her to maintain a flexible work schedule. Furthermore, working out of her own apartment avoids a time-consuming and costly commute. What are some of the income tax problems presented by this situation? Read the chapter and formulate your response. 3

  4. Employee vs. Self-Employed(slide 1 of 2) Business expenses for self-employed persons are deductible for AGI Reported on Schedule C Unreimbursed business expenses for employees are generally deductible from AGI subject to 2% of AGI floor Reported on Form 2106 (Employee Business Expenses) and Schedule A (Itemized Deductions) 4

  5. Employee vs. Self-Employed(slide 2 of 2) • Person is classified as an employee if: • Subject to will and control of another with respect to what shall be done and how it shall be done • Another furnishes tools or the place of work • Income based on time spent rather than task performed

  6. Employee Expenses • Fall into one of the following categories: • Transportation • Travel • Moving • Education • Entertainment • Other

  7. Transportation Expenses(slide 1 of 2) • Transportation expense defined • Very limited, only from job site to job site and commuting to/from temporary work place • Commuting from home to work and back is nondeductible • Exceptions: • Additional costs incurred to transport heavy tools • Employees with more than one job

  8. Transportation Expenses(slide 2 of 2) • Amount deductible • Actual expenses • Must keep adequate records of all expenses and depreciation is limited, or • Automatic mileage method • 51 cents per mile for business miles for 2011 • Adjustment to basis of auto is required for depreciation considered allowed • Plus parking, tolls, etc. • Adequate documentation of mileage required

  9. The Big Picture - Example 9Commuting Expense Return to the facts of The Big Picture on p. 9-2. Because Morgan will have an office in her home, the apartment will be her principal place of business. Thus, any transportation from her home to business sites will not be disallowed as a commuting expense 9

  10. The Big Picture - Example 11Automatic Mileage Method Return to the facts of The Big Picture on p. 9-2. During Morgan’s senior year in college, her parents gave her one of the family cars—a 2008 Chevrolet Impala. Morgan has no idea as to the car’s original cost or the odometer reading at the time the car was registered in her name. She has, however, kept track of the miles driven for business since she accepted her new job. Morgan should use the automatic mileage method in claiming business use of the car. 10

  11. Travel Expenses (slide 1 of 2) • Travel expense defined • Expenses while “away from tax home” overnight on business • Includes transportation, lodging, 50% meals, and miscellaneous expenses

  12. Travel Expenses (slide 2 of 2) • “Away from home” requirement • Need not be a 24-hour period but must be longer than ordinary work day and taxpayer will need to rest during release time • Being “away” should be a temporary situation (not in excess of 1 year) • “Tax Home” generally means business location, post, or station of the taxpayer

  13. Restrictions on Travel Expenses (slide 1 of 2) • Convention travel expenses • No deduction for travel unless directly related to taxpayer’s trade or business • Example: Doctor attending out-of-town seminar on estate planning would not have deductible travel expenses • Restrictions apply to the deductibility of travel expenses of the taxpayer’s spouse or dependent • Generally, accompaniment by the spouse or dependent must serve a bona fide business purpose, and • The expenses must be otherwise deductible

  14. Restrictions on Travel Expenses (slide 2 of 2) • Education travel expenses • Travel as a form of education is not deductible • Example: Spanish language professor traveling to Spain to work on the language would not have deductible travel expenses • Example: Spanish history professor traveling to Spain to study historical documents available only in Spanish museums would have deductible travel expenses

  15. Combined Business/Pleasure Travel(slide 1 of 4) • Only actual expenses for business are deductible • Meals, lodging and other expenses must be allocated between business and personal days • Deductibility of transportation costs depends on whether the trip is domestic or foreign

  16. Combined Business/Pleasure Travel(slide 2 of 4) • For domestic travel • If primary purpose of trip is business, transportation is deductible in full • If primary purpose is pleasure, no deduction for transportation allowed, but other expenses (e.g., lodging) associated with business days are deductible

  17. Combined Business/Pleasure Travel(slide 3 of 4) • For foreign travel • Transportation expenses must be allocated between business and personal unless: • Trip is 7 days or less, • Less than 25% of time was for personal purposes, or • Taxpayer had no substantial control over arrangements for the trip

  18. Combined Business/Pleasure Travel(slide 4 of 4) • Travel days are considered business days • Weekends, legal holidays and intervening days are business days if both the preceding and succeeding days are business days • If trip is primarily for pleasure, no transportation expenses are deductible

  19. Moving Expenses • Deductible for moves in connection with the commencement of work at a new principal place of work • Two tests must be met for moving expenses to be deductible • Distance test • Time test

  20. Moving Expenses: Distance Test • Distance from old home to new job must be at least 50 miles farther than from old home to old job • New home location not relevant for decision

  21. Example of Distance Test • Gail lived 20 miles from her old job • Gail’s new job is 75 miles from her old home • Gail meets the distance test Old Job 20 mi. Old Residence 75 mi. New Job

  22. Moving Expenses - Time Test (slide 1 of 2) • Taxpayer must be full-time employee for 39 weeks in the 12-month period following the move, or • Self-employed must work in new location for 78 weeks during the next two years following the move • 39 of the weeks must be in the first 12 months • Test waived if die, disabled, discharged, or transferred

  23. Moving Expenses - Time Test (slide 2 of 2) • If time test not met during taxable year, two alternatives: • Take the deduction in year moved. If test is not met in following year, either: • Include the amount deducted in gross income in the following year, or • File amended return for year of move • Alternatively, wait until time test is met and then file amended return for year of move

  24. Deductible Moving Expenses • ‘‘Qualified’’ moving expenses include reasonable expenses of: • Moving household goods and personal effects to new location • Expenses of travel for taxpayer and family to new location • Lodging • Actual auto costs (not depreciation) or mileage rate of $.19 per mile for each car in 2011 • Meals are not deductible as moving expense

  25. Tax Treatment of Moving Expenses • Unreimbursed moving expenses are deductible for AGI • Reimbursement or payment by employer: • For qualified moving expenses, amount is excluded from gross income, but no deduction for related expenses • For nonqualified moving expenses, amount is included in gross income and no deduction is allowed

  26. The Big Picture - Example 28Moving Expenses Return to the facts of The Big Picture on p. 9-2. Even though this is her first job, Morgan will be entitled to a moving expense deduction. This presumes that she is not reimbursed by Kite Corporation for these expenses. The mileage on her car (at the rate of 19 cents per mile) also is allowed. Her deduction is for AGI and can be claimed even if she chooses the standard deduction option. 26

  27. Education Expenses (slide 1 of 3) • Education expenses of an employee are deductible if they are incurred: • To maintain or improve existing skills, or • To meet express requirements of the employer or requirements imposed by law to retain employment status

  28. Education Expenses (slide 2 of 3) • Education expenses of an employee are not deductible if they are incurred: • To meet minimum educational standards for existing job, or • To qualify taxpayer for new trade or business

  29. Education Expenses (slide 3 of 3) • Education expenses include: • Tuition • Books • Supplies • Transportation • Travel (including lodging and 50% meals)

  30. Deduction For Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses (slide 1 of 3) • A deduction is allowed for AGI for qualified tuition and related expenses involving higher education (i.e., postsecondary)

  31. The maximum deduction depends on filing status and AGI Filing StatusAGI LimitMax Deduction Single $65,000 $4,000 Married $130,000 $4,000 Single $65,001 to $2,000 $80,000* Married $130,001 to $2,000 $160,000* *No deduction is allowed if MAGI exceeds this amount Deduction For Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses (slide 2 of 3)

  32. Deduction For Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses (slide 3 of 3) • Qualified tuition and related expenses include whatever is required for enrollment • Usually, student activity fees, books, room and board are not included • Expenses need not be work related • Deduction is not available for married persons filing separately

  33. The Big Picture - Example 31Education Expenses Return to the facts of The Big Picture on p. 9-2. After starting her new job, Morgan enrolls in the night program of a local law school. Although Morgan does not plan to practice law, she feels that a law degree would advance her career. Except for the tuition she pays (see the discussion of § 222), none of her expenses relating to the education will be deductible. 33

  34. Entertainment Expenses(slide 1 of 3) • Deductions are very restricted due to abuse possibilities • Deductible amount allowed: • 50% of meals and entertainment costs including related taxes, tips, cover charges, parking fees, and room rental fees • 100% of transportation costs • Amounts cannot be lavish or extravagant • Beginning in 1998, the 50% cutback for meals is eased for certain, very limited, types of employees

  35. Entertainment Expenses(slide 2 of 3) • The 50% cutback rule has a number of exceptions, such as: • Situations where full value of meals or entertainment is included in income • Meals and entertainment are provided in a subsidized eating facility or where the de minimis fringe benefit rule is met • Employer-paid recreational activities for employees • e.g., the annual Christmas party or spring picnic

  36. Entertainment Expenses(slide 3 of 3) • Entertainment expenses are classified as either: • Directly related to business • Actual business meeting or discussion occurs during meal or entertainment • Associated with business • Meal or entertainment that directly precedes or follows business meeting or discussion

  37. Restrictions on Entertainment Expenses (slide 1 of 3) • Club dues • Generally not deductible • Exception: Clubs formed for public service and community volunteerism (e.g., Kiwanis, Rotary) • Business entertainment expenses incurred at club are still deductible (50%)

  38. Restrictions on Entertainment Expenses (slide 2 of 3) • Ticket purchases for entertainment • Amounts paid in excess of face value of ticket are not deductible • Limitation on deductibility of luxury skybox expenditures

  39. Restrictions on Entertainment Expenses (slide 3 of 3) • Business gifts • Business gifts of tangible personalty with a value of $25 or less per person per year are deductible • Incidental costs (e.g., gift-wrapping) are not included in the cost of the gift in applying the limit • If the value is $4 or less (e.g., pen with company name) then not subject to $25 limit • Gifts to employers or superiors are not deductible

  40. Office in the Home(slide 1 of 3) • Deductibility is very restricted due to abuse possibilities • Office must be used exclusively and on a regular basis as: • The principal place of business, or • A place of business used by clients, patients, or customers • For employees, office must also be for the convenience of the employer

  41. Office in the Home(slide 2 of 3) • What constitutes “principal place of business”? • Home office qualifies as a principal place of business if: • Taxpayer conducts admin. and mgmt. activities in the home office, and • There is no other fixed location where taxpayer conducts these activities

  42. Office in the Home(slide 3 of 3) • Office in the home expenses cannot cause net loss from the business activity • Office in home deduction limited to business gross income in excess of other business expenses (ordering rules apply) • Excess is carried forward (subject to limit) • Form 8829 is used to report office in home expenses

  43. The Big Picture - Example 45 Deductible Home Office Expenses Return to the facts of The Big Picture on p. 9-2. Morgan’s rent, utilities, renters’ insurance, and the like allocable to her office will qualify for deduction. Because she will be working in an apartment where space is limited, she must be careful to meet the exclusive-use requirement for the area set aside. For the furnishings she acquires (e.g., desk, file cabinet), Morgan may prefer to forgo expensing (§ 179) and claim depreciation instead. This way the tax deduction is deferred to later, higher-income years. 43

  44. Other Employee Expenses • A partial list of other employee expenses that are deductible includes: • Special clothing (uniforms) • Union dues • Professional expenses • Job hunting in same profession • Educator expenses (deductible for AGI) • Limited to $250 per year for supplies, etc. of elementary and secondary school teachers

  45. The Big Picture - Example 46 Job Hunting Expenses Return to the facts of The Big Picture on p. 9-2. Recall that Morgan conducted an extensive job search before obtaining her position with Kite Corporation. Because this is her first job, the expenses she incurred in the search are not deductible. 45

  46. Contributions to Retirement Accounts (slide 1 of 2) • Retirement plans fall into two major classifications depending on who is covered • For employees – usually follow one of two income tax approaches • Most plans allow an exclusion from income for the contributions the employee makes to the pension plan • Alternatively, using a traditional IRA, a contributing employee is allowed a deduction for AGI • Maximum deduction is $5,000 for 2011

  47. Contributions to Retirement Accounts (slide 2 of 2) • Retirement plans for self-employed taxpayers • Called Keogh (or H.R. 10) plans • Follow the deduction approach of traditional IRAs • Amounts contributed under a plan are deductible for AGI

  48. Classification of Employee Expenses (slide 1 of 2) • Depends on whether they are reimbursed and, if reimbursed, under what type of plan

  49. Classification of Employee Expenses (slide 2 of 2) • Employers can have three types of reimbursement plans • Accountable • Nonaccountable • No reimbursement is given

  50. Accountable Plan (slide 1 of 2) • Plan must require adequate accounting to the employer for expense reimbursed, and • Any excess reimbursements must be returned to the employer