The CBD Blog

Find peer advice, partner insights, and industry updates – all here in the CBD blog, ‘At The Helm’! With contributions from our entire team, we blog about the things that interest you.

How to Maximize Tax Breaks for Work-Related Education Costs

Individuals who take work-related courses may be eligible for some lucrative federal income tax breaks. But the rules can be confusing. Here’s what employees and self-employed individuals need to know to make the most of work-related education tax breaks, including the American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning credits, employer-provided educational assistance plans and reimbursements, and miscellaneous itemized deductions for work-related education.

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Are You Ready for the New IRS Partnership Audit Rules?

A new partnership audit regime goes into effect for the 2018 tax year that assesses incremental taxes, penalties and interest at the partnership level. However, many partnerships can elect to follow alternative rules. Here’s guidance on what’s changing, including the importance of choosing a partnership representative to handle audit matters. We’ve also got good news for partnerships that missed the new tax filing deadline for the 2016 tax year.

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Report Warns Retirees about Potential Downsides of Reverse Mortgages

Some seniors decide to defer Social Security benefits and, instead, apply for a reverse mortgage to meet their cash flow needs. A recent CFPB report points out the risks and costs you should consider before using this strategy. If you don’t carefully weigh the pros and cons, you could jeopardize your retirement nest egg. Here are the mechanics of reverse mortgages and some potential pitfalls to bear in mind.

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Why It's Risky to Rely on Unofficial IRS Guidance

Relying on FAQs and Answers, along with other forms of unofficial guidance posted on the IRS website, may not protect you from IRS audit or additional tax assessments, interest and penalties. Here’s an overview of the different types of guidance the IRS publishes, recommendations from the National Taxpayer Advocate on how to make guidance fairer, and a suggestion on how to minimize penalties on assessments of additional taxes.

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Inadequate Records Lead to Unfavorable Results for Taxpayers

Unsubstantiated deductions may be disallowed if the IRS audits your tax return. Here are three recent U.S. Tax Court cases in which deductions for business expenses and charitable donations were disallowed for inadequate recordkeeping, resulting in additional tax assessments, along with penalties and interest on the unpaid taxes. We also provide guidance on how long you generally should retain records that support figures on your tax return.

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