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Los Angeles Entertainment CPA

Leverage All Your Tax Deductions and Credits

Los Angeles Entertainment CPALos Angeles Entertainment CPA. This is the time of year when you gather your business records, personal receipts and notes before discussing what you might owe Uncle Sam with your professional tax consultant. It seems as if the tax code gets lengthier and more complex every year, and this year is no different. It’s easy to overlook an eligible deduction; so before you gather your data, take a moment to consider these often-overlooked deductions and tax breaks:

Business-Related Deductions

  • Moving expenses, advertising and training and education expenses are often valid deductions for business owners. The rules governing them are complicated, so be prepared to give your tax professional detailed information on any such items to determine if these might reduce your taxable income.
  • Small business owners or sole practitioners can take 100 percent of the costs of travel and Los Angeles ENTERTAINMENT CPA and 50 percent of the costs of meals involving clients (or prospective clients). The tip and tax are part of the meal total. Make sure you have a record of the business discussed at the meal, who was present (names, titles and business affiliations), and the name and location of the restaurant in case the deduction is questioned. The IRS guidelines for travel and Los Angeles ENTERTAINMENT CPA expenses are lengthy and off-putting, but it’s financially worthwhile for business owners to do what’s necessary to avoid missing deductions – and to avoid an audit.
  • If you volunteer or provide business services free-of-charge to charitable organizations, don’t forget to deduct your mileage and other out-of-pocket costs that might include child care. Likewise, your dues for not-for-profit organizations like chambers of commerce and professional associations usually are considered eligible deductions.
  • If you are a business traveler, the IRS doesn’t insist that you take the cheapest seat in order to deduct the cost of business transportation, but the form of transportation should be appropriate – in other words, a transatlantic cruise won’t qualify as a legitimate deduction while a business or first-class plane ticket to Europe might.
  • If a taxpayer has business financial losses that exceed his/her personal income for that year, such losses may be deducted from the individual’s overall income. In some instances, these losses may also be used to offset taxable income in future years.

Home and Family

  • If you’ve made home improvements that are energy-efficient, you could be eligible for green energy tax credits – up to $1,500 for qualifying improvements. Projects that qualify include the installation of doors or windows and the replacement of water heaters, furnaces or air-conditioning units.
  • If you support aging parents to the tune of at least 50 percent of their expenses (which might include medical bills), and these expenses represent more than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income, you could qualify for a deduction.
  • If you bought a new primary residence in 2010, make sure you know what mortgage origination fees or discount points you paid. These items are considered prepaid mortgage interest and as such should be eligible deductions.

Remember that general guidelines like the above are no substitute for advice from a tax professional. Be sure to set aside the time to meet with your tax consultant well in advance of the April deadline.

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Los Angeles Entertainment Accountant

Let Your Uncle Help with Your Vacation

Los Angeles Entertainment Accountant Summer’s nearly here and the kids are looking forward to their freedom, or at least the first few weeks of their freedom, but then what? Los Angeles Entertainment Accountant If your kids are typical, it won’t be long before they are complaining about being bored. You would love to go on vacation, but the truth is times are tough and it’s hard to justify spending your savings on a one-week hiatus from life. Or is it? Los Angeles Entertainment Accountant

What if you had a rich relative who could help foot the bill? Would that make your vacation a little more affordable? While it’s debatable whether your favorite uncle, Uncle Sam, really is rich, one thing is for certain: in the right circumstances, he doesn’t mind helping you with your vacation expenses.

You probably know that business expenses are deductible against your income. But did you know that business expenses include the “ordinary and necessary” ones incurred in business travel? That means that transportation, lodging, meals and incidental costs spent on business trips reduce your taxable income and, depending on your tax bracket, could save you a bundle. The best way to illustrate this is with an example.

Let’s say you have a family of four and live in Atlanta, Ga. According to MapQuest, it’s about a 450-mile drive from there to Walt Disney World. Let’s further say that your industry has a convention at one of the Disney World Resorts each year. If you are self-employed, you can get a substantial part of your trip included in business expenses. Here’s how it would break down:


You and your family could fly to Disney World, but that would cost about $2,000 roundtrip and the only part that would be deductible is your airfare, or $500. For that same $500 (assuming you take the standard mileage deduction for your auto), you could drive to Disney World and back. Even better, the full amount would be deductible, since you’re really not paying any more than if you went by yourself. You would also have a vehicle while you’re at Disney.


Unless you plan to commute from Atlanta to Orlando each day, you will require a room. As luck would have it, the conference is large enough that the Grand Floridian is offering a cut rate of $400 per night, regardless of whether you stay by yourself or have the whole family. Since you will be in Florida for five nights, your lodging bill will be another $2,250 (assuming occupancy taxes of 12.5 percent). Because there is no additional cost for the family, the whole thing is deductible.

Meals and Incidental Expenses – OK, this gets a little tricky. You can only deduct half of your meal costs but all of your incidental expenses (tips, etc.). You cannot deduct expenses for the family members who are not part of the business. The expenses must also be reasonable, so you can’t drink a magnum of champagne each night. Let’s say that you spend $50 per day for food and $100 total for incidental expenses. The family spends the same for food and no incidentals. So you have roughly $1,100 in out-of-pocket food expenses, $225 of which is deductible.


Sorry, but tickets to the parks and the money you spend while vacationing is not deductible. Let’s just assume that you spend $1,000 total for your tickets.

Total Bill – Tack on a few other small items and your total vacation costs $5,200.

Net Cost – Even though your total cost is $5,200, it’s not really going to cost that much. Let’s make a few assumptions about taxes now. We are going to assume that you’re marginal tax rate is 20 percent and you don’t earn the maximum for self-employment tax. After accounting for income and self-employment tax savings, the net cost of your trip will be about $4,300. In this example, then, Uncle Sam pays for about 17 percent of your trip.

This is one way that the Federal and State taxing authorities can help pay for your family’s vacation, assuming that you are self-employed. If you work for someone else and the trip is deductible, you would have to include the expenses on your Schedule A and you’d lose part of the deduction.

Another way of getting a tax break on your vacation is to combine your trip with charitable activities. Since travel expenditures on behalf of not-for-profit organizations are deductible as charitable contributions, this could be an attractive way to travel and ‘make a difference’. There are numerous agencies that can assist you in planning such a trip.

Happy traveling!

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Areas of Services: Los Angeles Entertainment Accountant, Entertainment CPA Los Angeles, Entertainment Accountant Los Angeles, Entertainment Tax Accountant Los Angeles, Los Angeles Entertainment Accountant, Los Angeles Entertainment CPA, International Tax Accountant, Woodland Hills Accountant, Cross Border Tax Preparation


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