Tax season is stressful enough! This is why it's important to make sure you do diligent tax planning before you get there to ensure you're not overpaying on your taxes.
Below we look at 4 case studies from Tampa Tax Planning clients of ours. Each client had their prior year returns reviewed thoroughly during our tax planning process which in turn led to the following discoveries.
These 4 tax planning case studies include:
$7,500 in taxes saved - EV credit Amendment
$12,366 in taxes saved - IRA Rollover Amendment
$23,341 in taxes saved - QBI Error Amendment
$149,661 in taxes saved - Cost Segregation
#1 - $7,500 in taxes saved - EV credit Amendment
The first tax planning client we're highlighting here came to us because they felt as though their current accountant wasn't maximizing their tax savings. Like many others who reached out to us, they worked with an accountant whom they only spoke to during tax season which in turn led to a transactional/tax preparation-only type of relationship. This type of accountant can be detrimental to small business owners because if tax planning is not done BEFORE tax season, there's little to no wiggle room in tax-saving implementations and strategies.
We got to work reviewing this client's x2 S-Corp returns and their personal return. We made sure their deductions looked good, checked for underutilized ones, and hammered down on retirement. We saw an opportunity to implement HSAs for our client and their wife (50/50 owners), implement the Augusta Rule for renting his house to his LLCs, implement a SEP IRA for our client and their wife, and an LLC restructuring for his second business which he operated with his family (was originally a partnership with individual owners and was updated to a partnership with S-Corp owners to max deductions not taken via the other LLC i.e. actual auto expenses on one and mileage on the other). Needless to say, the upcoming tax season was looking a little brighter for our client!
But then they mentioned something. They said their wife had gotten a Tesla recently. As luck would have it, the client had a $21k tax bill in the year the Tesla was purchased and no EV Credit (Electric Vehicle Credit) was claimed. Wow! How could his CPA miss this $7,500 credit? He could've had 1/3 of the tax bill he had already paid if this oversight was found. We quickly amended his return and submitted it to the IRS.
The above story is exactly why tax planning is so important. The past is just as critical as the future because mistakes and oversights do get made. And when you don't consult for a second opinion, you risk leaving thousands of dollars of overpaid taxes on the table.
In the end, not only did this client receive $7,500 back from the IRS, but they leveraged their LLCs in the current year to defer taxes into wealth-building accounts (self-directed HSAs and IRAs) in order to better position themselves moving forward.
We highly recommend that you consult with a Tampa Accountant to ensure whether or not an amendment on your returns is needed to claim a backdated EV Credit. The IRS allows you to go back 3 years to amend for missed credits. For more info on why tax planning is important, click here!
#2 - $12,366 in taxes saved - IRA Rollover Amendment
Our next client had an all too common scenario. They weren't self-employed but instead a high-paid W2 employee. They had left their job in another state to pursue living closer to family in Tampa. Like most do, they rolled their retirement accounts from their old employer to their new one in order to stay consolidated with everything. Keeping compliant with the 60-day rule (you have 60 days to deposit from 1 retirement account to another in order to avoid the rollover being treated/classified as a taxable withdrawal for personal use).
The taxpayer received a form 1099R (retirement withdrawal form) and mistakenly thought they didn't have to report it on their tax return because it was non-taxable. Unfortunately, a few months later, the IRS sent them a notice assessing a $12k bill because they believed the entire rollover should be treated as a distribution and they assessed interest/penalties due to the non-reporting. As you'd imagine, our client was freaking out! They wanted to work with someone on tax planning to avoid such a big bill in the next year. Nobody wants to receive a surprise bill from the IRS...
We reviewed our client's retirement accounts and confirmed the 60-day rule was met and proceeded to amend their return. In true IRS fashion, amendments can take months (6-9 is average). However, we were able to get the entire $12,366 balance removed from the taxpayer's account as it was incorrectly assessed. Fortunately for this client, they weren't going to get used to a new $12k annual tax bill moving forward as they'd originally thought.
If you leave a job and roll your retirement from your old job to your new one, please be mindful that even 'non-taxable' income still needs to be reported. If you received a similar letter and believe an amendment is needed, contact our Tampa Tax Planning experts today so we can help you! For more info on why tax planning is important, click here!
#3 - $23,341 in taxes saved - QBI Error Amendment
Our third client was one of the more interesting cases. This client had 2 businesses: a for-profit daycare and a not-for-profit daycare. This was their first year operating the for-profit. The client had self-prepared their tax return and owed $23k. After the shock set in, they set up a monthly payment plan and contacted us to see how they could tax plan for the next year to lower that bill from the new for-profit business.
Upon reviewing their prior-year return we noticed a few things: (1) self-prepared returns notoriously have the most errors so we spend extra time reviewing these line by line to see exactly WHY your tax bill was so high, (2) this client only had $40k of K1 income which means the tax was unlikely to be from the for-profit net income and (3) the client donated all of their earnings to their non-profit so their taxable income for the year was $0. Again, all of the above created a few alarm bells as to why in the world a $23k tax bill would be assessed on such a low tax return. So we began digging.
After a while, we realized that the tax bill was being reported from "oil and gas income" of $263k which was impossible as the client didn't work in oil or gas nor did they have investments in oil or gas. Upon reviewing the taxpayer's tax docs he used to self-prepare, we realized he had mistakenly entered his QBI (wages + UBIA) line under oil and gas income in TurboTax which produced a $23k AMT Tax to produce. Because the taxpayers didn't know better, they weren't alarmed, didn't pry further, and instead started paying the bill.
We immediately amended and were able to get the taxpayer's $23k balance removed and all monthly payment plan payments returned. Phew! If they hadn't reached out, they would've paid $23k in taxes for absolutely no reason and wouldn't have ever known the wiser. Instead, they're getting $6k back from installment payments which they're able to reinvest in their for-profit or spend on their family during the upcoming holidays!
If you self-prepared your taxes and aren't 100% sure why your tax bill is so high, please reach out to our Tampa Tax Planning specialists! For more info on why tax planning is important, click here!
#4 - $149,661 in taxes saved - Cost Segregation
Our last client was able to get the greatest tax savings for the least amount of cash. This client came to us because, like the others, they felt like their accountant wasn't doing enough to lower their taxes or at least explain why their bill was so high. This client had 2 medical practices and owned the buildings for each practice. We immediately got to work reviewing the prior year's returns and noticed the client's average tax bill was $200k with their W2 withholdings covering about $50k. They weren't told to do estimated payments so they were hammered with interest and penalties as well.
It became clear that the bulk of their tax was from their K1s bumping their tax brackets up. Their K1s netted around $400k on average. Upon closer review, we realized the taxpayer had $400k in 1 building and $1.3M in the 2nd building worth of depreciation left to take. Traditionally, you'd depreciate both over 39 years and as you can imagine, that depreciation write-off is minimal. But the $1.6M left on the table would save this client at least 3-4 years of $200k on taxes if he did a cost segregation study because he'd essentially accelerate depreciation quicker and reduce that $400k net income down to $0 over 3-4 years vs 39 years. So for an $8k engineering fee, this client is set up to save $149k minimum each year over the next 3-4 years by just leveraging the equity he has in the properties. Even better, this client had $4M in carryover capital gain losses from crypto so if he were to sell, the depreciation recapture would be a wash with the carryover losses.
It amazes us that CPAs see clients paying hundreds of thousands of dollars on taxes and don't advise them on their legal rights to maximize such deductions. It can't be understated that you should always consider a second opinion if you believe you're overpaying in taxes.
Contact our Tampa Tax Planning experts today so we can help you! Taxes Tampa specializes in tax projections and tax planning for personal and business clients. For more info on why tax planning is important, click here!
Why Work With Taxes Tampa?
For over a decade, Taxes Tampa has sought to be a communication-focused Tampa Accounting firm. We don’t operate on a volume-based business model which allows us to check in with our clients more than the average accountant in Tampa and offer our clients a more hands-on and advisory tax experience. We want to ensure you understand the ABCs of LLCs, Taxes, and everything in between. Contact us today for a free tax consultation with one of our Tampa Tax Accountants who specializes in Tampa Tax Planning!
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