Saturday, June 26, 2010

Suck It Up

Perhaps you’re already saying about my last posting, “Walt, you’re rambling; it’s a simple question. Just give it to me straight, it can’t be that hard—can Doug go to Vietnam and deduct it? If you can’t answer that simple question right now, why should I even listen to you?”

Okay, that’s fair; I’ll give you an answer. Yes, he can. How’s that? Is that what you wanted to hear?

But the answer could also be “no” or “maybe.” You see, it depends. It’s as simple as that, and as difficult. Federal income taxes are complicated. If you think otherwise, you are naïve. Don’t be.

The answers that I intend to address here involving federal taxation focus on “expression activities,” whether your expression is made as a journalist, a painter, a book designer, woodworker, fiction writer, poet, or any other way you may express or intend to express yourself. They are based upon the premise that all of the facts and circumstances and applicable law have to be considered. I hear you groan. Suck it up.

This won't be some watered-down exposition intended to skim the surface, leaving you in the lurch if your tax benefits are challenged by the IRS. It won’t leave you scratching your head wondering what to do if a revenue agent or auditor alleges that you owe thousands of dollars more in taxes, interest, and perhaps even penalties. And it isn’t for anyone dabbling in an expression activity, sticking a toe in to see if the water is frigid or not. It’s for those who take the plunge. So be prepared.

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