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Question: Although Hank is retired, he is an

Although Hank is retired, he is an excellent handyman and often works part-time on small projects for neighbors and friends. Last week his neighbor, Mike, offered to pay Hank $500 for minor repairs to his house. Hank completed the repairs in December of this year. Hank uses the cash method of accounting and is a calendar-year taxpayer. Compute Hank’s gross income for this year from each of the following alternative transactions:
a. Mike paid Hank $200 in cash in December of this year and promised to pay the remaining $300 with interest in three months.
b. Mike paid Hank $100 in cash in December of this year and gave him a negotiable promissory note for $400 due in three months with interest. Hank sold the note in January for $350.
c. Mike gave Hank tickets in December to the big game in January. The tickets have a face value of $50 but Hank could sell them for $400. Hank went to the game with his son.
d. Mike bought Hank a new set of snow tires. The tires typically sell for $500, but Mike bought them on sale for $450.

> This year Randy paid $28,000 of interest (Randy borrowed $450,000 to buy his residence, and it is currently worth $500,000). Randy also paid $2,500 of interest on his car loan and $4,200 of margin interest to his stockbroker (investment interest expense

> Tim is a single, cash-method taxpayer with one personal exemption and an AGI of $50,000. In April of this year Tim paid $1,020 with his state income tax return for the previous year. During the year, Tim had $5,400 of state income tax and $18,250 of fe

> Dan has AGI of $50,000 and paid the following taxes during this tax year. Calculate the amount of taxes Dan may include in his itemized deductions for the year. State income tax withholding …………………………………..$ 1,400 State income tax estimated payments…

> Charles has AGI of $50,000 and has made the following payments related to (1) land he inherited from his deceased aunt and (2) a personal vacation taken last year. Calculate the amount of taxes Charles may include in his itemized deductions for the year

> Doctor Bones prescribed physical therapy in a pool to treat Jack’s broken back. In response to this advice (and for no other reason), Jack built a swimming pool in his backyard and strictly limited use of the pool to physical therapy. Jack paid $25,000

> This year Tim is age 45 and is considering enrolling in an insurance program that provides for long-term care insurance. He is curious about whether the insurance premiums are deductible as a medical expense and, if so, what the maximum amount is that c

> Rory and Nicholi, single taxpayers, each annually receive Social Security benefits of $15,000. Rory’s taxable income from sources other than Social Security exceeds $200,000. In contrast, the Social Security benefits are Nicholi’s only source of income.

> Simpson is a single individual who is employed full-time by Duff Corporation. This year Simpson reports AGI of $50,000 and has incurred the following medical expenses: Dentist charges………………………………….……………$ 900

> Describe the type of medical expenditures that qualify for the medical expense deduction. Does the cost of meals consumed while hospitalized qualify for the deduction? Do over-the-counter drugs and medicines qualify for the deduction?

> Explain why the medical expense and casualty loss provisions are sometimes referred to as “wherewithal” deductions and how this rationale is reflected in the limits on these deductions.

> Describe the mechanical limitation on the deduction for interest on qualified educational loans.

> Explain why Congress allows self-employed taxpayers to deduct the cost of health insurance above the line (for AGI) when employees can only itemize this cost as a medical expense. Would a self-employed taxpayer ever prefer to claim health insurance prem

> Describe how a business element is reflected in the requirements to deduct moving expenses and how Congress limited this deduction to substantial moves.

> How is a business activity distinguished from an investment activity? Why is this distinction important for the purpose of calculating federal income taxes?

> It has been suggested that tax policy favors deductions for AGI compared to itemized deductions. Describe two ways in which deductions for AGI are treated more favorably than itemized deductions.

> Determine whether a taxpayer who is claimed as a dependent on another return is entitled to an addition to the standard deduction for age or blindness. (Hint: Read the calculation of the standard deduction under IRC §63.)

> Describe the mechanism for phasing out exemptions. Can a taxpayer lose the benefit of all of her personal and dependency exemptions?

> Larry Bounds has won the gold bat award for hitting the longest home run in major league baseball this year. The bat is worth almost $35,000. Under what conditions can Larry exclude the award from his gross income? Explain.

> Explain why the overall phase-out of itemized deductions has been described as a “haircut” of itemized deductions. Explain whether it is possible for a taxpayer to lose all their itemized deductions under the phase-out rules.

> Explain how the calculation of the standard deduction limits the ability to shift income to a dependent.

> Explain how the standard deduction is rationalized and why the standard deduction might be viewed as a floor limit on itemized deductions.

> Describe the tax benefits from “bunching” itemized deductions in one year. Describe the characteristics of the taxpayers who are most likely to benefit from using bunching and explain why this is so.

> Identify which itemized deductions are subject to floor limitations, ceiling limitations, or some combination of these limits.

> Contrast ceiling and floor limitations, and give an example of each.

> Frank paid $3,700 in fees for an accountant to tabulate business information (Frank operates as a self-employed contractor and files a Schedule C). The accountant also spent time tabulating Frank’s income from his investments and determining Frank’s pers

> Jake is a retired jockey who takes monthly trips to Las Vegas to gamble on horse races. Jake also trains race horses part time at his Louisville ranch. So far this year, Jake has won almost $47,500 during his trips to Las Vegas while spending $27,250 on

> Explain why an employee should be concerned about whether his employer reimburses business expenses using an “accountable” plan?

> How might the reimbursement of a portion of an employee expense influence the deductibility of the expense for the employee?

> Otto and Fiona are negotiating the terms of their divorce. Otto has agreed to transfer property to Fiona over the next two years, but he has reserved the right to make cash payments in lieu of property transfers. Will tax considerations play a role in Ot

> When is the cost of education deductible as an employee business expense?

> Describe the types of expenses that constitute miscellaneous itemized deductions and explain why these expenses rarely produce any tax benefits.

> This week Jim’s residence was heavily damaged by a storm system that spread destruction throughout the region. While Jim’s property insurance covers some of the damage, there is a significant amount of uninsured loss. The governor of Jim’s state has requ

> A casualty loss from the complete destruction of a personal asset is limited to the lesser of fair market value or the property’s adjusted basis. Explain the rationale for this rule as opposed to just allowing a deduction for the basis of the asset.

> Describe the conditions in which a donation of property to a charity will result in a charitable contribution deduction of fair market value and when it will result in a deduction of the tax basis of the property.

> Cash donations to charity are subject to a number of very specific substantiation requirements. Describe these requirements and how charitable gifts can be substantiated. Describe the substantiation requirements for property donations.

> Compare and contrast the limits on the deduction of interest on home acquisition indebtedness versus home equity loans. Are these limits consistent with horizontal equity? Explain.

> What types of taxes qualify to be deducted as itemized deductions? Would a vehicle registration fee qualify as a deductible tax?

> Read the following letter and help Shady Slim with his tax situation. Please assume that gross income is $172,900 (which consists only of salary) for purposes of this problem.

> This year Evan graduated from college, and took a job as a deliveryman in the city. Evan was paid a salary of $68,500 and he received $700 in hourly pay for part-time work over the weekends. Evan summarized his expenses below. Cost of moving his po

> Clem and Ida have been married for several years, but this year they decided to get divorced. In the divorce decree, Clem agreed to deed his car to Ida and pay Ida $10,000 per year for four years. Will either of these transfers qualify as alimony for tax

> Joe and Jessie are married and have one dependent child, Lizzie. Lizzie is currently in college at State University. Joe works as a design engineer for a manufacturing firm while Jessie runs a craft business from their home. Jessie’s craft business co

> Shauna Coleman is single. She is employed as an architectural designer for Streamline Design (SD). Shauna wanted to determine her taxable income. She correctly calculated her AGI. However, she wasn’t sure how to compute the rest of her taxable income.

> Jeremy and Alyssa Johnson have been married for five years and do not have any children. Jeremy was married previously and has one child from the prior marriage. He is self-employed and operates his own computer repair store. For the first two months

> Ralph owns a building that he is trying to lease. Ralph is a calendar-year, cash-method taxpayer and is trying to evaluate the tax consequences of three different lease arrangements. Under lease 1, the building rents for $500 per month, payable on the fi

> Clyde is a cash method taxpayer who reports on a calendar-year basis. This year Paylate Corporation has decided to pay Clyde a year-end bonus of $1,000. Determine the amount Clyde should include in his gross income this year under the following circumsta

> L. A. and Paula file as married taxpayers. In August of this year they received a $5,200 refund of state income taxes that they paid last year. How much of the refund, if any, must L. A. and Paula include in gross income under the following independent s

> Louis files as a single taxpayer. In April of this year he received a $900 refund of state income taxes that he paid last year. How much of the refund, if any, must Louis include in gross income under the following independent scenarios? Assume the stand

> Last year Acme paid Ralph $15,000 to install a new air-conditioning unit at its headquarters building. The air conditioner did not function properly, and this year Acme requested that Ralph return the payment. Because Ralph could not repair one critical

> Jim recently joined the Austin Barter Club, an organization that facilitates the exchange of services between its members. This year Jim provided lawn-mowing services to other club members. Jim received the following from the barter club. Determine the a

> Tomiko is a 50 percent owner (partner) in the Tanaka partnership. During the year, the partnership reported $1,000 of interest income and $2,000 of dividends. How much of this income must Tomiko include in her gross income?

> For the following independent cases, determine whether economic income is present and, if so, whether it must be included in gross income. Identify a tax authority that supports your analysis. a. Hermione discovered a gold nugget (valued at $10,000) on h

> XYZ declared a $1 per share dividend on August 15. The date of record for the dividend was September 1 (the stock began selling ex-dividend on September 2). The dividend was paid on September 10. Ellis is a cash-method taxpayer. Determine if he must incl

> For the following independent cases, determine whether economic income is present and, if so, whether it must be included in gross income (that is, is it realized and recognized for tax purposes?). a. Asia owns stock that is listed on the New York Exchan

> This year, Leron and Sheena sold their home for $750,000 after all selling costs. Under the following scenarios, how much taxable gain does the home sale generate for Leron and Sheena? a. Leron and Sheena bought the home three years ago for $150,000 and

> This year, Janelle received $200,000 in life insurance proceeds. Under the following scenarios, how much of the $200,000 is taxable? a. Janelle received the proceeds upon the death of her father, Julio. b. Janelle received the $200,000 proceeds because s

> What amounts are included in gross income for the following taxpayers? Explain your answers. a. Janus sued Tiny Toys for personal injuries from swallowing a toy. Janus was paid $30,000 for medical costs and $250,000 for punitive damages. b. Carl was inju

> Tim’s parents plan to provide him with $50,000 to support him while he establishes a new landscaping business. In exchange for the support, Tim will maintain the landscape at his father’s business. Under what conditions will the transfer of $50,000 be in

> Terry was ill for three months and missed work during this period. During his illness Terry received $4,500 in sick pay from a disability insurance policy. What amounts are included in Terry’s gross income under the following independent circumstances? a

> Bart is the favorite nephew of his aunt Thelma. Thelma transferred several items of value to Bart. For each of the following transactions, determine the effect on Bart’s gross income: a. Thelma gave Bart an auto worth $22,000. Thelma purchased the auto t

> Grady is a member of a large family and received the following payments this year. For each payment, determine whether the payment constitutes realized income and determine the amount of each payment Grady must include in his gross income. a. A gift of $

> Brad purchased land for $45,000 this year. At year-end Brad sold the land for $51,700 and paid a sales commission of $450. What effect does this transaction have on Brad’s gross income? Explain.

> Cecil cashed in a Series EE savings bond with a redemption value of $14,000 and an original cost of $9,800. For each of the following independent scenarios, calculate the amount of interest Cecil will include in his gross income assuming he files as a si

> Fred currently earns $9,000 per month. Fred has been offered the chance to transfer for three to five years to an overseas affiliate. His employer is willing to pay Fred $10,000 per month if he accepts the assignment. Assume that the maximum foreign earn

> Grady is a 45-year-old employee with AMUCK Garbage Corporation. AMUCK pays group-term life insurance premiums for employees, and Grady chose the maximum face amount of $120,000. What amount, if any, of the premium AMUCK paid on his behalf, must Grady inc

> Jimmy has fallen on hard times recently. Last year he borrowed $250,000 and added an additional $50,000 of his own funds to purchase $300,000 of undeveloped real estate. This year the value of the real estate dropped dramatically and Jimmy’s lender agree

> Wally is employed as an executive with Pay More Incorporated. To entice Wally to work for Pay More, the corporation loaned him $20,000 at the beginning of the year at a simple interest rate of 1 percent. Wally would have paid interest of $2,400 this year

> Nikki works for the Shine Company, a retailer of upscale jewelry. How much taxable income does Nikki recognize under the following scenarios? a. Nikki buys a diamond ring from Shine Company for $10,000 (normal sales price, $14,000; Shine Company’s gross

> Grady received $8,200 of Social Security benefits this year. Grady also reported salary and interest income this year. What amount of the benefits must Grady include in his gross income under the following two independent situations? a. Grady files singl

> For each of the following independent situations, indicate the amount the taxpayer must include in gross income and explain your answer: a. Phil won $500 in the scratch-off state lottery. There is no state income tax. b. Ted won a compact car worth $17,0

> Todd and Margo are seeking a divorce and no longer live together. Margo has offered to pay Todd $42,000 per year for five years if Margo receives sole title to the art collection. This collection cost them $100,000, but is now worth $360,000. All other p

> Lanny and Shirley are recently divorced and do not live together. Shirley has custody of their child, Art, and Lanny pays Shirley $22,000 per year. All property was divided equally. a. How much should Shirley include in income if Lanny’s payments are mad

> George purchased a life annuity to provide him monthly payments for as long as he lives. Based on IRS tables, George’s life expectancy is 100 months. Is George able to recover his cost of the annuity if he dies before he receives 100 monthly payments? Ex

> Gramps purchased a joint survivor annuity that pays $500 monthly over his remaining life and that of his wife, Gram. Gramps is 70 years old and Gram is 65 years old. Gramps paid $97,020 for the contract. How much income will Gramps recognize on the first

> Larry purchased an annuity from an insurance company that promises to pay him $1,500 per month for the rest of his life. Larry paid $170,820 for the annuity. Larry is in good health, and he is 72 years old. Larry received the first annuity payment of $1,

> Anne purchased an annuity from an insurance company that promised to pay her $20,000 per year for the next 10 years. Anne paid $145,000 for the annuity, and in exchange she will receive $200,000 over the term of the annuity. a. How much of the first $20

> Janet is a cash-basis calendar-year taxpayer. She received a check for services provided in the mail during the last week of December. However, rather than cash the check, Janet decided to wait until the following January because she believes that her de

> Describe in general how the cash method of accounting differs from the accrual method.

> This year Jorge received a refund of property taxes that he deducted on his tax return last year. Jorge is not sure whether he should include the refund in his gross income. What would you tell him?

> Compare how the return of capital principle applies when (1) a taxpayer sells an asset and collects the sale proceeds all immediately and (2) a taxpayer sells an asset and collects the sale proceeds over several periods (installment sales). If Congress w

> What issue precipitated the return of capital principle? Explain.

> Andre constructs and installs cabinets in homes. Blair sells and installs carpet in apartments. Andre and Blair worked out an arrangement whereby Andre installed cabinets in Blair’s home and Blair installed carpet in Andre’s home. Neither Andre nor Blair

> Compare and contrast realization of income with recognition of income.

> Conceptually, when taxpayers receive annuity payments, how do they determine the amount of the payment they must include in gross income?

> Describe the concept of realization for tax purposes.

> Based on the definition of gross income in §61 and related regulations, what is the general presumption regarding the taxability of income realized?

> Tom was just hired by Acme Corporation and has decided to purchase disability insurance. This insurance promises to pay him weekly benefits to replace his salary should he be unable to work because of disability. Disability insurance is also available th

> Jim was injured in an accident and his surgeon botched the medical procedure. Jim recovered $5,000 from the doctors for pain and suffering and $2,000 for emotional distress. Determine the taxability of these payments and briefly explain to Jim the appare

> How are state-sponsored 529 educational savings plans taxed if investment returns are used for educational purposes? Are the returns taxed differently if they are not ultimately used to pay for education costs?

> Describe the kinds of insurance premiums an employer can pay on behalf of an employee without triggering includible compensation to the employee.

> What are some common examples of taxable and tax-free fringe benefits?

> What are the basic requirements to exclude the gain on the sale of a personal residence?

> When an employer makes a below-market loan to an employee, what are tax consequences to the employer and employee?

> Tim suffered greatly this year. In January a freak storm damaged his sailboat and in July Tim’s motorcycle was stolen from his vacation home. Tim originally paid $27,000 for the boat, but he was able to repair the damage for $6,200. Tim paid $15,500 f

> Rolando purchases a golf cart from his employer, E-Z-Go Golf Carts, for a sizable discount. Explain the rules for determining if Rolando’s purchase results in taxable income for him.

> Trevor is a single individual who is a cash method, calendar-year taxpayer. For each of the next two years (year 1 and year 2), Trevor expects to report AGI of $80,000, contribute $3,500 to charity, and pay $2,500 in state income taxes. a. Estimate Tr

> Clyde and Bonnie were married this year. Clyde has a steady job that will pay him about $37,000 while Bonnie does odd jobs that will produce about $28,000 of income. They also have a joint savings account that will pay about $400 of interest. If Clyde an

> Dewey is a lawyer who uses the cash method of accounting. Last year Dewey provided a client with legal services worth $55,000, but the client could not pay the fee. This year Dewey requested that in lieu of paying Dewey $55,000 for the services, the clie

> Contrast the constructive receipt doctrine with the claim of right doctrine.

> Charlie was hired by Ajax this year as a corporate executive and a member of the board of directors. During the current year, Charlie received the following payments or benefits paid on his behalf. Salary payments………………………………………………..$ 92,000 Contribu

> Diana and Ryan Workman were married on January 1 of last year. Diana has an eight-year-old son, Jorge, from her previous marriage. Ryan works as a computer programmer at Datafile Inc. (DI) earning a salary of $96,000. Diana is self-employed and runs a da


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