Jerry Jones CPA
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a CPA that you deal directly with, that knows the Self Storage business, that works in all 50 states and is there for you when you need him?

Wills vs. Trusts: A Quick & Simple Reference Guide

Confused about the differences between wills and trusts? If so, you’re not alone. While it’s
always wise to contact experts like us, it’s also important to understand the basics. Here’s a quick
and simple reference guide:

What Revocable Living Trusts Can Do – That Wills Can’t

  • Avoid a conservatorship and guardianship. A revocable living trust allows you to
    authorize your spouse, partner, child, or other trusted person to manage your assets
    should you become incapacitated and unable to manage your own affairs. Wills only
    become effective when you die, so they are useless in avoiding conservatorship and
    guardianship proceedings during your life.

  • Bypass probate. Property in a revocable living trust does not pass through probate.
    Property that passes using a will guarantees probate. The probate process, designed to
    wrap up a person’s affairs after satisfying outstanding debts, is public and can be costly
    and time consuming – sometimes taking years to resolve.

  • Maintain privacy after death. Wills are public documents; trusts are not. Anyone,
    including nosey neighbors, predators, and unscrupulous “charities” can discover the
    details of your estate if you have a will. Trusts allow you to maintain your family’s
    privacy after death.

  • Protect you from court challenges. Although court challenges to wills and trusts occur,
    attacking a trust is generally much harder than attacking a will because trust provisions
    are not made public.

2019 IRS Mileage Rates for Business, Charity, Medical and Moving

The Internal Revenue Service has issued the 2019 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Retirees who miss this tax deadline could owe the IRS thousands

Many retirees who turned 70½ years old prior to the start of 2018 are up against a potentially costly tax deadline.

Folks this age who own certain types of retirement accounts generally must withdraw what the IRS calls “required minimum distributions” — or “RMDs” — by Dec. 31. If they miss this deadline, they face a 50 percent tax penalty — which could translate to hundreds or thousands of dollars.

RMDs are a minimum amount of money the IRS requires you to withdraw from most types of retirement accounts each year starting the year in which you turn 70½.

14 Nice-Try Tax Breaks Rejected by the IRS

Over the years, taxpayers have concocted a lot of zany arguments to justify their tax breaks. We’ve come up with 14 of the most creative ones that the courts decided did not quite work.

A Little Peace and Quiet

A busy tax preparer ran her business from her home. During tax season, she felt so harassed from clients calling her at all hours of the day and night that she occasionally booked a room at a local hotel for some peace and quiet. On her own return, she deducted the cost of this rest and relaxation as a business expense. Unfortunately for her, the Tax Court ruled that the cost of her good night’s sleep was a nondeductible personal expense.

Investigating Daddy’s Mysterious Death

A CPA paid millions of dollars to private investigators and other experts to help him find out whether his father, who died when the taxpayer was a child, was murdered or committed suicide. He deducted the payments on Schedule C as business expenses. He believed that if he gathered enough evidence, the story could become a book or even a movie. The Tax Court categorized his activity as a hobby and nixed the write-off.

My Little Princess

A couple’s daughter began competing in beauty pageants at age 9. She won between $1,000 and $2,000 in prize money each year that was deposited into her college savings account. The parents reported the income on their returns and also took large write-offs for the cost of travel, costumes and other expenses.

Because the prize winnings were compensation for the child’s services in the pageant, they are included in her income. And only she can deduct the costs, even though the expenditures were made by the parents. So the Tax Court denied the parents’ deductions.

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