Last Minute Tax Moves from MAREI’s Favorite Tax Expert

John Hyre here.

Sorry I have “gone dark” for the last 45 or so days. The usual pile-up of year-end work (i.e. – procrastinating entrepreneurs planning at the last minute kills my schedule every November & December) was brutal this year. Add some midnight oil being burned to digest the massive changes in the law and my schedule has been a bit overdone, to say the least.

I have included a list of “last minute” “to-do’s” and “year-end tax items” for your consideration. Scroll down a bit, it’s there.

Also: I will be presenting a webinar on new tax law changes and what real estate investors, small businesses, and SDIRA/401k investors should be doing about it. Congress has not given us much time to think or analyze, the changes take effect 1/1/18! The webinar will be on Thursday, January 4th. At $99, it is much cheaper than paying by the hour ($400/hour from January 1st) for the same information, see

In addition: Some of you have asked when the next SDIRA/401k workshop would be. It is February 3rd & 4th in Tampa, for more information.


Get a notarized plan in place for a valuable $2,500 “expensing policy” (email and he will send you the doc we send clients for their records, no charge)

Get your “Accountable Reimbursement Plan” in place (email for that as well, no charge)

Prepay 2017 property taxes (that are due in 2018) on your personal residence – their deductibility will be limited after 2017, This strategy will not work with 2018 income taxes.

Consider prepaying 2018 charitable contributions in 2017 if you can afford to do so – itemized deductions will be limited after 2017, you want to benefit from them now if at all possible

You should almost certainly defer income into 2018 if possible – your bracket will probably be lower, and you paying taxes later beats paying them now

“Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions” are DEAD after 2017. Consider prepaying 2018 expenses for:

  • Appraisal fees for a casualty loss or charitable contribution;
  • Casualty and theft losses from property used in performing services as an employee;
  • Clerical help and office rent in caring for investments (“investments” mean activities that do not rise to the level of a “trade or business”);
  • Depreciation on home computers used for investments;
  • Excess deductions (including administrative expenses) allowed a beneficiary on termination of an estate or trust;
  • Fees to collect interest and dividends;
  • Hobby expenses, but generally not more than hobby income;
  • Indirect miscellaneous deductions from pass-through entities;
  • Investment fees and expenses;
  • Loss on deposits in an insolvent or bankrupt financial institution;
  • Loss on traditional IRAs or Roth IRAs, when all amounts have been distributed;
  • Repayments of income;
  • Safe deposit box rental fees, except for storing jewelry and other personal effects;
  • Service charges on dividend reinvestment plans; and
  • Trustee’s fees for an IRA, if separately billed and paid.
  • Tax prep (personal return only and only the non-business portions of it)
  • Employee expenses
  • Business bad debt of an employee;
  • Business liability insurance premiums;
  • Damages paid to a former employer for breach of an employment contract;
  • Depreciation on a computer a taxpayer’s employer requires him to use in his W2 job;
  • Dues to a chamber of commerce if membership helps the taxpayer perform his W2 job;
  •  Dues to professional societies;
  •  Educator expenses;
  •  Home office or part of a taxpayer’s home used regularly and exclusively in the taxpayer’s work;
  •  Job search expenses in the taxpayer’s present occupation;
  •  Laboratory breakage fees;
  •  Legal fees related to the taxpayer’s W2 job;
  •  Licenses and regulatory fees;
  •  Malpractice insurance premiums;
  •  Medical examinations required by an employer;
  •  Occupational taxes;
  •  Passport fees for a business trip;
  •  Repayment of an income aid payment received under an employer’s plan;
  •  Research expenses of a college professor;
  •  Rural mail carriers’ vehicle expenses;
  •  Subscriptions to professional journals and trade magazines related to the taxpayer’s W2 job;
  •  Tools and supplies used in the taxpayer’s W2 job;
  •  Purchase of travel, transportation, meals, entertainment, gifts, and local lodging related to the taxpayer’s W2 job;
  •  Union dues and expenses;
  •  Work clothes and uniforms if required and not suitable for everyday use; and
  •  W2 job-related education.
  •  Repayments of income received under a claim of right (only subject to the two percent floor if less than $3,000);
  •  Repayments of Social Security benefits; and
  • The share of deductible investment expenses from pass-through entities.