Michael Gray, CPA's Tax and Business Insight

April 23, 2015

© 2015 by Michael C. Gray

ISSN 1539-395X

A monthly report to help you prepare for your financial future, keep more of what you earn by minimizing your taxes, and build an extraordinary business!

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(If you find this information valuable, please pass it on to a friend!)

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Here are Dawn, Minerva, Kara and John Siemer at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Dawn, Kara and John are celebrating birthdays during April.

Tax season comes to an exciting conclusion.

With a flourish of extensions (including mine!), April 15 is behind us. Now we will be in the mode of finishing extended income tax returns and dealing with planning issues that were postponed. To schedule your planning meeting, call Dawn Siemer at 408-918-3161 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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Family celebrations.

Most of my daughter, Dawn Siemer's family celebrates birthdays during April, including Dawn, her husband John, and daughter Kara. Kara is age eight this year. Eight is great!

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Our books are now available for purchase online!

We recently launched a new website for Michael Gray's publishing company, the Silicon Valley Publishing Company. You can buy our books on the website here: www.siliconvalleypublishingcompany.com.

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It's time to file personal property tax statements.

California personal property tax statements for businesses are "officially" due April 1. In Santa Clara County, the last day for filing the 2015 report without a penalty is May 7, 2015.

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Foreign account reports will soon be due.

The due date for FinCEN 114, the report of foreign accounts for 2014, is June 30, 2015. It applies for foreign bank and brokerage accounts and certain other financial accounts exceeding $10,000 at any time during 2014 owned by the taxpayer or for which the taxpayer had signature authority. The form must be efiled. If you have any questions about this form, consult with your professional tax advisor.

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IRS gives penalty relief for taxpayers who received incorrect health care information returns.

The IRS has announced it will waive some penalties for taxpayers who received an incorrect or late Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement. The form is used to compute whether the taxpayer qualifies for an additional subsidy or must repay an excess subsidy received. The IRS has also posted updated FAQs about Form 1095-A on its web site.


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Tax Court disallows multiple noncash donations.

A married couple claimed a $37,000 charitable contribution deduction for nearly 100 donations of less than $250 each. The taxpayers claimed that, since their donations didn't exceed the $250 threshold, they weren't subject to the contemporaneous written acknowledgement requirement.

In a nutshell, the Tax Court didn't believe the taxpayers and disallowed the entire deduction.

This is an excellent example of the "pig doctrine."

Special disclosure is required when you donate similar items worth more than $500 to $5,000. When you donate more than $5,000 of similar noncash items, you are required to have an appraisal prepared. The taxpayers clearly didn't meet this requirement.

The documentation receipts provided by many charities is poor. When you are claiming a substantial deduction, gather a lot of details, including photos of the goods being donated.

(Kunkel, TC Memo. 2015-71.)

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Does your group need a speaker?

We are seeking opportunities to speak before groups. Topics include recent tax developments, tax issues relating to real estate, how estate planning has changed recently, tax issues relating to alternative investments using retirement accounts, and marketing topics such as "How I created a public access television show broadcast on eleven Bay Area stations." To make arrangements, call Michael Gray at 408-918-3161.

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Please share your good experiences with Michael Gray, CPA.

As you know, more and more people are going to the internet to find information about service providers. We hope you will share some good words about experiences that you have had with our firm<. Some of the sites where you can share your experiences include yelp.com, siliconvalley.citysearch.com, and Google+.

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Financial Insider Weekly broadcast schedule for April and May.

Financial Insider Weekly is broadcast in San Jose and Campbell on Fridays at 9:30 p.m., Pacific Time. You can watch it on Comcast channel 15 for San Jose and Campbell. The show is broadcast as streaming video at the same time at www.creatvsj.org.

Here are the scheduled interviews for April and May:

April 17 and 24, 2015, David Howard, CPA and attorney at law, Loomis & Co CPAs, LLP, "Foreign account reporting update"
May 1, 2015, Professor Patricia Cain, Santa Clara University School of Law, "Tax developments for same-sex couples"
May 8 and 15, 2015, William J. Mitchell, CPA, "I'm being audited by the IRS! What should I do?"
May 22, 2015, William J. Mitchell, CPA, "What to do when you disagree with an IRS audit report"
May 29, 2015, Tom W. Anderson, President, Retirement Industry Trust Association, "Investing in real estate using a Roth or IRA account"

Financial Insider Weekly is also broadcast as follows:

Past episodes are available at https://www.youtube.com/user/financialinsiderweek.

Let me know any ideas that you have for topics or guests. Guests will usually have to be located in or near the Silicon Valley in California.

Hope you can watch or record the show. Please tell your friends about it!

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Michael Gray regrets he can no longer personally answer email questions. He will answer selected questions in this newsletter.

For your questions about dependent exemptions, see IRS Publication 501 at www.irs.gov.

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Visit our new article!

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Follow me on Social Media!

Want to see new episodes of Financial Insider Weekly as soon as they're posted on Youtube? Want to see Michael Gray's blog posts as soon as they're live? We post them (and more) on social media!

If you enjoy Twitter, please follow me at www.twitter.com/michaelgraycpa. I would especially appreciate retweets of our messages announcing episodes of Financial Insider Weekly.

I'm also on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.

you can also follow me on other social media sites, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.

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If you have employee stock options, have you subscribed to Michael Gray, CPA's Option Alert at no charge or obligation?

To learn more, visit stockoptionadvisors.com/subscribe.shtml

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Real estate investors, have you subscribed to Michael Gray, CPA’s Real Estate Tax Letter at no charge or obligation?

For details, visit www.realestatetaxletter.com

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Check out my blog.

I have also started a blog at www.michaelgraycpa.com. Check it out!

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My daughter and her husband, Holly and Dan Baker, have a Southern French Restaurant at 23 Ross Common, Ross, California, about 15 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge. The name of the restaurant is Marché Aux Fleurs and their website address is marcheauxfleursrestaurant.com. For the best meal of your life, call 415-925-9200 for a reservation and give them a try! For directions, visit our website at www.taxtrimmers.com/directions.shtml.

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Michael Gray, CPA
2482 Wooding Ct.
San Jose, CA 95128
(408) 918-3162
FAX: (408) 938-0610
Hours: 8am - 5pm PDT Monday - Friday

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