Deductions for Business Meals – Good News!

Posted by on 3:20 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

            Late last week I began reading information from various credible tax authorities indicating that Congress had collectively slapped their hands to their foreheads when they realized that the Tax Reform Act of 2017 had disallowed deductions for business and client meals when that was not what they intended. We are not exactly sure how the lawmakers can undo what they have done in the tax code, nor do we know when they will be able to do it; but experience says if there is a will, they will definitely find a way to correct this...

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Recordkeeping for the Real Estate Professional – Part 2

Posted by on 5:58 pm in Real Estate Investing | 1 comment

            In a previous post, I told you about Alvin Jones, an insurance agency owner whose recordkeeping (or lack thereof) cost him an important tax deduction for being a real estate professional when his records didn’t allow him to prove that he spent more time involved in his real estate activities than he did in his insurance business.             The purpose of this email is not to list and explain all the requirements of being a real estate professional. Other resources are easily available for that. I want to explain some of the...

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Recordkeeping for the Real Estate Professional – Part 1

Posted by on 5:52 pm in Real Estate Investing | 1 comment

           A recent tax court case involving Alvin Jones, an insurance agency owner, highlights some of the many challenges faced by busy professionals who, for tax purposes, seek to become real estate professionals. Mr. Jones owned and managed ten single-family homes in 2011 and eleven single-family homes in 2012. He spent a considerable amount of time complying with requirements for Section 8 housing to keep these properties full and cash-flowing.             After an audit by the IRS, Mr. Jones’s deduction as a real estate professional was...

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Protect Yourself by Doing More

Posted by on 3:06 pm in Real Estate Investing | 0 comments

            For the third time in three months, I have read a sad story from a friend or contact about how they had trusted another person to manage their investments and had put their retirement savings with a certain investment advisor, only to have the money stolen from them as part of a greater pyramid and Ponzi scheme. One of the commonalities among these three stories has been trust in just the person rather than trust in and verification of the person, investment strategy and the value of the underlying assets.             Thousands of...

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Slow Down Your Thinking

Posted by on 3:28 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

            Last week I shared with you a huge take-away from a recent event in which I shared the stage with David Goggins, a former Navy Seal who is an ultra-endurance athlete and inspirational speaker. David spent a great deal of time talking about making important decisions in your life. He also shared some experiences he had as a Navy Seal and as an ultra-endurance athlete when he faced critical life decisions. He shared that in those moments, you have to slow down your thinking and take a deep breath so the worry, fears, and sound of...

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Updating and Revisiting Your Insurance

Posted by on 10:00 am in Real Estate Investing | 1 comment

            In my previous post, I shared with you what happened last month when pipes burst in a vacant apartment and flooded my office below. The severity of the damage and the stress that resulted taught me some important lessons I needed to learn as a leader.             In addition to failing to fully assess the extent and severity of the situation, I had made another big mistake. I had failed to update and revisit the type and level of insurance coverages I had. The policy had just renewed 3 weeks before the loss. The renewal was a...

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I Failed, Then Learned Lessons

Posted by on 4:41 pm in Real Estate Investing | 14 comments

           Approximately three weeks ago, my law office, which rents space on the first floor of a mixed-use commercial building I own in another entity, was flooded when pipes in an overhead unit froze, broke and poured hundreds of gallons of water through the floors and ceilings from the second floor to the basement beneath my office. In the weeks since, I have learned several important lessons. Life can be like that.             The most insightful things I learned are about my shortcomings as a leader. I learned that when a crisis...

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Defalcations Are Coming

Posted by on 6:45 pm in Real Estate Investing | 3 comments

            I must confess that my mind works in some weird and mysterious ways. While driving home from a productive business meeting, my mind went over various scenarios that real estate investors shared with me as to how they are double closing certain types of real estate transactions. In reading between the lines, I suspect there is a growing number of title companies that are once again skirting some of the rules and playing fast and loose. It’s human nature that when you put enough people in front of enough money, somebody is going to...

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‘Tis the Season

Posted by on 3:53 pm in Real Estate Investing | 4 comments

            I’m writing this email shortly after a phone conversation with an investor named Dave from New Jersey. In our conversation, we discussed the processing time that occurs with many of the self-directed IRA custodians and administrators. In response to his comments, I reminded him of some important things: It’s the time of year when many people are trying to do last-minute deals which involve their self-directed IRAs. The business of the self-directed space continues to grow and expand, and that’s a great thing; however, the...

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Tax Reform – What I Really Think Is Happening

Posted by on 5:48 pm in Real Estate Investing | 2 comments

           I occasionally have the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC and represent the interests of real estate investors as they relate to doing real estate transactions. As an offshoot of that, I was in Washington, DC on the day of the very critical health care non-vote that the House of Representatives never held, which basically ended the first major attempt to reform Obamacare.             When I was there just a couple weeks ago, tax reform was the main topic. Here is my bottom-line assessment (don’t hold me to it because in...

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