February 13, 2015
Was your tax-prep bill high last year because of investments in alternative assets? Your cost for income tax reporting on these assets can swamp your investment returns.
A recent Wall Street Journal article reported on the phenomenon that is driving up tax preparation costs for a number of wealthy tax payers. People invest in private-equity funds, hedge funds and other partnerships without understanding what the annual accounting costs will be.
The article notes that one CPA estimates tax preparation cost at $500 for each publically traded partnership they report on a tax return. The total invistment in such partnerships is often relatively small. For a $20,000 investment, this tax compliance cost would amount to 2.5% of the tatal amount invested.
The costs are driven by an explosion in the number of tax return entries that these partnership K-1's disgorge to the IRS to report seperately stated items of income, deduction, credit, and alternative minimum tax information. If a taxpayer fails to report each of these detatils, even small amounts, they can trigger nuisance letters or examinations from the IRS.
Read the full article at http://www.wsj.com/articles/act-now-to-lower-your-2014-taxes-1415379734
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The IRS requires you to keep your records that support an item of income or deduction on a return until the period of limitations for that returns runs out. The period of limitations is the period of time in which you can amend your return to claim a credit or refund, or the IRS can assess additional tax.
Period of Limitations: