Tax Avoidance Gone Too Far Essay

Total Length: 877 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 4

Page 1 of 3

CPA Advice

The author of this report has been asked to review a situation where a corporation has received unwanted attention from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for a few reasons. Among those reasons are income that is deigned to be a de facto dividend, stock redemptions that are improper and a rental loss situation. The goal across the board is to devise a compensation and tax approach that will prevent the IRS from claiming tax avoidance or other such things as well as a plan that limits tax implications and higher costs for the firm. While it is sometimes rankling and maddening when the IRS makes such moves, their reaction is a little predictable given the facts involved.

The Plan

The IRS taking issue with the compensation is a little predictable, and for a few reasons. First, it is presumed by the author of this response that the company involved is a C-Corporation and not an S-Corporation. This is assumed because the IRS is usually paying attention to limited compensation with S-Corporations and higher compensation with C-Corporations. In the case of S-Corporations, compensation is typically kept low because it limits the amount of income that is subject to FICA taxes. As such, it is much more common for such firms to "low-ball" on salaries so as to keep FICA expenses low and maximize what is seen in the form of S-Corporation distributions, which are exempt from FICA. ON the other hand, C-Corporations tend to maximize salaries and minimize dividends because the former is deductible but the latter is not. Beyond that, the IRS is clearly not a fan of the five percent of gross receipts aspect of the construction business in this case.
It is clearly a thinly veiled dividend because it goes up and down (scales) with the revenue of the firm, much like a dividend (Kirkland, 2013). The solutions to this challenge is to either classify the upper half of the income as regular income that is fixed in nature or reclassify the salary above the first five million as a dividend. If minimizing tax impacts is the goal, then paying all of the President's salary as straight salary is probably the goal. However, adjusting it to keep up with revenue would be a bad idea. If the revenue fluctuates a lot, a dividend would be the wise course. If business is good and steady, a fixed….....

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Constantine, A. (2017). Avoiding the Self-Rental Trap. The Tax Adviser. Retrieved 29 April 2017, from

Cornell. (2017). 26 U.S. Code § 302 - Distributions in redemption of stock. LII / Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 29 April 2017, from

Kirkland, S. (2017). Preventing a challenge to (un)reasonable compensation. Journal of Accountancy. Retrieved 29 April 2017, from

Spaulding, W. (2017). Stock Redemptions. Retrieved 29 April 2017, from

Tax Analysts. (2017). Is It Time to Liquidate LIFO?. Tax Analysts. Retrieved 29 April 2017, from

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