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NEW! Combustible tax deductions: Will this charitable contribution go up in smoke?
by AccountingWEB staff writer

It may sound suspicious, but many CPAs and attorneys argue that it’s a legitimate tax strategy. Five years ago, ESPN commentator Kirk Herbstreit and his wife Allison allowed their home to be burned to the ground. Then they deducted the appraised value ($330,000) on their income tax return for 2004 as a charitable deduction. After the house was burned and the debris cleaned up, the couple built a new home on the same land. Later the IRS rejected the deduction and set the Herbstreits a bill for $134,606 in back taxes and interest. For the past three years, the legitimacy of their deduction has been debated on with CPAs lining up on both sides. Here are the details…

NEW! Home Office Deduction Simplification
Gathers Steam
by AccountingWEB staff writer

U.S. Senators Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME) and Kent Conrad (D-ND) along with U.S. Representative Charles A. Gonzalez (D-TX) are collectively sponsoring the Home Office Tax Deduction Simplification and Improvement Act of 2009, bipartisan, bicameral legislation to establish an optional home office deduction to help ease the burden of the complex tax code on American small businesses…