John D. Teter Law Offices



1361 South Winchester Boulevard, Suite 113
San Jose, CA 95128

Recent Blog Posts

How Can Small Businesses Take Advantage of Clean Energy Tax Credits?

 Posted on May 15, 2023 in Taxation Law

san jose tax lawyerAs part of the ongoing efforts to address global climate change, the U.S. government has taken steps to promote the use of clean energy in a number of ways. This includes offering tax credits and deductions for small businesses that take steps to cut energy costs and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. By investing in energy efficiency, small business owners may be able to realize significant savings by reducing their expenses and lowering their tax bills.

Types of Clean Energy Credits and Deductions

There are several options that may be available for small businesses that make the shift toward clean energy, including:

  • Solar energy tax credits - Businesses that purchase new solar energy systems have two options for receiving tax credits. The investment tax credit (ITC) will reduce a business's federal tax liability in the year in which a new solar power system is installed, while the production tax credit (PTC) will provide ongoing credits based on the electricity generated by a solar power system within the first 10 years of operation. The ITC provides a credit of 30 percent of the amount spent on systems such as solar panels, inverters, transformers, circuit breaks, and energy storage devices, and it may be the preferred option for smaller-scale solar power projects. The PTC provides a tax credit of 2.75 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated in a tax year, and it may provide more tax savings in situations involving large-scale projects that will generate a significant amount of electricity over several years. Both the ITC and PTC will be available for systems that began operating in 2022 or later, as long as construction begins prior to 2033.

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How Are NFTs Taxed When They Are Included in Retirement Accounts?

 Posted on April 26, 2023 in Taxation Law

san jose tax lawyerTaxpayers may own multiple types of assets, including digital assets that can come in a variety of different forms. Over the past few years, many transactions have been conducted involving NFTs. An NFT ("non-fungible token") is a unique digital ID that is attached to a collectible item. NFTs use the same blockchain technology as cryptocurrency, providing a record of ownership that cannot be copied or falsified. They can grant ownership of assets such as digital images, videos, items in video games, or pieces of virtual real estate in the "metaverse," and they can also certify ownership of physical assets such as artwork.

While NFTs, cryptocurrency, and other digital assets are relatively new, they represent significant investments for many people, and they can have high values. Because more and more transactions involving NFTs are being conducted, the IRS has taken steps to ensure that these transactions are taxed correctly. Recently, it issued guidance on how taxes may apply to NFTs that are acquired by retirement accounts.

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Will the IRS Tax NFTs as Collectibles?

 Posted on April 14, 2023 in Taxation Law

san jose tax lawyerIn our increasingly digital world, there are numerous different types of assets that people may own, and determining how these assets may be taxed can often be confusing. Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are one type of asset that has raised questions in recent years. These digital tokens use blockchain technology similar to cryptocurrency to create unique digital identifiers for certain types of assets. As with some other types of digital assets, the way the IRS taxes NFTs has not yet been fully settled. However, the IRS has recently provided guidance on this issue, indicating that NFTs may be treated similarly to other types of collectibles under the tax laws.

Capital Gains Taxes and NFTs

NFTs use distributed ledger technology (commonly known as the "blockchain") to establish ownership of certain types of assets or to provide certifications of authenticity. A person who owns an NFT will have certain rights with respect to digital assets, which may include images and videos, music, trading cards, items used in video games, or pieces of virtual real estate in online communities. While capital gains taxes may apply when NFTs are sold or transferred to others, the specific tax rates may depend on whether they may be classified as collectibles.

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Supreme Court Ruling Addresses Fines for Non-Willful FBAR Violations

 Posted on April 06, 2023 in Taxation Law

san jose tax lawyerU.S. taxpayers who own foreign assets and investments often face confusion about their requirements when filing taxes and reporting information to the IRS. In general, taxpayers must file a Foreign Bank and Financial Account Report (FBAR) on an annual basis, and they must include information about all accounts or other assets owned outside the United States. Failure to file FBARs can result in steep penalties. Until recently, there was some confusion about how penalties were applied in certain situations. However, a recent Supreme Court ruling has cleared up this issue and provided some understanding of the potential penalties in certain cases.

Bittner v. United States

In the case of Bittner v. United States, the defendant was charged with failing to report foreign accounts to the IRS between 2007 and 2011. The question was whether the penalties that would apply should be based on the number of reports that were not filed or the number of accounts that were not reported. A maximum $10,000 penalty may be applied for each violation, and initially, the IRS imposed a total penalty of $2.72 million based on the number of accounts that were not reported between 2007 and 2011. The defendant challenged this decision, and the fine was reduced to $50,000, or $10,000 for each year that he did not report his assets correctly. An appeals court reversed the ruling, and the defendant then appealed the case to the Supreme Court.

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Do Taxpayers Need to Report Cryptocurrency When Filing 2023 Tax Returns?

 Posted on March 28, 2023 in Taxation Law

san jose tax lawyerThe rise of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum has created a new world of digital assets, which have become increasingly popular with investors in recent years. But while there are numerous potential benefits of investing in cryptocurrency, the tax laws that apply to owning, selling, or trading these assets can sometimes be unclear for many. During the 2023 tax season, taxpayers may be wondering how their cryptocurrency or other digital asset investments will be addressed on their tax returns. Fortunately, the IRS has provided guidance on these issues, ensuring that crypto earnings can be reported correctly while maintaining compliance with IRS regulations.

Reporting Digital Assets on Tax Returns

For tax year 2021, a question was added to the 1040 tax return form asking taxpayers if they received, sold, or exchanged cryptocurrency during that year. This question has been included on tax returns for 2022 as well, although it has been updated to refer to "digital assets." According to the IRS, digital assets include cryptocurrencies and virtual currencies that can be converted to money or other assets, as well as "stablecoins," which are cryptocurrencies that have been tied to the value of other commodities or financial instruments in order to avoid fluctuations in value. Digital assets also include non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

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What Are My Options if I Failed to File an FBAR on Time?

 Posted on March 20, 2023 in Taxation Law

san jose tax lawyerThe Foreign Bank and Financial Account Report, which is usually referred to as the FBAR, is an important tax filing requirement for U.S. citizens and residents who have foreign financial accounts. If you fail to file an FBAR when required, this can result in hefty fines and penalties from the IRS. Missing the deadline can lead to serious consequences, and taxpayers will need to understand the available options in these situations.

Understanding FBAR Requirements

The FBAR filing requirement applies to taxpayers who have a financial interest in or signature authority over one or more accounts at a foreign financial institution outside the United States. If the aggregate value of all foreign accounts owned by a taxpayer exceeds $10,000 at any point during a tax year, an FBAR must be filed. Eligible taxpayers include individual U.S. citizens or residents of the United States, as well as LLCs, business partnerships, trusts, and estates. Foreign accounts that must be reported include bank accounts, retirement accounts, brokerage accounts, as well as accounts for trading in precious metals or gems and other types of foreign financial assets.

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How Does the SECURE 2.0 Act Affect Taxes Related to Retirement Accounts?

 Posted on March 06, 2023 in Taxation Law

san jose tax lawyer Retirement accounts such as 401Ks and IRAs are a great way to save for the future and help protect your financial security. When you contribute money to these accounts, it grows over time, and in most cases, you will not have to pay taxes until you withdraw the funds. This can provide tremendous benefits, such as tax-free compounding of your investments and significant savings when you retire. However, there may be times when you may need to access money in retirement accounts early due to unforeseen circumstances or emergencies. Early withdrawals can result in significant penalties, and taxes will typically apply. Fortunately, with the recent passage of the SECURE 2.0 Act, some exceptions have been made that allow individuals to make withdrawals from their retirement accounts without incurring excise taxes or penalties in certain circumstances.

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What Taxpayers Need to Know About Reporting Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts

 Posted on February 28, 2023 in Taxation Law

San Jose Foreign Asset Tax LawyerTaxpayers with foreign assets must take extra care when filing their annual tax returns and reporting information to the IRS through other means. By law, taxpayers with foreign accounts are required to report these assets and pay any applicable taxes. Failure to report accounts or other assets when required could result in tax penalties. By understanding the specific requirements that apply to them, taxpayers can avoid tax-related issues, and they can determine the steps to take to respond to any penalties that have been assessed.

The Basics of Foreign Account Reporting

When it comes to reporting foreign financial accounts, there are two main forms that taxpayers should be familiar with: the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) and Form 8938. The FBAR is used to report the value of a taxpayer’s foreign bank and financial accounts in total at the end of a tax year. A taxpayer will be required to file an FBAR if they have an interest in one or more bank accounts, brokerage accounts, mutual funds, or other financial accounts in countries other than the United States, as long as the aggregate value of all of these accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year. FBARs are filed electronically with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and they are due on April 15.

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Important Dates to Know When Addressing California Property Tax Issues

 Posted on February 21, 2023 in Property Taxes

San Jose Property Tax LawyerCalifornia property taxes can be complex and challenging to understand. While the laws regarding property taxes apply statewide, the ways these issues are handled can differ from county to county. Understanding the specific requirements that apply to property owners can be difficult, and failure to follow the correct procedures could result in penalties. To address issues related to property tax assessments, payment of taxes that are due, and other related concerns, property owners will need to be aware of important dates and deadlines that apply throughout the year.

Dates Related to Property Taxes

  • January 1: Lien Date - Anyone who owns taxable property on this date will be liable for the taxes that apply to that property. Property taxes are generally calculated as 1 percent of the assessed value of the property on the lien date.

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Is Business Personal Property Subject to California Property Taxes?

 Posted on February 16, 2023 in Property Taxes

San Jose Property Tax LawyerIn California, property taxes are a notoriously complex issue, and they may apply to both individual taxpayers and businesses. While property taxes will generally apply to real estate property owned by an individual, married couple, or business, they may also apply to other types of personal property. Specifically, assets that fall under the category of "business personal property" will need to be reported, and taxes may be applied to some of these assets. By understanding the requirements that apply to business personal property, owners of small businesses and other types of companies can make sure to avoid potential penalties.

What Is Business Personal Property?

Business personal property refers to the tangible assets owned by businesses and used to conduct their operations. This includes furniture, fixtures, equipment, and other miscellaneous items used by a business in its day-to-day operations. It also includes vehicles, aircraft, and boats, as well as supplies used by a business, such as office supplies, janitorial products, or fuel for vehicles. A business may also be required to pay taxes on personal property that has been leased and is used as part of its ongoing operations.

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