News & Tech Tips

Upcoming IRS Mileage Rate Increase – Keeping up with Rising Gasoline Costs

Alert! The Internal Revenue Service has announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rate for the remainder of 2022. Optional standard mileage rates are used to assess the deductible costs of using a car for business and certain other activities.


For the remaining duration of 2022, effective July 1, the normal mileage rate for business travel will be 62.5 cents per mile (currently 58.5 cents per mile), and the new rate for deductible medical or moving expenditures (accessible to active-duty military members) will be 22 cents (currently 18 cents). Since the start of the year, both rates have seen a 4-cent increase.


According to IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig, “the IRS is changing the regular mileage rates to better reflect the recent increase in fuel prices.” “We are aware that a variety of exceptional issues relating to gasoline costs have come into play, and we are taking this extraordinary action to assist taxpayers, businesses, and others that utilize this rate.”


Whalen exhaustively works to stay up-to-date and knowledgeable about current and future changes for the betterment of all clientele and friends. If you would like to learn more about the rate increase or discuss how it will affect you, Whalen is here to help.


For legal guidance on the new rates or to read more, check out the IRS Announcement 2022-13.


Selling mutual fund shares: What are the tax implications?

If you’re an investor in mutual funds or you’re interested in putting some money into them, you’re not alone. According to the Investment Company Institute, a survey found 58.7 million households owned mutual funds in mid-2020. But despite their popularity, the tax rules involved in selling mutual fund shares can be complex.

What are the basic tax rules?

Let’s say you sell appreciated mutual fund shares that you’ve owned for more than one year, the resulting profit will be a long-term capital gain. As such, the maximum federal income tax rate will be 20%, and you may also owe the 3.8% net investment income tax. However, most taxpayers will pay a tax rate of only 15%.

When a mutual fund investor sells shares, gain or loss is measured by the difference between the amount realized from the sale and the investor’s basis in the shares. One challenge is that certain mutual fund transactions are treated as sales even though they might not be thought of as such. Another problem may arise in determining your basis for shares sold.

When does a sale occur?

It’s obvious that a sale occurs when an investor redeems all shares in a mutual fund and receives the proceeds. Similarly, a sale occurs if an investor directs the fund to redeem the number of shares necessary for a specific dollar payout.

It’s less obvious that a sale occurs if you’re swapping funds within a fund family. For example, you surrender shares of an Income Fund for an equal value of shares of the same company’s Growth Fund. No money changes hands but this is considered a sale of the Income Fund shares.

Another example: Many mutual funds provide check-writing privileges to their investors. Although it may not seem like it, each time you write a check on your fund account, you’re making a sale of shares.

How do you determine the basis of shares? 

If an investor sells all shares in a mutual fund in a single transaction, determining basis is relatively easy. Simply add the basis of all the shares (the amount of actual cash investments) including commissions or sales charges. Then, add distributions by the fund that were reinvested to acquire additional shares and subtract any distributions that represent a return of capital.

The calculation is more complex if you dispose of only part of your interest in the fund and the shares were acquired at different times for different prices. You can use one of several methods to identify the shares sold and determine your basis:

  • First-in first-out. The basis of the earliest acquired shares is used as the basis for the shares sold. If the share price has been increasing over your ownership period, the older shares are likely to have a lower basis and result in more gain.
  • Specific identification. At the time of sale, you specify the shares to sell. For example, “sell 100 of the 200 shares I purchased on April 1, 2018.” You must receive written confirmation of your request from the fund. This method may be used to lower the resulting tax bill by directing the sale of the shares with the highest basis.
  • Average basis. The IRS permits you to use the average basis for shares that were acquired at various times and that were left on deposit with the fund or a custodian agent.

As you can see, mutual fund investing can result in complex tax situations. Contact us if you have questions. We can explain in greater detail how the rules apply to you.

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Deciding between cash and accrual accounting methods

Small businesses may start off using the cash-basis method of accounting. But many eventually convert to accrual-basis reporting to conform with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Which method is right for you?

Cash method

Under the cash method, companies recognize revenue as customers pay invoices and expenses when they pay bills. As a result, cash-basis entities may report fluctuations in profits from period to period, especially if they’re engaged in long-term projects. This can make it hard to benchmark a company’s performance from year to year — or against other entities that use the accrual method.

Businesses that are eligible to use the cash method of accounting for tax purposes have the ability to fine-tune annual taxable income. This is accomplished by timing the year in which you recognize taxable income and claim deductions.

Normally, the preferred strategy is to postpone revenue recognition and accelerate expense payments at year end. This strategy can temporarily defer the company’s tax liability. But it makes the company appear less profitable to lenders and investors.

Conversely, if tax rates are expected to increase substantially in the coming year, it may be advantageous to take the opposite approach — accelerate revenue recognition and defer expenses at year end. This strategy maximizes the company’s tax liability in the current year when rates are expected to be lower.

Accrual method

The more complex accrual method conforms to the matching principle under GAAP. That is, companies recognize revenue (and expenses) in the periods that they’re earned (or incurred). This method reduces major fluctuations in profits from one period to the next, facilitating financial benchmarking.

In addition, accrual-basis entities report several asset and liability accounts that are generally absent on a cash-basis balance sheet. Examples include prepaid expenses, accounts receivable, accounts payable, work in progress, accrued expenses and deferred taxes.

Public companies are required to use the accrual method. But small companies have other options, including the cash method.

Tax considerations

Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), more companies are eligible to use the cash method for federal tax purposes than under prior law. In turn, this change has caused some small companies to rethink their method of accounting for book purposes.

The TCJA liberalized the small business definition to include those that have no more than $25 million of average annual gross receipts, based on the preceding three tax years. This limit is adjusted annually for inflation. For tax years beginning in 2021, the inflation-adjusted limit is $26 million. For 2022, it’s $27 million. Under prior law, the gross-receipts threshold for the cash method was only $5 million.

In addition, for tax years beginning after 2017, the TCJA modifies Section 451 of the Internal Revenue Code so that a business recognizes revenue for tax purposes no later than when it’s recognized for financial reporting purposes. So, if you use the accrual method for financial reporting purposes, you must also use it for federal income tax purposes.

For more information

There are several viable reasons for a small business to switch to the accrual method of accounting. It can help reduce variability in financial reporting and attract financing from lenders and investors who prefer GAAP financials. But, if you’re eligible for the cash method for tax purposes, you may want to switch to that method for the simplicity and the flexibility in tax planning it provides. Contact us to discuss your options and pick the optimal method for your situation.

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Timing counts: Reporting subsequent events

Major events or transactions — such as a natural disaster, a cyberattack, a regulatory change or the loss of a large business contract — may happen after the reporting period ends but before financial statements are finalized. The decision of whether to report these so-called “subsequent events” is one of the gray areas in financial reporting. Here’s some guidance from the AICPA to help you decide.


Financial statements reflect a company’s financial position at a particular date and the operating results and cash flows for a period ended on that date. However, because it takes time to complete financial statements, there may be a gap between the financial statement date and the date the financials are available to be issued. During this period, unforeseeable events may happen in the normal course of business.

Chapter 27 of the AICPA’s Financial Reporting Framework for Small- and Medium-Sized Entities classifies subsequent events into two groups:

1. Recognized subsequent events. These provide further evidence of conditions that existed on the financial statement date. An example would be the bankruptcy of a major customer, highlighting the risk associated with its accounts receivable. There are usually signs of financial distress (such as late payments or staff turnover) months before a customer actually files for bankruptcy.

2. Nonrecognized subsequent events. These reflect conditions that arise after the financial statement date. An example would be a tornado or earthquake that severely damages the business. A business usually has little or no advanced notice that a natural disaster is going to happen.

Generally, the former must be recorded in the financial statements. The latter events aren’t required to be recorded, but the details may have to be disclosed in the footnotes.


To decide which events to disclose in the footnotes, consider whether omitting the information about them would mislead investors, lenders and other stakeholders. Disclosures should, at a minimum, describe the nature of the event and estimate the financial effect, if possible.

In some extreme cases, the effect of a subsequent event may be so pervasive that your company’s viability is questionable. This may cause your CPA to re-evaluate the going concern assumption that underlies your financial statements.

When in doubt

If you’re unsure how to handle a subsequent event, we can help eliminate the guesswork. Contact us for more information.

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The tax rules of renting out a vacation property

Summer is just around the corner. If you’re fortunate enough to own a vacation home, you may wonder about the tax consequences of renting it out for part of the year.

The tax treatment depends on how many days it’s rented and your level of personal use. Personal use includes vacation use by your relatives (even if you charge them market rate rent) and use by nonrelatives if a market rate rent isn’t charged.

If you rent the property out for less than 15 days during the year, it’s not treated as “rental property” at all. In the right circumstances, this can produce significant tax benefits. Any rent you receive isn’t included in your income for tax purposes (no matter how substantial). On the other hand, you can only deduct property taxes and mortgage interest — no other operating costs and no depreciation. (Mortgage interest is deductible on your principal residence and one other home, subject to certain limits.)

If you rent the property out for more than 14 days, you must include the rent you receive in income. However, you can deduct part of your operating expenses and depreciation, subject to several rules. First, you must allocate your expenses between the personal use days and the rental days. For example, if the house is rented for 90 days and used personally for 30 days, then 75% of the use is rental (90 days out of 120 total days). You would allocate 75% of your maintenance, utilities, insurance, etc., costs to rental. You would allocate 75% of your depreciation allowance, interest, and taxes for the property to rental as well. The personal use portion of taxes is separately deductible. The personal use portion of interest on a second home is also deductible if the personal use exceeds the greater of 14 days or 10% of the rental days. However, depreciation on the personal use portion isn’t allowed.

If the rental income exceeds these allocable deductions, you report the rent and deductions to determine the amount of rental income to add to your other income. If the expenses exceed the income, you may be able to claim a rental loss. This depends on how many days you use the house personally.

Here’s the test: if you use it personally for more than the greater of 1) 14 days, or 2) 10% of the rental days, you’re using it “too much,” and you can’t claim your loss. In this case, you can still use your deductions to wipe out rental income, but you can’t go beyond that to create a loss. Any unused deductions are carried forward and may be usable in future years. If you’re limited to using deductions only up to the amount of rental income, you must use the deductions allocated to the rental portion in the following order: 1) interest and taxes, 2) operating costs, 3) depreciation.

If you “pass” the personal use test (i.e., you don’t use the property personally more than the greater of the figures listed above), you must still allocate your expenses between the personal and rental portions. In this case, however, if your rental deductions exceed rental income, you can claim the loss. (The loss is “passive,” however, and may be limited under the passive loss rules.)

As you can see, the rules are complex. Contact us if you have questions or would like to plan ahead to maximize deductions in your situation.

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