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Tax Planning/Investment deductions

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Question
Hi Owen,
My wife and I are looking to buy a house to rent out for income in Oklahoma and we live in California.  We want to fly out and look at several with a realtor and buy one.  If we purchase one can we deduct our travel expenses?  If we keep very good records, can we spend a few days (not for deductions) just checking out and enjoying the sites.  What I mean is, we want to spend 3 or 4 days in selecting and applying for a house, and spend 3 or 4 days exploring the area for non purchase purposes and not deducting for the motel(s)/meals during that time
Thank you very much for your time,
David

Answer
David - That approach sounds reasonable.  However, keep in mind that you would only be able to claim the deductions if, in fact, you ended up making a purchase.  It would likely represent a cost of acquisition and be included in your depreciable basis on the property should you place it in service as a rental property.

I hope this helps.

Tax Planning

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OWEN S. ARNOFF, EA

Expertise

As an Enrolled Agent, I am fully capable of providing tax advice as it relates to personal and business income taxes. Enrolled Agents are the only Federally licensed tax practitioners and are admitted to practice before all administrative functions of the IRS. My specialty is working with small business owners who file Schedule "C" and helping them to structure their business in such a way as to maximize as many tax advantages as possible. I also enjoy working with individuals who have both routine as well as complex tax situations. I prefer to concentrate on individuals and small business tax planning.

Experience

I have a 25 year background in financial services including tax, bookkeeping, insurance, real estate and securities. I was previously the Chief Financial Officer of a local and national franchise organization. I am currently semi-retired, but used to own (in partnership with another EA) an individual and small business financial engineering firm where I work with nearly 2,500 individuals and small business owners in nearly every state and almost every continent, assisting them in all aspects of their tax and financial well-being. I have prepared or reviewed more than 8,000 tax returns in my career.

Organizations
National Association of Tax Professionals

Publications
http://www.amazon.com/Owen-Arnoff/e/B00BLRIZNU/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_2

Education/Credentials
Enrolled Agent, Admitted to Practice Before the IRS, Accredited Tax Preparer, Fellow of National Tax Practice Institute, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor (1999-2011), Sleeter Group Certified QuickBooks Consultant, Life & Disability Insurance Agent License (California, Texas, Maine), Real Estate Agent License (California); Many years of continuing education in all these fields.

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