There are no prerequisites.

Course Description

While the nuclear family remains an American institution, today it is under tremendous economic and social pressure. This course is designed to cover hot topics having a direct impact on the practitioner who represents any client with family issues. The emphasis is on using tax solutions to ease family economic concerns, permitting the practitioner to be a real tax hero.

The following topics are covered in detail:

  • The advisability of filing a joint return in light of the innocent spouse rules
  • Deductible and nondeductible divorce costs
  • The costs and fees that qualify for the tax credit for adoption and education expenses
  • Medical cost deductions
  • Home mortgage interest and moving expense deductions
  • Taxation of interspousal transfers, including §1041 transfers and property settlements


Danny Santucci, JD

Danny Santucci, BA, JD, is a prolific author of tax and financial books and articles. His legal career started with the business and litigation firm of Edwards, Edwards, and Ashton. Later he joined the Century City entertainment firm of Bushkin, Gaims, Gaines, and Jonas working for many well-known celebrities. In 1980, Danny established the law firm of Santucci, Potter, and Leanders in Irvine, California. With increasing lecture and writing commitments, Danny went into sole practice in 1995. His practice emphasizes business taxation, real estate law, and estate planning. Speaking to more than 100 groups nationally each year, he is known for spicing up his extensive expertise with an incredible sense of humor.

Course Specifics

Aug 14, 2017
There are no prerequisites.

Compliance Information

IRS Provider #: 0MYXB
IRS Course ID: 0MYXB-T-01025-16-S
IRS Federal Tax Law Credits: 28
CTEC Provider #: 2071
CTEC Course ID: 2071-CE-0991
CTEC Federal Tax Law Credits: 28
Qualifies for CA Fraud: No

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Chapter 1

  • Identify the various tax filing statuses, noting the conditions required to file, benefits and drawbacks, and circumstances that may affect the taxpayer's ability to claim a filing status
  • Recognize the rules that apply to personal and dependency exemptions, noting reporting requirements, dependency tests, and the eligibility requirements for a qualifying child or relative
  • Identify deductible and nondeductible divorce expenditures, withholding and joint estimated tax provisions, and the tax treatment of making separate estimated tax payments or joint declarations of estimated tax
  • Recognize the special rules that apply to community property states including what constitutes community property, conversion and comingling of property, ending community property, and the difference between community income and alimony
  • Identify different cohabitation situations, noting differences in tax rates, advantages and disadvantages, tax consequences, tax traps, and court rulings

Chapter 2

  • Specify the components of the Child Tax Credit, noting the requirements for a qualifying child, phase out, and maximum allowances
  • Identify earned income for children, including expenses, standard deduction, AMT, and applicable unearned income for children under 19
  • Recognize the elements of the adoption credit, noting qualifying costs and fees
  • Specify the requirements of the Child or Dependent Care Credit, noting eligibility requirements, qualifying persons, earned income, employment related expenses, allowable amounts, and reporting
  • Note the requirements for Dependent Care Assistance and the potential conflict with the Dependent Care Credit

Chapter 3

  • Identify qualifying §162 deductible and nonqualifying education
  • Cite available education expense credits under §25A, noting covered costs and fees
  • Identify the benefits and requirements of §530 education savings accounts
  • Specify the deductible portion of student loan interest payments, noting the §108 exclusion for the forgiveness of certain student loans
  • Recognize the requirements for qualified tuition programs under §529
  • Identify available higher expense deductions under §222, noting how to coordinate the deductions with applicable educational exclusions and credits
  • Specify the tax consequence of withdrawing amounts from an IRA for education expenses under §72(t) and the employee advantages of §127 employer-provided educational assistance
  • Recognize the differences between §117 tax-free scholarships and fellowships payments and those that are taxable
  • Identify which education savings bonds qualify for the §135 exclusion of interest from gross income
  • Identify educational incentives and financial aid available to students and parents

Chapter 4

  • Specify items and amounts deductible under §213 medical care expenses
  • Identify when taxpayers may deduct medical expenses associated with an adoption, medical insurance premiums, costs for meals and lodging, transportation expenses, costs for cosmetic surgery, expenditures for making permanent improvements to a home, and lifetime care advance payments
  • Recognize the mechanics and requirements of medical savings accounts, HSAs, and high deductible health plans, prescription drug plans, and accelerated death benefits
  • Determine the deductibility of health insurance by self-employed taxpayers
  • Recognize the requirements for deductible charitable contributions, noting qualified organizations, limitations, substantiation, and the rules for cash, property, and other contributions
  • Recognize what constitutes as a casualty and theft loss, including the rules for taking a deduction for all or part of each loss under §165

Chapter 5

  • Identify what constitutes a capital gain and the likely capital gains rate given specific circumstances
  • Recognize the key elements of the §121 home sale exclusion and its application, and specify the safe harbor proration provisions associated with the home sale exclusion
  • Identify the distance and time test provisions for deductible moving expenses under §217, noting the deductible classification requirements for qualified moving expenses

Chapter 6

  • Recognize the characteristics of secured debt in regards to home mortgage interest rules under §163
  • Determine what constitutes as a 'qualified home,' and specify special situations that affect qualified home mortgage interest
  • Recognize the general rule for the tax treatment of points, noting exceptions
  • Identify the form a taxpayer will receive for mortgage interest, and which information is included on this statement to figure interest deductions
  • Cite the limitations on the home mortgage deduction with regards to home acquisition debt, home equity debt, mixed use mortgages, and grandfathered debt

Chapter 7

  • Identify forms of marital property noting their likely division in marital property settlements and specify the legal principles used in dividing assets and providing support on divorce or separation
  • Recognize the uses and benefits of premarital agreements, the elements of the Uniform Premarital Act, and the provisions that are allowed in such agreements
  • Identify the requirements of §1041 noting its application to common interspousal transfers
  • Specify factors that influence whether a property transfer is 'incident to divorce,' noting how to meet these factors or avoid §1041 altogether
  • Recognize the treatment of transfers in trust under §1041(e), and the tax treatment of third party transfers on behalf of a spouse or former spouse
  • Determine the property basis as a result of §1041 transfers noting the application of §1041 where the transferee assumes liabilities encumbering the property
  • Identify the tax treatment of interspousal purchases including deferred tax liability
  • Determine the effects of purchasing an interest in tangible personal property or real property used in a trade or business or held for investment
  • Identify potential depreciation recapture
  • Determine the tax consequences of selected asset divisions incident to divorce and those that follow bankruptcy

Chapter 8

  • Recognize what constitutes alimony and separate maintenance payments under §71, noting the applicable deduction or income treatment under §215
  • Specify types of §71 divorce or separation instruments and identify how having an invalid decree, an amended instrument, or a premarital agreement impacts such an instrument
  • Identify the tax treatment of alimony under instruments executed after 1984 based on the seven alimony requirements
  • Identify the alimony and child support tax provisions that currently apply with those that applied to instruments executed prior to 1985
  • Recognize the deduction of alimony paid and reporting of alimony received, noting the use of alimony trusts to realize tax advantage and security
  • Note alimony recapture rules, the use of annuity contracts, and the tax treatment of alimony paid by an estate
  • Recognize the tax treatment of child support, noting events that determine whether a contingency is clearly child-related and how to rebut this presumption of child support
  • Identify COBRA rules and qualified medical child support orders to make the most of health care coverage plans

Chapter 9

  • Identify financial goals, investment purposes, myths of retirement, and investment goals
  • Note how investing allocation changes with age and data about the financial independence of taxpayers
  • Identify various investment vehicles and entities, noting applicable tax consequences of title holding
  • Cite the tax benefits and drawbacks of co-tenancies, corporations (both C & S), partnerships, qualified retirement plans, and trusts particularly as they relate to a client's after-tax investment return
  • Identify custodianship under the uniform acts and determine how an estate can be tax beneficial to taxpayers
  • Determine retirement costs and needs and the basic planning elements required to develop an individualized retirement plan

Chapter 10

  • List the three basic goals of money management
  • Identify the type of income that specific items would fall under and the best type of income
  • Identify basic rules for budgeting, uses for discretionary income, key strategies for purchasing investment assets, asset acquisition rules, and basic asset management rules
  • Determine the best way to use savings
  • Cite the type of investment that provides the most tax advantages
  • Specify the result of accelerating deductions

Chapter 11

  • Recognize the major benefits of income splitting
  • Identify the major formats for income splitting, noting which entities work best for income splitting and reducing taxes
  • Recognize the tax advantages of using an unincorporated business, noting deductible expenses and the requirements for a home office deduction
  • Identify the benefits and requirements of using a C or an S corporation, noting the taxation of these entities and their ability to split income
  • Specify the pass through characteristics and tax benefits of a family partnership, noting the reporting requirements, the role of family members, and gifts of capital interest
  • Recognize the tax attributes of a custodianship to split income, noting the dangers of the kiddie tax trap, income-shifting investments, and deductible child care and education options
  • Recognize the benefits of gifts and interest-free loans to reduce death taxes and split income

Chapter 12

  • Recognize the characteristics and requirements of nonqualified and qualified deferred compensation plans, identifying their benefits and contributions limits
  • Specify the current and deferred advantages and disadvantages of corporate plans, noting fiduciary responsibilities, prohibited transactions, and ERISA provisions
  • Identify the basic forms of qualified pension plans, noting the requirements and characteristics of each
  • Identify the requirements of defined contribution and defined benefit retirement plans, noting types of defined contribution plans and their impact on retirement benefits
  • Identify types of self-employed plans, noting differences from other business type plans, key choice of entity factors, and contribution limits
  • Specify the characteristics and requirements of IRAs, SEPs, and SIMPLEs, noting tax-free Roth IRA distributions and strategies to maximize plan benefits

Chapter 13

  • Identify popular ways to receive distributions from a retirement plan or an IRA
  • Specify types of annuities and their effect on how and when participants receive payments, noting the tax on annuity payments using either the general rule or the simplified general rule
  • Recognize the characteristics of lump-sum distributions, noting nonqualifying distributions and tax treatment options
  • Recognize key components for rollovers, noting requirements, withholding provisions, rollover periods, and deadlines
  • Specify the tax consequences of taking premature distributions, noting conditions for using the equal periodic payment exception to avoid the §72(t) penalty on a premature distribution
  • Recognize minimum distribution rules, noting how to avoid the 50% penalty associated with taking either smaller distributions than required or distributions after the required beginning date for minimum distributions

Chapter 14

  • Identify available methods of estate management when planning for a family member's disability, noting the uses of each method and applicable benefits
  • Recognize ways to pay for medical costs associated with catastrophic illness, noting basic elder care benefits, what constitutes income, and asset group classifications for Medicaid
  • Identify common health care decisions and tools to utilize when refusing treatment for an incompetent patient
  • Recognize the requirements for Supplemental Security Income and available Social Security disability benefits

Chapter 15

  • Identify the different types of wills, noting provisions and requirements regarding bequests, the duties of executors and guardians, and ways to hold title including applicable tax ramifications
  • Recognize the tax advantages of a properly drafted will, the components of intestate succession, the importance of a periodic review, and the importance of authorizing continuing business operations in a will
  • Identify the pros and cons of probate proceedings, noting ways assets can be passed to avoid probate

Chapter 16

  • Recognize the components of an unlimited marital deduction, noting ways to transfer an asset outright to a spouse, marital deduction trusts, and qualified terminable interest property trusts
  • Note applicable exclusion requirements and amounts for estate and gift tax purposes, including spousal portability of unused exemption amounts
  • Specify the rules for valuing a decedent's property using the stepped-up basis, noting special modified carryover basis for estate tax purposes
  • Identify basic estate planning goals
  • Recognize the characteristics of primary distributive plans, noting benefits and drawbacks
  • Specify the various types of estate trusts and family estate documents, noting the mechanics and requirements of each
  • Identify advantages and disadvantages of a private annuity

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