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I had to use some of my own personal money to help pay for a lawsuit against my corporation

Los Angeles, CA |

Can I taek this off my personal income taxes? Thanks

Attorney Answers 4


  1. No lawyer wants to take the risk of malpractice regarding tax advice when he/she has not been retained. You should check with your CPA and ask if it quallifies as a deductable expense necessary for the preservation of a capital asset.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.


  2. First, I am sorry about the lawsuit and the use of your personal funds. Your ability to receive a tax benefit for the funds spent defending this matter depends in part on the nature or basis of the lawsuit against the corporation and whether the corporation is an "S" corporation or a "C" corporation. An S corporation is a pass through entity which may enable you to recieve some benefit for the funds spent. Whether the claim or lawsuit will support a current deduction depends upon the basis for the lawsuit or claim. while this depends on the nature of the claim and the analysis is somewhat technical, but if the lawsuit and defense was to protect or preserve the receipt of taxable income, then there may be a basis for the deduction for legal fees. If the lawsuit is regarding ownership of property or another captiol asset, the n the fees may be required to be capitolized to be amoritized over future years. Needless to say, some ceativity may be possible on those issues and the analysis can be somewhat technical and fact specific. You should review this with and CPA or attorney who focuses on tax issues.


  3. Best to talk to a CPA.

    Our replies to Avvo questions should not be considered specific legal advice to any individual, and no attorney-client relationship is formed with you. Our aim is to provide general principles that may be useful to the Avvo community as a whole. You should seek individual legal advice pertaining to your specific factual situation, and the laws applicable to your jurisdiction. Moore & Moore Attorneys at Law -- thelaw@mytrustedlawyer.com


  4. Yes. You paid the corporation's legal fees and are entitled to either be reimbursed by the corporation (which would make the legal fees and expense for the croporation) or treat it as a capital infusion (which would add to your capital account but would also allow the corporation to treat the legal fees as an expense). If the corporation doesn't take the expense on it's books then you'd be able to claim the expense on yours.

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