A business owner who purchased a piece of equipment from me in late 2018 wants me to write out a new receipt and date it 2019 for use on her 2019 taxes. What should I do?

by Robert D. Hornick, CPA | Jul 24, 2019

I sold a piece of equipment in late 2018 (November/December) to a business owner via PayPal. She decided not to count it on her taxes in 2018, and has since asked me to write her out a new receipt and date it 2019 so she can use it on her 2019 taxes. Should I accommodate this request?

From what I glean, I recommend strongly that you, the seller, do not participate in any action that is designed not to reflect other than the actual facts of the original transaction. Amongst the many reasons not to attempt to falsify the transaction date:

  • You, the seller, reported the sale side of the transaction on your 2018 tax return.
  • The date of the PayPal records have the 2018 transaction date.

I would suggest that the buyer consult with a CPA to consider that the transaction date need not be changed for tax benefits. There is provision in the tax code for a buyer not being entitled to tax deductions for an equipment purchase until it is “placed in service.”

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Answered by: Robert D. Hornick, CPA, is with Hornick & Associates LLC in Philadelphia.

The responses are based on the limited information provided by the questioner and apply the laws and regulations at the time of posting. Other options could arise as rules and regulations may change over time, including but not limited to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. They are intended to provide general information, not specific accounting or tax advice; they are not intended or written to be used and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding or evading taxes or penalties under the IRS code or regulations. Views expressed do not imply an opinion of the PICPA, its officers, directors, employees, or members.
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