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

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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.”

For more resources, check out PICPA’s Money & Life Tips, Ask a CPA, or CPA Locator.

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

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