Our focus this month is on taxes, and our features and departments cover a wide array of unique and unusual circumstances. Going beyond the bread-and-butter issues, tax advisors can sharpen their knowledge of these issues, which can be invaluable to taxpayers who find themselves in just such a scenario.

Fraudulent investment schemes have proven to be all too common in the past several years. In our cover story, Melanie Migliaccio delves into the specific criteria that must be met for theft losses to be properly deducted. Individuals who find themselves in dire straits will find some solace from advisors who can take maximum advantage of the available provisions in the tax code.

Taxpayers with large losses in speculative investment businesses generally expect an immediate tax deduction, but Ray Knight and Lee Knight detail how such deductions might be delayed or even disallowed. IRC section 1031 like-kind exchanges can be difficult to accomplish without the use of a qualified intermediary; Richard Ray and Nicholas Lynch discuss the use and oversight of QIs. Individuals interested in real estate while minimizing risk have increasingly turned to REITs and REMICs; however, as Haroldene Wunder describes, recent tax law changes have complicated the handling of these investment vehicles.

In addition, debuting this month is a new column from Jason Ackerman, a young managing partner of a growing firm in South Carolina. “Managing Your Practice” will be a regular column discussing his fresh perspectives on practice management as well as issues of interest to young professionals.