Tax Preparation

Tax Tips for Newlyweds

It’s the start of wedding season! If you are approaching your wedding date (congratulations!), the tax implications of marriage are probably not the first thing on your mind. But paying a little attention to it now can save time and even money later. Here are a few tips to help those who are about to embark on a new life…

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Ready to start year-end planning? Focus on the big picture

Some tax-cutting strategies make good financial sense. Others are simply bad ideas, often because tax considerations are allowed to override basic economics. Here’s one example of the tax tail wagging the economic dog. Let’s say that you operate an unincorporated consulting business. You want an additional tax write-off, so you decide to buy $10,000 of office furniture that you don’t…

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Keep an eye on your company’s cash !!

Do you regularly monitor your company’s cash accounts? Being aware of where your cash is going can help prevent theft or improper expenditures, which are among the chief sources of loss for small companies. Do you regularly monitor your company’s cash accounts? Being aware of where your cash is going can help prevent theft or improper expenditures, which are among…

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Tax planning is good for corporations too

If you own a calendar-year corporation, you can benefit from planning moves you make before December 31.  For example, corporations can accelerate or defer income or deductions to stay within a certain tax bracket.  You’ll also want to look at your corporate alternative minimum tax exposure to determine whether you qualify for an exception to the tax.  Finally, reviewing estimated…

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Back to school? Check this tax credit

If you or a member of your family is off to college this fall, you may be eligible for the American Opportunity Tax Credit.  Eligible students may take this credit for the first four years of higher education.  The credit can be up to $2500 annually.  Expenses that qualify for the credit include tuition, fees, and related expenses. Forty percent…

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A Quick Recordkeeping Guide

Is your cabinet overflowing?  Do you hesitate to purge tax information because you’re not sure what to keep and what to discard?  Here’s a quick guide to help you cut through the clutter. Expenses.  Substantiation for deductions includes charitable donation acknowledgments, receipts for employee business expenses, and automobile mileage logs.  Retain these at least seven years after you file the…

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Business Tip: Don’t sell property; exchange it

A tax-deferred exchange is a tax planning technique which should be considered by any taxpayer that is relocating or disposing of property.  Often referred to as a “tax-free exchange,” the tax-deferred exchange allows you to exchange certain business or investment property for other “like-kind” business or investment property and pay no income taxes currently.  Your tax liability is deferred until…

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Don’t overlook above-the-line deductions

Even if you don’t itemize deductions on your tax return, you may be entitled to certain “above-the-line” deductions.  These deductions are subtracted from your income to arrive at your adjusted gross income, an important number because it determines your qualification for certain tax credits and various tax breaks.  Above-the-line deductions include such things as IRA contributions, health savings account contributions,…

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Summer job tax tip

If your child has a summer job, consider opening an IRA for him or her.  According to the tax rules, anyone under age 70 1/2 who has earned income can contribute to a traditional IRA.  There’s no age restriction for Roth accounts, though the amount of the contribution phases out at higher income levels.  The advantage of a Roth over…

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Midyear tax planning tip

Take time this summer to examine your investment portfolio for potential tax savings, such as selling stocks that are worth less than you paid to offset your capital gains.  You might also donate appreciated stock that you have held for more than one year to charity and avoid capital gains altogether – plus getting a deduction for the stock’s fair…

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IRS launches new “misclassification initiative”

How you classify your workers – as “independent contractors” or “employees” – matters a great deal to the IRS.  The IRS is aware that employers prefer to treat workers as independent contractors to avoid paying fringe benefits and payroll taxes.  The IRS estimates that 80% of workers who are classified as independent contractors are actually employees.  About 100 new auditors…

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Filing deadline extended in 2016

Next year, taxpayers will get a few extra days to file their 2015 income tax returns.  The District of Columbia will be observing Emancipation Day on April 15, 2016, the usual filing deadline.  Because April 16 and 17 fall on a weekend, the 2016 filing deadline is moved to the next business day which is April 18.  Taxpayers in Maine…

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Public safety heroes law passed

A new law, the “Don’t Tax Our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Act,” was signed on May 22, 2015, to clarify the tax treatment of federal and state benefits for public safety officers killed or injured in the line of duty.  Under the law, such benefits will not be subject to federal income tax.

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Business survey identifies taxes as biggest burden

In a survey of small businesses conducted by the National Small Business Association, 59% of respondents said taxes were more of an administrative burden than a financial one.  Most businesses put payroll taxes at the top of the list of taxes with the greatest administrative burden.  Payroll taxes also outranked other taxes, such as income, property, and sales taxes, as…

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Summertime tax tip

If you itemize your deductions, you can deduct the mortgage interest and property taxes paid for your vacation home.  A boat or RV can qualify as a vacation home if it has sleeping quarters, cooking facilities, and a bathroom.  If a retreat also serves as rental property, you can control your tax deductions by changing the number of days you…

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Not all “income” is taxable

There are several sources of revenue that are not subject to income tax. Here are the most common sources of money that are not taxed on your federal income tax return: Borrowed money such as from banks or personal loans. Money received as a gift or inheritance from family or friends. Money paid on your behalf directly to a school…

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