Tag: accounting services

The Nine Basic Rules of Investing

The Nine Basic Rules of Investing

There is no magic to making money by investing. It requires discipline, determination, perseverance, and hard work. In deciding what investments are suitable for you, you must first understand the nine basic rules of investing. 1. Risk versus return. The greater the risk that you will lose not only the return on your investment but your original investment as well,…

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Avoid the 10% Early Withdrawal Penalty

Avoid the 10% Early Withdrawal Penalty

It is one thing to be taxed on retirement contributions and their related earnings when you withdraw funds from your Traditional IRA, it is quite another when you pay the tax PLUS a 10% penalty for early withdrawal. Need funds prior to retirement and want to avoid the early withdrawal penalty? There are cases when this can be done: Medical…

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Lifestyle Audits. A thing of the past?

Lifestyle Audits. A thing of the past?

The word “audit” is enough to raise anyone’s blood pressure. If the IRS agent then tells you they want to see bank accounts and personal records you may need a heart monitor. Should this happen to you, you could be in a process known as a lifestyle audit. Background The lifestyle audit was a tool used by auditor’s to ascertain…

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Financial Basics: Buy the Right Insurance

Financial Basics: Buy the Right Insurance

To keep your insurance costs down, don’t buy insurance to pay for every small medical bill, auto repair, or financial loss. Build a savings account to handle life’s small financial inconveniences. Think of insurance as protection against catastrophes. You can lower your insurance premiums significantly by taking larger deductibles. Also, look for comprehensive insurance, not coverage for one specific event.…

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Tax strategies for homeowners

Tax strategies for homeowners

Be aware that important tax consequences are often associated with some fairly common events involving your home. Here are some handy things to know. Home purchase. When purchasing a home, you may pay a portion of the mortgage interest in advance. This loan origination fee, or “points,” is a percentage of the total amount borrowed. If points are paid for…

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Schooling Your Children on Money Matters

Schooling Your Children on Money Matters

Teaching your child about money and finances is easiest when you start early. Here’s a quick review of what you should teach your children at each age if you want them to become financially competent adults: Preschool Identify coins and bills, and learn what each is worth. Understand that you can’t buy everything (choices are necessary). Save money in a…

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Conquer your financial clutter

Conquer your financial clutter

Financial records are notorious for being messy. Bills, paycheck stubs, tax returns and bank statements have a way of getting tucked into random places. Luckily, there are a few pretty painless ways to organize your important documents.   Put all your financial records in one dedicated spot To ensure that bills are paid on time, bank statements are reconciled and…

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Employee meals: 50 or 100 percent deductible?

Employee meals: 50 or 100 percent deductible?

Everyone loves a free meal – especially employees. However, your business tax return will be affected differently depending on the circumstances of the mealtime experience.   While you can generally deduct only half the cost of meals related to your business activities, the tax code includes specific exceptions that allow a deduction of 100 percent of what you spend on…

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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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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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