Tag: tax tips

Five Big Tax Mistakes

Five Big Tax Mistakes

Every year taxpayers are hit with tax surprises that could be avoided if they just knew the rules. Here are five big ones that are easy to avoid with some simple planning. Mistake #1. Withholding too little. This results in a tax surprise when filing your income tax. Don’t be too hard on yourself if this happens to you. Social…

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14 year-end tax tips

14 year-end tax tips

The earlier the better when it comes to adopting a strategy to reduce your taxes. But even if time gets away from you, there are some year-end actions you can take to cut your taxes. Here are some last-minute tax cutters you might consider: 1. Review income and deductions. It’s all in the timing. The most fundamental year-end tax moveis…

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How to Defend Your Deductions

How to Defend Your Deductions

When faced with questions on your tax return deductions, it is getting all too common for tax authorities to deny everything and then make you prove that your deductions are valid. Do not let this happen to you. Here are some suggestions. The one-two punch To prove your deduction most auditors are looking for two key documents. Miss one of…

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Sharing Economy Now in IRS Spotlight

Sharing Economy Now in IRS Spotlight

Did you know… 40% of the workers in the Sharing Economy are unaware of their tax responsibilities and over 60% of the service provider companies are not training their new workers on their tax responsibilities. Source: Written statement of Nina E. Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate given at the Hearing on “The Sharing Economy” to the Committee on Small Business, U.S.…

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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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Want to Minimize Rent and Storage Costs? Consider This

Want to Minimize Rent and Storage Costs? Consider This

For many small businesses, office rent and inventory storage costs are perceived as fixed. But are such expenses truly inflexible? Oftentimes, no. Because rent and storage costs often constitute a significant portion of a business’s total expense budget, creative owners who find ways to minimize those costs may reap substantial rewards. Consider the following questions when trying to shave some…

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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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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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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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Accurate inventory numbers are crucial for your business

For many companies, inventory is a significant dollar amount on the company’s financial statements.  So it’s crucial that recorded inventory balances reflect actual values.  When such accounts aren’t properly stated, the cost of goods sold and current ratios – numbers that often matter to decision makers – may be skewed.  If banks discover that your company’s inventory accounts are overstated,…

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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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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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