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Posted on Friday, September 18, 2020
All around the country, there are people in an absolute panic because the real tax deadline for personal tax return extension filers is approaching and they are running out of time.  A few blogs ago, we talked about how to possibly deal with not being ready for the corporate deadline on September 15th .  We don’t have an amusing anecdote for the October 15th deadline like we did for the corporate deadline.  The deadline is the deadline. The exception would be for those who have been affected by flooding or other natural disasters and may be given an extended deadline by the IRS.  Those people may now have until December 31st to file, but would need to check the IRS website to see if they are in an affected area...

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Posted on Friday, September 11, 2020
First, let us make it clear that we aren’t saying that your CPA or accountant is doing anything wrong.  The accounting industry is one of the most honorable and respected fields around.  That being said, there is a misconception that they are going to be proactive when advising clients about their taxes, and that’s just not part of the training most have received.  Certainly some are, but the majority who know things about steps a business could take to perhaps be more aggressive, don’t feel it’s their responsibility to pursue a client in engaging in alternative accounting choices or behaviors. A good example is “Bob” who owns a tire shop that has grown from two employees to three locations and...

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Posted on Friday, September 04, 2020
With Labor Day here, what tax planning should I think about before the fourth quarter is in full swing?  The biggest mistake a business can make is not knowing their true numbers. The biggest mistake individuals can make is thinking they aren’t affected financially just because they “made it” and are back to work.  Business owners have it especially tough because they are stressed and exhausted from scrambling to adapt and survive with all the new restrictions in place.  They look at the books and think “I just cant be proactive right now.  Mentally, I’m wiped.  We are finally stable again and I’m just happy to be here taking a breath.  The problem is their tax returns are going to...

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Posted on Friday, August 28, 2020
With the COVID-19 pandemic, many people who worked in an office have suddenly found themselves being asked to work from home for safety reasons.  Many remote workers, especially those no longer commuting to cities, wonder if they will have to pay taxes where they were working, or at home, or both. States use several factors to determine if they have the authority to tax a worker’s income, including what kind of a presence the worker has in the state.  Unfortunately as we have all witnessed, many times tax rules are passed without all the details fully worked out and considered.  Rule changes resulting from the pandemic have been no exception to that! “Personal income taxes and withholdings should [usually] be...

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Posted on Friday, August 21, 2020
Many times business owners have come into our office and with our help have found that they were doing things incorrectly regarding their bookkeeping and taxes.  Occasionally, the errors add to the tax burdens that they have been underreporting.  That never feels good, but it is always better to fix those issues pre-audit.  Often, errors discovered pre-audit can be fixed by simply amending the return, and no IRS issues follow, and everyone just moves on.  But quite often, the errors made were not in their own favor and we file help them file amended returns that net them large additional refunds for up to three years back, and that always feels great! So, how do these mistakes happen?  First, let...

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Posted on Friday, August 14, 2020
When people save for retirement they almost automatically use accounts that avoid tax now.  IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, 457s, all pretax retirement savings plans.  Certainly, long term savings uninterrupted by withdrawals and the effect of compounding interest on interest earned is unarguably valuable, but doing that in pretax accounts is NOT the only way to have that happen!  Non-qualified annuity and Roth IRAs allow the same mechanics of compounding to happen, and in retirement both can be as valuable depending on the circumstances and actions of the retiree. Annuities are underappreciated as a tax planning tool, because of the way earnings are treated as ordinary income upon withdrawal.  However if annuitized at retirement (an option the advisors that distribute them often...

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Posted on Friday, August 07, 2020
Many business owners cheered as the news came out about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The money was not distributed perfectly, but for a “rush job” it was still done pretty well. Then, the money went out and we have witnessed the result, in that many businesses that had no customers for weeks and months are reopened and here to serve.  If not for the PPP, many would not be!  However, nobody can afford to let their guard down just yet, as they are loans that must be paid back in full to the SBA!  That’s right.  As of today, nothing is forgiven and we all owe PPP money back!  That can change if you take action, but many...

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Posted on Friday, July 31, 2020
We use the term “Tax Planning” often, but we are aware that many people are not sure what it really is.  Some people think “That means off shore accounts and citizenship shell games ending with jail time.  No thank you!”.  That is not tax planning, that’s tax evasion, and it’s not at all what we recommend.  Others think only the wealthy need a tax planner, and for regular folks it can mean paying a 30 year mortgage off 12 years early or having a college fund with enough in it to actually pay for college.  Tax planning is not just for the wealthy, though.  It can be a useful tool for anyone who is aware of the opportunities. Our tax...

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Posted on Friday, July 24, 2020
It’s human nature, of course.  We complain about our weight in the line at the ice-cream stand.  We complain about being tired, then stay up late playing the latest game on our smart devices. Humans are funny and contradictory animals. Have you ever noticed that when you’re in a conversation, people are quick to complain about their taxes?  Many people who complain about their tax bill are actually paying very little compared to most folks.  However, some people pay a lot of unintended or surprise taxes.  An example we see a great deal are self-employed folks.  They will tell us “I pay too much in federal or state income taxes”, but on review of their 1040, they actually paid no...

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Posted on Friday, July 17, 2020
Summer is a popular time for people planning a move to put their home on the market.  It happens all year long of course, but the “hot season” is May-September.  There are many reasons.  School is out and if you have kids of that age it’s easier to change schools between grades.  Often, it’s when summer vacation schedules come around and except for tourism many industries slow down and moving done well takes at least a week and two weekends.  It’s easier to move without snow, so for some of the country that’s also a factor.  There’s are many more reasons, but Summer is when a “wave” takes place.  It’s hard work, stressful and a pain in the neck (and other...

Click here to view the full article on Tax What If Doctor.