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The key to retirement security is picking the right plan for your business

September 26, 2019

If you’re a small business owner or you’re involved in a start-up, you may want to set up a tax-favored retirement plan for yourself and any employees. Several types of plans are eligible for tax advantages.

401(k) plan

One of the...

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The tax implications of a company car

September 24, 2019

The use of a company vehicle is a valuable fringe benefit for owners and employees of small businesses. This benefit results in tax deductions for the employer as well as tax breaks for the owners and employees using the cars. (And of course, they get the nontax benefits of...

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The "kiddie tax" hurts families more than ever

September 20, 2019

Years ago, Congress enacted the “kiddie tax” rules to prevent parents and grandparents in high tax brackets from shifting income (especially from investments) to children in lower tax brackets. And while the tax caused some families pain in the past, it has gotten...

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Should you elect S corporation status?

September 18, 2019

Operating a business as an S corporation may provide many advantages, including limited liability for owners and no double taxation (at least at the federal level). Self-employed people may also be able to lower their exposure to Social Security and Medicare taxes if they...

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What to do if your business receives a "no-match" letter

September 16, 2019

In the past few months, many businesses and employers nationwide have received “no-match” letters from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The purpose of these letters is to alert employers if there’s a discrepancy between the agency’s files and...

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Take a closer look at home office deductions

September 13, 2019

Working from home has its perks. Not only can you skip the commute, but you also might be eligible to deduct home office expenses on your tax return. Deductions for these expenses can save you a bundle, if you meet the tax law qualifications.

Under the Tax Cuts and...

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Taking distributions from your traditional IRA

September 11, 2019

If you’re like many people, you’ve worked hard to accumulate a large nest egg in your traditional IRA (including a SEP-IRA). It’s even more critical to carefully plan for withdrawals from these retirement-savings vehicles.

Knowing the fine points of...

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Expenses that teachers can and can't deduct on their tax returns

September 9, 2019

As teachers head back for a new school year, they often pay for various expenses for which they don’t receive reimbursement. Fortunately, they may be able to deduct them on their tax returns. However, there are limits on this special deduction, and some expenses...

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The next estimated tax deadline is September 16: Do you have to make a payment?

September 6, 2019

If you’re self-employed and don’t have withholding from paychecks, you probably have to make estimated tax payments. These payments must be sent to the IRS on a quarterly basis. The third 2019 estimated tax payment deadline for individuals is Monday, September 16....

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It's a good time to buy business equipment and other depreciable property

September 4, 2019

There’s good news about the Section 179 depreciation deduction for business property. The election has long provided a tax windfall to businesses, enabling them to claim immediate deductions for qualified assets, instead of taking depreciation deductions over time. And...

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You may have to pay tax on Social Security benefits

August 30, 2019

During your working days, you pay Social Security tax in the form of withholding from your salary or self-employment tax. And when you start receiving Social Security benefits, you may be surprised to learn that some of the payments may be taxed.

If you’re...

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Thinking about moving to another state in retirement? Don't forget about taxes

August 28, 2019

When you retire, you may consider moving to another state — say, for the weather or to be closer to your loved ones. Don’t forget to factor state and local taxes into the equation. Establishing residency for state tax purposes may be more complicated than it...

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Volunteering for charity: Do you get a tax break?

August 26, 2019

If you’re a volunteer who works for charity, you may be entitled to some tax breaks if you itemize deductions on your tax return. Unfortunately, they may not amount to as much as you think your generosity is worth.

Because donations to charity of cash or...

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Donating your vehicle to charity may not be a taxwise decision

August 22, 2019

You’ve probably seen or heard ads urging you to donate your car to charity. “Make a difference and receive tax savings,” one organization states. But donating a vehicle may not result in a big tax deduction — or any deduction at...

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Is an HSA right for you?

August 20, 2019

To help defray health care costs, many people now contribute to, or are thinking about setting up, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). With these accounts, individuals can pay for certain medical expenses on a tax advantaged basis.

The...

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Which entity is most suitable for your new or existing business?

August 16, 2019

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has changed the landscape for business taxpayers. That’s because the law introduced a flat 21% federal income tax rate for C corporations. Under prior law, profitable C corporations paid up to 35%.

The TCJA also cut individual...

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Employers: Be aware (or beware) of a harsh payroll tax penalty

August 15, 2019

If federal income tax and employment taxes (including Social Security) are withheld from employees’ paychecks and not handed over to the IRS, a harsh penalty can be imposed. To make matters worse, the penalty can be assessed personally against a...

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The "nanny tax" must be paid for more than just nannies

August 13, 2019

You may have heard of the “nanny tax.” But even if you don’t employ a nanny, it may apply to you. Hiring a housekeeper, gardener or other household employee (who isn’t an independent contractor) may make you liable for federal income and...

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Summer: A good time to review your investments

August 12, 2019

You may have heard about a proposal in Washington to cut the taxes paid on investments by indexing capital gains to inflation. Under the proposal, the purchase price of assets would be adjusted so that no tax is paid on the appreciation due to inflation.

While the...

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If your kids are off to day camp, you may be eligible for a tax break

August 9, 2019

While the kids have been out of school for the summer, you may have been sending your children to day camp. It’s often a significant expense. The good news: You might be eligible for a tax break for the cost.

The value of a...

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Hiring this summer? You may qualify for a valuable tax credit

August 8, 2019

Is your business hiring this summer? If the employees come from certain “targeted groups,” you may be eligible for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). This includes youth whom you bring in this summer for two or three months. The maximum credit employers can...

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2019 Q3 tax calendar: Key deadlines for businesses and other employers

July 25, 2019

Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the third quarter of 2019. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you. Contact us to ensure you’re meeting...

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Employee vs. independent contractor: How should you handle worker classification?

July 24, 2019

Many employers prefer to classify workers as independent contractors to lower costs, even if it means having less control over a worker’s day-to-day activities. But the government is on the lookout for businesses that classify workers as independent...

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How entrepreneurs must treat expenses on their tax returns

July 22, 2019

Have you recently started a new business? Or are you contemplating starting one? Launching a new venture is a hectic, exciting time. And as you know, before you even open the doors, you generally have to spend a lot of money. You may have to train workers and pay for rent,...

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Could your business benefit from the tax credit for family and medical leave?

July 19, 2019

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created a new federal tax credit for employers that provide qualified paid family and medical leave to their employees. It’s subject to numerous rules and restrictions and the credit is only available for two tax years — those beginning...

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Seniors: Medicare premiums could lower your tax bill

July 17, 2019

Americans who are 65 and older qualify for basic Medicare insurance, and they may need to pay additional premiums to get the level of coverage they desire. The premiums can be expensive, especially if you’re married and both you and your spouse are paying them. But one...

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Still working after age 70 1/2? You may not have to begin 401(k) withdrawals

July 15, 2019

If you participate in a qualified retirement plan, such as a 401(k), you must generally begin taking required withdrawals from the plan no later than April 1 of the year after which you turn age 70½. However, there’s an exception that applies to certain plan...

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The chances of IRS audit are down but you should still be prepared

July 12, 2019

The IRS just released its audit statistics for the 2018 fiscal year, and fewer taxpayers had their returns examined as compared with prior years. However, even...

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Plug in tax savings for electric vehicles

July 10, 2019

While the number of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) is still small compared with other cars on the road, it’s growing — especially in certain parts of the country. If you’re interested in purchasing an electric or hybrid vehicle, you may be eligible for a...

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Stretch your college student's spending money with the dependent tax credit

July 8, 2019

If you’re the parent of a child who is age 17 to 23, and you pay all (or most) of his or her expenses, you may be surprised to learn you’re not eligible for the child tax credit. But there’s a dependent tax credit that may be available to you. It’s not...

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Consider a Roth 401(k) plan - and make sure employees use it

July 5, 2019

Roth 401(k) accounts have been around for 13 years now. Studies show that more employers are offering them each year. A recent study by the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA) found that Roth 401(k)s are now available at 70% of employer plans, up from 55.6% of plans in...

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Will leasing equipment or buying it be more tax efficient for your business?

July 1, 2019

Recent changes to federal tax law and accounting rules could affect whether you decide to lease or buy equipment or other fixed assets. Although there’s no universal “right” choice, many businesses that formerly leased assets are now deciding to buy...

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The home office deduction: Actual expenses vs. the simplified method

June 28, 2019

If you run your business from your home or perform certain functions at home that are related to your business, you might be able to claim a home office deduction against your business income on your income tax return. Thanks to a tax law change back in 2013, there are now...

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When are LLC members subject to self-employment tax?

June 26, 2019

Limited liability company (LLC) members commonly claim that their distributive shares of LLC income — after deducting compensation for services in the form of guaranteed payments — aren’t subject to self-employment (SE) tax. But the IRS has been cracking...

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Deducting business meal expenses under today's tax rules

June 24, 2019

In the course of operating your business, you probably spend time and money “wining and dining” current or potential customers, vendors and employees. What can you deduct on your tax return for these expenses? The rules changed under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act...

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Tax-smart domestic travel: combining business with pleasure

June 21, 2019

Summer is here, so you might be thinking about getting some vacation time. If you’re self-employed or a business owner, you have a golden opportunity to combine a business trip with a few extra days of vacation and offset some of the cost with a tax deduction. But be...

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Three questions you may have after you file your return

June 17, 2019

Once your 2018 tax return has been successfully filed with the IRS, you may still have some questions. Here are brief answers to three questions that we’re frequently asked at this time of year.

Question #1: What tax records can I throw away...

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Check on your refund - and find out why the IRS might not send it

June 14, 2019

It’s that time of year when many people who filed their tax returns in April are checking their mail or bank accounts to see if their refunds have landed. According to the IRS, most refunds are issued in less than 21 calendar days. However, it may take longer —...

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It's a good time to check your withholding and make changes, if necessary

June 12, 2019

Due to the massive changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the 2019 filing season resulted in surprises. Some filers who have gotten a refund in past years wound up owing money. The IRS reports that the number of refunds paid this year is down from last year — and...

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Selling your home? Consider these tax implications

June 10, 2019

Spring and summer are the optimum seasons for selling a home. And interest rates are currently attractive, so buyers may be out in full force in your area. Freddie Mac reports that the average 30-year fixed...

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Hire your children this summer: Everyone wins

June 7, 2019

If you’re a business owner and you hire your children (or grandchildren) this summer, you can obtain tax breaks and other nontax benefits. The kids can gain on-the-job experience, save for college and...

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Fundamental tax truths for C corporations

March 1, 2019

The flat 21% federal income tax rate for C corporations under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has been great news for these entities and their owners. But some fundamental tax truths for C corporations largely remain the same:

C corporations are subject to...

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Depreciation-related breaks on business real estate: What you need to know when you file your 2018 return

February 22, 2019

Commercial buildings and improvements generally are depreciated over 39 years, which essentially means you can deduct a portion of the cost every year over the depreciation period. (Land isn’t depreciable.) But special tax breaks that allow deductions to be taken more...

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Many tax-related limits affecting businesses increase for 2019

February 8, 2019

A variety of tax-related limits affecting businesses are annually indexed for inflation, and many have gone up for 2019. Here’s a look at some that may affect you and your business.

Deductions

  • Section 179 expensing:

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There's still time to get substantiation for 2018 deductions

February 1, 2019

If you’re like many Americans, letters from your favorite charities have been appearing in your mailbox in recent weeks acknowledging your 2018 year-end donations. But what happens if you haven’t received such a letter — can you still claim an itemized...

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Higher mileage rate may mean larger tax deductions for business miles in 2019

January 28, 2019

This year, the optional standard mileage rate used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business increased by 3.5 cents, to the highest level since 2008. As a result, you might be able to claim a larger deduction for vehicle-related expense for...

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What will your marginal income tax rate be?

January 23, 2019

While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) generally reduced individual tax rates for 2018 through 2025, some taxpayers could see their taxes go up due to reductions or eliminations of certain tax breaks — and,...

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2 major tax law changes for individuals in 2019

January 18, 2019

While most provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) went into effect in 2018 and either apply through 2025 or are permanent, there are two major changes under the act for 2019. Here’s a closer...

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An exit strategy should be part of your tax planning

January 16, 2019

Tax planning is a juggling act for business owners. You have to keep your eye on your company’s income and expenses and applicable tax breaks (especially if you own a pass-through entity). But you also must look out for your own financial future.

For example,...

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You may be able to save more for retirement in 2019

January 14, 2019

Retirement plan contribution limits are indexed for inflation, and many have gone up for 2019, giving you opportunities to increase your retirement savings:

  • Elective deferrals to 401(k), 403(b),...

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A refresher on major tax law changes for small-business owners

January 11, 2019

The dawning of 2019 means the 2018 income tax filing season will soon be upon us. After year end, it’s generally too late to take action to reduce 2018 taxes. Business owners may, therefore, want to shift their focus to assessing whether they’ll likely owe taxes...

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Federal government shutdown creates tax filing uncertainty

January 10, 2019

The IRS has announced that it will begin accepting paper and electronic tax returns for the 2018 tax year on January 28, but much remains to be seen about how the ongoing shutdown of the federal government will...

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Tax reform expands availability of cash accounting

January 9, 2019

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), many more businesses are now eligible to use the cash method of accounting for federal tax purposes. The cash method offers greater tax-planning flexibility, allowing some businesses to defer taxable income. Newly eligible businesses...

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A review of significant TCJA provisions impacting individual taxpayers

January 7, 2019

Now that 2019 has begun, there isn’t too much you can do to reduce your 2018 income tax liability. But it’s smart to begin preparing for filing your 2018 return. Because the Tax Cuts...

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2019 Q1 tax calendar: Key deadline for businesses and other employers

January 2, 2019

Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the first quarter of 2019. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you. Contact us to ensure you’re meeting...

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IRS issues proposed regs on business interest expense deductions

December 28, 2018


In April 2018, the IRS released temporary guidance on the amended limit on deductions for business interest expense for tax years beginning in 2018. Taxpayers were allowed to rely on that guidance while waiting for regulations. The IRS has now published proposed...

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Can a PTO contribution arrangement help your employees and your business?

December 27, 2018

As the year winds to a close, most businesses see employees taking a lot of vacation time. After all, it’s the holiday season, and workers want to enjoy it. Some businesses, however, find themselves...

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Does prepaying property taxes make sense anymore?

December 26, 2018

Prepaying property taxes related to the current year but due the following year has long been one of the most popular and effective year-end tax-planning strategies. But does it still make sense in...

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What do the 2019 cost-of-living adjustments mean for you?

December 22, 2018

The IRS has announced its 2019 cost-of-living adjustments to tax items that might affect you. Many of the amounts increased to account for inflation, but some remained at 2018 levels. As you implement 2018 year-end tax planning strategies, be sure to take these 2019...

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6 last-minute tax moves for your business

December 21, 2018

Tax planning is a year-round activity, but there are still some year-end strategies you can use to lower your 2018 tax bill. Here are six last-minute tax moves business owners should...

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Catch-up retirement contributions can be particularly advantageous post-TCJA

December 20, 2018

Will you be age 50 or older on December 31? Are you still working? Are you already contributing to your 401(k) plan or Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) up to the regular annual limit? Then you...

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When holiday gifts and parties are deductible or taxable

December 19, 2018

The holiday season is a great time for businesses to show their appreciation for employees and customers by giving them gifts or hosting holiday parties. Before you begin shopping or sending out invitations, though, it’s a good idea to find out whether the expense is...

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Check deductibility before making year-end charitable gifts

December 18, 2018

As the holidays approach and the year draws to a close, many taxpayers make charitable gifts — both in the spirit of the season and as a year-end tax planning strategy. But with the tax law changes that go...

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Year-end tax and financial to-do list for individuals

December 17, 2018

With the dawn of 2019 on the near horizon, here’s a quick list of tax and financial to-dos you should address before 2018 ends:

Check your FSA balance. If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)...

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Mutual funds: Handle with care at year end

December 5, 2018

As we approach the end of 2018, it’s a good idea to review the mutual fund holdings in your taxable accounts and take steps to avoid potential tax traps. Here are some tips.

Avoid surprise capital...

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It's not too late: You can still set up a retirement plan for 2018

November 30, 2018

If most of your money is tied up in your business, retirement can be a challenge. So if you haven’t already set up a tax-advantaged retirement plan, consider doing so this year. There’s still time to...

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Buy business assets before year end to reduce your 2018 tax liability

November 28, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has enhanced two depreciation-related breaks that are popular year-end tax planning tools for businesses. To take advantage of these breaks, you must purchase qualifying assets...

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Donate appreciated stock for twice the tax benefits

November 26, 2018

A tried-and-true year end tax strategy is to make charitable donations. As long as you itemize and your gift qualifies, you can claim a charitable deduction. But did you know that you can enjoy an additional tax...

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Research credit available to some businesses for the first time

November 21, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) didn’t change the federal tax credit for “increasing research activities,” but several TCJA provisions have an indirect impact on the credit. As a result, the...

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Act now to cut your 2018 tax bill

November 19, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) created more than 100 new tax provisions — a staggering thought as you begin to prepare for the next filing season. The good news is that these and some of the surviving...

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Could "bunching" medical expenses into 2018 save you tax?

November 14, 2018

Some of your medical expenses may be tax deductible, but only if you itemize deductions and have enough expenses to exceed the applicable floor for deductibility. With proper planning, you may be able to time controllable medical expenses to your tax advantage. The Tax Cuts...

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Year-end tax planning for businesses in the new tax environment

November 12, 2018

The passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in late 2017 brought significant changes to the tax landscape. As the first tax season under the law looms on the horizon, new year-end tax planning strategies are...

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Consider all the tax consequences before making gifts to loved ones

November 9, 2018

Many people choose to pass assets to the next generation during life, whether to reduce the size of their taxable estate, to help out family members or simply to see their loved ones enjoy the gifts. If you’re considering lifetime gifts, be aware that which assets you...

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HTC Crusaders 2018 State Volleyball

November 7, 2018

GOOD LUCK HTC CRUSADERS AT THE 2018 IA STATE VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT!

Photo Credit: Holy Trinity Crusaders Facebook

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Selling your business? Defer - and possibly reduce - tax with an installment sale

November 7, 2018

You’ve spent years building your company and now are ready to move on to something else, whether launching a new business, taking advantage of another career opportunity or retiring. Whatever your plans, you want to get the return from your business that you’ve...

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The business meal expense deduction lives on post-TCJA

November 5, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was packed with goodies for businesses, but it also seemed to eliminate the popular meal expense deduction in some situations. Now, the IRS has issued transitional guidance...

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529 plans offer two tax-advantaged education funding options

November 2, 2018

Section 529 plans are a popular education-funding tool because of tax and other benefits. Two types are available: 1) prepaid tuition plans, and 2) savings plans. And one of these plans got even better under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

Enjoy valuable...

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Now's the time to review your business expenses

October 29, 2018

As we approach the end of the year, it’s a good idea to review your business’s expenses for deductibility. At the same time, consider whether your business would benefit from accelerating certain...

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Tax-free fringe benefits help small businesses and their employees

October 26, 2018

In today’s tightening job market, to attract and retain the best employees, small businesses need to offer not only competitive pay, but also appealing fringe benefits. Benefits that are tax-free are...

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Charitable IRA rollovers may be especially beneficial in 2018

October 24, 2018

If you’re age 70½ or older, you can make direct contributions — up to $100,000 annually — from your IRA to qualified charitable organizations without owing any income tax on the distributions. This break may be especially beneficial now because of Tax...

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Tax planning for investments gets more complicated

October 22, 2018

For investors, fall is a good time to review year-to-date gains and losses. Not only can it help you assess your financial health, but it also can help you determine whether to buy or sell investments before year...

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The tax deduction ins and outs of donating artwork to charity

October 17, 2018

If you’re charitably inclined and you collect art, appreciated artwork can make one of the best charitable gifts from a tax perspective. In general, donating appreciated property is doubly beneficial because...

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You might save tax if your vacation home qualifies as a rental property

October 15, 2018

Do you own a vacation home? If you both rent it out and use it personally, you might save tax by taking steps to ensure it qualifies as a rental property this year. Vacation home expenses that qualify as rental...

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Businesses aren't immune to tax identity theft

October 12, 2018

Tax identity theft may seem like a problem only for individual taxpayers. But, according to the IRS, increasingly businesses are also becoming victims. And identity thieves have become more sophisticated, knowing...

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Be sure your employee travel expense reimbursements will pass muster with the IRS

October 10, 2018

Does your business reimburse employees’ work-related travel expenses? If you do, you know that it can help you attract and retain employees. If you don’t, you might want to start, because changes...

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IRS issues new TCJA guidance for businesses

October 8, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) created a new general business tax credit for certain businesses that grant their qualifying employees paid family and medical leave in 2018 and 2019. The IRS now has released...

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2018 Q4 tax calendar: Key deadlines for businesses and other employers

October 5, 2018

Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the fourth quarter of 2018. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional...

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3 bills form Tax Reform 2.0

October 3, 2018

On September 13, the House Ways and Means Committee passed three separate bills that will be the cornerstone of what is being referred to as Tax Reform 2.0.

The bills focus on making permanent certain...

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Play your tax cards right with gambling wins and losses

September 26, 2018

If you gamble, be sure you understand the tax consequences. Both wins and losses can affect your income tax bill. And changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) could also have an impact.

Wins and taxable income

You must report 100% of your gambling...

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How to reduce the tax risk of using independent contractors

September 24, 2018

Classifying a worker as an independent contractor frees a business from payroll tax liability and allows it to forgo providing overtime pay, unemployment compensation and other employee benefits. It also frees the business from responsibility for withholding income taxes...

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IRS regs detail how businesses can "aggregate" for the pass-through income deduction

September 21, 2018

One of the most valuable tax breaks in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) is the new deduction for up to 20% of qualified business income (QBI) from pass-through entities. The IRS recently issued proposed regulations that help clarify who can benefit from the deduction. One...

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Keep it SIMPLE: A tax-advantaged retirement plan solution for small businesses

September 19, 2018

If your small business doesn’t offer its employees a retirement plan, you may want to consider a SIMPLE IRA. Offering a retirement plan can provide your business with valuable tax deductions and help you attract and retain employees. For a variety of reasons, a...

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Assessing the S corp

September 17, 2018

The S corporation business structure offers many advantages, including limited liability for owners and no double taxation (at least at the federal level). But not all businesses are eligible - and, with the new 21% flat income tax rate that now applies to C corporations,...

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IRS issues proposed regulations on the pass-through business income deduction

September 14, 2018

The IRS recently released highly anticipated regulations addressing the deduction for up to 20% of qualified business income (QBI) from pass-through entities. The deduction was a major component of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which became law late last year. It has also...

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Back-to-school time means a tax break for teachers

September 12, 2018

When teachers are setting up their classrooms for the new school year, it’s common for them to pay for a portion of their classroom supplies out of pocket. A special tax break allows these educators to deduct some of their expenses. This educator expense deduction is...

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Do you need to make an estimated tax payment by September 17?

September 10, 2018

To avoid interest and penalties, you must make sufficient federal income tax payments long before your April filing deadline through withholding, estimated tax payments, or a combination of the two. The third 2018 estimated tax payment deadline for individuals is September...

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2018 Tri-State Rodeo

 

Welcome Tri-State Rodeo Fans! We hope you and your family enjoy your time at this year's 71st annual...

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Choosing the right accounting method for tax purposes

September 7, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) liberalized the eligibility rules for using the cash method of accounting, making this method — which is simpler than the accrual method — available to more businesses. Now the IRS has provided procedures a small business...

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Do you still need to worry about the AMT?

September 5, 2018

There was talk of repealing the individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) as part of last year’s tax reform legislation. A repeal wasn’t included in the final version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), but the TCJA will reduce the number of taxpayers subject...

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Keep an eye out for extenders legislation

August 31, 2018

The pieces of tax legislation garnering the most attention these days are the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) signed into law last December and the possible “Tax Reform 2.0” that Congress might pass this fall. But for certain individual taxpayers, what happens...

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The TCJA prohibits undoing 2018 Roth IRA conversions, but 2017 conversions are still eligible

August 29, 2018

Converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA can provide tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawals in retirement. But what if you convert your traditional IRA — subject to income taxes on all earnings and deductible contributions — and then discover you would have...

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Why the "kiddie tax" is more dangerous than ever

August 27, 2018

Once upon a time, some parents and grandparents would attempt to save tax by putting investments in the names of their young children or grandchildren in lower income tax brackets. To discourage such strategies, Congress created the “kiddie” tax back in 1986....

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IRS issues guidance on new bonus depreciation rules

August 24, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) significantly expands bonus depreciation under Section 168(k) of the Internal Revenue Code for both regular tax and alternative minimum tax (AMT) purposes. Now, the IRS has released proposed regulations that clarify the requirements that...

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Do you qualify for the home office deduction?

August 22, 2018

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, employees can no longer claim the home office deduction. If, however, you run a business from your home or are otherwise self-employed and use part of your home for business purposes, the home office deduction may still be available to...

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Business deductions for meal, vehicle and travel expenses: Document, document, document

August 20, 2018

Meal, vehicle and travel expenses are common deductions for businesses. But if you don’t properly document these expenses, you could find your deductions denied by the IRS.

A critical requirement

Subject to various rules and limits, business meal...

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Is more tax reform on the horizon?

August 17, 2018

 

President Trump and Republican lawmakers currently are considering a second round of tax reform legislation as a follow-up to last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). As of this writing, there’s been no actual bill drafted. However, House Ways and Means...

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Close-up on the new QBI deduction's wage limit

August 15, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) provides a valuable new tax break to noncorporate owners of pass-through entities: a deduction for a portion of qualified business income (QBI). The deduction generally applies...

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How to avoid getting hit with payroll tax penalties

August 13, 2018

For small businesses, managing payroll can be one of the most arduous tasks. Adding to the burden earlier this year was adjusting income tax withholding based on the new tables issued by the IRS. (Those tables...

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What you can deduct when volunteering

August 8, 2018

Because donations to charity of cash or property generally are tax deductible (if you itemize), it only seems logical that the donation of something even more valuable to you — your time — would...

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Home green home: Save tax by saving energy

August 6, 2018

“Going green” at home — whether it’s your principal residence or a second home — can reduce your tax bill in addition to your energy bill, all while helping the environment, too....

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Do you know the ABCs of HSAs, FSAs and HRAs?

August 3, 2018

There continues to be much uncertainty about the Affordable Care Act and how such uncertainty will impact health care costs. So it’s critical to leverage all tax-advantaged ways to fund these expenses,...

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2018 West Point Sweet Corn Festival

August 2, 2018

Have fun at this year's ShuckFest and West Point Sweet Corn Festival in West Point, IA!

 

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2 tax law changes that may affect your business's 401(k) plan

August 1, 2018

When you think about recent tax law changes and your business, you’re probably thinking about the new 20% pass-through deduction for qualified business income or the enhancements to depreciation-related...

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Choosing the best business entity structure post-TCJA

July 30, 2018

For tax years beginning in 2018 and beyond, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) created a flat 21% federal income tax rate for C corporations. Under prior law, C corporations were taxed at rates as high as 35%....

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Watch out for tax-related identity theft scams all year long

July 25, 2018

With the filing date for 2017 in the rearview mirror for most businesses and individuals, the last thing they probably want to think about is income taxes. Unfortunately, though, criminals who commit...

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Consider the tax advantages of investing in qualified small business stock

July 23, 2018

While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) reduced most ordinary-income tax rates for individuals, it didn’t change long-term capital gains rates. They remain at 0%, 15% and 20%.

The 0% rate generally...

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3 traditional midyear tax planning strategies for individuals that hold up post-TCJA

July 20, 2018

With its many changes to individual tax rates, brackets and breaks, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) means taxpayers need to revisit their tax planning strategies. Certain strategies that were once...

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The tax impact of the TCJA on estate planning

July 18, 2018

The massive changes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) made to income taxes have garnered the most attention. But the new law also made major changes to gift and estate taxes. While the TCJA didn’t repeal...

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Does your business have to begin collecting sales tax on all out-of-state online sales?

July 16, 2018

You’ve probably heard about the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing state and local governments to impose sales taxes on more out-of-state online sales. The ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair,...

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2018 Q3 tax calendar: Key deadlines for businesses and other employers

July 11, 2018

Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the third quarter of 2018. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional...

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Supreme Court opens door to taxation of online sales

July 9, 2018

In a much-anticipated ruling that confounded the expectations of many court watchers, the U.S. Supreme Court has given state and local governments the green light to impose sales taxes on out-of-state online...

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Defer tax with a Section 1031 exchange, but new limits apply this year

July 6, 2018

Normally when appreciated business assets such as real estate are sold, tax is owed on the appreciation. But there’s a way to defer this tax: a Section 1031 “like kind” exchange. However, the...

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Saving tax on restricted stock awards with the Sec. 83(b) election

July 2, 2018

Today many employees receive stock-based compensation from their employer as part of their compensation and benefits package. The tax consequences of such compensation can be complex — subject to...

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Factor in state and local taxes when deciding where to live in retirement

June 27, 2018

Many Americans relocate to another state when they retire. If you’re thinking about such a move, state and local taxes should factor into your decision.

Income, property and sales...

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Get started on 2018 tax planning now!

June 25, 2018

With the April 17 individual income tax filing deadline behind you (or with your 2017 tax return on the back burner if you filed for an extension), you may be hoping to not think about taxes for the next...

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TCJA changes to employee benefits tax breaks: 4 negatives and a positive

June 22, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) includes many changes that affect tax breaks for employee benefits. Among the changes are four negatives and one positive that will impact not only employees but also the businesses...

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The TCJA changes some rules for deducting pass-through business losses

June 20, 2018

It’s not uncommon for businesses to sometimes generate tax losses. But the losses that can be deducted are limited by tax law in some situations. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) further restricts the...

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Can you deduct business travel when it's combined with a vacation?

June 18, 2018

At this time of year, a summer vacation is on many people’s minds. If you travel for business, combining a business trip with a vacation to offset some of the cost with a tax deduction can sound...

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Tax document retention guidelines for small businesses

June 14, 2018

You may have breathed a sigh of relief after filing your 2017 income tax return (or requesting an extension). But if your office is strewn with reams of paper consisting of years’ worth of tax returns,...

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Putting your child on your business's payroll for the summer may make more tax sense than ever

June 13, 2018

If you own a business and have a child in high school or college, hiring him or her for the summer can provide a multitude of benefits, including tax savings. And hiring can make more sense than ever due to...

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Individual tax calendar: Important deadlines for the remainder of 2018

June 11, 2018

While April 15 (April 17 this year) is the main tax deadline on most individual taxpayers’ minds, there are others through the rest of the year that you also need to be aware of. To help you make sure you...

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Tax record retention guidelines for individuals

June 7, 2018

What 2017 tax records can you toss once you’ve filed your 2017 return? The answer is simple: none. You need to hold on to all of your 2017 tax records for now. But it’s the perfect time to go...

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Do you need to adjust your withholding?

June 5, 2018

If you received a large refund after filing your 2017 income tax return, you’re probably enjoying the influx of cash. But a large refund isn’t all positive. It also means you were essentially giving...

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A review of significant TCJA provisions affecting small businesses

May 31, 2018

Now that small businesses and their owners have filed their 2017 income tax returns (or filed for an extension), it’s a good time to review some of the provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that...

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Be aware of the tax consequences before selling your home

May 29, 2018

 

In many parts of the country, summer is peak season for selling a home. If you’re planning to put your home on the market soon, you’re probably thinking about things like how quickly...

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Sending your kids to day camp may provide a tax break

May 24, 2018

When school lets out, kids participate in a wide variety of summer activities. If one of the activities your child is involved with is day camp, you might be eligible for a tax credit!

Dollar-for-dollar...

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Tax deduction for moving cost: 2017 vs. 2018

March 2, 2018

If you moved for work-related reasons in 2017, you might be able to deduct some of the costs on your 2017 return — even if you don’t itemize deductions. (Or, if your employer reimbursed you for moving expenses, that reimbursement might be...

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A SEP may give you one last 2017 tax and retirement saving opportunity

February 26, 2018

Are you a high-income small-business owner who doesn’t currently have a tax-advantaged retirement plan set up for yourself? A Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) may be just what you need, and now may be a great time to establish one. A SEP...

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Claiming bonus depreciation on your 2017 tax return may be particularly beneficial

February 23, 2018

With bonus depreciation, a business can recover the costs of depreciable property more quickly by claiming additional first-year depreciation for qualified assets. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), signed into law in December, enhances bonus...

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Families with college students may save tax on their 2017 returns with one of these breaks

February 21, 2018

Whether you had a child in college (or graduate school) last year or were a student yourself, you may be eligible for some valuable tax breaks on your 2017 return. One such break that had expired December 31, 2016, was just extended under the...

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New budget agreement brings additional tax changes

February 18, 2018

The ink on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which swept in a tidal wave of changes to federal tax rules, had been dry for only seven weeks before Congress passed more legislation that could affect many taxpayers. The Bipartisan Budget Act of...

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Tax Cuts and Jobs Act offers favorable tax breaks for businesses

January 23, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which was signed into law on December 22, contains a treasure trove of tax breaks for businesses. Overall, most companies and business owners will come out ahead under the new tax law, but there are a number of...

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IRS issues updated 2018 withholding tables

January 19, 2018

In the wake of passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) late last year, the IRS has taken one of the first critical steps to institute the law’s overhaul of the federal income tax regime. The IRS has released updated withholding tables...

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New tax law brings big changes for individual taxpayers

January 15, 2018

The reconciled tax reform bill, commonly called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (TCJA), is the most sweeping federal tax legislation in more than three decades. While many of the new law’s provisions affect businesses, it also...

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New tax law provides more generous depreciation-related tax breaks

December 27, 2017

If your business is buying new assets in 2018, you’ll be able to benefit in several ways under the new tax reform law, commonly referred to as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (TCJA), which was signed into law by President Trump on...

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Congress passes biggest tax bill since 1986

December 20, 2017

On December 20, the House passed the reconciled tax reform bill, commonly called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017” (TCJA), which the Senate had passed the previous day. It’s the most sweeping tax legislation since the Tax Reform Act of...

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Assist victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria through Leave-based Donation Programs

October 11, 2017

In recent months, many individuals have been victims of the hurricanes and tropical storms. The aftermath leaves us wondering how I can help those victims.  One way is through leave-based donation programs.

Employers adopt leave-based donation programs for their employees to elect to forgo vacation, sick, or personal leave in exchange to have cash payments made to charitable...

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STO Donations

August 28, 2017

It’s that time of year again- school buses are running and kids are walking to and from school each day. These are good reminders of an often-overlooked tax planning tool that assists some local private schools. The item we are referring to is our local School Tuition Organization (STO) and contributions to it.

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