Life & Taxes Blog

Life & Taxes Blog 2017-06-06T09:53:43+00:00

Aaron’s Mailbag: Retirement Basics

From time to time, I receive e-mails from clients that include great questions!  I like to share these questions and my answers: Client: Aaron - [My wife] and I were talking to one of my uncles over Thanksgiving and he recommended that we invest in dividend stocks. Are we able to take the funds in our 401k's and IRAs and direct the funds into certain stocks? I know we briefly touched on this when we were in your office, but any advice/direction you have we would greatly appreciate! Aaron's Take: This is a great question. You don’t usually invest in [...]

Five Things You Should Know in 2015 about the ACA

In recognition of the five-year anniversary of healthcare reform, here are five things you should know about some of the key ACA requirements for businesses in 2015: The shared responsibility provision of healthcare reform is effective either this year or next year, depending on how many employees you have. The employer mandate or “play or pay,” provision requires companies with at least 50 full-time equivalent employees to offer minimum essential healthcare coverage to their full-time employees and their dependents. Applicable large employers (ALEs) can choose to pay a substantial penalty if they don’t abide by the law. Companies with 100 [...]

Sign Up for IRS Summertime Tax Tips

If you are interested in receiving helpful consumer tips this summer to get a jump start on this year’s taxes, consider joining the more than 660,000 subscribers who already receive IRS Tax Tips. Starting July 1, the IRS began offering its Summertime Tax Tips series, which includes useful information in English and Spanish. Tax Tips subscribers receive a new tip via email three times a week during July and August. They also get a Tax Tip each weekday during the tax filing season. The IRS also issues Special Edition Tax Tips on important tax topics throughout the year. IRS Tax [...]

Categories: General Consulting, Our Office|Tags: , |

Forgot Something on Your Tax Return?

If you realize you forgot something on your tax return, you can amend that return after it has been filed. There are many reasons individuals need to amend their returns, whether it is for the just-filed 2014 return or prior year returns. Here are some key points when considering whether to file an amended federal (Form 1040X) or state income tax return. If you are amending for a refund, be aware that refunds generally won’t be paid for returns if the three-year statute of limitations from the filing due date has expired. Except for amending a return to carry back [...]

Thoughts on the IRS Data Breach

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced Tuesday that a brute force hacking attempt has compromised approximately 104,000 taxpayer accounts through the utilization of the “Get Transcript” tool located on IRS.gov.  Hackers utilized information gleaned from black market sources to answer identity verification questions and receive confidential information from the IRS system. The IRS reports that the system has been used 23 million times to provide taxpayers important information about their tax accounts as well as wage and earnings information.  “It is important to understand less than one half of one percent of successful requests were fraudulent,” said Aaron Blau, a [...]

Categories: Personal Tax|Tags: , |

Ten Steps to Starting A Business in Arizona

Republished from the Arizona Corporation Commission IMPORTANT – the following is only a suggestion of the sequence and type of steps that might be needed to start a business in Arizona. Your particular business, tax, or legal needs may require that you take different action or do things in a different order. The below information is only an overview, and is not intended to provide legal or tax advice or to be a complete resource. We recommend you consult with knowledgeable professionals such as an accountant and an attorney to determine the particular needs of your business.   1. CHOOSE [...]

Categories: Business Tax|

What is the deal with EMV Credit Card Processing?

Guest post by Ben Ford of American Payment Solutions, a locally owned and operated merchant processing company. You’ve probably heard talk of EMV with increasing regularity over the past several months. This new regulation seems to be creating a sizable knot in the stomachs of most business owners. It’s doubly scary because it is being advertised as the key to credit card security. With breaking news of new credit card data breaches every time we turn around, and deadlines for implementation of EMV set for 2015, it’s understandable that EMV is the topic everyone both does and doesn’t want to [...]

First Quarter Business Check-Up

In a recent April 2015 report published in the CPA Insider, Blake Christian, a partner with the CPA Firm HCVT, LLP created an outstanding list of questions that every business owner should be looking at.  We will be asking these questions throughout the summer:   1. Are you tracking revenue and expense trends for the past three years? How do you benchmark yourself? Do you have resources that show you industry statistics? Are you using up-to-date computerized software? 2. What is your debt-to-equity ratio? During the economic downturn, many of our clients relied on debt to finance their business activity, however, [...]

Categories: Accounting, Business Tax|