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Personal Tax

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 [...]

2016-11-29T09:33:48-07:00November 29th, 2016|Personal Tax|Comments Off on Aaron’s Mailbag: Retirement Basics

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 [...]

2016-10-27T16:54:56-07:00July 24th, 2015|Business Tax, General Consulting, Personal Tax|Comments Off on Five Things You Should Know in 2015 about the ACA

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 [...]

2016-10-27T16:54:56-07:00July 24th, 2015|Business Tax, Personal Tax|Comments Off on Forgot Something on Your Tax Return?

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 [...]

2016-10-27T16:54:56-07:00May 27th, 2015|Personal Tax|Comments Off on Thoughts on the IRS Data Breach

What happens when I rent to a relative?

If your tenant is related to you, however, special rules and limitations may apply. (For these purposes “related” means spouse, child or grandchild, parent or grandparent, and siblings.) Here's the tax picture: If you rent a home to a relative who (1) uses it as his or her principal residence (that is, not just as a second or vacation home) for the year, and (2) it's rented at a fair rental (not at a discount), then no limitations apply. You can deduct all the normal rental expenses, even if they result in a rental loss for the year. (If you [...]

2016-10-27T16:54:56-07:00March 20th, 2015|Personal Tax|Comments Off on What happens when I rent to a relative?

Five Tax Filing Predictions for 2015

The IRS audited 0.86 percent of all individual income tax returns last year, the lowest coverage rate since 2004. And The Washington Post reports that IRS service is, well, abysmal. IRS National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson testified that as of February 14, “only 43 percent of the people who called IRS…were able to reach a human being.” So, where does this leave us this tax season? The National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA), the association that represents the federally licensed tax practitioners who hold the highest credential awarded by the IRS, has released some prognostications for 2015. 1)     The number [...]

2016-10-27T16:54:56-07:00March 13th, 2015|Personal Tax|Comments Off on Five Tax Filing Predictions for 2015

When can I deduct my alimony payments?

Alimony payments are deductible only if they meet the requirements outlined below. It is important to have your divorce decree or separation agreement reviewed for tax purposes before it becomes effective to make sure these requirements are met. Even if the decree or agreement specifies that the payments are alimony they won't be treated as alimony for tax purposes unless these requirements are satisfied. Please call me to arrange for such a review before signing off on the arrangement. Here are the alimony requirements: No voluntary payments: For an alimony payment to be deductible, it must be required by a [...]

2016-10-27T16:54:56-07:00February 28th, 2015|Personal Tax|Comments Off on When can I deduct my alimony payments?

Catastrophes, Calamities and Cataclysms – Oh My!

Tax Help for Disaster Loss Disasters happen. The financial impact of the blizzards that hit the Northeast and the Midwest will doubtlessly be felt by both business owners and individuals.  It’s good to keep in mind that there are special tax provisions designed to help in recovery. The National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) has advice for those dealing with disaster loss. First off, like the Boy Scouts, be prepared. Try to be as paperless as possible by scanning your tax documents and saving them to “the cloud” or onto a CD or DVD. If you choose the disc option, [...]

2016-10-27T16:54:57-07:00February 21st, 2015|Personal Tax|Comments Off on Catastrophes, Calamities and Cataclysms – Oh My!
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