December 29, 2016

Understanding Gift-Tax Exclusions

What are gift-tax exclusions? According to the IRS, a gift must be given with no expectation of receiving anything of equal value in return. Gifts can be cash, property, interest-free loans, payments made to a third party (like a school or hospital) on behalf of the recipient, below-market rate sales, and other types of property transfers. Generally, gifts that meet the following requirements are not taxable: Gifts that are less than the annual exclusion amount for the year ($14,000 in 2016 and 2017) Tuition or medical expenses Gifts to your spouse Gifts to qualified charities and certain political organizations For more information about gifting and end-of-year tax issues, please contact a qualified tax professional. Tip courtesy of IRS.gov
November 15, 2016

Act Now to Avoid Tax-Time Surprises

Avoid tax-time surprises of large refunds or unexpected tax bills by bringing your estimated taxes in line with what you will actually owe: Check your withholding. If you’re an employee, work with your tax professional or use the IRS Withholding Calculator to check that your withholding is correct. Report any important life changes. If you’ve recently gotten married, had a child, gotten divorced, or added other dependents, you may need to adjust your withholding. If you have changed your name, make sure to file the change with the Social Security Administration to avoid errors at tax time. Have multiple sources of income? If you work multiple jobs or receive reportable income from other sources, you may need to make estimated tax payments. Consult your tax professional for help. To learn more about adjusting your tax withholding or paying estimated taxes, ask your tax professional or check Publication 505, Tax Withholding […]
October 25, 2016
Early Withdrawal from a retirement account

Are You Subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax?

If you’re unfamiliar with the Alternative Minimum Tax, or the AMT, it may not affect you. The AMT forces many wealthy taxpayers who qualify for certain exemptions to pay a greater share of taxes. Though the AMT permanently indexed to inflation in 2013, many Americans are still subject to the tax. Here are a few things that may need to know. AMT Rules You may be subject to the AMT if your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) is above the AMT exemption amount for your filing status. The 2016 AMT exemption amounts for each filing status are: Single and Head of Household = $53,900 Married Filing Joint = $83,800 Married Filing Separate = $41,900 Head of Household = $53,900 The rules for calculating the AMT are more complex than those for regular income tax, so it’s a good idea to work with a qualified tax professional or uses the IRS e-file […]
September 21, 2016
Early Withdrawal from a retirement account

How to Choose a Qualified Tax Professional

How to Choose a Qualified Tax Professional This article is all about “How to Choose a Qualified Tax Professional”If you have a complex tax situation or want help getting the maximum refund possible, you may want to turn to a tax professional to help you with your taxes. Now is a great time to start looking for professional tax help before the year ends and tax season begins. If you’re looking for a professional, there are a few things you should look for: Check for professional qualifications like an affiliation with a professional organization and a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). If you have a special tax situation, ask for the preparer’s experience helping people in similar circumstances. Make sure you understand how your tax preparer is being paid. Avoid those who base their fees on a percentage of the refund. Make sure your refund is sent directly to you […]
August 9, 2016
Tax Tip Tuesday Financial Blog Post

Tax Benefits for Job Hunters – Financially Simple

“Tax Benefits for Job Hunters”, Are you or is someone you know looking for a job? If you’re looking for a job in the same line of work (i.e. not switching careers), you may be able to deduct some of your expenses on your federal taxes. Here’s what the IRS has to say: You’ll usually deduct your expenses on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions, as a miscellaneous deduction. However, you can only deduct miscellaneous deductions that are more than 2% of your adjusted gross income. Costs that you can deduct include resume preparation, editing, and mailing costs; travel expenses related to your search, and placement agency fees. You may not be able to deduct job-hunting expenses if there has been a long gap between the end of your last job and the beginning of your hunt, or if you’re looking for a job for the first time. Keep in mind that […]
June 9, 2016
Tax Tip: Rules for Home Office Deductions

Summer Wedding? Remember These Tax Tips

“Summer Wedding?  Remember These Tax Tips”, If you or someone you love is getting married this summer, keep these important tax issues in mind. Taking care of them now can help reduce your stress at tax time. Change names: IRS rules require that the names and Social Security numbers on your tax return match your Social Security Administration records. To formally change your name, file Form SS-5, “Application for a Social Security Card”, with the Social Security Administration. Change tax withholding: A marital status change means you must give your employer a new Form W-4, “Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate.” You should also meet with a tax professional to determine how your combined income affects your tax liabilities. Change filing status: If you’re married on or before December 31, you are married for the whole year for tax purposes. You and your spouse can choose to file your federal income tax […]