White House, Capitol Hill talk tax reform in 2017
The change in administrations in Washington has generated a new
focus on tax reform. The White House and lawmakers from both
parties have discussed tax cuts, infrastructure spending, and more
Filing season begins; IRS warns of refund delays
The 2017 tax filing season launched on January 23. The IRS
predicted a few speedbumps for taxpayers, especially for taxpayers
who file early in anticipation of early refunds. The agency expects
FAQ: What is transferee tax liability?
The prudent businessperson is always cautious when he or she is
offered a great bargain on real estate, equipment, a business
interest, or some other property that just might be too good to be
February 2017 tax compliance calendar
As an individual or business, it is your responsibility to be aware
of and to meet your tax filing/reporting deadlines. This calendar
summarizes important federal tax reporting and filing data for
FAQ: How are LLCs taxed?
An LLC (limited liability company) is not a federal tax entity.
LLCs are organized under state law. LLCs are not specifically
mentioned in the Tax Code, and there are no special IRS regulations
How do I? Get the most from my inherited IRA?
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are popular retirement
savings vehicles that enable taxpayers to build their nest egg
slowly over the years and enjoy tax benefits as well. But what
happens to th...
New "repair" regulations continue to demand action
More than six months after the IRS issued temporary "repair"
regulations (T.D. 9564), many complex questions remain about their
interpretation and application. These regulations are sweeping in
Time for post-filing season checkup
Your 2011 tax return has been filed, or you have properly filed for
an extension. In either case, now it’s time to start thinking about
important post-filing season activities to save you tax in...
Countdown to Supreme Court’s health care decision
After three days of oral arguments in March, the Supreme Court is
deciding the fate of the Pension Protection and Affordable Care Act
(PPACA) and its companion law, the Health Care and Education
FAQ: What is a family partnership?
The family partnership is a common device for reducing the overall
tax burden of family members. Family members who contribute
property or services to a partnership in exchange for partnership
Contemporaneous tax records: Are you keeping up?
Everybody knows that tax deductions aren't allowed without proof in
the form of documentation. What records are needed to "prove it" to
the IRS vary depending upon the type of deduction that you may w...
How do I? Amend a return
Sometimes in a rush to file your income tax return, you may
unintentionally overlook some income that had to be reported, or a
deduction that you should or should not have taken. Now
How do I… Guard against taxpayer identity theft?
The number of tax return-related identity theft incidents has
almost doubled in the past three years to well over half a million
reported during 2011, according to a recent report by the Treasury
FAQ: What is a limited liability company?
A limited liability company (LLC) is a business entity created
under state law. Every state and the District of Columbia have LLC
statutes that govern the formation and operation of LLCs....
How Do I? Write Off Bad Business Debts
A business with a significant amount of receivables should evaluate
whether some of them may be written off as business bad debts. A
business taxpayer may deduct business bad debts if the receivable
How Do I? Make an in-plan Roth IRA rollover?
In-plan Roth IRA rollovers are a relatively new creation, and as a
result many individuals are not aware of the rules. The Small
Business Jobs Act of 2010 made it possible for participants in
Calculating correct withholding and estimated tax
Correctly calculating your estimated tax payments and/or
withholding is even more important as the year end approaches.
Accurate calculations are especially important as third and fourth
Common IRA contribution and distribution mistakes
Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) -- both traditional and Roth
IRAs -- are among the most popular retirement savings vehicles
today. Protecting the value of your IRA (and other retirement
How Do I? Report interest from savings bonds?
U.S. Savings Bonds can be a relatively risk-free investment during
times of upheaval in the stock market, such as we are experiencing
now. There are two different types of savings bonds for tax
How Do I? Convert my traditional IRA to a Roth IRA?
Beginning in 2010, the income limitations that have prevented
taxpayers with modified adjusted gross incomes of $100,000 or more
and married taxpayers that filed their returns separately from
FAQ: How does a 60-day loan from an IRA work?
Many taxpayers are looking for additional sources of cash during
these tough economic times. For many individuals, their Individual
Retirement Account (IRA) is one source of cash. You can withdraw
FAQ: Should I borrow from my 401(k)?
The flagging state of the economy has left many individuals and
families to cope with rising gas prices and food costs, struggle
with their mortgage and rent payments, and manage credit card debt
FAQ: When does a gift require a gift tax return?
If you've made, or are planning to make, a big gift before the end
of 2009, you may be wondering what your gift tax liability, if any,
may be. You may have to file a federal tax return even if you do
FAQ: Must the S corp election be made each year?
The small business corporation (S corp) is one of the most popular
business entities today, offering its shareholders the flow-through
tax treatment of a partnership and the limited liability of a
FAQ...Are alimony payments always deductible?
No. Generally, payments that qualify as alimony are included in the
recipient's gross income and are deducted from the payor's gross
income. However, not all payments between spouses qualify as
How Do I? Correct an excess contribution to an IRA
When trying to maximize retirement savings contributions, you may
find you have contributed too much to your IRA. Typically, you
either have too much income to qualify for a certain IRA or you
FAQ: Audits and Examinations
Q: After what period is my federal tax return safe from audit? A:
Generally, the time-frame within which the IRS can examine a
federal tax return you have filed is three years. To be more
FAQ: What must I report if I own assets abroad?
For U.S. taxpayers, owning assets held in foreign countries may
have a variety of benefits, from ease of use for frequent travelers
or those employed abroad to diversification of an investment
FAQ: What is an asset protection plan?
Asset protection planning is the process of organizing one's assets
and affairs in advance to guard against risks to which the assets
would otherwise be subject. The phrase "in advance" warrants
FAQ: What is a Spousal IRA?
If you file a joint return and your taxable income is less than
that of your spouse, the "spousal" IRA rules may allow you to
contribute up to $5,000 in 2009 (or $6,000 if you are 50 or older)
to an i...
FAQ...Must I file a joint return if I'm married?
Just because you're married doesn't mean you have to file a joint
return. This is a common misconception along with thinking that
"married filing separately" applies to couples who are separated or
How do I?…Set up a SEP
As a business owner you have likely heard about the tax advantages
of setting up a retirement plan for you and your employees. Many
small business owners, however, have also heard some of the horror
Estate planning for retirement plan assets
Throughout all of our lives, we have been told that if we don't
want to work all of our life, we must plan ahead and save for
retirement. We have also been urged to seek professional guidance
to help ...
How do I? Compute my net worth
How much am I really worth? This is a question that has run through
most of our minds at one time or another. However, if you aren't an
accountant or mathematician, it may seem like an impossible numb...
Client FAQ - Gifts to employees
Q: The holidays are approaching and I would like to consider giving
gifts of appreciation to my employees. What kinds of gifts can I
give my employees that they would not have to declare as income on
Tax aspects of divorce and separation
When it comes to legal separation or divorce, there are many
complex situations to address. A divorcing couple faces many
important decisions and issues regarding alimony, child support,
and the fair ...
How Do I?... Compute financial ratios
How quickly could you convert your assets to cash if necessary? Do
you have a quantitative way to evaluate management's effectiveness?
Knowing your business' key financial ratios can provide valuabl...
Client FAQ: Hiring your spouse
Q. I have a professional services firm and am considering hiring my
wife to help out with some of the administrative tasks in the
office. I don't think we'll have a problem working together but I
Client FAQ: Basis of personal residence
Q. Since our children are grown and now out on their own, my
husband and I are considering selling our large home and purchasing
a small townhouse. We have owned our home for years and have quite
Using like-kind exchanges in your business
If you are considering selling business property that has
substantially appreciated in value, you owe it to your business to
explore the possibility of a like-kind exchange. Done properly, a
401(k)options for the departing employee
When you experience a change in employment, probably the last thing
on your mind is your 401(k)-plan distribution. Since mishandling
this transaction can have detrimental tax effects, make sure that
Discussing finances with your aging parents
Talking about money with your aging parents can be awkward but is a
necessary step to make sure that their needs will be met during
their lifetime. Taking a few minutes to talk with your parents
Client FAQ: Buy or lease equipment?
Q. I've just started my own business and am having a hard time
deciding whether I should buy or lease the equipment I need before
I open my doors. What are some of the things I should consider when
Control your company's travel expenses
As a business owner, you may dread reviewing the travel expense
reports from your employees returning from business trips. Airfare,
hotel and other costs for even a short trip can add up quickly.
Internal controls and the small business owner
As you open the doors of your new business, the last thing on your
mind may be the potential for loss of profits through employee
oversight or theft - especially if you are the only employee.
Client FAQ: Starting a new business
Q. My company recently downsized its workforce and eliminated my
position. I thought this would be a good opportunity to start my
own consulting business in the same industry. What are some of the
Take steps to protect your computer data
The rise of paperless processing and remote access to computer
systems has made increased computer security imperative.
Establishing an effective password system can help keep your data
secure while a...
Protect yourself against office supply scams
Ordering office supplies for your business over the phone seems
harmless enough, but beware - an increasing number of small
businesses are falling prey to office supply scams. According to
the FTC, sm...
Offers in compromise: Help for tax debtors
Although the IRS may compromise any tax liability, taxpayers may
often find it difficult to obtain an offer-in-compromise (OIC).
However, for taxpayers experiencing especially difficult
Is early retirement for you?
You're 57 years old and as part of an early retirement package,
you've just been offered a large cash bonus and salary
continuation, along with a lump sum payment from the company
retirement plan and ...
Should your company operate as an LLC?
Limited liability companies (LLCs) remain one of the most popular
choice of business forms in the U.S. today. This form of business
entity is a hybrid that features the best characteristics of other
Recordkeeping Basics: Business Taxpayers
Maintaining good financial records is an important part of running
a successful business. Not only will good records help you identify
strengths and weaknesses in your business' operations, but they
Recordkeeping Basics: Individual Taxpayers
After your tax returns have been filed, several questions arise:
What do you do with the stack of paperwork? What should you keep?
What should you throw away? Will you ever need any of these
Leasing property to your own business
Owning property (real or tangible) and leasing it to your business
can give you very favorable tax results, not to mention good
long-term benefits. There are some drawbacks, however, and you
Reporting stock sales
Below is a list of questions and answers to some of the basic
topics you come across when reporting the sale of stock. Stock
basis, holding periods, wash sale rules and sales of mutual funds
What constitutes taxable income?
We all know to include the amount shown on our Form W-2 as taxable
income on our Form 1040, but what about those other items of
income, such as severance pay, lawsuit settlements, and disability
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