Our Blog

Posted on Wednesday, July 10, 2024
It’s July. In a few short months people will be filing their 2024 tax returns with that familiar recurring moan and groan about paying too much. Now is the time to take your preventative medicine and avoid the pain next time around! Being human, we all form habits. Some good. Most bad. We try to develop good ones to replace the bad ones and often we are successful, but most successes don’t come without a coach, cheerleader or some kind of support. Tax time is usually a time of regret over not being successful at last year’s promise to oneself, “I’m not going to pay this much again. I`m going to keep better records and search out a tax planner or some professional...

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Posted on Wednesday, July 03, 2024
If you pay attention and plan your tax outcomes proactively, there are many things you can do to reduce your tax bill. But the planning and the resulting activities that you need to engage in to achieve those outcomes are all year-round actions you must take, not just things to do the week before you file. Start by opening your calendar and marking a day each month to spend an hour on your taxes. That’s 12 hours a year. If when you file your taxes those year-round activities saved you $1500, then you were “paid” $125.00 an hour, which is worthwhile! If you saved $10,000.00 in taxes, that would be $833 per hour. Sign me up for that job! Start...

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Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2024
Many people who do not deal in the tax preparation or planning business think of taxes as something to deal with one day per year. Like Christmas, only not as good. So perhaps more like “Grinch Day.” Nevertheless, it doesn’t get a lot of attention after April. It drifts into the “Thank goodness that’s over!” mental space and goes away until the new year. It’s different for self-employed small business owners, as tax related issues are dealt with more often, but it’s still mechanical in nature. “I’ve got to go deposit payroll taxes today” or “I need to send in my 941 quarterly payment this week.” But still, their thoughts are not focused on proactive activities, but more so on responsibilities on...

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Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2024
When planning ahead, or just engaging in their day to day operations, most business owners at least occasionally think about tax deductions. A business dinner that can be partially deductible, or a new machine that can be depreciated. However, they often don’t think about or plan how to acquire other tax credits, which can often be much more valuable. Tax credits are often transitory, with the benefits increased or reduced from year to year, or sometimes eliminated altogether, only to be brought back again several years later. Over the last few decades we have seen some popular credits renewed or in some cases even made a permanent part of the tax code. Small business owners seem to often not be...

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Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2024
It’s hard to be logical all the time about everything. The most financially successful tax clients we serve at least attempt to force themselves to be logical, for their own benefit. For instance, our parents, as well as a subset of the economy including some popular radio show based advisors like Dave Ramsey, say you should pay off your home and have a “free and clear” deed as a goal (they are wrong in most cases by the way). That kind of thinking is emotional thinking, mixed perhaps with some presumptive attitude about what the general populous is capable of. “Well, we know we can’t get people to do what would really be best for them based on pure math and...

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Posted on Wednesday, June 05, 2024
Many times business owners have come into our office and with our help have found that they were doing things incorrectly regarding their bookkeeping and taxes. Occasionally, the errors add to the tax burdens that they have been under-reporting. That never feels good, but it is always better to fix those issues prior to any audit. Often, errors discovered “pre-audit” can be fixed by simply amending the return, and no IRS issues follow, and everyone just moves on. But quite often, the errors made were not in their own favor. In those case, we help them file amended returns that net them large additional refunds for up to three years back, and that always feels great! So, how do these...

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Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2024
When people are contemplating selling an asset like a house, an investment property, stock or a business asset, it’s usually to make a profit or to raise cash. Sometimes, a house is sold in order to buy bigger (or smaller), to move to a different town to take a new job. In the case of stocks, it might be for the taking of profits, stopping further loses, or again to raise cash.  One common thread among all of these decisions is that people generally think about them for some time before they act, as usually these are among the largest assets they have. What we see often in the tax planning world is that people sell the asset, and then...

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Posted on Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Tax Planning is a constant stream of adaptation to the new rules that the government and IRS come up with annually. One year we have a tax credit for new windows, the next year it goes away, but a new credit for heat pumps is added. The only constant is change. Occasionally, policies that are popular are extended and made permanent when the IRS has enough time and data that they can see that the tax break is having the expected effect in their budget for other government agendas. The new LIQCD (Legacy IRA Qualified Charitable Contribution) is one of those items that was added during the Secure 2.0 tax package in late 2022 that has yet to become mainstream,...

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Posted on Wednesday, May 15, 2024
Tax policy and rates have always been fluid, much more so than most people realize, as they only focus on it for short periods one time a year. You also don’t see many high school or college classes on the history of taxes and tax planning, unless you’re in accounting school. Like a distant relative you see at an occasional wedding, you forget most of the prior experiences and conversations and simply repeat them as an act of convenience. It’s the lack of personal taxation understanding and the continuous ebbs and flows that allow the tax authorities to keep things the same just long enough to let people form habits, then change the tax rules to penalize the habits created....

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Posted on Wednesday, May 08, 2024
There is nothing permanent except change!  Stated by a Greek philosopher over 2500 years ago and it still stands true, especially in the tax code. Sometimes there are big changes, like the one coming in 2025/2026 with the expiration of TCJA, and sometimes small changes, but it’s a good bet that every year something for business owners that was deductible is not and something that was not deductible now is. It is an accountant’s job of course to keep track of all that, but the proactive communication between the accountants of the world and their clients is often lacking. A good example of this is entertainment. For a very long time entertainment was deductible for business owners while prospecting with...

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