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Collect Tax-Free Profit From Selling Your Home

Whether the residential real estate market is up or down, there are always homeowners who want to — or have to — sell their homes. If you’re a prospective seller making your property look like a model home in the hopes of raking in a nice profit, now is a good time to review how […]


Understand Your Social Security Retirement Benefits

For years, people have questioned the viability of the Social Security system going forward. In July, the Social Security Board of Trustees released its annual report on the long-term financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds. The report projects that the combined asset reserves of the Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds […]


Age Has its Privileges … and Penalties

In an era filled with uncertainty, you can count on one thing: time marches on. Here are some important age-related financial and tax milestones to keep in mind for you and your loved ones: Age 0 to 23. Under the Kiddie Tax rules, part of young person’s investment income can be taxed at the parent’s […]


Understand How the Definition of Independent Contractor Has Changed Again

Whether someone who performs work for you qualifies as an employee or an independent contractor matters a great deal in terms of your financial and legal obligations to that individual. This includes such issues as whether your business must pay minimum wage and overtime pay, and provide mandated employee benefits. Under President Obama, the U.S. […]


Which Parent Gets Child-Related Tax Breaks After Divorce?

Divorce causes tax issues. For example, which parent is allowed to claim a host of valuable child-related tax breaks? Sometimes, but not always, it depends on which parent is allowed to claim the child as a dependent. This article explains what you need to know. Are You the Custodial Parent? For tax purposes, a child […]


Sharing Tax Issues in the Sharing Economy

Do you provide car rides through a mobile app, rent out your spare room using an online platform or repair computers for local businesses on demand? If so, you may be considered part of the “sharing economy” (also known as the Gig or on-demand economy). Participation in this emerging method of distributing services can be […]


10 Simple (and Fun) Ways to Cut Taxes This Summer

It’s already starting to feel like summer in many parts of the country. But the forecast for Washington remains unclear as officials continue to discuss various tax-related issues. No matter what happens in Washington, don’t get stuck in a holding pattern yourself. Give some attention to business and personal tax planning this summer. Here are […]


Establishing Residency for State Tax Purposes

Have you been contemplating moving to another state with lower taxes? Your move could lower your state tax bill, but you want to make sure to establish that the new state is your place of legal residency (also known as your “domicile”) for state tax purposes. Otherwise, the old state could come after you for […]


Understanding the Benefits of S Corporations

Whether you’re setting up a new company or you’ve been in business for years, you need to evaluate which legal structure is best for your enterprise. No one option is best for every type of operation. The right choice depends on several factors including the number of owners, taxes and your business goals. These concerns […]


Dividing Assets, and Tax Bills, in Divorce

When a divorce happens, there are often major financial consequences and some important tax issues too. Here are the tax rules that generally apply when a couple’s assets are split up in a divorce property settlement. State Law Is Important How assets are split up in a divorce depends largely on where the divorcing couple […]


New Version of Form I-9 Issued

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a new version of Form I-9, “Employment Eligibility Verification,” that is dated November 14, 2016 and has an August 31, 2019 expiration date. Employers must use the new form beginning on January 22, 2017. Until then, the version dated March 8, 2013 may also be used. […]


New Overtime Rules Suspended for Now

Many employers have been wrestling with plans to comply with new U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) overtime rules since last May. That’s when the rules were finalized, with a December 1 compliance deadline. Those new rules included raising the minimum salary overtime exemption to $913 per week from $455. A little more than a week […]


 Get Ready Businesses: Some Filing Due Dates Are Changing

Thanks to recent legislation, the due dates have been changed for some information returns and related statements and for some business tax returns. Here’s what you need to know. Earlier Due Dates for Forms 1099-MISC and W-2 When a business pays non–employee compensation aggregating to $600 or more to a single payee in a tax […]


Managing the Ups and Downs of Seasonal Businesses

What do pumpkin patches, ski resorts, ice cream shops and accounting firms have in common? They’re all seasonal businesses that experience a surge in revenues during their busy seasons that tapers off in the slow season. Seasonal peaks and troughs present challenges that require creative planning and fiscal prudence. Understand the Cash Flow Cycle Every […]


How to Make the Most of Medical Expense Deductions

With the ever-increasing cost of health insurance and medical care, you should be vigilant in finding ways to claim tax breaks related to health care. Unfortunately, that’s now harder than before because a change included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) increased the income-based threshold for deducting itemized medical expenses. However, some seniors have been […]


Update on Home Mortgage Interest Deductions

The federal income tax rules on qualified residence interest have been around for many years, but there’s always a steady flow of disagreements between the IRS and taxpayers on these rules. Here are some background materials and recent developments on qualified residence interest that may affect you. Rules in a Nutshell Unlike most other types […]


Loan Applications: Put Your Best Foot Forward

Need a loan to start or expand your business? Nearly a decade after the financial crisis of 2008, many banks remain hesitant about loaning money to start-ups and small business owners. Stricter lending policies often make applying for financing a nerve-wracking and time-consuming process. Here are some ways to give your loan application a leg […]


Seven Strategies for Better Results With Employees

Successful managers and supervisors know how and when to be assertive. They communicate their needs in a way that earns them respect and gets results. Let’s say you need a budgeting project done by Friday. Here are seven strategies to help improve your assertiveness skills so you can get more done: Choose the Right Time. […]


Are You Ready for the New Overtime Rules?

The deadline for the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) new final overtime rule is December 1, 2016. While CFOs at most large U.S. companies have been working overtime themselves to prepare for the changes, many small and midsize firms haven’t been as quick to react. Current Overtime Rule The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the […]


Tax-Savvy Planning Strategies for Inherited IRAs

Say an IRA is inherited by multiple individual beneficiaries or by one or more individuals and one or more charities or other beneficiaries that aren’t “natural persons.” How do these scenarios affect the rules for required minimum distributions (RMDs) that apply after the IRA owner dies? And how can you optimize the tax results for […]


Pokémon Go: It’s Not Just for Kids Anymore

Have you heard of Pokémon Go? It’s a popular smartphone video game that uses Google Maps technology. The augmented reality game pinpoints locations of virtual Pokémon and “PokéStops” in the real world on a map shown on a player’s phone. But it’s more than just a game — some savvy organizations are also using it […]


Compare and Contrast the Republican and Democratic Tax Platforms

With both major political party conventions finally behind us, it’s time to focus on the upcoming national election. Among their many differences, the Republicans and Democrats have widely divergent tax platforms. While platforms are always relatively nonspecific and not necessarily synced with what the presidential candidates have in mind, it’s still good to know what […]


The Financial Rewards of Buying a Condo for Your Kid’s College Housing

With real estate prices recovering in many markets, it might make sense to buy a condo where your child can live during college. He or she can live there while attending school, and you can avoid “throwing away” money on dorm costs or rent for an apartment. If you buy a place that has extra […]


More Adult Children Opting to Live with Parents

What’s the most common living arrangement for young adults today? For the first time in 130 years, more young people ages 18 to 34 opt to live with their parents, rather than move out on their own or with a spouse or friend, according to a recent study by the not-for-profit Pew Research Center. Here’s […]


IRS Warns of Latest Scam Variation Involving Bogus “Federal Student Tax”

The Internal Revenue Service today issued a warning to taxpayers about bogus phone calls from IRS impersonators demanding payment for a non-existent tax, the “Federal Student Tax.” Even though the tax deadline has come and gone, scammers continue to use varied strategies to trick people, in this case students. In this newest twist, they try […]


Follow Detailed Recordkeeping Rules for Vehicle Expense Deductions

Many business owners fail to follow the strict tax rules for substantiating vehicle expenses. But if your business is audited, the IRS will most likely ask for mileage logs if you deducted vehicle expenses — and it tends to be especially critical of the amount deducted if you’re self employed or you employ relatives. While […]


Insuring Employees Who Drive their Own Cars

In many companies, employees drive during the course of their jobs — to make deliveries, call on customers or pick up supplies. In some cases, they use their personal cars rather than company cars. This can have several advantages for the employer: The company does not have to maintain a fleet. It does not have to […]


What to Do with Impossible Employees? Clean House

When psychiatrist Mark Goulston asked several successful CEOs to name the single most important key to their success, he expected them to refer to their “vision” or their “mission.” But, independent of one another, the CEOs advised: Recognize destructive no-win people inside and outside your workplace early. Then cut your losses and move on. According […]


Too Much Paperwork? What You Can Throw Away After Filing

Maybe it’s a good thing that the April 15th federal tax deadline coincides with the urge to spring clean. It feels good to throw out some of the financial records stuffing your filing cabinets. But before you head for the dumpster, make sure you’re not disposing of records you may need. You don’t want to […]


Handle with Care: The Nanny Tax Rules

Over the years, there have been news stories about political appointees and others who got into trouble because they didn’t pay nanny taxes. The same could happen to you. You must generally pay Social Security, Medicare and federal unemployment taxes on wages paid to domestic workers who are considered “employees” under federal law. However, you […]