Archive for the ‘Tax’ Category

Elvis should have hired a CPA before he left the building

13/07/17 11:13 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Recently I had the delight to visit Graceland, Elvis Presley’s former home and now an excellent place to reflect on Elvis’ life and get taken back in time to the 1970s. There I viewed many of Elvis’ cars including his pink Cadillac, a couple Rolls Royce’s and Mercedes, Lincolns and his Ferrari. His home was just how he left it back in 1977 with ...

The IRS & Private Debt Collectors

09/06/17 11:39 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

In September of 2016, the IRS announced that it would start using private debt collectors to recover certain overdue federal tax debts in the spring of 2017. To implement this new program, the IRS contracted with four private collection agencies: CBE Group, Conserve, Performant, and Pioneer. In carrying out their collection efforts, these four c...

“TurboTax Made Me Do It” is not a valid excuse

26/05/17 8:42 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

On May 11, 2017, the Tax Court issued a Memorandum Decision (TC Memo 2017-79) that addressed, among other things, the Taxpayer arguing that the software “lured” him into claiming too many deductions on his tax return. There were a number of issues on this return that caught the eye of the IRS: alimony paid deduction, interest deduction, and d...

You May Not Have to Ask to Get an Extension

11/05/17 2:20 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Right before this year’s tax deadline, the IRS put out a release reminding people that some of us may not have to ask for an extension. While this advice is coming a bit late from me for the current tax year, it is definitely something to keep in mind. As the IRS notes “Taxpayers in Presidentially-declared disaster areas, members of the military...

Choose a Nevada Trustee to Save On Taxes

18/03/17 11:14 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

A trust can be set up for a multitude of purposes in various forms and of course there are tax consequences, with which a Reno CPA can assist you. There are many moving parts with trust taxation, but simplistically nongrantor trusts must file a federal tax return of which the highest income tax rate is assessed on incomes over $12,400, as oppose...

Video Relay Scam Targeting Deaf and Hard of Hearing

20/02/17 11:45 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

The IRS is warning that con artists are using video relay services (VRS) as a way of potentially scamming deaf and hard of hearing individuals. It appears these bad actors are using VRS just like many of the other phone and email scams that are constantly being reported. These people will call claiming to be from the IRS and demand payment of a ...

Tax Time Scams – Here We Go Again

02/02/17 5:58 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

It’s that time of year again, that time when you have to file your tax returns. It is also the time of year where the scammers come out of the woodwork to try to steal your money and/or identity. Scammers will try many different things to get information from you, with the list below a selection of the some of the most common ones for 2017 (so f...

Making the Most Out of Tax Time

19/01/17 1:49 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

We all know how it goes - as soon as the New Year begins the tax forms begin filling up your mailbox. Just another year to throw the 1099s and W-2s in a pile and ship them off to your accountant just in time to throw a return together and be done with it. Many people see tax time as a necessary evil which they grin and bear their way through the...

The Tax Benefits of Having a Baby

05/01/17 11:55 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Having a baby is such a wonderful blessing, but along with the tremendous amount of joy comes a large amount of new expenses. The federal government offers a number of tax breaks to help parents save money on their tax bill.

The Dependent Exemption

For 2016, you can claim a $4,050 exemption by adding your child as a dependent. This will reduce...

Expecting a Tax Refund in 2017? You Might Have to Wait!

15/12/16 12:17 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

On December 9th, 2016, the IRS announced that the 2017 tax filing season will begin on January 23rd, 2017, when it will start accepting electronic tax returns. Per its website, the IRS is expecting more than 153 million individual tax returns to be filed during 2017, some of which will be affected by recent changes in tax law. Specifically, the ...

12 Days of Tax Planning

12/12/16 1:22 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

    The 12 days of tax planning countdown- for web

New Tax Deadlines for the 2016 Filing Season

01/12/16 4:54 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

With the year coming to an end, it is important to start getting your books in order to have them ready to close, and get a head start on filing your tax return. It is important to know that for the upcoming year, many due dates have changed for 2016 returns, and will be changed going forward. Here are a few of those dates that have changed f...

What Can a Reno CPA Do For You or Your Business?

07/11/16 11:33 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Reno, Nevada CPAs in the office of Barnard Vogler & Co. can assist individuals in many ways. We offer the traditional CPA services of 1040 preparation and tax planning. More specifically, our Reno CPAs have tax experience with California residency issues, cancellation of debts of recourse and nonrecourse, Chapter 11 bankruptcy tax matters and va...

A Non-Partisan Comparison of Presidential Candidate Tax Plans

29/09/16 10:56 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Just over a month away is the election for the 45th President of the United States. No matter which side of the aisle you find yourself on, there is no doubt that each candidate has proposed some substantial tax legislation changes. Here is a comparison of the candidates tax plans:

Hillary Clinton's Plan:  

• “Fair Share Surcharge” – A propose...

Are you selling your home? There may be an income tax impact.

31/08/16 4:53 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Selling your home sale could impact your income taxes. You may or may not have to pay income taxes on the gain from the sale of your home. The gain from the sale of your home may be excluded, either all or in part, from your income tax if you meet the eligibility test. The eligibility test consists of ownership and the use of the home rules. ...

Autumn is the time to think about taxes

25/08/16 9:34 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

It’s hard to believe we are two-thirds of the way through 2016 already. Seems like just yesterday you were gathering all of your tax documents and filing your 2015 return (or maybe you still are if it was extended). I know for a lot of individuals and business owners taxes are the last thing on their mind right now, but if you are willing to spe...

Tax Planning Tips for the Dog Days of Summer

11/08/16 12:22 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

As we approach the last month of summer, many of us are still trying to gather documents to finalize the 2015 tax returns due in the next few months. But these are the prime months to begin the planning procedures to reduce your taxes in 2016. With the passing of the PATH Act of 2015 last year, the looming issues of expiring tax deductions have ...

Summer Tax Tip: ‘Tis the Season to Give!

14/07/16 3:15 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

According to the Network for Good, 30% of all online charitable contributions in 2015 were made during the month of December. This is not surprising as the gift-giving spirit around the holidays inspires many people to donate to causes near to their hearts at that time. Fortunately for us taxpayers, a donation to an IRS qualified charity can pro...

Prepare Your Business for the New Overtime Rules

26/05/16 3:21 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  If you haven’t heard the buzz over the past few weeks, there has been a significant change in federal overtime rules for employees. For business owners it is important that you be aware of these changes. If you have employees you need to prepare to be in compliance and possibly fork out more cash when the law goes in to effect on December 1...

Cancellation of Debt or Capital Gain?

11/05/16 4:31 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

An issue that can still have tax ramifications today, years after the great recession hit Reno, is that of debt forgiveness. If you think that since you never received any cash, debt forgiveness is not taxable, think again! Whenever there is a loan balance that gets reduced in any way, either with debt forgiveness, a foreclosure, a short sale...

Deploying to military combat zones: Tax regulations designed to benefit those who serve

28/04/16 9:13 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

There are a number of beneficial tax provisions that have been implemented to help military members who have been deployed to combat zones and their families. Two substantial benefits are extensions of filing deadlines and military pay exclusions. To be able to take advantage of these special tax treatments, however, specific requirements need t...

Oh Thank Heaven, the IRS and 7-Eleven?

07/04/16 6:11 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

When I think of 7-Eleven I think of Slurpees. When I think of the IRS, well, I don’t think of Slurpees. Now, thanks to a partnership between the IRS, ACI WorldWide’s OfficialPayments.com and the PayNearMe Company, we can all pay our taxes at over 7,000 7-Eleven stores throughout the USA and pick up that Slurpee while we’re there. The bonus here ...

The “Jock” Tax

19/03/16 1:21 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

The name says it all - it is just that, a tax on athletes. Well, at least it started out that way. The Jock Tax has its beginning in 1991 in California, when Michael Jordan beat the Lakers in the NBA finals. California decided they wanted to tax Jordan for his wages while in the state of California as earnings in California. Illinois then came b...

IRS’ Identity Protection PIN Recovery System Compromised

04/03/16 4:00 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Another tax filing season means another season of opportunities for tax fraud. And to add insult to last year’s injury, some of the same people who were victims of the IRS’ data breach are being victimized once again. Brian Krebs of KrebsOnSecurity is reporting the Identity Protection (IP) PIN the IRS sent out to those affected by last year’s...

Crowd-Funding Tax Implications

20/02/16 12:59 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Fundraising has gone digital. Millions of individuals are now utilizing social media sites such as kickstarter.com and gofundme.com to attract contributors or donations to support their cause. Few, though, are thinking about the income tax ramifications that are created by the crowdfunding environment. Congress and the IRS have not yet ad...

Important Dates for 2015 Tax Returns

11/02/16 11:58 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

With all of the talk of tax deadlines switching for 2016 tax returns it’s important to go over some of the deadlines for this current tax season. The deadlines for this year are the same as they have been in the past. Here are a few of those dates, but additional guidance can be found on the IRS website.

  • Monday, February 29. Deadline for bus...

Anti-fraud filters delay refunds

04/02/16 10:18 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson released her 2015 annual report to the Congress on January 6, 2016. Olson expressed her concerns that the IRS is scaling back telephone and face-to-face services to assist the nation’s individual taxpayers and business entities in complying with their tax obligations. In addition, other key issues were...

Most tax “extenders” made permanent

28/01/16 12:32 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  In December of 2015, I wrote about many tax provisions benefiting taxpayers for 2015 and beyond that had expired. Most CPAs were anticipating these to be retroactively approved by Congress. After much anticipation, Congress ended up extending and in many cases making the provisions permanent. Below is a summary of the main legislation:

    ...

Waiting on Tax Forms

21/01/16 6:15 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

On Tuesday, tax season officially began, and the IRS started accepting electronic returns, and processing paper returns. However, many of you may be waiting for your tax documents. The IRS urges taxpayers to wait until they have received all tax documents before filing. Here is a list of some common IRS forms you may be waiting for to file your ...

IRS Increases the “De Minimis Safe-Harbor Election” to $2,500 per Invoice

14/01/16 4:03 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Two years ago the Treasury Department implemented new Tangible Property Regulations through the passing of TD 9636. The new regulations contained a “Safe Harbor” election to expense any piece of tangible property purchased under $500. Many felt this was too low and increased the administrative burden on small businesses along with the IRS. Af...

Tax season is almost here!

07/01/16 11:53 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

It is never too early to start thinking about the upcoming tax season. The closer to the filing deadline it gets, the more pressure you will feel when getting your documents together and the possibility that something could be missed may increase. The other side of that is your tax preparer will get busier and busier as the tax deadline nears, w...

Medicare Increase – Are you a 30 percenter?

11/12/15 4:25 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Fixed income recipients may see substantial changes to their “net” take home of Social Security benefits in 2016. Social Security benefits are not likely to see a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2016 due to stagnant inflation during the year, but Medicare Part B premiums are scheduled to increase around 16%. If you have already been rece...

Tax Extenders – Yes or No? And when will we know?

04/12/15 11:33 am | Comments (1) | Posted By:

With a month left in 2015 it is that time again for Congress to act on the uncertainty of some beneficial tax breaks for taxpayers. This has been an ongoing problem with Congress, as in 2014 these tax benefits weren’t approved until December of 2014.  This inaction has led to heartaches for CPAs, individuals and business owners as to their incom...

Identity Theft: IRS Policy Change and Prevention Tips

23/11/15 4:35 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Identity theft can be a devastating experience that can turn a person’s life upside down. In an effort to combat identity theft and financial crimes in general, the IRS Criminal Investigation examines possible criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code and related financial crimes, including fraud related to identity theft. Each year, the ...

Year-End Tax Planning – Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

01/10/15 11:33 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Now is the time to think about year-end tax planning strategies. While no significant change in tax rates is expected for 2016, there are still year-shifting maneuvers that could be employed if you expect to be in either a higher or lower tax bracket for 2016. For instance, if you anticipate being in a lower tax bracket next year, you should ...

Tax Scams – Watch Out For New Tricks!

24/09/15 1:16 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

For many years now, the IRS has been continually warning the public about the ever-changing tax scams used by individuals to take advantage of unsuspecting taxpayers. These schemes can take place by mail, email, or over the phone and most often involve tricking the taxpayer into giving up personal financial information or intimidating the taxpay...

Did you buy a new home this summer? – Basis tracking and accounting can save you thousands in the future.

02/09/15 11:17 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  The housing market is beginning to turn around in Nevada over the last couple years. Data provided by Trulia.com indicates that twice as many home sales occurred in 2015 when compared to the bottom of the market in 2009. Many home owners who either lost, or liquidated, their homes over the past several years are finally in a stable financia...

Presidential candidate tax returns show how tax law has changed

27/08/15 3:04 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Like almost all presidential candidates trying to be transparent to their voters, Jeb Bush recently released tax returns dating back to 1981 and going through 2013. I could write the standard blog on how Mr. Bush’s income went from nothing in the 1980’s to topping $1,000,000 for many years in the 90’s, becoming in the low six figures in the 2...

The Supreme Court Rules

09/07/15 10:21 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Kennedy, has held, in a case involving four state-wide bans on same-sex marriage, that the Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex. And, since same-sex couples may now exercise the fundamental right to marry in all States, there ...

The Commerce Tax – How to Prepare

02/07/15 10:17 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

As most of you are probably aware, the Nevada Legislature approved and Governor Sandoval signed the new commerce tax into law effective July 1, 2015. If a “business entity” is engaged in business in Nevada with Nevada-sourced gross revenue over $4,000,000, the excess of that revenue over $4,000,000 is subject to the tax at various rates (.051 pe...

IRS’ “Get Transcript” Application Gets Hacked

11/06/15 8:00 am | Comments (1) | Posted By:

  On May 26th the Internal Revenue Service announced that more than 100,000 accounts from the “Get Transcript” application had been accessed by unauthorized individuals (i.e. criminals). The data stolen consisted of Social Security information, dates of birth and street addresses along with prior year tax transcripts. Access to the Get Transc...

Hey big spender! A Guide to Tips and Tip Income

14/05/15 12:32 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

“Hey big spender! Bruce Willis treats waitress to a whopping 800 euro (roughly $900) tip after dining on filet mignon, lobster and gnocchi during Berlin getaway with Emma.” That was the headline published on Mail on Line May 12, 2015. The total bill was not disclosed. Typing “tipping guides” in Google search will result in no less than 35 ...

No time to rest on your laurels…

23/04/15 11:31 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Many people think that tax season is over until next year, but in reality taxes and accounting need to be year long processes and continually addressed throughout. Having your accounting processes and procedures in place during the summer months and into next year helps reduce the stress and expense of trying to accomplish everything...

Selling Your Business?

19/03/15 5:02 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  If you’ve started your own business since 1993, and funded it with your own money as a C Corporation there could be some valuable tax savings if you’re planning on selling the company. This comes in the form of the section 1202 exclusion. The Section 1202 exclusion allows a person to exclude up to 100% of the gain on the sale of qualifie...

How the United States Tax Rates Compares to Germany

15/03/15 10:56 am | Comments (1) | Posted By:

  Having recently visited Germany and being a CPA, I naturally was interested in their taxes. I have heard throughout my life how taxes in Europe are extremely higher than in the United States and I thought I’d do a simple comparison. According to a KPMG report on income tax and social security rates on $100,000 USD of income, in Germany t...

Incorrect 1095-A Forms and Enrollment Extension

26/02/15 2:55 pm | Comments (1) | Posted By:

  It was announced on Friday, February 20, 2015 that approximately 800,000 people received incorrect 1095-A forms. The 1095-A forms are used to report the premiums and tax credits for taxpayers who signed up for discounted health insurance coverage through the HealthCare.Gov Marketplace. This error affects up to 20% of the statements sent by ...

A Quick Look at the History of the IRS

19/02/15 1:23 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Have you ever wondered when and how the IRS got its start? I did and so I did a little research. The IRS traces its origins back to the Civil War. In 1862, President Lincoln signed the Revenue Act of 1862 into effect. This law was intended to help pay for war expenses by establishing a Commissioner of Internal Revenue and the country’s f...

A Series LLC. It could be just what you are looking for.

05/02/15 10:49 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  What is a Series LLC? A Series LLC was first introduced to assist the mutual fund industry avoid filing multiple SEC filings for different classes of funds. The idea was to use one entity for all funds filing under one “umbrella”, but permit the funds individual activity to be conducted separately. Only a few states allow the creation of...

Avoiding Abusive Return Preparers This Tax Season

22/01/15 11:33 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Tax season is quickly approaching. According to its website, the IRS received 149,684,000 individual income tax returns in 2014 as of December 26, 2014 (2014 Filing Season Statistics). Of these returns, the IRS states that more than half were prepared by hired tax professionals. If you decide to hire a tax professional to prepare your tax return...

Tax Extenders – Which Ones? And When?

18/11/14 1:20 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  There are 55 tax provisions, also know as “extenders” that expired at the end of 2013. In a letter from the Internal Revenue Commissioner sent to the United States Congress, members of the tax writing committees stated that if Congress waits until 2015 to enact tax law changes affecting the tax year 2014, there may be a delay in the opening...

The Affordable Care Act – The Individual Mandate in Effect

13/11/14 11:19 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Whether you were for or against health care reform, there is no denying that the recently implemented Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”) is something that will affect you during the coming tax season. Even if you have been insured during the entire year, the IRS will require that you provide proof of insurance during your tax prepa...

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights

23/10/14 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  On June 10, 2014, the IRS implemented the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. In an effort to make it easier for taxpayers to understand and access their rights when dealing with the IRS, this Taxpayer Bill of Rights arranges the numerous existing rights established in the Internal Revenue Code into ten basic rights. These rights include:

  1. The righ...

A Quick Overview on Publicly Traded Partnerships

17/10/14 4:59 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  In today’s low yield environment, where a five year CD yields 1.5%, publicly traded partnerships (PTPs) have been proliferating. These are companies, usually associated with oil and gas, that are required to distribute their “distributable cash flow” and avoid the double taxation that is inherent to corporations. They usually have yields in...

Possible Changes to Sales Tax

02/10/14 1:38 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Pending federal legislation allowing states to tax internet sales could potentially means big changes for retailers in the way they process and account for their sales and use taxes. Of course, the International Council of Shopping Centers states “this bill signals that leveling the playing field for all retailers is a top priority for Cong...

IRS Resources Curtailed in Fight Against Financial Crime

04/09/14 3:13 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  The Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division is cutting the number of investigators to the lowest level in forty years. This division investigates all sorts of financial crimes involving such activities as tax fraud, money laundering, identity theft, narcotics and counter-terrorism. Recent investigations involved probes...

Save Money – Move to Nevada!

28/08/14 8:00 am | Comments (1) | Posted By:

California has always been notorious for their high cost of living combined with high income taxes. These tax rates are as high as 13.3% for high earners with income over $1,000,000. And to make matters worse, in 2012 California took the precedence of retroactively raising rates at the beginning of 2012 for a law that passed on November 6, 2012....

IOLTA – What Is It?

14/08/14 9:01 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  IOLTA (Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts) was created in 1980, when the Congress modified federal banking laws allowing banks to pay interest on checking accounts. The first IOLTA account was created in Florida in 1981. IOLTA is source of funding to provide access to justice for individuals and to improve our justice system. Every state...

Thinking About an IRA Rollover? You’re Running out of Time!

17/07/14 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Are you thinking about rolling your Traditional IRAs from one financial institution to another? Or maybe you need a temporary loan for less than 60 days. Whatever the reason may be, beware, the rules have changed. You have 60 days after the day on which you receive your distribution to complete a rollover of your traditional IRA to anoth...

Foreign Financial Asset Reporting: An unintended consequence

18/06/14 2:15 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) became law in the United States in 2010. The provisions of the law focus on reporting for both U.S. taxpayers and foreign financial institutions to prevent tax evasion by U.S. citizens and residents through the use of offshore accounts. U.S. individuals must report information about certain for...

Tax Scams: Beware of Fake Charities!

12/06/14 9:41 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  At the beginning of the year, the IRS released its annual list of “Dirty Dozen” tax scams. The list covers a variety of scams, ranging from schemes perpetrated by taxpayers themselves (such as hiding income offshore or implementing abusive tax structures) to scams that are committed against taxpayers without their knowledge (such as phishin...

What Would Happen If Social Security Funds Run Out

15/05/14 9:30 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  It’s a little scary to contemplate that Social Security trust funds are projected to be exhausted in the not-too-distant future. But that is the subject recently studied in a 2013 report from the Congressional Research Services (CRS). If the trust funds cannot pay current expenses out of current income or accumulated assets, they are con...

The Many Reasons to E-File Your Tax Return

27/02/14 8:00 am | Comments (1) | Posted By:

As you may be aware, for the last few years the Internal Revenue Service has been strongly urging taxpayers to file their income tax returns electronically. Tax return preparers have been required to IRS e-file individual income tax returns since 2012, with certain allowable exceptions. One of those exceptions is that the taxpayer can opt-out of...

IRS issues delay on employees health insurance mandate

13/02/14 10:41 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  On Monday, February 10, the IRS announced that it is delaying the shared-responsibility requirement under Sec. 4980H of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) for employers who have 50 to 99 full-time equivalent employees in 2014. These employers will now have until 2016 to offer health care coverage to their employees.  However,...

2014 – Tips vs. Service Charges – The Rules Have Changed

30/01/14 9:47 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Large party automatic gratuities may be a thing of the past. These were originally implemented to ensure servers were being adequately compensated. However, as of January 1st, the IRS now considers these automatically calculated tips as service fees, and will treat them as regular wages, subject to payroll withholding tax. Think back to your ...

ARE YOU READY? IT’S TAX SEASON!

16/01/14 11:32 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Yes, it is that time of year. Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to start thinking about income tax. Were there any life event changes such as getting married, having a baby, adopting a child, death of a spouse, purchasing a home or any other events that would affect your income tax return? Start accumulating your documents to pre...

Tax Identity Theft – Before and After

02/01/14 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Theft of personal information, such as social security numbers, to commit fraud on tax returns, to claim refunds or credits to which a taxpayer is not entitled to or commit other financial crimes is on the rise. Using this information, thieves often file fraudulent returns early during the filing season to avoid information matching. So you shou...

Social Security – In Trouble and Just Getting Worse

27/11/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

The middle of the month has just passed and with it my bi-monthly cursing of getting taxed, specifically for social security. This is a tax that I’m supposed to be paid back sometime starting thirty years from now in my sixties, but I highly doubt that. According to a study by the Urban Institute, a person who turned 65 in 1980 received $2.12 fo...

What is a Trust Protector? Are They a Fiduciary?

21/11/13 10:36 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  In trust law, a Protector is a person appointed under the trust agreement to direct or restrain the trustees in relation to their administration of the trust. Historically, the concept of a Protector developed in offshore jurisdictions where settlors were concerned about appointing a trust company in a small, distant country as sole trustee...

Plan on working past 65? It takes some planning!

14/11/13 1:01 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

The fastest growing segment of the labor force is workers over the age of 65,  according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you plan on working past 65, there are some issues to be aware of that author Mark Miller points out in his Wealth Management.com article: Social Security timing: It doesn’t make sense to take Social Security ...

“Repair Regs”: Capitalize or Deduct?

07/11/13 4:38 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Here is a common question, “when do I have to capitalize an expenditure and when can I deduct it as a repair or maintenance item?” The difference between expensing and capitalizing can mean the difference between an immediate deduction at full value versus a deduction spread out over the useful life of the asset. In September 2013, th...

What the Federal Government Shutdown Means for the Upcoming Tax Deadline

10/10/13 12:21 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  The government shutdown has affected many federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service. It is estimated that only about 10% of the IRS employees are currently working. This has caused some questions among taxpayers about whether or not their tax returns need to be filed by October 15th. The government shutdown and the decrease o...

IRS Addresses Tax Law Uncertainty for Same-Sex Couples

26/09/13 8:00 am | Comments (2) | Posted By:

  As promised, I am updating my earlier blog outlining many tax law questions left unanswered as a result of the recent Supreme Court decision invalidating a key provision of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The IRS has recently announced their ruling addressing the tax law implications arising from the Court's decision on DOMA. Th...

Your Retirement Plan – Take a Loan or a Hardship Distribution?

19/09/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  More people are heading to their retirement plans at work for a bail out in today’s economic times. An individual will have financial options if he or she should be so lucky as to a have a retirement plan at work. An employee may request a hardship distribution or a loan from their retirement plan at work, if available. There are strict ...

Haven’t done your taxes yet? Don’t forget the October 15th deadline!

12/09/13 3:37 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  The October 15th tax extension deadline is quickly approaching, which means it’s time to finish up that tax return you have been avoiding all summer. There are many benefits to filing an extension if your tax return is not quite ready in April, but there are no additional extensions available for the upcoming October 15th deadline. When you...

Is Your “Hobby” a Business?!

15/08/13 1:21 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  In order to have your “hobby” considered a business, you must be pursuing the activity with the intent of making a profit. If this is not the case, the activity will be subject to the IRS hobby loss rules, which provide that such losses are generally deductible only to the extent of income produced by the activity. Furthermore, hobby expens...

Should You Contribute to a Regular IRA or a Roth?

08/08/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  There are two types of IRAs that individuals can create themselves, with extremely different characteristics. One is a regular IRA, for which the contributions are deductible. A regular IRA will put you ahead if you’re in a high tax bracket when you make the contributions and expect to be in a lower bracket when you retire and take the d...

DOMA is Dead (at least part of it) – What Does This Mean for Taxes?

25/07/13 8:00 am | Comments (1) | Posted By:

  Recently, in Windsor v. U.S., the Supreme Court made history by striking down a key provision in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Although DOMA wasn’t typically viewed as a tax law, it carried significant tax consequences for married same-sex couples who have traditionally been unable to do things like file a joint return or take advanta...

Big Corporations Pay One Third of Statutory Tax Rate

18/07/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

At the request of Senators Carl Levin (D-Michigan) and Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), the Government Accounting Office (GAO) recently conducted a study of the actual tax rates paid by companies that had $10 million or more in assets, a recent article from The Hill has reported. The subsequent report revealed that in 2010 these large, profitable cor...

When non-taxable muni bond interest is taxable – how to avoid a big tax bill

27/06/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  The advantages of tax-free interest. Many of you invest in muni bonds as a tax planning strategy to minimize taxes. When you analyze this investment, you probably compute the interest, tax effect this income, and then compare it to a taxable investment with a similar risk profile. Most individuals are cash-basis taxpayers, reporting inco...

Adding Children to Joint Bank Accounts – A Do or a Don’t?

20/06/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  In an interesting recent article “Your Clients and Their Children: The Problems With Joint Bank Accounts” by Andrew Rice there is a recurring question that pops up during elder and estate planning: should I add my child to my bank account? When a senior begins to lose their ability to manage their finances like paying the bills, these accou...

CPA’s Go to Washington DC

30/05/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Last week approximately 400 CPA's (including yours truly) descended on Capitol Hill to discuss issues of interest to the profession and our clients. The Capitol Hill visits were in conjunction with the Spring Meeting of the AICPA Council which is held every other year in Washington DC in order for Council members to make these important vis...

It’s Tax Season – Be on the Lookout for “The Dirty Dozen”

04/04/13 12:06 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  As tax season begins to draw to an end, the Internal Revenue Service is issuing its annual “The Dirty Dozen” warning to consumers about fraud on and by taxpayers. This year’s list is little changed from 2012, and is again headed up by identity theft. A growing problem every year worldwide, the IRS is stepping up its vigilance in this area,...

Frustrated with receiving your Form K-1′s late?

21/03/13 8:35 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  The American Institute of CPA's has long recognized the problem of the late receipt of Form K-1's for many taxpayers and their return preparers. On February 28, 2013, legislation was introduced in the 113th Congress that was suggested by the AICPA to address this. As drafted the original tax return due dates would change as follows:

    ...

Allocate Your Tax Refund

28/02/13 10:59 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Are you planning on saving a portion of your tax refund this year? You should know about an option the IRS offers to make it easier for you to save. This can be done by including IRS Form 8888, Allocation of Refund, when you file your tax return. Using this form, you can split your refund between three options; direct deposit into a bank account...

National Taxpayer Advocate Report to Congress

23/01/13 1:18 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  The IRS reported that National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson recently issued her annual report to Congress. In it she stated that tax reform was the overriding priority in tax administration. “The existing tax code makes compliance difficult, requiring taxpayers to devote excessive time to preparing and filing their returns”, Olson stated...

The IRS finally gets it-safe harbor method for the home office deduction

17/01/13 8:00 am | Comments (1) | Posted By:

    On Tuesday, January 15, 2013 the IRS announced that going forward, there is a simplified option for taxpayers who take the home office deduction. While the credit is capped at $1,500 a year (this may be adjusted in future years), taxpayers choosing this method will not have to deal with complex calculations of allocated expenses, depre...

Let the tax season begin…a little late

10/01/13 12:12 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  The IRS has just announced plans that the 2013 tax season will begin on January 30, 2013 (a Wednesday if you're wondering). This misses the previously set date of January 22, 2013, but given that Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) in 2013 when it should have passed it in 2012, a late start of only eight days is impressi...

The “Fiscal Cliff” Bill – What It Means for You

03/01/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  When I advised my clients to complete their transactions in 2012, it was apparent that the effects of the actions our elected officials were going to take to avoid the “fiscal cliff” could only have a negative effect on taxes. At the twelfth hour, Mitch McConnell, Republican Senate Minority Leader bypassed Nevada’s own Harry Reid and reache...

The Fiscal Cliff – The Work Begins…Theirs AND Ours

15/11/12 5:50 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Referencing a recent article in Bloomberg.com, President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have a big job ahead of them in the coming weeks. They hope to come together in act of solidarity to work out an agreement to avert the so-called fiscal cliff which happens at the end of this year if no deal is struck. Obama, claiming a m...

Do you have significant investment income? Get ready for substantial tax increases in 2013.

08/11/12 12:00 pm | Comments (1) | Posted By:

  Widely publicized in the professional literature but unnoticed by the mainstream press is the 3.8 percent Medicare contribution tax imposed on the investment income of individuals by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, informally referred to as Obamacare. That means in...

Equipment Purchases Should be Made Soon

25/10/12 9:46 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Businesses constantly need to purchase equipment for their business to expand or replace aging equipment. Usually, they want to write the expense off as quickly as possible for their taxes to see immediate tax savings. With the initial tax cuts in 2003 and the extensions and additional cuts made throughout the past four years to combat the ...

Maximizing your tax benefits on charitable contributions

04/10/12 8:22 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  With the year-end quickly approaching, it’s a good time to start planning your charitable donations. Donating not only allows you the opportunity to help others in need, it can also provide you with tax benefits. The following are guidelines to help you maximize your tax benefits:

  1. Charitable contributions are only deductible if you i...

Now is the Time to Start your Year-End Tax Planning

30/08/12 7:14 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Next year, unless Congress acts before the end of 2012, year-end tax planning will be challenging. Since 2013 tax rates are set to go up, the conventional wisdom of deferring income into subsequent years should be reconsidered. Thus certain high-income taxpayers may want to actually accelerate income into 2012 rather than deferring income into 2...

New Federal Sales Tax on Real Estate – Simply Not True

14/08/12 8:07 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

If you recently got an e-mail telling you that on January 1st all real estate transactions will be subject to a 3.8% federal sales tax, don’t believe it. That is simply not true. The facts are as follows: • First of all, the new tax is applicable only to the gain on sale, not the entire sales price. • The tax applies only to single taxp...

Margin Tax? – Not Good!

02/08/12 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  During the 2011 Nevada state legislative session the specter of a Texas-type margin tax was raised as a replacement to the Modified Business Tax we now “enjoy”. Fortunately, it never got traction. But guess what? Its back and now it is being proposed in ADDITION to the Modified Business Tax, not in lieu of. How would this new Margin Tax ...

Another Housing Time Bomb

19/07/12 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act is set to expire on December 31, 2012 and has large implications for Nevadans.  Nevada is perennially in the lead, or in the top five in the U.S., in mortgage foreclosures.  When a house is foreclosed upon, the difference in debt owed less the value of the house sold at auction, is considered cancell...

Have Tip Income? You Best Report It!

05/07/12 10:53 pm | Comments (1) | Posted By:

  Having lived in Nevada for the majority of my adulthood, I have long been acquainted with tipping. It has gotten to the point where I feel guilty for not putting a dollar in the tip jar at Starbucks for a $2 coffee or at my local sandwich shop. While living in Las Vegas I heard stories of people making thousands of dollars a night as a cock...

Why Aren’t More Companies Moving to Nevada? Apple Is!

28/06/12 8:42 pm | Comments (2) | Posted By:

  A recent article published in the New York Times, highlights how Apple is taking advantage of Nevada’s 0% corporate tax rate. Apple has created a subsidiary for their $100 billion in cash that invests in bonds and other low risk financial instruments. All the interest earned, $2.5 billion since 2006, has been shielded from state income t...

THE IRS – AND THEIR FUNDING ISSUES

07/06/12 9:27 pm | Comments (1) | Posted By:

 

So you think you have financial issues?  Just listen to what Nina Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate, has to say about the IRS.  In her annual report to Congress she suggested that the IRS’s increasing workload and declining resources are the most serious problems facing taxpayers.  So how does she connect the dots to conclude that this is a “...

Taxes, Taxes, Taxes! How Much Do You Really Pay Each Year?

31/05/12 8:42 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Have you ever wondered just how much you pay in taxes over a year? Not just big tax items like income and property taxes, but even the taxes on the gas you pump into your car to the taxes on your utility bill? Maybe you haven’t because you’re not obsessed with taxes like us CPAs, but if you are curious, the American Institute of CPAs has...

Spring Fever is the right time for College Tax Planning

24/05/12 11:47 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

It’s spring time in the Truckee Meadows. The river is running high, the trees are green, and students of all ages are getting spring fever. With graduation on the horizon, it’s hard not to think about what is coming next. Whether your student is finishing kindergarten, graduating high school, or currently in college, it’s always a wise idea t...

A Look inside the President’s Finances

17/05/12 7:46 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  It’s always interesting to get a look into somebody’s finances, and who better to snoop at than President Obama. He released his 2011 tax return, which can be viewed at: http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/336093/bidens-and-obamas-release-2011-income-tax-returns.pdf. It’s a very simple return: Wages from being the President of $394,821...

Investing in precious metals can lead to higher taxes

10/05/12 9:41 pm | Comments (1) | Posted By:

Gold is one of the hot new investments today. People invest in this asset by purchasing gold bars, gold company stocks or gold electronic trading funds.  These electronic trading funds, commonly called ETFs, have proliferated as evidenced by the ETF with the symbol GLD.  This is a fund that started in 2005 and now has over 64 billion dollars...

A Look at Taxes of the Past

04/05/12 7:52 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

 

This year could be the last year before the Bush tax cuts expire and the tax rates increase.   If these cuts expire, single people and married people alike will have higher taxes.   A single person with taxable income making $100,000 will have a tax bill of $23,805 and an average tax rate of 23.8% come 2013 when these changes go into effect...

The Carried Interest Rule Needs to be Abolished

16/04/12 9:31 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

There has been much debate recently over Mitt Romney and his paying only 14% of his gross income in taxes in 2010 and still only 17.5% after itemized deductions (see his tax return at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/romney-2010-tax-return.html). This is the same percentage of taxes that a single person making only $60,000...

The “Tax Gap”

16/04/12 9:29 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Did you ever wonder how many people do not actually pay their taxes under our “voluntary compliance” system here in the United States? Well, it turns out that the latest IRS estimates show about 15% of the total tax liability owed for 2006 was actually collected. This rate is virtually unchanged from the 2001 compliance rate and amounts to $450...

Employee or Independent Contractor?

16/04/12 9:27 pm | Comments (1) | Posted By:

Washington has recently renewed its interest in worker classification issues, i.e. employee v. independent contractor. In September the IRS and Department of Labor signed a memorandum of understanding to share information regarding worker “misclassification.” The same month the IRS established a new voluntary classification settlement program th...