Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Getting a Head Start on 2017 (taxes that is!)

01/11/17 3:13 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

It’s only November but there’s still time to make the filing of your 2017 tax return less taxing in 2018. Withholding and Estimated Taxes. Make sure enough taxes are withheld to avoid surprises at tax time. Generally taxes are withheld from wages and other income such as pensions, bonuses, commissions and gambling winnings. Taxpayers with int...

What happens if I don’t file my taxes on time?

19/10/17 3:51 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

With the passing of another tax deadline, I thought it would be helpful to go over the consequences of not filing your tax return on time. If you have not filed your 2016 tax return, file it as soon as possible to minimize the penalties that you may owe. There are three types of payments that could be assessed if you do not pay the tax ow...

The Tax Aspects of Disasters like Hurricane Harvey

07/09/17 2:35 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Between Hurricane Harvey, the fast-approaching Hurricane Irma and the various wildfires ravaging the west, unfortunately natural disasters have been all too common this summer. The last thing on anyone’s mind living in those areas is taxes, but nonetheless, there are various tax aspects of a disaster that people should be aware of. Fortunatel...

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...

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 ...

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...

Bonus Pay Limitation

27/10/16 2:01 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Modern day business is built on constant competition and an ever changing landscape, where CEO’s must take risks to survive. Risk-taking is something that happens in everyday business and those that have good results from the risks are given bonuses. What if the CEO received a bonus from good results in the current year and then 3 years down the...

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...

The “Final-Offer” Arbitration Challenge

19/09/16 11:06 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

The Harvard Business Review recently published an article outlining an interesting strategy which should make negotiations more civil, speedy and fair. The authors have proposed an approach they call the “final-offer arbitration challenge” for reaching fair agreements efficiently. It works like this. If the other side’s position is unreaso...

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. ...

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 ...

Accumulate or Spend?

27/07/16 2:05 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

When is it time to retire? Is it some set age such as when social security or medicare benefits are available? It’s different for everyone. And people are continuing to work later in life. Why? Maybe because they need to (haven’t saved enough – the recession hit them hard) or maybe because they want to (enjoy what they are doing). The toughes...

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...

Washoe County’s Proposed Sales Tax Increase

03/06/16 10:40 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

On the ballot in November will be a tax rate adjustment that’s worth taking a look at: Sales Tax. The proposed sales tax hike would increase Washoe County sales tax from 7.725% to 8.265%, which would make Washoe County the highest tax rate in Nevada. The current high is in Clark County at 8.15%. To put this into perspective - if you bought an iP...

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 ...

Passwords continue to be a security risk

31/03/16 11:18 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

According to a recent article in the Journal of Accountancy, passwords continue to be a major security risk. SplashData’s report compiling millions of leaked passwords has found that since 2011 the most frequently used passwords are “123456” and “password”. In addition to using weak passwords people often use the same one for everything. This ob...

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...

Why cloud accounting is good for your business

10/03/16 4:36 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Accounting software shouldn’t be a chore to use

Small business accounting software that’s not available via the cloud can be tedious. Traditionally, it can suck up far too much of your business’ time and effort. This doesn't add value, and takes the fun out of being in business. Cloud software can save your company time and money.

 Why the clo...

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 ...

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...

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 ...

Nevada Museum of Art – Tahoe Exhibit

12/11/15 10:55 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

I recently had a chance to visit the Nevada Museum of Art’s Lake Tahoe exhibit and I have to say, I was blown away by the number of historical art pieces the museum had on display depicting Lake Tahoe during a time that few people today can remember. The museum suggests guests start off on the third floor in order to begin with the earliest pain...

Got spare change? You too, can have an investment account

29/10/15 8:29 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

A month or so ago, while on Facebook a sponsored ad came up on my news feed for Acorns, an investment app that allows you to open an account via your smartphone and in essence, invests your spare change.I was curious so clicked on it and was introduced to a whole new world of robo investing applications that I apparently had missed hearing about...

An Eventful Couple of Weeks for Tesla

22/10/15 10:53 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  The past couple of weeks have produced some interesting headlines for Tesla, with headlines from the last couple of days even driving the price of Tesla’s stock down. On Tuesday, October 20, 2015, Consumer Reports released results from its Annual Auto Reliability Survey which forecasted Tesla’s Model S as likely to have a worse-than-average...

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...

High Potential or High Performer. Which One Are You?

10/09/15 2:32 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  I was intrigued by the article “High Performers and High-Potential Employees Are Not One in the Same” , by Andre Lavoie.  So I did a bit more investigation and found some other references out there. The consensus was: High Performers achieve your goals today. High Potentials help you achieve your future. High-potentials have the ab...

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...

Hiking Lake Tahoe

06/08/15 10:29 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

If you are looking for cheap ways to enjoy the beautiful terrain in and around the Lake Tahoe Basin, hiking will be your best bet. There are relatively few locations on the Nevada side of the lake that require paid parking, whereas if you generally hike anywhere in California around Lake Tahoe, you are likely to be assessed a fee ranging from $5...

Star Power – Is It Portable?

30/07/15 10:06 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Harvard Business Review OnPoint’s Summer 2015 issue includes an article on “How Star Women Build Portable Skills” suggesting that women, in their efforts to maneuver in a male oriented environment, actually build skills that are more portable than men. The research study was conducted on stock analysts starting several years back. Strate...

Lost and Found Dogs? There’s an App for That!

22/07/15 8:39 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  On June 22, 2015, Washoe County announced that it was the first in Nevada, along with the Nevada Humane Society, to team up with Finding Rover, an app that uses facial recognition to help identify lost dogs. Finding Rover consists of a free mobile app and website and is very easy to use. It has been extremely beneficial in assisting dog own...

Millennials – Overtaking the Work Force

16/07/15 11:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

According to an article on CNBC this week, this year millennials will surpass baby boomers and GenXers to become the largest generation in the American workforce. Adults age 18 to 34 now make up 1 in 3 American workers. There have been numerous articles, seminars and training sessions built around how to effectively lead and work with different ...

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...

Lake Tahoe Summer Activities

25/06/15 9:40 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Earlier this year I wrote a blog analyzing how one should go about purchasing a winter season pass at one of the many Lake Tahoe ski resorts, but I overlooked what that winter pass gets you during the summer months at the various ski resorts. In my previous post I declared that I buy my season pass at Sierra-at-Tahoe for $279 which is the best p...

To Unplug or Not?

18/06/15 3:09 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  As I get ready to head off on vacation, I ran across a couple of articles on CFOs taking more working vacations. Robert Half Management Resources performed a study as to how often CFOs check in with the office during summer vacation. The percentage of time is increasing from their responses in 2012. It’s so easy now with everyone being so p...

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...

My First Go at the RTO

04/06/15 11:29 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

The Reno Tahoe Odyssey, or “RTO” as it has become to be known around the area, is a relay race that begins in the heart of downtown Reno, traverses the hills up through Verdi and Truckee, to the West Shore of Tahoe, back down through Genoa and Carson City, continues up to Virginia City and culminates back in Reno at Idlewild Park. It consists ma...

Drones – embrace them or run away?

28/05/15 12:24 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Drones have been in the headlines here in Northern Nevada as we compete to be a player in their research and manufacture. Sensational headlines are appearing on how drones will revolutionize the delivery of packages. But for all the excitement, I for one am lamenting the day these become more ubiquitous. The home is supposed to be the on...

The Give Hope Foundation

21/05/15 10:20 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  There are so many wonderful non-profit organizations in the Northern Nevada area, one of which is The Give Hope Foundation. I was recently asked to be a board member for this organization, and could not pass up the opportunity to be a part of an organization with such an important cause. Give Hope provides financial assistance to Northern N...

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 ...

Recent News in Review

07/05/15 3:35 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

As my mind is busy with other things in life, I thought I’d buzz through some of the week’s events I have found interesting. And as much as the royal baby is cute, I won’t spend any more time on that subject. This week saw the American celebration of Cinco de Mayo (and yes, we are primarily the only ones celebrating). I personally didn’t get ...

Must we experience a full-blow crisis before we act?

30/04/15 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

In a study done last year, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office disclosed that the total amount of federal debt held by the public equaled 74% of the gross domestic product. While it represents one of the highest levels in history, the CBO projects that, if the current laws remain unchanged, the publicly-held federal debt would exceed 100...

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...

Tax Season Haikus

04/04/15 10:25 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Blossoms everywhere

Tax deadline will soon be here

Two more weeks then sleep

   

Tax deadline is near

Pink and white blossoms abound

It’s cold; spring is here

 

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 (2) | 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...

Cutting the Cord

05/03/15 12:44 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Since we moved back in September, my wife and I have dropped cable television and have gone the cord cutting route of using various streaming services. I’m happy to report that we’re very satisfied with the choice. It’s not a perfect alternative, but I do enjoy knowing I’m not shelling out $150 a month for a bundle of TV and internet servic...

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...

The Future of the Daily Show

12/02/15 10:46 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  In case you have not heard, Jon Stewart will be stepping down as the host of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Currently his contract is set to run out sometime in September, but he has said that he is unsure of when he will actually leave the show. Jon’s satirical reporting is what has gotten me, as well as many other younger people, to wat...

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...

Lake Tahoe Season Passes – Worth the Price?

08/01/15 11:27 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Which resort will I buy my season pass to next year? This is a question that I ask myself every winter when the ski and snowboard season is in full swing here in Lake Tahoe. I have learned over the last 24 years of skiing and snowboarding that I will visit one single resort enough to make buying a season pass worth the price. I have also...

Medicare – The A B Cs (& Ds)

18/12/14 11:39 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  It seems like Medicare has been around forever, but actually, President Lyndon Baines Johnson called on the Congress to create Medicare in 1964 and signed the bill creating it on July 30, 1965. Medicare services began July 1, 1966 when more than 19 million Americans 65 and older enrolled in the program. Basically, the traditional (or ori...

The Fortitude of Women

04/12/14 1:21 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  I always find it interesting to hear the back story of people’s success…men and women. Over the last few months I’ve read a couple of historical novels: The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin and The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. What struck me the most from these novels was the strong influence on their families and the fortitude these wo...

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...

Credit or Cash?

06/11/14 10:41 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Companies having their data hacked seems to be a common occurrence these days. This is causing credit card companies to issue new cards every few months, or at least it feels like it happens this often. This has me thinking that maybe using cash more frequently may be a good idea. There are times when using a credit card can be beneficial; ...

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...

Women… We Want “Glamour Work”…And Men to Mentor Us

25/09/14 1:00 pm | Comments (1) | Posted By:

  Women, women, everywhere. But are we in the right places? Yes and No. It is interesting that when we focus on something we find it everywhere we look. Last week I was off to a conference In Portland. I always end up picking up reading material in the airport so I bought the October 2014 issue of the Harvard Business Review. In it I found...

Will This Winter Help Our Drought?

18/09/14 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  On August 21, 2014, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook for the period of August 21 through November 30, 2014. Unfortunately, for residents in California, Nevada, and southern Oregon, the predictions are not encouraging. According to the NOAA, the drought in these areas is ex...

An accounting Haiku during this busy season

12/09/14 2:27 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Workdays turn to night

Leaves soon bathe in red and orange

Tax deadlines approach

 
Deadlines
September 15, 2014:
  • Corporations, S Corps, Partnerships and Trusts - 2013 calendar year income tax returns due (if timely extension was requested)
  • Individuals and Corporations - 2014 third quarter estimated income tax payments due
Octo...

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...

Putting Away for Retirement; Some Troubling Statistics

21/08/14 9:34 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  According to a recent survey performed by Bankrate.com, a third of people (roughly 36%) in the U.S. have nothing saved for retirement. Of the 1,003 adults surveyed, 69% of those with no retirement savings were between the ages of 18 to 29. That’s not entirely shocking given the fact that not only are most adults at that age not even concern...

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...

Cutting costs for back to school shopping

07/08/14 10:01 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  It’s time for your kids to go back to school, and with that comes a lot of added expenses. With all of the back to school sales it is easy to get overwhelmed, and end up spending much more than planned. Here are a few tips to stay in budget when going back to school shopping this year:

  • Create a plan before you go shopping. Have a list o...

AUTOmazement

31/07/14 8:24 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Okay…I confess…I am a little goofy when it comes to cars. However, in my defense, the goofiness is a rather common ailment for many people these days. Hot August Nights 2014 began earlier this week in northern Nevada and will conclude on August 3, 2014. This will wrap up the 28th year of this event which debuted August 1, 1986. This even...

Aereo Loses at Supreme Court

24/07/14 11:54 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  In April, I wrote a blog discussing the case of American Broadcasting Companies, Inc v. Aereo, Inc. The case had just been argued in front of the Supreme Court, so a decision was a couple of months off. On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court finally issued its ruling with a 6-3 decision in favor of the broadcasting companies. The majority’s...

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...

Reno is Artown

02/07/14 11:02 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Barnard Vogler & Co. is celebrating its 45 Anniversary this year and during all of those 45 years, the firm has chosen to locate our offices in the downtown Reno area. Further, as one of the owners of our "locally-owned" firm, I have chosen to make my home in the downtown Reno neighborhood known as old southwest Reno and specifically the Ne...

Hiring for Potential

26/06/14 2:28 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  What's more important: experience or potential? In an accounting firm, experience can sometimes be the focus of a hiring decision. However, potential really is a smart hire. High performing potentials...that's a win. In Claudio Fernandez-Araoz's article 21st Century Talent Spotting in the June 2014 Harvard Business Review, he points out ...

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...

The importance of a budget

05/06/14 9:56 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Saving money and getting your finances on track is not always an easy thing to accomplish. One of the most helpful things to do to accomplish these goals is to create a budget. There are many different reasons why someone would want to create a budget including retiring early, paying off debt, stop living paycheck to paycheck, etc. Once you...

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...

Who Pays First?

07/05/14 1:15 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Are you 65 or older, have Medicare, and other insurance coverage such as a group health plan from an employer? Who is the “primary payer” responsible for paying your medical bills first? When there’s more than one payer, “coordination of benefits” rules decide who pays first. The “primary payer” pays what it owes on your bills first, and...

Tiny Antennas Make Broadcasters Mad

23/04/14 9:41 am | Comments (1) | Posted By:

  On Tuesday the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of American Broadcasting Companies, Inc v. Aereo, Inc. This case pits an Internet startup against the behemoths of the broadcasting world. At the heart of the case is basically whether or not Aereo can continue to be in business. Let’s start at the beginning. Aereo is an Internet b...

Reno’s High Home Prices

20/03/14 10:24 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

I can’t believe how much homes in Reno are going for nowadays! Lately I have been helping a friend look for a home and it appears now close to $300,000 must be spent to afford a starter home (even though the experts say the average price is closer to $250,000, I find this hard to believe). In my recent home viewing experience $300,000 affords a ...

I Joined the Republic

06/03/14 11:50 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

When I last made noise on the BVCo. blog I was discussing my search for a cheaper cell phone bill. Well, I finally made a decision. I joined up with Republic Wireless and brought my phone bill down to $25 a month. This is $55 savings from the $80 a month bill I was previously paying. With these monthly savings I will recoup the cost of the new p...

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...

Reno/Tahoe should host the Olympics

20/02/14 10:02 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Watching the Winter Olympics in Russia makes me wonder if they will ever grace Reno/Tahoe in my lifetime. It has been over 50 years since Squaw Valley hosted the Olympics and I wasn’t alive to see that.  Tahoe certainly has the snow, even in this drought.  The storm from early February would have been a saving grace for the Olympics that are sta...

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,...

Come Rain or no Rain…Buy Local First

06/02/14 10:42 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Surveyors measured the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada in January 2014, and the results are more proof of Nevada and California's severe drought:  The California Department of Water Resources said the snowpack was 12 percent of average for this time of the year, the lowest level since electronic record-keeping began in 1960 . Prior to today, ...

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 ...

The Quest for a Cheaper Cell Phone Bill

09/01/14 12:54 pm | Comments (1) | Posted By:

  How much do you pay for your cell phone monthly? I’m not on the most expensive plan, but I still pay nearly $80 a month. While the price of my plan hasn’t increased in recent years, primarily because I haven’t upgraded my phone, I still feel $80 is too much. On top of it currently being too expensive, if I decide to upgrade my phone at a su...

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...

Traveling to Asia

19/12/13 10:54 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

I recently came back from a 3 ½ week vacation from Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. We were traveling in a group tour in both Taiwan and China. I was very impressed with the tour guides who provided us with information about the various places we were visiting as well as stories from previous tours they headed. One particular story told pertains ...

A New Way to Learn

12/12/13 9:20 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  As many of my clients and friends reading my blogs may know, I serve as Nevada's only elected representative to the governing Council of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). This is a position that I am pleased and honored to hold as it offers me the opportunity to provide a voice in the national forum that repres...

Tips for SAFE online holiday shopping

05/12/13 9:39 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  The holiday season is here, and for many people that means it is time for Christmas shopping. Many people take advantage of the sales on "Black Friday" to kick off their holiday shopping. This year was no different with large crowds trying to find the best sales. People could even start earlier this year, as many of the stores opened on Tha...

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...

Is Reno a City of Sustenance as Well as Indulgence?

24/10/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  In an article published last week ("A Reno Neighborhood Drinks in Style"), The New York Times declared “Reno is now a city of sustenance as well as indulgence.” This declaration came after some enthusiastic and positive writing on the happenings of Midtown District businesses. The article wandered from the Old Granite Street Eatery to Reno ...

Government Shutdown and Debt Ceiling Breach Consequences: Do They Affect You?

16/10/13 4:44 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  If this week’s negotiations to raise the federal debt ceiling do not end well, there could be major consequences to the economy. Administration officials say that by Thursday they will have exhausted all borrowing authority and only have cash on hand. There would be enough money to make payments for a few days, but not more than two weeks. ...

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...

Innovation and Public Accounting: Lessons from Marissa Mayer and Steve Jobs

05/09/13 10:59 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

How do we bring innovation into the world of Public Accounting?  The Truth About Marissa Mayer: An Unauthorized Biography by Nicholas Carlson popped up in the recommended news section of my Linked In account this weekend. Thinking I would just scan through it, I later found it was a lengthy but intriguing article which I read in two sittings....

Alex Rodriguez: The Guy we Love to Hate

29/08/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  I’m going to talk a little baseball today. It’s been on my mind since hearing about it and then watching a recap of the eventful New York Yankees/Boston Red Sox game on Sunday, August 18. I know most everyone hates Alex Rodriquez, public enemy number one in the baseball world, but just indulge me. For those unaware, Alex Rodriquez and tw...

A Reno Renaissance: Neighborhoods, Nevada Opera, The Biggest Little City Campaign

22/08/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  There are so many good things going on in Reno right now, and you don’t have to look far to find them! When you ask the question, What makes a neighborhood great?, the answers include "It's always a bunch of individuals coming in who think the potential for their community is bigger." And "A great neighborhood usually evolves organically...

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...

Blogging about Blogs – you can learn quite a bit

01/08/13 1:55 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

It's my turn again. The dreaded blog is due. What to write always seems to drive the "dreaded" part of a "blog is due." So, I fired up Google News and started reading away. There was definitely much to write about, but I wanted something local. Clicking on the News Near You section didn't highlight any particularly interesting articles, but it 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...

2013 Triple-A All-Star Week

11/07/13 7:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  In a few days, Reno will host the 2013 Triple-A All-Star Week at the Reno Aces stadium. This is an opportunity you won’t want to miss.  Triple-A teams from across the country bid to host this event, and the Reno Aces Baseball Club was the one chosen. Hundreds of former Triple-A All-Stars have gone on to the Major League, and many have even ...

Do you treat your employees like dogs?? Maybe you should!

03/07/13 11:30 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  I ran across an article - Why Smart Bosses Treat Their Employees Like Dogs - comparing dog obedience training to the way that business owners should treat their employees and I found it very intriguing. I spend considerable time training my German Shepherds and they are too big not to have manners! I hadn't thought about it before but there...

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...

Technology and Transparency in Government

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

  The Government Finance Officers Association held its annual conference in San Francisco this past week. Edwin Lee, the mayor of San Francisco opened the conference speaking about transparency in government including sharing data with innovative businesses that develop mobile applications that can be utilized by everyone. In San Francisco...

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...

Avoid “Bizspeak”

23/05/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

At one time or another we are probably all guilty of slipping a little “bizspeak” into our conversations. But if you are really interested in acquiring clever phrases and made-up words to embellish your written (and oral) business communications skills, then you should check out a recent Harvard Business Review blog on the subject. The buz...

Spring Time Means…Food Truck Fridays!

09/05/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

It's that time of year again: The weather is warming, the skies are blue, let’s grab some grub at Reno Food Truck Fridays to feed that hunger in you. My horrible rhyming aside, this bimonthly, gastronomic event is back in town. Setting up shop every first and third Friday of the month, Reno Food Truck Fridays (RFTF) is a great way to get out...

Disposable Thinking

02/05/13 10:52 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  They just don’t make them like they used to. Have you ever said or thought these words? Products were not designed to last. Purchase of replacement products contribute to the profits of the manufacturers. Software programs, for instance, are constantly changing and must be replaced if you want support. The software still works but is no ...

Dining Out For Life – TODAY, April 25, 2013

25/04/13 8:25 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

While reading the newspaper this morning, I came across a fundraising event that allows you to make a big difference and will fit right into your busy schedule. This event is called “Dining Out For Life” and it’s happening TODAY, April 25, 2013. All you have to do to help is go have a great meal at one of the many participating restaurants! R...

Company Culture – Why Is It Important?

18/04/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Would you normally wake up and want to go to work? Most people would probably answer NO to this question, especially during tax season. Tax season is a stressful time for employees of CPA firms. Does it make a difference if there is a good company culture to help alleviate some of the stress? The workplace should not be something an empl...

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,...

The CPA…Your Trusted Advisor…And Congressional Representative

28/03/13 10:29 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  It is bewildering to witness the "goings-on" in Washington DC these days…partisan bickering, gridlock, inability to meet critical deadlines…the list goes on and on. It is definitely a time for a change. Sweeping change? Not highly likely, nor possible. But how about a slight change that is happening gradually as we speak. CPA's are gaining ...

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:

    ...

Naps During the Work Day Equal Increased Productivity

14/03/13 7:53 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Now that we are in the thick of tax season, I have to say...I'm tired. No, not of work. I'm physically and mentally tired, mainly because I don't get enough sleep during the night. Longer work days and longer work weeks have made my available sleep time appear to diminish. (Oh, and let's not get started about daylight saving time; I've been...

North Dakota envy – jobs envy

07/03/13 12:08 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

For the first time in history I have become slightly envious of North Dakota. Why would I be envious of a state that is so cold you have to plug in your car battery during winter nights? I’m envious because of their hot economy where unemployment is only 3.2%, not in the double digits as in Nevada. Their low unemployment rate mainly stems from h...

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...

Why Do We Blog?

21/02/13 8:50 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  The first known use of a blog was in 1999.  Blog is short for Weblog.  The Merriam-Webster defines a blog as “a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer; also: the contents of such a site”. Internet users have jumped from 360 million in 2000 to over 2 billio...

Do You Use Social Media?

14/02/13 11:46 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  So, how about it? Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter. Do you use any of them? Do you post pictures and check-in when you visit places? While your intent may be to keep your friends and family in the loop (even when we don't want to know), other parties may be interested too. Raytheon, a Massachusetts-based defense contractor, has been developing...

Creating Community Conversation…Ideas Worth Spreading

31/01/13 8:00 am | Comments (2) | Posted By:

  I consider myself one of the lucky ones that had the opportunity to participate in the first TEDx held in Reno at the University of Nevada. I didn't know what a TEDx event was, but happened to run across it on a LinkedIn message from Bret Simmons, University of Nevada College of Business associate professor and TEDxUniversityofNevada event ...

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 Affordable Care Act: Large Employers Should Consider All Their Options

27/12/12 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Many large companies are determining how they will handle the changes coming in January 2014 with the Affordable Care Act. For a company who employs 50 or more full-time employees that is already offering health care benefits, one option that I am reading about over and over is: Employers would terminate their current health insurance pl...

The Power of the Purse continues to grow

20/12/12 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

It has been known for quite some time that women make up most of the purchasing decision power in households but their increasing presence in the workforce is becoming nearly as significant. According to a recent post by XYZ University, these are a few of their interesting statistics:

  • Women hold the majority of jobs in the US including 51.4%...

There will be Twinkies again, trust me

13/12/12 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

A few weeks ago, I, along with the rest of the world, heard that Hostess and their unions could not come to a new personnel agreement and would be going bankrupt. The television news stations all started blasting their sensational headline that Twinkies were going the way of the McDonald’s Arch Deluxe, Crystal Pepsi, and the Delorean and would n...

When Can I Retire?

06/12/12 7:48 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  With so much of your retirement funds invested in the market these days, the thought of retirement is a risky proposition.  I personally don't have plans to retire anytime soon; however, listening to Bill Hampel, an economist for the Credit Union National Association, speak at the AICPA National Conference on Credit Unions, one take away fo...

Financial Statements: Compilations, Reviews, and Audits – which one do you really need?

29/11/12 2:00 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Many times we have been contacted by clients and potential clients inquiring about our firm performing an audit for them, and more importantly, what will it cost? Some of the first questions we ask are “who is asking for it” and “do you think you really need an audit”? The answer depends on who will be using the financial statements and ...

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...

Running the Family Business: And the Winners Are…

01/11/12 8:30 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  A recent Harvard Business Review article, What You Can Learn From Family Business, compared the performance of similar sized family businesses to traditional public companies with some interesting results. Their conclusion:  family businesses focus on resilience more than performance.  Forgoing excess returns in the good times to ensure ...

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 ...

Vote Early, Not Often in Washoe County

18/10/12 4:03 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Have you heard? There's an election coming up. It's not easy to miss with the constant barrage of TV, radio, and mail advertisements. With the General Election a little less than three weeks away, early voting is almost here. Saturday, October 20, 2012, is the first day to vote early in Washoe County and you will then have until November 2, 2...

Be Informed about the New Health Care Coverage Penalties!

11/10/12 11:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

    For tax years beginning after 2013, U.S. Citizens and legal residents, with few exceptions, will be required to maintain health insurance coverage. A number of programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, eligible employer-sponsored plans, plans in the individual market, certain grandfathered group plans and other plans recognized by Health...

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...

Credit Scores – The Confusion Continues

28/09/12 9:14 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Credit scores...do we really understand where they come from and how they are used?  A study just released by researchers at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that credit bureaus sometimes provide Americans with credit scores different than those used by lenders in as many as one out of four times.  The study was based on a ran...

When Should You Start Collecting Social Security?

20/09/12 2:00 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

With baby boomers nearing or at retirement age, many expect social security to be one of their main sources of income, or at least a nice addition. If you were born between 1943 and 1954, the age for receiving the maximum amount of your earned benefits is 66. This age increases by two months for each year born until being born after 1959 when it...

Plan and Prep – How to Start a Business during Hard Times

13/09/12 8:42 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  “A negative economy has little effect on a given business’ survival. Businesses started in expanding economies in 1995 and 2005, those started just before the downturn in 2000, and those started just after the downturn had almost identical survival paths”…(Source: BLS, Business Employment Dynamics.)   Many new small businesses go ...

What I Learned in School Today (OK, it’s actually in Leadership this Year)

06/09/12 9:16 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

I am excited to share what I have learned from participating in the 2012 Leadership Reno Sparks Program. I have really enjoyed the experience and learned so much about our community. Leadership Reno-Sparks is a year-long program consisting of 12 workshops throughout the year where the participants are exposed to different segments of our comm...

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...

The Financial Literacy Talk – Just as Important as the Birds and Bees

23/08/12 10:12 pm | Comments (1) | Posted By:

Having given financial literacy presentations to children in our community, I found the recent survey results published by the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) dismaying. According to the survey conducted by Harris Interactive, three in 10 parents never talk to their children about money, or have only had one big talk w...

Identity Theft Taken to the Next Level

16/08/12 5:13 pm | Comments (1) | Posted By:

I recently came across an article on yahoo news, which left me flabbergasted. It explained that one home in Florida was the recipient of more than $1 million in refunds by filing 741 false income tax returns. This is a whole different level of tax fraud that goes way beyond fibbing on charitable donations or not reporting some cash income. T...

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...

America’s Fiscal Integrity is in Jeopardy

12/07/12 7:30 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Our nation’s founders believed in certain core values that have served as the foundation upon which this great country has survived and thrived – prudence, thrift, limited debt, savings and stewardship. However, in the last several decades, our country and many of its citizens have strayed off course. Our future is now at risk. If we do not...

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...

2012 Leadership Reno/Sparks Class Fundraiser to benefit the Sparks Senior Citizen Center

22/06/12 5:33 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  As a member of the class of 2012 Leadership Reno/Sparks, I invite you to join us for a fund-raising event benefitting the Sparks Senior Center. Come join us for a great opportunity to appreciate the offerings of two of Reno’s most popular riverfront businesses while supporting the community. Each year, as part of the program, the Lead...

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 “...

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...

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...

Credit Scores Are Changing, Beware:

16/04/12 9:33 pm | Comments (1) | Posted By:

According to the NY Times, credit scores are getting a facelift. A company called CoreLogic has introduced a new type of credit report which contains additional consumer data than what the traditional credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, Equifax) show. Have you missed a rental payment that is now in collections or are you behind on HOA dues...