Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 ...

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...

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 ...

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...

Retirement planning – using all your tools

26/07/12 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  In recent years with the uncertainty in the economy and Baby Boomers coming into retirement age, Social Security has been a hot topic.  What is there not to worry about!?  Will it be there when you are ready to retire?  Should you take it early? Should you postpone benefits? A recent article by Dan Kadlec for Time showed that the numb...

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 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...