6 12, 2018

5 Ways to Get Smart when Giving at Year-end

The end of the year has arrived. Here are a handful of charitable donation strategies to consider if you want to boost your tax deductions for 2018: 1. Audit-proof your claims. The IRS imposes strict substantiation rules for charitable donations. In fact, you're required to keep records for all monetary contributions, no matter how

29 11, 2018

Understanding Tax Terms: Head of Household

The tax term head of household is one of the more misunderstood tax phrases inside the U.S. tax code. However, if your situation warrants head of household status, there are two big tax benefits. First, a higher standard deduction. Second, lower effective tax rates for virtually every income level. This is great, but only

28 11, 2018

Outsmart Email Scams in 3 Simple Steps

There's no doubt you've seen an email touting a too-good-to-be-true offer in your inbox every now and then. Random pleas from mysterious people who need your help recovering inheritances they promise to share with you probably makes you shake your head and hit delete. But what do you do when an email says it's

15 11, 2018

Take Advantage of Being Self-employed

When it comes to taxes, being self-employed has some advantages. Whether you work for yourself on a full-time basis or just do a little moonlighting on the side, the government has provided you with a variety of tax breaks: • Build up your retirement funds. When you're self-employed, you're allowed to set up a

8 11, 2018

2019 Social Security Changes Announced

The Social Security Administration announced a 2.8 percent boost to monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for 2019. The increase is the largest in seven years, and is based on the rise in the Consumer Price Index over the past 12 months ending in September 2018. For those still contributing to

8 11, 2018

Have You Thought about These Year-end Investment Moves?

As year-end approaches, take a closer look at your investment portfolio. There may be some tax-saving strategies worth considering. Check out the following areas: • Wash sales. Thinking of selling a security before Dec. 31 to take advantage of a capital loss? To make sure the loss is deductible, refrain from buying a substantially

1 11, 2018

It’s Your (and the IRS’s) Lucky Day! You won a prize. Now what?

When you win a prize, there are really two winners: you and the taxing authorities. Should you be fortunate enough to win that trip of a lifetime to the French Riviera in your new yacht, here is what you need to know. Prizes are taxable. Almost all prizes are taxable income. You report them on your

24 10, 2018

Businesses: Prepare for Form 1099 Information Reporting to Avoid Steep IRS Penalties

We are reminding you that Form 1099-MISC must be issued to individuals, some corporations, and other unincorporated entities to which you paid for services and contract work that meet certain criteria during the calendar year. Likewise, Forms 1099-INT and 1099-DIV must be issued to recipients of interest and dividend income, respectively. To verify your Form

11 10, 2018

Understanding Tax Terms: Pass-through Entities What are they? Why should you care?

Small business owners have a number of options on how to organize their business for tax purposes. Many small, single owner, businesses are not incorporated, and are deemed "sole proprietors", in the eyes of the IRS. Other business entities, like C corporations, are taxed as a separate entity with distributions to owners taxed a