Category Archives: Tax tips

Do You Have to File 1099’s by January 31st?

Are you required to file 1099’s or other information returns?  Here are some helpful tips from the IRS website to help you stay in compliance and avoid penalties, which start at $50 for each form you fail to file timely, … Continue reading

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How to Avoid — and Deal with — Tax Identity Theft

Even if you guard that critical 9-digit number carefully, you can still have a fraudulent tax return filed using it. Your first thoughts when you become the victim of a tax identity thief might go along the lines of: Did … Continue reading

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Q&A: IRS Audits

Being selected for an audit doesn’t mean that you’re suspected of incorrectly reporting your taxes. There’s no getting around it: The prospect of being audited by the IRS is unnerving. But the agency chooses to audit individuals and businesses for … Continue reading

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Are You Using the Right Business Structure?

The business structure you use – sole proprietor, LLC, etc. – has tremendous impact on how your company operates and pays taxes. A business structure is simply an organizational framework. The IRS requires you to select one for your company, … Continue reading

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Start Planning for 2015 Income Taxes Now: 5 Tips

Even if your 2014 refund hasn’t hit the mailbox yet, it’s time to get a jump on your 2015 taxes. What does the phrase “tax planning” mean to you? Hurriedly giving charitable donations in December to try to knock down … Continue reading

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What You Need to Know About Estimated Taxes

It’s not just self-employed individuals who are required by the IRS to pay estimated taxes. There are numerous advantages to being self-employed. The top benefit that most full-time, must-report-to-the-office employees most envy the most is your ability to establish your … Continue reading

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Contractor or Employee? How the Income Tax Obligations Differ

It’s a very important distinction, and one that can get you in hot water if you misclassify workers. Full-time employees of companies often look at independent contractors with envy. They can generally work whatever hours they want. They can sit … Continue reading

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Are Your Workers Contractors or Employees?

If you have workers in your business, you likely made a decision when you hired them as to whether they should be an employee or a contractor.  If all you hire is employees, then you have nothing to worry about.  … Continue reading

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The New Form 1095-A: Reporting Health Insurance Coverage

For the first time, all taxpayers must include information about their health care coverage to the IRS on their 2014 Form 1040. Another year, another tax form or two. 2014 was the first tax year that the Individual Shared Responsibility … Continue reading

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Are Your Social Security Payments Taxable?

Sometimes they are. Make sure you understand the IRS’s rules. Do you receive social security benefits?  Maybe you have retired and receive payments after working hard all your life.  Maybe you are disabled and receive payments as a result of … Continue reading

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Do You Qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit?

There are many requirements you must meet in order to qualify, but it may lower your tax bill. Supporting a family can be difficult, not to mention expensive. Working families whose income is fairly low need all the help they … Continue reading

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Catching Up with Your Contractors Before 1099 Time

In a little over a month, it will be 2015 and time for year-end accounting chores.   One of those chores is getting your 1099s out, and now is a good time to tie up loose ends so the year-end process … Continue reading

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Are You Eligible for Health Insurance Tax Credits?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) can save your small business money through its tax credits. If your small business has employees, you’ve undoubtedly been paying attention to the news coming out of Washington, D.C., about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). … Continue reading

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Depreciating Equipment

Depreciation is a very complex element of the tax code. It’s best you don’t try to tackle it on your own. From time to time, you may buy a piece of equipment for your business. This can be anything from … Continue reading

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Navigating Nanny Taxes and Household Payroll Compliance

Time is precious for most of us these days, and often, we need help at home so we can have more time to run our businesses or careers.  That may mean hiring help for personal tasks such as caregiving for … Continue reading

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Innocent Spouse Relief: What You Need to Know

Innocent Spouse Relief: What You Need to Know You dream of meeting someone special to spend your life with. Then you meet the perfect person. You get married and start planning a life together. Then things go south. Maybe your … Continue reading

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Natural Disaster Can Affect Your Taxes: Here’s How

Welcome to hurricane season! Hurricanes can cause quite a bit of damage not only to vacation homes, but also to the primary residences of people who live in areas affected by hurricanes. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused more than $125 … Continue reading

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Is it a Business or a Hobby? 9 Questions to Ask

The IRS takes the distinction very seriously. Many small businesses start out as casual pastimes. You help troubleshoot your friends’ computer problems in your spare time, and they start telling their friends and business contacts about you. Or you use … Continue reading

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Oops: Do You Owe Sales Tax and Not Realize You Do?

One of the side effects of our last economic slowdown was in state government budgets; states searched hard for new income, and many of them found a great source by cracking down on sales tax collections.  Their new hot buzzword:  … Continue reading

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Age Has Its Privileges: Income Tax Issues for Seniors

The majority of tax laws apply regardless of age, but some are different if you’re 65 or older. By the time you turn 65, you’ve probably already started enjoying some benefits reserved for senior citizens. Restaurants, exclusive living communities, entertainment … Continue reading

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Haven’t Filed 2013 Taxes Yet? 5 Tips

You had good intentions, but you just couldn’t pull it together in time. Here are some suggestions for dealing with delinquent taxes. One of the problems with waiting until the last minute to prepare and file income taxes is that … Continue reading

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7 Facts About Income Tax Extensions

Not sure you’ll be prepared to file and pay your total taxes due by April 15? Here’s what you need to know about filing an extension. Sometimes, things beyond your control keep you from making that April 15 income tax … Continue reading

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Giving Away Money? Know the Tax Laws

Feeling generous? Want to give a gift of cash or something equivalent to a family member or friend? You should understand the tax implications. There are numerous reasons why you might want to give a gift to someone you know. … Continue reading

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8 Things You Should Know About IRS Audits

Yes, the word strikes fear in every taxpayer’s heart. Here are the basics. You may know someone who’s been through an IRS audit. You’ve at least heard that it can be a grueling, complex process. But how much do you … Continue reading

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Striking Out on Your Own in 2014? Your New Tax Obligations

Many newly self-employed individuals get quite a shock when they start planning for income taxes. Here’s what you need to know. You probably remember your surprise when you got your first paycheck from your first job in high school or … Continue reading

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Five Tips to Get Ready for a Pain-Free Tax Time

With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s a perfect time to get your financial records in order.  Tax moves you make now can mean finding more “green” to spend on family gifts and festivities.  Here are five quick … Continue reading

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Preparing for Tax Prep: 5 Tips

Prepare for preparation? Yes, it’s more than a good idea. It can have significant impact on your tax obligation. You know how onerous tax preparation itself can be. So you probably don’t like to even think about it until those … Continue reading

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Estimating Estimated Taxes: 3 Tips

  Determining how much to pay in estimated taxes for the current tax year isn’t an exact science. It’s kind of ironic, really. The taxpayers who could most easily calculate estimated taxes — salaried individuals whose employers deduct funds for … Continue reading

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Travel Expenses Too High? Revisit the Tax Rules

You know that your travel expenses are excessive, but you don’t know how to rein them in. Here’s a brief refresher. Business travel expenses are often a necessary evil, especially if your company’s sales reach spans the globe. Services like … Continue reading

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Employee or Independent Contractor? The Differences, and the Tax Forms

  Some major companies have gotten in trouble with the IRS for confusing the two. Full-time — and even some part-time — employees in the 1980s enjoyed a benefits bonanza. Health insurance, life insurance, pensions — new hires came to … Continue reading

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Employee Retirement Plans: Tax Advantages and Other Benefits

Thinking of offering a retirement plan to your employees? Here’s some of what you need to know. If you were employed during the 1980s, you probably remember what a benefits bonanza that period was. Inexpensive health and life insurance. Short- … Continue reading

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Seven Year-End Adjustments to Make to Your Books

Year-end is coming up for many businesses, and it’d be nice to know what your final revenue and profit numbers will be for the year. Before we can calculate these key numbers, there are year-end adjustments that may need to … Continue reading

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Employee Retirement Plans: Tax Advantages and Other Benefits

Thinking of offering a retirement plan to your employees? Here’s some of what you need to know.

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Five Things You Can Do to Make Tax Season Easier

We know we’ll never make tax season your favorite time of year, but perhaps we can make it easier. Here are five things you can do now to smooth out the time required to pull your records together for your … Continue reading

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Employee Retirement Plans: A Win-Win Situation

Clearly, your employees are winners when you sponsor a retirement plan. But there are advantages for you, too. A few decades ago, many employees could look forward to comfortable retirements. Interest rates on savings vehicles were high. Pensions were well-funded. … Continue reading

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