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Posted on Friday, September 30, 2022
Many taxpayers today don’t really know how much income tax they actually paid with their 2021 tax filing. A few can tell you something more general like, “I got quite a refund” or “I paid a lot and it hurt!”, but not many can really tell you how much tax they actually owed. That’s a shame in our “plugged in” world where your mortgage company, credit card company, crypto wallet service, Amazon, Credit Karma etc. have all done their best to have you interact on a regular basis. They send you reminders, offer you guidance and try to inform you in some way of your ongoing status. Ask a taxpayer what bracket they are in and they might answer, “I...

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Posted on Friday, September 23, 2022
We are nearing the October filing deadline, so all the crying is almost over for last year’s tax return submissions.   We’ve blogged throughout the summer on various topics, but now you’re down to a few weeks to effectively do 90% of what can be done to affect your current year tax liability.  Only a few things can be done after December 31st, once you realize how big the bill actually is.  If you’re an individual making less than top wages, you can open and fund IRAs after December 31st to reduce this year’s tax bill.  Other than that, there’s little that can be done once the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.  You have until then to get your act together, figure out where your...

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Posted on Friday, September 16, 2022
This last wave of tax filers are quite often the most productive people in our economy. Many are business owners, some with more than one business, or at least in some ways just have a lot going on, which means they usually add and not subtract from the tax base. That said, if your taxes are not done yet, then you’re in a rush (or should be) to get everything ready for filing, which usually means you’re not getting everything done accurately, and very often means you’re not getting any real tax mitigation advice either. It’s a vicious cycle. You wait to file because you are so busy getting ahead and just plain getting things done, then comes the fear...

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Posted on Friday, September 09, 2022
Don’t let your stockbroker off the hook when it comes to tax planning.  Many people work with brokers when they buy and sell stocks.  Many people now, because of the internet, also have become their own stockbrokers, doing their own research and trading on various platforms.  Whether you use a professional or do your trades yourself, you still need to hold your stockbroker accountable.  What do I mean?  If a broker is helping you buy and sell, they had to take a Series license of some kind.  Sometimes, an RIA (Registered Investment Advisor) has taken a Series 65 exam.  If it’s a representative of a broker/dealer, perhaps they’ve taken a Series 6 or a Series 7 exam.  There are other possibilities, but the point is, these exams...

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Posted on Friday, September 02, 2022
Well, do they or don’t they, actually?  Long debated and often manipulated by the media, the topic of the wealthy and taxation has many, many complex points and counterpoints.  First, when people say that, they often don’t define what kind of tax.  The people hearing the comment usually go to federal personal income tax in their mind as TAXES. However, if a wealthy person owns 20 C corporations, with each filing their own tax returns, those C corporations pay their own taxes and unless the wealthy person needed to take a dividend or other distribution, then they could pay zero federal income tax, even though their companies paid potentially millions in taxes themselves.   The kinds of taxes people pay...

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Posted on Friday, August 26, 2022
Have you ever seen a cat on the side of the road that waits until the very last second and then darts across the road in front of traffic? Ever see one that didn’t make it and think, “Some child is going to be very sad soon.”? I always wonder what makes the cat wait until the last second, but then again that’s what most taxpayers seem to do! They wait until February or March with a filing deadline looming and then dash out in front of a tax preparer and beg, “Is there anything we can do to lower this?”  Like the cat, perhaps the preparer has an idea and they miss getting hit with the entire bill, but...

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Posted on Friday, August 19, 2022
It’s hard to be logical all the time about everything.  The most financially successful tax clients we serve at least attempt to force themselves to be logical, for their own benefit.  For instance, our parents, as well as a subset of the economy including some popular radio show based advisors like Dave Ramsey, say you should pay off your home and have a “free and clear” deed as a goal (they are wrong in most cases by the way).  That kind of thinking is emotional thinking, mixed perhaps with some presumptive attitude about what the general populous is capable of.  “Well, we know we can’t get people to do what would really be best for them based on pure math...

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Posted on Friday, August 12, 2022
The buzz about the IRA potentially getting billions in new funding and hiring 87,000 new employees is typical of the news spinners who thrive on creating anxiety for the general public. The tax industry has known the IRS’s secret for years now and the few people in the public that pay attention know that these people are desperately needed!  Like many restaurants and other businesses that have closed because of staff shortages and uncertainty, the IRS at current staff levels has been almost impossible to reach and is years behind in its work. They have had tens of thousands of employees retire without being replaced, and just reaching the IRS to speak to someone about an issue can take days...

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Posted on Friday, August 05, 2022
When planning ahead, or just engaging in their day to day operations, most business owners at least occasionally think about tax deductions. A business dinner that can be partially deductible, or a new machine that can be depreciated. However, they often don’t think about or plan how to acquire other tax credits, which can often be much more valuable. Tax credits are often transitory, with the benefits increased or reduced from year to year, or sometimes eliminated altogether, only to be brought back again several years later. Over the last few decades we have seen some popular credits renewed or in some cases even made a permanent part of the tax code. Small business owners seem to often not be aware...

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Posted on Friday, July 29, 2022
Many times business owners have come into our office and with our help have found that they were doing things incorrectly regarding their bookkeeping and taxes.  Occasionally, the errors add to the tax burdens that they have been under-reporting.  That never feels good, but it is always better to fix those issues prior to any audit.  Often, errors discovered “pre-audit” can be fixed by simply amending the return, and no IRS issues follow, and everyone just moves on.  But quite often, the errors made were not in their own favor. In those case, we help them file amended returns that net them large additional refunds for up to three years back, and that always feels great! So, how do these...

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