Maximizing Qualified Tuition Program Contributions

March 25th, 2014

Qualified Tuition Programs, commonly referred to as Section 529 plans (named after the section of the IRS Code that created them), are plans established to help families save and pay for college in a tax-advantaged way and are available to everyone, regardless of income. These state-sponsored plans allow you to gift large sums of money […]

Tax Breaks for Charity Volunteers

May 7th, 2013

If you volunteer your time for a charity, you may qualify for tax breaks. Although no tax deduction is allowed for the value of services performed for a charity, some deductions are permitted for out-of-pocket costs incurred while performing the services. The normal deduction limits and substantiation rules also apply. The following are some examples: […]

Individual Estimated Tax Payments for 2013 Start Soon

April 23rd, 2013

Our tax system is a “pay-as-you-go” system, and if your pre-paid amount is not enough, you become liable for non-deductible interest penalties. To facilitate that concept, the government has provided several means of assisting taxpayers in meeting the “pay-as-you-go” requirement. The primary among these include: Payroll withholding for employees; Pension withholding for retirees; and Estimated […]

2013 Will Hit Higher-Income Taxpayers Hard – Be Prepared

April 2nd, 2013

Now that Congress has passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) and avoided the so-called “fiscal cliff,” higher-income taxpayers need to brace for higher taxes. There are numerous provisions in the ATRA that don’t provide the higher-income taxpayer any relief, and when these are combined with the provisions of the 2010 Affordable Health […]

Home Affordable Modification Program

March 26th, 2013

To help financially distressed homeowners lower their monthly mortgage payments, the Dept. of the Treasury and the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) established HAMP. In appropriate cases, HAMP has been offering the Principal Reduction Alternative (PRA) as part of a HAMP loan modification since the last quarter of 2010. Current plans call for […]

IRS Introduces New Safe Harbor Home Office Deduction

March 19th, 2013

Effective for tax years beginning in 2013, taxpayers can elect a simplified deduction for the business use of their home. The deduction is $5 per square foot with a maximum square footage of 300. Thus, the maximum deduction is $1,500 per year. Here are the details of this simplified method: Annual Election – A taxpayer may […]

Has Your 2012 Roth-Converted IRA Declined in Value?

March 12th, 2013

If you converted your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA in 2012 and paid (or will pay) the tax on the conversion and then watched the value of the account decrease due to an unexpected poor investment performance, you still have an opportunity to do something about it. If you filed your return on time or are […]

Tax Tips for Recently Married Taxpayers

March 5th, 2013

If you got married during 2012, here are some post-marriage tips to help you avoid stress at tax time. Notify the Social Security Administration ? Report any name change to the Social Security Administration so that your name and SSN will match when filing your next tax return. Informing the SSA of a name change is […]

Don’t Forget Those Nominee 1099s

January 29th, 2013

For tax purposes, if you receive income in your name that actually belongs to someone else, you are also a nominee. Being a nominee means that you must file a 1099 form with the IRS appropriate to the type of income you received and give a copy of the 1099 to the actual owner of the […]

Recently Enacted Tax Breaks for Small Businesses

March 13th, 2012

Keeping track of tax changes these days is quite a task. Congress is constantly tweaking the tax laws in an effort to stimulate the economy and deal with the budget deficit. The following is a compilation of recent changes to keep you up date. Cell Phones No Longer Listed Property – This means that cell […]

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