Strictly speaking, personal retirement and medical expenses are not a business expense. But with a little planning and some specific requirements, your company can be deducting these expenses on your behalf. (more…)
Here are a few year-end tax-planning strategies. These are meant to suggest potential area’s to save, but many have specific requirements. Be sure to implement the strategies with professional advice from a tax expert – this is not a do-it-yourself project. (more…)
The current state of our economy has left thousands reeling to find that next dollar and maybe more importantly how to keep what they already own. Estate planning is one of the best ways to accomplish this goal and there is no better to time create or revise your estate plans. The laws in effect for 2012 are some of the most favorable for estate planners in the past 80 years. For that reason, 2012 presents a golden opportunity to reduce your future estate tax liability, capitalize on your lifetime taxable gift tax exemptions, and take advantage of current portability options. (more…)
According to the IRS list of Frequently Asked Tax Questions, there is some confusion out there as to exactly when a taxpayer can claim someone as a dependent. So let’s see if we can shed some light on the subject.
There are two categories for claiming a dependent, a Qualifying Child, and a Qualifying Relative. In this article, we are looking at the requirements for a Qualifying Child. The IRS has a specific definition of what a child is. To claim someone as a dependent, they must pass 5 tests:
- Relationship to the Tax Payer
- Age of the individual
- Filing status
The thinking behind the infamous scarlet letter is alive and well in California government.
Last month Gov. Brown signed into law Senate Bill 459, concerning the misclassification of workers. In addition to the large fines for willful misclasification (up to $25,000 per violation), employers must post a notice on their website and “displayed prominently” in an area that is “accessible to all employees and the general public at each location where a violation. . .occurred.”
Step 71 of the Business Owners Handbook encourages business owners to establish ethics and community outreach programs early in their planning cycle, but many small business owners still question how some of these programs will help their business.
So, why am I bringing this up? I just spent last weekend at the Alzheimer Association’s Walk to end Alzheimer in Huntington Beach, and the event was packed with business teams – some not even associated with Alzheimer support or research. Why were these companies putting the funds forward, and donating their employee time, when there was little relation back to their fields? (more…)
As many of you have already wrapped-up your tax returns and finding someplace to keep all of the supporting documentation, one of the questions we often here is “How long should I keep this?”. Here’s what you need to keep and what you can throw out without fearing the wrath of the IRS.
I guess the off-the-cuff response to the question is “As long as it is relevant.”, but that doesn’t exactly help. So let’s look at specifics: (more…)
CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE: Pursuant to Regulations Governing Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service, any tax advice contained herein is not intended or written to be used and cannot be used by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.
It’s at the bottom of every email that our office sends out, and at the bottom of all of our web pages. Chances are, it’s even been at the bottom of a letter or two we have sent you. It’s the Circular 230 disclosure, and you will find it in some variation in just about any piece of correspondence from Accountants, Lawyers, or Tax Preparers. (more…)
It’s all part of the American dream – come up with a good idea, borrow some money from the bank, and live comfortably on the proceeds from your own business. And with the recent downturn causing many ill-managed businesses to fold, the opportunities are plentiful.
Unfortunately, funding is not that easy to come by anymore. The number of federally guaranteed loans to Orange County small businesses plunged 34% to 128 loans in the first quarter of 2011 after the higher guarantees for lenders and fee subsidies for borrowers ended Dec. 31 (more…)
If you request your refund by check and someone else deposits it, it is a simple matter to have the IRS reverse the deposit and send you a replacement – but what happens if you put down the incorrect information for a direct deposit?
Believe it or not, this happens more often than most people think, and getting it straitened out may be tougher than you would believe.
First off – we can never encourage people enough to read their return before signing it (or the efile authorization). When your preparer hands you your copy of the return take it – and then go home. Sit down and read the return. Make sure the names and social security numbers match your records. If you don’t recognize a number somewhere call your preparer up and ask them about it. When you sign the return the IRS will hold you responsible for the numbers inside – if the preparer had put in some estimate and forgot to take it out, or dropped in an IRA contribution to show you how much you could save and accidentally left it in there, you are the one who will be paying those penalties and interest. (more…)