Author Archives: mk4lahrmer

New Tax Rules for Divorce and Alimony Payments

divorce paymentsDivorce is a painful reality for many people both emotionally and financially, and quite often, the last thing on anyone’s mind is the effect a divorce or separation will have on their tax situation. To make matters worse, most court decisions do not take into account the effects divorce or separation has on your tax situation, which is why it’s always a good idea to speak to an accounting professional before anything is finalized. Continue reading

It’s Not Too Late to Check Paycheck Withholding

check paycheckDid you know that the average tax refund was $2,729 for tax year 2018? While some taxpayers may find it advantageous to get a large tax refund, others may wish to have more of their money show up in their paychecks throughout the year. No matter which preference taxpayers choose, they should remember that they can make adjustments throughout the year that will influence the size of their refund when they file their tax return next spring. Continue reading

October 1 Deadline to Set Up Simple IRA Plans

Simple IRAsOf all the retirement plans available to small business owners, the SIMPLE IRA plan (Savings Incentive Match PLan for Employees) is the easiest to set up and the least expensive to manage. The catch is that you’ll need to set it up by October 1st. Here’s what you need to know. Continue reading

Homeowner Records: What to Keep and How Long

homeowner recordsKeeping full and accurate homeowner records is not only vital for claiming deductions on your tax return, but also for determining the basis or adjusted basis of your home. These records include your purchase contract and settlement papers if you bought the property, or other objective evidence if you acquired it by gift, inheritance, or similar means. You should also keep any receipts, canceled checks, and similar evidence for improvements or other additions to the basis. Continue reading

Settling Tax Debt With an IRS Offer in Compromise

offer in compromiseAn offer in compromise (OIC) is an agreement between a taxpayer and the Internal Revenue Service that settles a taxpayer’s tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed. That’s the good news. The bad news is that not everyone is eligible to use this option to settle tax debt. In fact, nearly 60 percent of taxpayer requested offers in compromise were rejected by the IRS. If you owe money to the IRS and are wondering if an IRS offer in compromise is the answer, here’s what you need to know. Continue reading

Who Can Represent You Before the IRS?

representing you to IRSMany people use a tax professional to prepare their taxes. Anyone who prepares, or assists in preparing, all or substantially all of a federal tax return for compensation is required to have a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). All enrolled agents must also have a valid PTIN. Continue reading

Tax Deductions for Teachers and Educators

Help for educatorsEducators can take advantage of tax deductions for qualified out-of-pocket expenses related to their profession such as classroom supplies, training, and travel. As such, as the new school year begins, teachers, administrators, and aides should remember to keep track of education-related expenses that could help reduce the amount of tax owed next spring. Continue reading