Category Archives: Financial Planning

Tax Advantages of S-Corporations

s-corporationsAs a small business owner, figuring out which form of business structure to use when you started was one of the most important decisions you had to make; however, it’s always a good idea to periodically revisit that decision as your business grows. For example, as a sole proprietor, you must pay a self-employment tax rate of 15.3% in addition to your individual tax rate; however, if you were to revise your business structure to become a corporation and elect S-Corporation status you could take advantage of a lower tax rate. Continue reading

Small Business: Tips for Ensuring Financial Success

small business accountingCan you point your company in the direction of financial success, step on the gas, and then sit back and wait to arrive at your destination? While you may wish it was that easy, the truth is that you can’t let your business run on autopilot and expect good results, and any business owner knows you need to make numerous adjustments along the way. So, how do you handle the array of questions facing you? One way is through cost accounting. 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

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

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

Credit Reports: What You Should Know

reading your credit reportCreditors keep their evaluation standards secret, making it difficult to know just how to improve your credit rating. Nonetheless, it is still important to understand the factors that determine creditworthiness. Periodically reviewing your credit report can also help you protect your credit rating from fraud–and you from identity theft. Continue reading

Your Canceled Debt Could Be Taxable

canceled debtGenerally, debt that is forgiven or canceled by a lender is considered taxable income by the IRS and must be included as income on your tax return. When that debt is forgiven, negotiated down (when you pay less than you owe), or canceled you will receive a Form 1099-C, Cancellation of Debt, from your financial institution or credit union. Form 1099-C shows the amount of canceled or forgiven debt that was reported to the IRS. Creditors who forgive $600 or more of debt are required to issue this form. Continue reading