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Our Blog

The tax deduction ins and outs of donating artwork to charity

October 17, 2018

If you’re charitably inclined and you collect art, appreciated artwork can make one of the best charitable gifts from a tax perspective. In general, donating appreciated property is doubly beneficial because...

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You might save tax if your vacation home qualifies as a rental property

October 15, 2018

Do you own a vacation home? If you both rent it out and use it personally, you might save tax by taking steps to ensure it qualifies as a rental property this year. Vacation home expenses that qualify as rental...

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Businesses aren't immune to tax identity theft

October 12, 2018

Tax identity theft may seem like a problem only for individual taxpayers. But, according to the IRS, increasingly businesses are also becoming victims. And identity thieves have become more sophisticated, knowing...

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Be sure your employee travel expense reimbursements will pass muster with the IRS

October 10, 2018

Does your business reimburse employees’ work-related travel expenses? If you do, you know that it can help you attract and retain employees. If you don’t, you might want to start, because changes...

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IRS issues new TCJA guidance for businesses

October 8, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) created a new general business tax credit for certain businesses that grant their qualifying employees paid family and medical leave in 2018 and 2019. The IRS now has released...

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2018 Q4 tax calendar: Key deadlines for businesses and other employers

October 5, 2018

Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the fourth quarter of 2018. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional...

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3 bills form Tax Reform 2.0

October 3, 2018

On September 13, the House Ways and Means Committee passed three separate bills that will be the cornerstone of what is being referred to as Tax Reform 2.0.

The bills focus on making permanent certain...

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Play your tax cards right with gambling wins and losses

September 26, 2018

If you gamble, be sure you understand the tax consequences. Both wins and losses can affect your income tax bill. And changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) could also have an impact.

Wins and taxable income

You must report 100% of your gambling...

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How to reduce the tax risk of using independent contractors

September 24, 2018

Classifying a worker as an independent contractor frees a business from payroll tax liability and allows it to forgo providing overtime pay, unemployment compensation and other employee benefits. It also frees the business from responsibility for withholding income taxes...

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IRS regs detail how businesses can "aggregate" for the pass-through income deduction

September 21, 2018

One of the most valuable tax breaks in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) is the new deduction for up to 20% of qualified business income (QBI) from pass-through entities. The IRS recently issued proposed regulations that help clarify who can benefit from the deduction. One...

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Keep it SIMPLE: A tax-advantaged retirement plan solution for small businesses

September 19, 2018

If your small business doesn’t offer its employees a retirement plan, you may want to consider a SIMPLE IRA. Offering a retirement plan can provide your business with valuable tax deductions and help you attract and retain employees. For a variety of reasons, a...

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Assessing the S corp

September 17, 2018

The S corporation business structure offers many advantages, including limited liability for owners and no double taxation (at least at the federal level). But not all businesses are eligible - and, with the new 21% flat income tax rate that now applies to C corporations,...

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IRS issues proposed regulations on the pass-through business income deduction

September 14, 2018

The IRS recently released highly anticipated regulations addressing the deduction for up to 20% of qualified business income (QBI) from pass-through entities. The deduction was a major component of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which became law late last year. It has also...

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Back-to-school time means a tax break for teachers

September 12, 2018

When teachers are setting up their classrooms for the new school year, it’s common for them to pay for a portion of their classroom supplies out of pocket. A special tax break allows these educators to deduct some of their expenses. This educator expense deduction is...

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Do you need to make an estimated tax payment by September 17?

September 10, 2018

To avoid interest and penalties, you must make sufficient federal income tax payments long before your April filing deadline through withholding, estimated tax payments, or a combination of the two. The third 2018 estimated tax payment deadline for individuals is September...

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2018 Tri-State Rodeo

 

Welcome Tri-State Rodeo Fans! We hope you and your family enjoy your time at this year's 71st annual...

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Choosing the right accounting method for tax purposes

September 7, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) liberalized the eligibility rules for using the cash method of accounting, making this method — which is simpler than the accrual method — available to more businesses. Now the IRS has provided procedures a small business...

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Do you still need to worry about the AMT?

September 5, 2018

There was talk of repealing the individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) as part of last year’s tax reform legislation. A repeal wasn’t included in the final version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), but the TCJA will reduce the number of taxpayers subject...

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Keep an eye out for extenders legislation

August 31, 2018

The pieces of tax legislation garnering the most attention these days are the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) signed into law last December and the possible “Tax Reform 2.0” that Congress might pass this fall. But for certain individual taxpayers, what happens...

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The TCJA prohibits undoing 2018 Roth IRA conversions, but 2017 conversions are still eligible

August 29, 2018

Converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA can provide tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawals in retirement. But what if you convert your traditional IRA — subject to income taxes on all earnings and deductible contributions — and then discover you would have...

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Why the "kiddie tax" is more dangerous than ever

August 27, 2018

Once upon a time, some parents and grandparents would attempt to save tax by putting investments in the names of their young children or grandchildren in lower income tax brackets. To discourage such strategies, Congress created the “kiddie” tax back in 1986....

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IRS issues guidance on new bonus depreciation rules

August 24, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) significantly expands bonus depreciation under Section 168(k) of the Internal Revenue Code for both regular tax and alternative minimum tax (AMT) purposes. Now, the IRS has released proposed regulations that clarify the requirements that...

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Do you qualify for the home office deduction?

August 22, 2018

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, employees can no longer claim the home office deduction. If, however, you run a business from your home or are otherwise self-employed and use part of your home for business purposes, the home office deduction may still be available to...

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Business deductions for meal, vehicle and travel expenses: Document, document, document

August 20, 2018

Meal, vehicle and travel expenses are common deductions for businesses. But if you don’t properly document these expenses, you could find your deductions denied by the IRS.

A critical requirement

Subject to various rules and limits, business meal...

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Is more tax reform on the horizon?

August 17, 2018

 

President Trump and Republican lawmakers currently are considering a second round of tax reform legislation as a follow-up to last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). As of this writing, there’s been no actual bill drafted. However, House Ways and Means...

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Close-up on the new QBI deduction's wage limit

August 15, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) provides a valuable new tax break to noncorporate owners of pass-through entities: a deduction for a portion of qualified business income (QBI). The deduction generally applies...

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How to avoid getting hit with payroll tax penalties

August 13, 2018

For small businesses, managing payroll can be one of the most arduous tasks. Adding to the burden earlier this year was adjusting income tax withholding based on the new tables issued by the IRS. (Those tables...

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What you can deduct when volunteering

August 8, 2018

Because donations to charity of cash or property generally are tax deductible (if you itemize), it only seems logical that the donation of something even more valuable to you — your time — would...

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Home green home: Save tax by saving energy

August 6, 2018

“Going green” at home — whether it’s your principal residence or a second home — can reduce your tax bill in addition to your energy bill, all while helping the environment, too....

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Do you know the ABCs of HSAs, FSAs and HRAs?

August 3, 2018

There continues to be much uncertainty about the Affordable Care Act and how such uncertainty will impact health care costs. So it’s critical to leverage all tax-advantaged ways to fund these expenses,...

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2018 West Point Sweet Corn Festival

August 2, 2018

Have fun at this year's ShuckFest and West Point Sweet Corn Festival in West Point, IA!

 

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2 tax law changes that may affect your business's 401(k) plan

August 1, 2018

When you think about recent tax law changes and your business, you’re probably thinking about the new 20% pass-through deduction for qualified business income or the enhancements to depreciation-related...

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Choosing the best business entity structure post-TCJA

July 30, 2018

For tax years beginning in 2018 and beyond, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) created a flat 21% federal income tax rate for C corporations. Under prior law, C corporations were taxed at rates as high as 35%....

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Watch out for tax-related identity theft scams all year long

July 25, 2018

With the filing date for 2017 in the rearview mirror for most businesses and individuals, the last thing they probably want to think about is income taxes. Unfortunately, though, criminals who commit...

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Consider the tax advantages of investing in qualified small business stock

July 23, 2018

While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) reduced most ordinary-income tax rates for individuals, it didn’t change long-term capital gains rates. They remain at 0%, 15% and 20%.

The 0% rate generally...

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3 traditional midyear tax planning strategies for individuals that hold up post-TCJA

July 20, 2018

With its many changes to individual tax rates, brackets and breaks, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) means taxpayers need to revisit their tax planning strategies. Certain strategies that were once...

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The tax impact of the TCJA on estate planning

July 18, 2018

The massive changes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) made to income taxes have garnered the most attention. But the new law also made major changes to gift and estate taxes. While the TCJA didn’t repeal...

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Does your business have to begin collecting sales tax on all out-of-state online sales?

July 16, 2018

You’ve probably heard about the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing state and local governments to impose sales taxes on more out-of-state online sales. The ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair,...

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2018 Q3 tax calendar: Key deadlines for businesses and other employers

July 11, 2018

Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the third quarter of 2018. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional...

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Supreme Court opens door to taxation of online sales

July 9, 2018

In a much-anticipated ruling that confounded the expectations of many court watchers, the U.S. Supreme Court has given state and local governments the green light to impose sales taxes on out-of-state online...

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Defer tax with a Section 1031 exchange, but new limits apply this year

July 6, 2018

Normally when appreciated business assets such as real estate are sold, tax is owed on the appreciation. But there’s a way to defer this tax: a Section 1031 “like kind” exchange. However, the...

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Saving tax on restricted stock awards with the Sec. 83(b) election

July 2, 2018

Today many employees receive stock-based compensation from their employer as part of their compensation and benefits package. The tax consequences of such compensation can be complex — subject to...

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Factor in state and local taxes when deciding where to live in retirement

June 27, 2018

Many Americans relocate to another state when they retire. If you’re thinking about such a move, state and local taxes should factor into your decision.

Income, property and sales...

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Get started on 2018 tax planning now!

June 25, 2018

With the April 17 individual income tax filing deadline behind you (or with your 2017 tax return on the back burner if you filed for an extension), you may be hoping to not think about taxes for the next...

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TCJA changes to employee benefits tax breaks: 4 negatives and a positive

June 22, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) includes many changes that affect tax breaks for employee benefits. Among the changes are four negatives and one positive that will impact not only employees but also the businesses...

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The TCJA changes some rules for deducting pass-through business losses

June 20, 2018

It’s not uncommon for businesses to sometimes generate tax losses. But the losses that can be deducted are limited by tax law in some situations. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) further restricts the...

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Can you deduct business travel when it's combined with a vacation?

June 18, 2018

At this time of year, a summer vacation is on many people’s minds. If you travel for business, combining a business trip with a vacation to offset some of the cost with a tax deduction can sound...

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Tax document retention guidelines for small businesses

June 14, 2018

You may have breathed a sigh of relief after filing your 2017 income tax return (or requesting an extension). But if your office is strewn with reams of paper consisting of years’ worth of tax returns,...

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Putting your child on your business's payroll for the summer may make more tax sense than ever

June 13, 2018

If you own a business and have a child in high school or college, hiring him or her for the summer can provide a multitude of benefits, including tax savings. And hiring can make more sense than ever due to...

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Individual tax calendar: Important deadlines for the remainder of 2018

June 11, 2018

While April 15 (April 17 this year) is the main tax deadline on most individual taxpayers’ minds, there are others through the rest of the year that you also need to be aware of. To help you make sure you...

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Tax record retention guidelines for individuals

June 7, 2018

What 2017 tax records can you toss once you’ve filed your 2017 return? The answer is simple: none. You need to hold on to all of your 2017 tax records for now. But it’s the perfect time to go...

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Do you need to adjust your withholding?

June 5, 2018

If you received a large refund after filing your 2017 income tax return, you’re probably enjoying the influx of cash. But a large refund isn’t all positive. It also means you were essentially giving...

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A review of significant TCJA provisions affecting small businesses

May 31, 2018

Now that small businesses and their owners have filed their 2017 income tax returns (or filed for an extension), it’s a good time to review some of the provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that...

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Be aware of the tax consequences before selling your home

May 29, 2018

 

In many parts of the country, summer is peak season for selling a home. If you’re planning to put your home on the market soon, you’re probably thinking about things like how quickly...

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Sending your kids to day camp may provide a tax break

May 24, 2018

When school lets out, kids participate in a wide variety of summer activities. If one of the activities your child is involved with is day camp, you might be eligible for a tax credit!

Dollar-for-dollar...

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Tax deduction for moving cost: 2017 vs. 2018

March 2, 2018

If you moved for work-related reasons in 2017, you might be able to deduct some of the costs on your 2017 return — even if you don’t itemize deductions. (Or, if your employer reimbursed you for moving expenses, that reimbursement might be...

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A SEP may give you one last 2017 tax and retirement saving opportunity

February 26, 2018

Are you a high-income small-business owner who doesn’t currently have a tax-advantaged retirement plan set up for yourself? A Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) may be just what you need, and now may be a great time to establish one. A SEP...

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Claiming bonus depreciation on your 2017 tax return may be particularly beneficial

February 23, 2018

With bonus depreciation, a business can recover the costs of depreciable property more quickly by claiming additional first-year depreciation for qualified assets. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), signed into law in December, enhances bonus...

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Families with college students may save tax on their 2017 returns with one of these breaks

February 21, 2018

Whether you had a child in college (or graduate school) last year or were a student yourself, you may be eligible for some valuable tax breaks on your 2017 return. One such break that had expired December 31, 2016, was just extended under the...

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New budget agreement brings additional tax changes

February 18, 2018

The ink on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which swept in a tidal wave of changes to federal tax rules, had been dry for only seven weeks before Congress passed more legislation that could affect many taxpayers. The Bipartisan Budget Act of...

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Tax Cuts and Jobs Act offers favorable tax breaks for businesses

January 23, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which was signed into law on December 22, contains a treasure trove of tax breaks for businesses. Overall, most companies and business owners will come out ahead under the new tax law, but there are a number of...

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IRS issues updated 2018 withholding tables

January 19, 2018

In the wake of passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) late last year, the IRS has taken one of the first critical steps to institute the law’s overhaul of the federal income tax regime. The IRS has released updated withholding tables...

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New tax law brings big changes for individual taxpayers

January 15, 2018

The reconciled tax reform bill, commonly called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (TCJA), is the most sweeping federal tax legislation in more than three decades. While many of the new law’s provisions affect businesses, it also...

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New tax law provides more generous depreciation-related tax breaks

December 27, 2017

If your business is buying new assets in 2018, you’ll be able to benefit in several ways under the new tax reform law, commonly referred to as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (TCJA), which was signed into law by President Trump on...

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Congress passes biggest tax bill since 1986

December 20, 2017

On December 20, the House passed the reconciled tax reform bill, commonly called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017” (TCJA), which the Senate had passed the previous day. It’s the most sweeping tax legislation since the Tax Reform Act of...

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Assist victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria through Leave-based Donation Programs

October 11, 2017

In recent months, many individuals have been victims of the hurricanes and tropical storms. The aftermath leaves us wondering how I can help those victims.  One way is through leave-based donation programs.

Employers adopt leave-based donation programs for their employees to elect to forgo vacation, sick, or personal leave in exchange to have cash payments made to charitable...

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STO Donations

August 28, 2017

It’s that time of year again- school buses are running and kids are walking to and from school each day. These are good reminders of an often-overlooked tax planning tool that assists some local private schools. The item we are referring to is our local School Tuition Organization (STO) and contributions to it.

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