Archive for December, 2014


December 16th, 2014 No comments

Taxpayers’ tax liabilities can be minimized by using an experienced and competent tax professional for their tax preparation and tax planning needs. Unfortunately, the process for finding a competent tax professional is more difficult than it should be.

Many taxpayers are unaware that Enrolled Agents are tax professionals who have passed a very difficult IRS exam that demonstrates their competence in understanding the U.S. tax law. While many attorneys and CPAs offer tax services, it is important that the taxpayer perform due diligence on finding a competent and experienced attorney or CPA. You want to avoid those attorneys and CPAs who have no tax background or experience and solely depend upon their tax preparation software to prepare complete and accurate tax returns.

Making matters worse, is how the IRS Read more…


Avoid Charitable IRA Mistakes

December 9th, 2014 No comments

IRAs are often a great source of funds to provide a benefit to your favorite charity. However as with many provisions of the U.S. Code, you need to be aware of the tax traps if one is to maximize the benefits to the charity and other IRA beneficiaries.

Recent news articles have focused on whether certain expired tax provisions will be extended to the 2014 tax year. One of the possible extenders that expired in 2013 allows individuals an annual $100,000 exclusion from gross income for “qualified charitable distributions” (QCD) from an IRA. In other words, an individual can designate $100,000 of RMDs (required minimum distributions) from an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) and contribute that RMD to a charity. If this tax provision were extended to 2014, the individual taxpayer would report the RMD distribution on line 15a of Form 1040, but show a zero taxable amount on line 15b of Form 1040. Since the individual would not have any taxable income by designating the RMD as a QCD, there would be no charitable deduction allowed. What happens if an individual desires to make a QCD in 2014 and learns after the fact that this tax provision was not extended? The individual would report Read more…



December 2nd, 2014 No comments

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has decided to resume the periodic mailing of Social Security Statements (SSS) while encouraging everyone to create a secure online account. To create an online account, simply go to: My Social Security Account. Most American workers (those who have not signed up for an online account and who are not currently receiving SS benefits) will receive a SSS every five years under the new program. The new program will mail SSS to persons attaining ages 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60. Once workers attain age 60, they will receive an annual statement from the SSA.

Since a person’s social security benefits are based his/her earnings history, it is VERY important that Read more…

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