Archive for March, 2016

How to Get Someone Else to Pay Off Your Student Loan

March 30th, 2016 No comments

The reported that traditional company perks are changing. While companies have traditionally focused on health care and 401(k) retirement benefits to attract talent, they find themselves today needing to offer more sexy benefits to attract the millennial generation. reported that Facebook offers laundry services, Airbnb gives its employees an annual $2,000 bonus to travel the world, Google provides massage credits, and Evernote offers semi-monthly house cleaning services.

The accounting firm PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PwC) has announced that it will offer to help associate-level employees with their student loan debt starting later this year. PwC will contribute Read more…


FREE Health Care Coverage for Your Adult Child

March 22nd, 2016 No comments

The Affordable Care Act allows a dependent child to be covered by their parent’s health insurance plan until the child reaches age 26. Once the child reaches age 26, the child will need to seek his/her own health care coverage. What happens if your child is a graduate student and has very little income?

One option may be to purchase health care coverage through the school’s health care plan. Perhaps the child could seek coverage under Cobra from the parent’s plan. Another option is for the child to procure health care coverage on the on the marketplace. If the latter option is used, the child will likely not have sufficient income to meet the minimum earnings to qualify for a subsidy on the marketplace. Consequently, under all 3 options, the student finds that the premium cost is very expensive and the child likely cannot afford to pay it. Another option is that the child requests the parent to pay the premium. This is not a premium savings, simply a transfer of where the source of the funds comes from.

What if the child could receive health care coverage for FREE (or for a substantially reduced cost)? Read more…

Categories: Insurance Needs Tags:

Where is My Income Tax Refund?

March 15th, 2016 No comments

“Where is my refund” is a question that will be asked more often by taxpayers. The IRS and states are delaying the issuance of refunds as part of their efforts to reduce the theft of refunds by scam artists. Thus, the increased security measures to combat increased identity theft threaten to delay processing of refund claims this year. One of the changes being made is the sharing of information between states and the IRS to combat ID theft. In a prior posting, we discussed that some states are requesting that taxpayers include their driver’s license information when e-filing.
The IRS has reminded taxpayers that the best way to check the status of a refund is through the “Where’s my Refund?” tool on the Service’s website or via the IRS2Go phone app. The IRS also predicted that it expects to issue 90 percent of refunds in less than Read more…


Dave Ramsey – Interesting Perspective Using Self-Promotion

March 8th, 2016 No comments

Dave Ramsey has been helping people with excessive credit card debt for years and we believe he has done a very good job getting their credit card debt under control and improving their FICO credit score.  However as with many business owners, perhaps he has expanded beyond his core and winds up embellishing other services.

Dave has a listing of endorsed local providers (ELPs) that he promotes in the investing, real estate, insurance and tax fields. Naturally we were interested in seeing his promotion of his tax advisors.

Dave claims that by preparing your own tax return, you are costing yourself an additional $1,166 and as such you should contact him for a name of one of his advisors. While we do not take exception with the statement that persons who prepare their own tax returns often overpay their taxes, we take exception to the $1,166 savings in how it was computed.

Dave, using IRS figures, says that on average it takes a person filing their own return 13 hours to do so. Using an average household income of $50,000, Dave says that the time cost, in terms of dollars, is $312. That computes to an hourly rate of $24.00. If the persons preparing their own tax returns took time away from constructive activities, then this cost may be applicable. However, if preparing the tax return took them away from watching a reality TV program, there would be no cost involved.

Dave than states that based on a survey, the average tax refund of tax software users is $1,824. The average tax refund of people using a tax advisor is $2,615. Thus, he surmises that persons who prepare their own returns are losing an additional $791. While the math is easy to follow, we don’t necessarily agree with the logic as there are so many other factors that need to be considered.

The $1,165 additional cost figure is based on the value of time + lost tax deductions + cost of software.

While we do not agree with the math in arriving at the $1,165 cost to prepare your own return, we do agree with the premise that persons who prepare their own return often overlook tax deductions and may even be increasing the odds of being audited by the IRS. As many individual income tax returns prepared by tax professionals can be in the range of $250 to $350, is it a prudent and reasonable decision to prepare your own tax return?

If you want to discuss financial planning or your business or personal tax planning and tax preparation concerns with an experienced tax professional, we invite you to call 610-594-2601 today to make an appointment at our Exton PA CPA office to discuss your situation. You can also schedule a consultation at Click Here.

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PA Unreimbursed Expenses – PA DOR Website Guidance

March 1st, 2016 No comments

We previously alerted taxpayers about the PA Dept. of Revenue’s (DOR) stringent rules regarding the substantiation required by taxpayers who wish to claim unreimbursed employee expenses on PA Form UE-1 (see our blog postings dated June 10, 2015, March 24, 2015, and Sept. 23, 2014).

The PA DOR has now provided guidance on its website. A taxpayer may use PA Schedule UE, Allowable Employee Business Expenses, to report allowable unreimbursed business expenses, which can be excluded from compensation on Line 1A of the PA-40 Personal Income Tax Return. For an expense to be allowable, it must meet the following conditions, and supporting documentation is required: Read more…

Categories: Pennsylvania Tax News Tags:
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