November 2017

You may need to add RMDs to your year-end to-do list


As the end of the year approaches, most of us have a lot of things on our to-do lists, from gift shopping to donating to our favorite charities to making New Year’s Eve plans. For taxpayers “of a certain age” with a tax-advantaged retirement account, as well as younger taxpayers who’ve inherited such an account, [...]

Give Back and Save Taxes with Charitable Contributions


As year end approaches, you may be thinking about making some charitable donations. Here's a rundown of the potential tax breaks for your generosity. Donating Clothing and Household Items When it comes to your old clothes, furniture, linens, electronics, appliances, and the like, the general rule is that you can claim deductions only for items in [...]

Seniors: Consider Making Cash Donations from IRAs


Tax Benefits of Making QCDs Qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) can help you save taxes four ways: 1. QCDs aren't included in your adjusted gross income (AGI), lowering the odds that you'll be affected by various unfavorable AGI-based rules. This includes rules that can cause more of your Social Security benefits to be taxed, less of your [...]

What Does it Mean if the IRS Files a Lien?


It's bad enough when borrowers can't pay off amounts owed to commercial creditors such as banks and other financial institutions. But people can find themselves in really hot water if they owe the IRS money. How a Levy Compares With a Lien A Notice of Levy is another method the IRS may use to collect taxes that are [...]

Defaulting on Retirement Plan Loans Causes Taxable Distributions


Want to borrow money from your retirement plan? Not so fast. Retirement plan loans can be a viable way to get money in a crunch, but you need to follow the rules about repaying them. If you don't, it could lead to unfavorable tax consequences, as two taxpayers recently learned the hard way in U.S. Tax [...]

Why you may want to accelerate your property tax payment into 2017


Accelerating deductible expenses, such as property tax on your home, into the current year typically is a good idea. Why? It will defer tax, which usually is beneficial. Prepaying property tax may be especially beneficial this year, because proposed tax legislation might reduce or eliminate the benefit of the property tax deduction beginning in 2018. [...]

How Crooks Use Bankruptcy to Cheat Creditors


When a company goes bankrupt, honest owners or directors do everything they can to hold creditors' losses to a minimum. When it becomes clear the business can't be saved, they halt trading (in the case of public companies), hire professional advisors to help guide them through bankruptcy proceedings and generally arrange for orderly liquidation. Less [...]

Recent Incidents Fuel Concerns over Breach Response


Could your data be hacked? Unfortunately, every organization — including for-profit businesses, not-for-profits and government agencies — is vulnerable to cyberattacks today. Breach Response Legislation in the Works Following the SEC and Equifax incidents, the Personal Data Notification and Protection Act was reintroduced in the House. This bill aims to expedite data breach response time. Representative [...]

Use Financial Statements to Make a Solid First Impression


Financial statements are a must-have for any organization. The balance sheet reveals how much its assets and liabilities are worth based on historic costs. The income statement tells investors and lenders how profitably and efficiently the company has performed during the accounting period. The statement of cash flows details sources and uses of cash from operating, [...]

2017 might be your last chance to hire veterans and claim a tax credit


With Veterans Day on November 11, it’s an especially good time to think about the sacrifices veterans have made for us and how we can support them. One way businesses can support veterans is to hire them. The Work Opportunity tax credit (WOTC) can help businesses do just that, but it may not be available [...]