March 2016 Update – Walk the Path to Tax Savings for 2015 & Substantiating Donations

Walk the Path to Tax Savings for 2015

Like many taxpayers, you may have been expecting to encounter a few roadblocks while traversing your preferred tax-saving avenues. If so, tax extenders legislation signed into law this past December may make your journey a little easier. Let’s walk through a few highlights of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act). Continue reading

Reacquainting Yourself With The Roth IRA

If you’ve looked into retirement planning, you’ve probably heard about the Roth IRA. Maybe in the past you decided against one of these arrangements, or perhaps you just decided to sleep on it. Whatever the case may be, now’s a good time to reacquaint yourself with the Roth IRA and its potential benefits, because you have until April 18, 2016, to make a 2015 Roth IRA contribution. Continue reading

2016 Health Insurance Update

Why Your Health Insurance Company May Ask for Your Social Security Number & How Working Impacts Social Security Benefits

Why your health insurance company may ask for your Social Security Number
Your health insurance company may request that you provide the Social Security Numbers (SSNs) for you, your spouse, and your children covered by your policy. This is because the Affordable Care Act requires every provider of minimum essential coverage to report that coverage by filing an information return with the IRS and furnishing a statement to covered individuals. The information is used by the IRS to administer — and by individuals to show compliance with — the health care law. Continue reading

Home Office Deduction

Using a portion of a home for business may qualify taxpayers for deductions on an individual tax return. Historically some taxpayers have declined the deduction either because of the record keeping burden or because of a perception that claiming the deduction increased the risk of an IRS audit. The IRS introduced a significant modification to the existing regulations in 2013. The basic qualification rules did not change, and they are complex. However, with the new simplified method, also called the safe harbor method, taxpayers should consider revisiting the deduction and determining the potential benefit. Continue reading

2016 Mileage Rate Notice

2016 Standard Mileage Rates for Business, Medical and Moving Announced
IR-2015-137, Dec.17, 2015

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2016 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Continue reading

Year End Tax Planning for 2015

Most of the readers can easily identify the number of days remaining to Christmas, but how many days to the New Year? Why is that important? Because for most of us it is perhaps the last opportunity to do some tax planning for 2015 and 2016. Although for most of us the focus is on 2015, the possibilities that potential future transactions could be accelerated to impact 2015 rather than 2016 should not be ignored. Continue reading

Cybercrime is Not Someone Else’s Problem

We have all heard of the security breaches at major corporations and the theft of identity. It all seems like science fiction and we don’t know what we should do. Security is also an inconvenience, but we have to make it part of our routine, just like seat belts. Technology is changing very quickly, so in our busy world it is not easy to deal with a problem that is so abstract. Here are a few tips:
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