TMTW #299- September 15, 2016 Tax Deadlines: Individual Estimate Taxes and Tax Planning Checkups

Tax and Money Tip this Week:
September 15, 2016 Tax Deadlines: Individual Estimate Taxes and Tax Planning Checkups
August 24, 2016 | No. 299

This is the time of year in our CPA practice that I work with small business owners and individuals to perform tax checkups to help them project their tax liabilities for 2016 and make tax saving recommendations of moves they can make between now and year-end. Frequently, just defining the amount of taxes they owe via these planning services helps manage their cash flow so the businesses and individuals don’t have a big amount due and/or surprise each Spring when they prepare their tax returns.

Coming up September 15, 2016 is the date in which the 3rd installment for individuals that have income that is not taxed and withheld (like W-2 income) is due.

Self employed businesses, e.g. Proprietor Schedule C filers, folks that own S Corporations, Partnerships, LLCs, or other flow-through entities must estimate their unpaid income and/or self-employment taxes for the period January 1-August 31, 2016 and pay ½ of this amount to IRS and/or NC Dept of Revenue on September 15, 2016 and the other ½ of this amount on or before January 15, 2017.  (April 15th and June 15th of each year are also Quarterly Estimated Tax Payment dates that have also passed by if you weren’t aware)

The rules for estimated tax payments depend on your modified adjusted gross income for 2016. “Safety” estimates can be designed to avoid penalties and interest, optimize cash flow, and save taxes

 

Questions or Comments?

You can add comments on the blog, call 919-847-2981, or visit our web site. We look forward to hearing from you.

Mark Vitek, CPA/PFS, CFP®
…until next week.

 

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TMTW 298- When Should You Take Social Security?

Tax and Money Tip this Week:
When Should You Take Social Security?
August 17, 2016 | No. 298

Read the article HERE -by Rande Spiegelman at Charles Schwab

 

Questions or Comments?

You can add comments on the blog, call 919-847-2981, or visit our web site. We look forward to hearing from you.

Mark Vitek, CPA/PFS, CFP®
…until next week.

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TMTW 297- The Tax Impact of a Child’s Investment Income

Tax and Money Tip this Week:
The Tax Impact of a Child’s Investment Income
August 10, 2016 | No. 297

How To Assess The Impact Of A Child’s Investment Income

When they’re old enough to understand the concepts, some children start investing in the markets. If you’re helping a child learn the risks and benefits of investments, be sure you learn about the tax impact first.

Potential danger

For the 2016 tax year, if a child’s interest, dividends and other unearned income total more than $2,100, part of that income is taxed based on the parent’s tax rate. This is a critical point because, as joint filers, many married couples’ tax rate is much higher than the rate at which the child would be taxed.

Generally, a child’s $1,050 standard deduction for unearned income eliminates liability on the first half of that $2,100. Then, unearned income between $1,050 and $2,100 is taxed at the child’s lower rate.

But it’s here that potential danger sets in. A child’s unearned income exceeding $2,100 may be taxed at the parent’s higher tax rate if the child is under age 19 or a full-time student age 19–23, but not if the child is over age 17 and has earned income exceeding half of his support. (Other stipulations may apply.)

Simplified approach

In many cases, parents take a simplified approach to their child’s investment income. They choose to include their son’s or daughter’s investment income on their own return rather than have him or her file a return of their own.

Basically, if a child’s interest and dividend income (including capital gains distributions) total more than $1,500 and less than $10,500, parents may make this election. But a variety of other requirements apply. For example, the unearned income in question must come from only interest and dividends.

Many lessons

Investing can teach kids about the time value of money, the importance of patience, and the rise and fall of business success. But it can also deliver a harsh lesson to parents who aren’t fully prepared for the tax impact. We can help you determine how your child’s investment activities apply to your specific situation.

Questions or Comments?

You can add comments on the blog, call 919-847-2981, or visit our web site. We look forward to hearing from you.

Mark Vitek, CPA/PFS, CFP®
…until next week.

 

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TMTW # 296- Investing 101 Part 3

Tax and Money Tip this Week:
Investing 101 Part 3
August 3, 2016 | No. 296

This week we have a very important tip on investing concepts.

This series is not intended as investment advice, but only a general discussion of investing in the new millennium and in the age of the Internet, High Frequency Trading, and Machines.

Considering all the volatility over the last few weeks, here are some thoughts to consider investing today, that our parents may not have taught us.

Here’s a lesson that the 2008-2009 Great Recession taught a lot of people:

KEY LESSON:
Learn what Liquidity (or have a lot of cash or money markets available) means.  And know where this money exists and have access to it: to pay your bills, meet obligations, and the unexpected.

RECOMMENDED:
Classic certified financial planning advice says you should have 9 months of your monthly obligations of cash at a minimum in safe places, easily accessible.  We like to see 12 months of cash reserves.

Questions or Comments?

You can add comments on the blog, call 919-847-2981, or visit our web site. We look forward to hearing from you.

Mark Vitek, CPA/PFS, CFP®
…until next week.

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TMTW #295- Investing 101 Part 2

Tax and Money Tip this Week:
Investing 101 Part 2
July 27, 2016 | No. 295

This week we continue our series on investing concepts.

This series is not intended as investment advice, but only a general discussion of investing in the new millennium and in the age of the Internet, High Frequency Trading, and Machines.

Considering all the volatility over the last few weeks, here are some thoughts to consider for investing today, that our parents may not have taught us:

  1. Always limit your losses on any stock or mutual fund to 7-8%; frequently, you can limit your losses sooner.  Let your gains run.
  2. Know when its time to sell a stock or mutual fund.
  3. In today’s market, know how to be agile and nimble when necessary.
  4. ALWAYS protect your capital.

More on investing next week.

Questions or Comments?

You can add comments on the blog, call 919-847-2981, or visit our web site. We look forward to hearing from you.

Mark Vitek, CPA/PFS, CFP®
…until next week.

 

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TMTW #294- Investing 101 Part 1

Tax and Money Tip this Week:
Investing 101 Part 1
July 20, 2016 | No. 294

This week we will start a series on investing concepts.

This series is not intended as investment advice, but only a general discussion of investing in the new millennium and in the age of the Internet, High Frequency Trading, and Machines.

Considering all the volatility over the last few weeks, here are some thoughts to consider for investing today, that our parents may not have taught us:

1)  It’s OK not to play.
Point:  You do NOT have to be invested all the time.

2)  Have a goal and an exit plan in mind.

3)  Never fall in love with any stock.

More on investing next week

Questions or Comments?

You can add comments on the blog, call 919-847-2981, or visit our web site. We look forward to hearing from you.

Mark Vitek, CPA/PFS, CFP®
…until next week.

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TMTW 293- Don’t Ignore That IRS Notice

Tax and Money Tip this Week:
Don’t Ignore That IRS Notice
July 13, 2016 | No. 293

According to a 2016 report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the IRS mailed more than 188 million notices and letters to taxpayers during 2014. There’s no reason to believe the number of notices will be any less this year. If you’re one of those taxpayers on the IRS mailing list, here’s what to do.

Scan the heading. The first line, generally printed in bold type and centered beneath your name and address, will tell you why the IRS is contacting you. Questions about missing information, additional taxes owed, or payments due, mean you’ll want to take prompt action to avoid more notices or assessments of interest and penalties.

Review the discrepancy. You’ll find the tax form and the year to which the notice applies printed in the upper right corner. Pull out your copy of the corresponding tax return, along with the supporting documents, and compare what you filed with what the IRS is questioning.

Prepare your explanation. Are the proposed changes correct? Did the IRS misapply a payment? Whatever the issue, there’s usually no need to file an amended return. However, the IRS typically wants a response, by either phone or mail, in order to clear the notice from your account.

Do not delay. Ignoring IRS correspondence will not make it go away. Reply to the IRS in a timely manner even if you don’t have all the information being requested.

Please contact us as soon as you receive a notice from the IRS or state or local taxing authority. We’re here to set your mind at ease by helping you resolve the matter as quickly as possible.  Many times, we can make the problem “go away” with a properly written response.

Questions or Comments?

You can add comments on the blog, call 919-847-2981, or visit our web site. We look forward to hearing from you.

Mark Vitek, CPA/PFS, CFP®
…until next week.

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