The IRS WON’T Call You Out of The Blue: Beware of Scammers

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

This was posted to a CPA mailing list we follow: The IRS scammers were in full force last week in our small corner of the universe. By noon on Thursday, they had called my house twice, I had 6 calls to the office with scared clients, and the 911 operators received 25 calls from very worried people. That afternoon I had more anxious callers. Yesterday, at church, I had a line of folks asking me if they should come to … Read More

Hold On to Your Tax Returns

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

You should always keep a copy of your tax return for your records. You may need copies of your filed tax returns for many reasons. For example, they can help you prepare future tax returns. You’ll also need them if you have to amend a prior year tax return. You often need them when you apply for a loan to buy a home or to start a business. You may need them if you apply for student financial aid. If … Read More

Tax Tips for Divorced or Separated Individuals

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Income tax may be the last thing on your mind after a divorce or separation, but these events can have an impact on your taxes. Alimony and a name change are just two of the items you may need to consider. Here are some key tax tips to keep in mind if you get divorced or separated. Child Support. If you pay child support, you can’t deduct it on your tax return. If you receive child support, the amount you … Read More

Tax Benefits for Higher Education

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Many tax benefits are available to help you pay higher education costs, whether for your children or yourself. Let’s take a look at what’s available and how you can take advantage of these benefits to ease the financial burden of paying for education. Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (Section 530 Programs) Starting in 2013, you can contribute up to $2,000 to a Coverdell Education Savings account (a Section 530 program formerly known as an Education IRA) for a child under 18. … Read More

Lending Money? Make it a Tax-Smart Loan

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Lending money to a cash-strapped friend or family member is a noble and generous offer that just might make a difference. But before you hand over the cash, you need to plan ahead to avoid tax complications down the road. Let’s say you decide to loan $5,000 to your daughter who’s been out of work for over a year and is having difficulty keeping up with the mortgage payments on her condo. While you may be tempted to charge an … Read More

Tax Tips for Starting a Business

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

When you start a business, a key to your success is to know your tax obligations. You may not only need to know about income tax rules but also about payroll tax rules. Here are five tax tips that can help you get your business off to a good start. 1. Business Structure. An early choice you need to make is to decide on the type of structure for your business. The most common types are sole proprietor, partnership and … Read More

Is Canceled Debt Taxable?

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Generally, debt that is forgiven or canceled by a lender is considered taxable income by the IRS and must be included as income on your tax return. Examples include a debt for which you are personally liable such as mortgage debt, credit card debt, and in some instances, student loan debt. When that debt is forgiven, negotiated down (when you pay less than you owe), or canceled you will receive Form 1099-C, Cancellation of Debt, from your financial institution or … Read More

How QuickBooks Helps You Accelerate Receivables

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

You’re meeting your sales goals. Keeping inventory balanced. Making sure that every billable hour gets invoiced. Taking advantage of vendor discounts. Basically, doing everything in your power to keep cash flow humming. But you can’t control how quickly your customers pay you. You can, though, use QuickBooks’ tools to: Make it easier for customers to remit their payments, Remind customers about unpaid balances, and Keep a close eye on unpaid invoices. Figure 1: QuickBooks lets you accept payments from customers … Read More

Keep Track of Miscellaneous Deductions

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Miscellaneous deductions such as certain work-related expenses you paid for as an employee can reduce your tax bill, but you must itemize deductions when you file to claim these costs. If you usually claim the standard deduction, think about itemizing instead because you might be able to pay less tax. Here are some tax tips that may help you reduce your taxes: Deductions Subject to the Limit. You can deduct most miscellaneous costs only if their sum is more than … Read More