Events Requiring an Estate Plan Update

Brian SingletonBlog, Old Site, Watch Your Wallet

Generally speaking, your estate plan should be reviewed every two years to determine whether it needs to be changed or updated. Additionally, if any of the following events occur, you’ll probably need to update your estate plan (i.e., your will, health care documents, powers of attorney, life insurance coverage, and post-mortem letters). Divorce Marriage or remarriage Birth/adoption of child Death of spouse or child Sale of residence or purchase of new residence Retirement Enactment of new tax laws Tip: We suggest that you … Read More

Do You Need to Pay Estimated Taxes?

Brian SingletonBlog, Old Site, Watch Your Wallet

What Is Estimated Tax? Estimated tax is the method used to pay tax on income that is not subject to withholding, such as self-employment income, interest, dividends, rents, alimony, etc. In addition, if you do not elect voluntary withholding, you should make estimated payments on other taxable income, such as unemployment income and the taxable portion of social security benefits. Both the IRS and California’s Franchise Tax Board require estimated tax payments in certain circumstances. The thresholds are very similar, … Read More

Recording Infrequent Transactions in QuickBooks

Brian SingletonBlog, Old Site, Watch Your Wallet

Day-to-day transactions like receiving payments from customers or paying vendors occur so frequently that most QuickBooks users do them automatically. However, from time to time you may encounter an infrequent transaction that will stop you in your tracks. In this article we’ll discuss several common tricky transactions and offer advice on how to handle them. Security Deposits Security deposits, such as for a rental space or to a utility company, require special tracking so that you can be sure to … Read More

Timing Mistakes That Cost Thousands of Dollars

Brian SingletonBlog, Old Site, Watch Your Wallet

Sometimes we need to talk here about costly taxpayer mistakes that could have been avoided with some advance professional consultation. One example is the recent case of a securities firm owner doing business as an S corporation, both reporting on the calendar year. An S corporation’s income is directly taxable to its owners, and its losses pass through to owners for deduction on their tax returns. S corporations are like partnerships in this respect, and the problem we’ll describe arises … Read More

Summer Travel Tax Deductions

Brian SingletonBlog, Old Site, Watch Your Wallet

As the summer travel season is almost upon us, you might like to know that a portion of your summer travel may be tax-deductible. If your travel is primarily for business or for career-related education, then a portion of the trip may be tax-deductible. As long as most of your travel days are for business purposes, you can deduct the cost of travel (airfare, trains, car), hotel, parking, taxi service, meals, etc. as travel expenses. As defined by the IRS, … Read More

Cut Taxes on the Sale of Your Home

Brian SingletonBlog, Old Site, Watch Your Wallet

Despite the slumping real estate market, houses are still being sold and there is money to be made. Sellers need to take a close look at the exclusion rules and cost basis of their home to reduce taxable gain on their house. First, the IRS home sale exclusion rule now allows an exclusion of a gain up to $250,000 for a single taxpayer or $500,000 for a married couple filing jointly. This exclusion can be used over and over during … Read More

Beware of Tax Consequences of a Job Loss

Brian SingletonBlog, Old Site, Watch Your Wallet

Given the current economic conditions, you may be faced with tax questions surrounding a job loss and unemployment issues. Here’s some answers: Q: What if I receive unemployment compensation? A: Unemployment compensation you received under the unemployment compensation laws of the United States or of a state must be included in your income. It is taxable income. If you received unemployment compensation, you should receive Form 1099-G showing the amount you were paid and any federal income tax you elected … Read More

Businesses – Use Ratios To Gauge Your Sales Force’s Performance

Brian SingletonBlog, Old Site, Watch Your Wallet

It’s vital, these days, to make sure you’re getting the most out of on-premises sales staff. If goals are being met and revenue is where you want it to be, you may not need to use any measuring devices. But if there is a problem, the following ratios, if applicable to your particular business, may help you pinpoint the problem, analyze it, and take action. The ratios can be applied to your entire business, to a division or department, or … Read More

IRS Helps Financially Distressed Taxpayers

Brian SingletonBlog, Old Site, Watch Your Wallet

The Internal Revenue Service kicked off the 2009 tax filing season by announcing a number of new steps to help financially distressed taxpayers maximize their refunds and speed payments while providing additional help to people struggling to meet their tax obligations. Taxpayers are encouraged to take advantage of several new tax credits and deductions this filing season. Further, the IRS announced a major enhancement to the Free File program that will allow nearly all taxpayers to e-file for free and … Read More

7 Ways to Use QuickBooks to Manage AR Collections

Brian SingletonBlog, Old Site, Watch Your Wallet

It’s more important than ever to keep a close rein on your accounts receivable. Seemingly no one is immune to sudden changes in financial circumstances, so be sure to monitor your outstanding invoices closely. There’s an inverse relationship between the age of an invoice and your ability to collect on it, but fortunately QuickBooks can help you manage your credit risk: 1. Set Reminders As shown in Figure 1, QuickBooks can display a reminder window when you open your QuickBooks company: … Read More