Tax Benefits of Health Savings Accounts

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

While similar to FSAs (Flexible Savings Plans) in that both allow pre-tax contributions, Health Savings Accounts or HSAs offer taxpayers several additional tax benefits such as contributions that roll over from year to year (i.e., no “use it or lose it”), tax-free interest on earnings, and when used for qualified medical expenses, tax-free distributions. What is a Health Savings Account? A Health Savings Account is a type of savings account that allows you to set aside money pre-tax to pay … Read More

2018 Year-End Tax Planning for Businesses

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

There are a number of end of year tax planning strategies that businesses can use to reduce their tax burden for 2018. Here are a few of them: Deferring Income Businesses using the cash method of accounting can defer income into 2019 by delaying end-of-year invoices, so payment is not received until 2019. Businesses using the accrual method can defer income by postponing delivery of goods or services until January 2019. Purchase New Business Equipment Section 179 Expensing. Business should take … Read More

2018 Year-End Tax Planning for Individuals

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Once again, tax planning for the year ahead presents a number of challenges, this year, primarily due to tax laws changes brought about the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018. These changes include the nearly doubling of the standard deduction, elimination of personal exemptions, and numerous itemized deductions reduced or eliminated. Let’s take a closer look.

Home Equity Loan Interest Still Deductible (Sometimes)

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, enacted December 22, 2017, suspends from 2018 until 2026 the deduction for interest paid on home equity loans and lines of credit, unless they are used to buy, build or substantially improve the taxpayer’s home that secures the loan. Under the new law, for example, interest on a home equity loan used to build an addition to an existing home is typically deductible, while interest on the same loan used to pay personal … Read More

5 Easy Ways to Lower your Self-Employment Tax Bill

Brian SingletonBlog

If you're like most small business owners, you're always looking for ways to lower your self-employment taxable income. Here are five ways to do just that. Deducting the Cost of a Home Computer If you purchased a computer and use it for work-related purposes, you can take advantage of the Section 179 expense election, which allows you to write off new equipment in the year it was purchased if it is used for business more than 50 percent of the ... Read More

Using a Car for Business: New Rules under TCJA

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Many of the tax provisions under tax reform were favorable to small business owners including those relating to using a car for business. Here’s what you need to know. 1. Section 179 Expense Deduction If you bought a new car in 2018 and use it more 50 percent for business use, you can take advantage of the Section 179 expense deduction when you file your 2018 tax return. Under Section 179 you can immediately deduct (rather than depreciating) the cost … Read More

2017 Corporate Year-End Tax Info and Checklist

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Checklist for preparing your records to conform with IRS compliance requirements. How organized is your paperwork? For your corporation to be complete, you need a corporate record book, complete with corporate applications, corporate charter, bylaws, stock certificates and minutes of meetings. These items are all evidence that your business is a legitimate corporation. Do you loan your corporation money? You must be careful to document debt. Short term unwritten advances of less than $10,000 are acceptable if you treat them … Read More

Traditional IRAs vs. Roth IRAs in 2017

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Withdrawals from Roth IRAs may be taken out penalty and tax-free before age 59 1/2 as long as they are contributions (not earnings). Withdrawals that are earnings are subject to the same 10 percent penalty tax as traditional IRAs. There is an exception for qualified first-time home-buyers: A maximum of $10,000 of Roth IRA earnings may be withdrawn penalty-free to pay for qualified first-time home-buyer expenses as long as at least five tax years have passed since your initial contribution.Withdrawals … Read More

2016 Year-End Tax Planning for Businesses

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

There are a number of end of year tax planning strategies that businesses can use to reduce their tax burden for 2016. Here are a few of them: Deferring Income Businesses using the cash method of accounting can defer income into 2017 by delaying end-of-year invoices so payment is not received until 2017. Businesses using the accrual method can defer income by postponing delivery of goods or services until January 2017. Purchase New Business Equipment Section 179 Expensing. Business should … Read More

2016 Year-End Tax Planning for Individuals

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Tax planning strategies for individuals this year include postponing income and accelerating deductions, as well as careful consideration of timing related investments, charitable gifts, and retirement planning. General tax planning strategies that taxpayers might consider include the following: Sell any investments on which you have a gain or loss this year. For more on this, see Investment Gains and Losses, below. If you anticipate an increase in taxable income in 2016 and are expecting a bonus at year-end, try to … Read More