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

Selling your Small Business

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Selling a small to medium-sized business is a complex venture, and many business owners are not aware of the tax consequences. If you’re thinking about selling your business the first step is to consult a competent tax professional. You will need to make sure your financials in order, obtain an accurate business valuation to determine how much your business is worth (and what the listing price might be) and develop a tax planning strategy to minimize capital gains and other … 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 There is an exception for qualified first-time home-buyers: A maximum of $10,000 of Roth IRA earnings may be withdrawn penalty-free to pay for qualified first-time home-buyer expenses as long as at least five tax years have passed since your initial contribution.Withdrawals …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 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

Early Retirement Plan Withdrawals and your Taxes

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Taking money out early from your retirement plan may trigger an additional tax. Here are six things that you should know about early withdrawals from retirement plans: 1. An early withdrawal normally means taking money from your plan before you reach age 59 1/2. 2. If you made a withdrawal from a plan last year, you must report the amount you withdrew to the IRS. You may have to pay income tax as well as an additional 10 percent tax … Read More

Leaving a Business: Which Exit Plan is Best?

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Selecting your business successor is a fundamental objective of planning an exit strategy and requires a careful assessment of what you want from the sale of your business and who can best give it to you. There are four ways to leave your business: transfer ownership to family members, Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP), sale to a third party, and liquidation. The more you understand about each one, the better the chance is that you will leave your business on … Read More

Changing Jobs? Don’t Forget your 401(k)

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

One of the most important questions you face when changing job is what to do with the money in your 401(k). Making the wrong move could cost you thousands of dollars or more in taxes and lower returns. Let’s say you put in five years at your current job. For most of those years, you’ve had the company take a set percentage of your pre-tax salary and put it into your 401(k) plan. Now that you’re leaving, what should you … Read More

Tax Implications of Retiring Overseas

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Are you approaching retirement age and wondering where you can retire to make your retirement nest egg last longer? Retiring abroad may be the answer. But first, it’s important to look at the tax implications because not all retirement country destinations are created equal. Here’s what you need to know. Taxes on Worldwide Income Leaving the United States does not exempt U.S. citizens from their U.S. tax obligations. While some retirees may not owe any U.S. income tax while living … Read More

Year-End Tax Planning for Individuals

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Once again, tax planning for the year ahead presents more challenges than usual, this time due to the numerous tax extenders that expired at the end of 2013. These tax extenders, which include nonbusiness energy credits and the sales tax deduction that allows taxpayers to deduct state and local general sales taxes instead of state and local income taxes, may or may not be reauthorized by Congress and made retroactive to the beginning of the year. More significant however, is … Read More

A SIMPLE Retirement Plan for the Self-Employed

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Of all the retirement plans available to small business owners, the SIMPLE IRA plan (Savings Incentive Match PLan for Employees) is the easiest to set up and the least expensive to manage. These plans are intended to encourage small business employers to offer retirement coverage to their employees. SIMPLE IRA plans work well for small business owners who don’t want to spend a lot of time and pay high administration fees associated with more complex retirement plans. SIMPLE IRA plans … Read More