Paying Taxes on Household Helpers

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

If you employ someone to work for you around your house, it is important to consider the tax implications of this arrangement. While many people disregard the need to pay taxes on household employees, they do so at the risk of paying stiff tax penalties down the road. As you will see, the rules for hiring household help are quite complex, even for a relatively minor employee, and a mistake can bring on a tax headache that most of us … 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

Tax Tips for Individuals Selling Their Home

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

If you sell your home and make a profit, do you know that the gain may not be taxable? That’s just one key tax rule that you should know. Here are ten facts to keep in mind if you sell your home this year. 1. If you have a capital gain on the sale of your home, you may be able to exclude your gain from tax. This rule may apply if you owned and used it as your main … Read More

Four Things to Know about Net Investment Tax

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Certain taxpayers may be subject to the Net Investment Income Tax, which went into effect last year, in 2013. You may owe this tax if you have income from investments and your income for the year is more than certain limits. Here are four things that you should know about this tax: 1. Net Investment Income Tax. The law requires a tax of 3.8 percent on the lesser of either your net investment income or the amount by which your … 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

Five Basic Tax Tips for New Businesses

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

If you start a business, one key to success is to know about your federal tax obligations. Not only will you probably need to know about income taxes, you may also need to know about payroll taxes as well. Here are five basic tax tips that can help get your business off to a good start. 1. Business Structure.¬†As you start out, you’ll need to choose the structure of your business. Some common types include sole proprietorship, partnership and corporation. … 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

IRS Repeats Warning about Phone Scams

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration continue to hear from taxpayers who have received unsolicited calls from individuals demanding payment while fraudulently claiming to be from the IRS. Based on the 90,000 complaints that TIGTA has received through its telephone hotline, to date, TIGTA has identified approximately 1,100 victims who have lost an estimated $5 million from these scams. “There are clear warning signs about these scams, which continue at high levels throughout the … Read More

Renting Out a Vacation Home

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Tax rules on rental income from second homes can be complicated, particularly if you rent the home out for several months of the year, but also use the home yourself. There is however, one provision that is not complicated. Homeowners who rent out their property for 14 or fewer days a year can pocket the rental income, tax-free. Known as the “Master’s exemption,” it is used by homeowners near the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, GA who rent out … Read More

Special Tax Benefits for Armed Forces Personnel

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Special tax benefits apply to members of the U. S. Armed Forces. For example, some types of pay are not taxable. And special rules may apply to some tax deductions, credits and deadlines. Here are ten of those benefits: 1. Deadline Extensions. Some members of the military, such as those who serve in a combat zone, can postpone some tax deadlines. If this applies to you, you can get automatic extensions of time to file your tax return and to … Read More