10 Things You Should Know About Identity Theft

Brian SingletonBlog, Old Site, Watch Your Wallet

Criminals use many methods to steal personal information from taxpayers. They can use your information to steal your identity and file a tax return in order to receive a refund. Here are ten things the IRS wants you to know about identity theft so you can avoid becoming the victim of a scam artist. Identity thieves get your personal information by many different means, including stealing a wallet or purse or accessing information you provide to an unsecured Internet site. … Read More

What Income Is Nontaxable?

Brian SingletonBlog, Old Site, Watch Your Wallet

Generally, you are taxed on income that is available to you regardless of whether it is actually in your possession. But there are some situations when certain types of income are partially taxed or not taxed at all. Here are some examples of items that are NOT included in your income: Adoption expense reimbursements for qualifying expenses Funding of your Health Savings Account with a one-time direct transfer from your individual retirement plan, health reimbursement account, or health flexible spending … Read More

Coverdell Education Savings Accounts

Brian SingletonBlog, Old Site, Watch Your Wallet

A Coverdell Education Savings Account is an account created as an incentive to help parents and students save for education expenses. The total contributions for the beneficiary of this account cannot be more than $2,000 in any year, no matter how many accounts have been established. A beneficiary is someone who is under age 18 or is a special needs beneficiary. The beneficiary will not owe tax on the distributions if they are less than a beneficiary’s qualified education expenses … Read More

Estimated Tax Payments – Q&A

Brian SingletonBlog, Old Site, Watch Your Wallet

Question: How do I know if I have to file quarterly individual estimated tax payments? Answer: If you owed additional tax for the prior tax year, you may have to make estimated tax payments for the current tax year. You must make estimated tax payments for the current tax year if both of the following apply: You expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax for the current tax year, after subtracting your withholding and credits. You expect your withholding … Read More

Itemizers Can Deduct Certain Taxes

Brian SingletonBlog, Old Site, Watch Your Wallet

Did you know that you may be able to deduct certain taxes on your federal income tax return? You can receive these deductions if you file Form 1040 and itemize deductions on Schedule A. Deductions decrease the amount of income subject to taxation. There are five types of deductible non-business taxes: State and Local Income or Sales Taxes You can choose to claim a state and local tax deduction for either income or sales taxes on your return. You can … Read More

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