Keep Track of Miscellaneous Deductions

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Miscellaneous deductions such as certain work-related expenses you paid for as an employee can reduce your tax bill, but you must itemize deductions when you file to claim these costs. If you usually claim the standard deduction, think about itemizing instead because you might be able to pay less tax. Here are some tax tips that may help you reduce your taxes: Deductions Subject to the Limit. You can deduct most miscellaneous costs only if their sum is more than … Read More

Ten Key Tax Facts about Home Sales

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Exclusion of Gain.You may be able to exclude part or all of the gain from the sale of your home. This rule may apply if you meet the eligibility test. Parts of the test involve your ownership and use of the home. You must have owned and used it as your main home for at least two out of the five years before the date of sale.Exceptions May ApplyThere are exceptions to the ownership, use, and other rules. One exception ... Read More

It’s Time for a Premium Tax Credit Checkup

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

If you have insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may be getting advance payments of the premium tax credit. These are paid directly to your insurance company to lower your monthly premium. Changes in your income or family size may affect your premium tax credit. If your circumstances have changed, now is the time for a checkup to see if you need to adjust the premium assistance you are receiving. You should report changes that have occurred since you … 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

Recordkeeping for Charitable Contributions

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

You must keep records to prove the amount of any cash and noncash contributions you make during the year. Which records you must keep depends on the amount you contribute and whether they are cash or property contributions. New recordkeeping requirements were established for all contributions made after January 1, 2007. You cannot deduct a cash contribution, regardless of the amount, unless you keep as a record of the contribution, bank records (such as a cancelled check or bank statement … 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

Defer Capital Gains using 1031 Like-Kind Exchanges

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

If you’re a savvy investor, you probably know that you must generally report as income any mutual fund distributions whether you reinvest them or exchange shares in one fund for shares of another. In other words, you must report and pay any capital gains tax owed. But if real estate’s your game, did you know that it’s possible to defer capital gains by taking advantage of a tax break that allows you to swap investment property on a tax-deferred basis? … Read More

Receiving Payments in QuickBooks

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

There are numerous ways to prioritize your workday. Do the most difficult things first. Get important phone calls out of the way. Respond to customer emails. But it’s likely that one activity takes precedence when you see that it needs to be done: recording payments. While you’re probably very careful with this process, it’s critical that your actions here are accurate. If they’re not, you could either lose money that you’ve earned or anger customers by requesting payments they’ve already … Read More

Identity Theft and your Taxes

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. It presents challenges to individuals, businesses, organizations and government agencies, including the IRS. Learning that you are a victim of identity theft can be a stressful event and you may not be aware that someone has stolen your identity. In many cases, the IRS may be the first to let you know you’re a victim of ID theft after … Read More

Is Your Gift Taxable?

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

If you gave money or property to someone as a gift, you may owe federal gift tax. Many gifts are not subject to the gift tax, but there are exceptions. Here are eight tips you can use to figure out whether your gift is taxable. 1. Most gifts are not subject to the gift tax. For example, there is usually no tax if you make a gift to your spouse or to a charity. If you make a gift to … Read More