Our Blog

Posted on Friday, May 07, 2021
Everywhere I go, like the dandelions popping up all over my lawn, no matter hard I work at their extermination, there are cars on the side of the road and the unmistakable buzz of people with “yard sale rush”  masks,  rushing to see what hot deals they can find.  It’s a Spring/Summer ritual and its back.  A welcome sign of things slowly getting back to normal.  But the biggest yard sale we have ever seen has been open and running for almost a decade now (the IRS is hosting), and still not many people are parking out front and rushing in and THEY SHOULD BE!  It’s the capital gains tax rate and it’s a big sale. Does the IRS really...

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Posted on Friday, April 30, 2021
Generally speaking, there are three “waves” of tax filers. The first contains the people with W-2 jobs, kids and daycare and they have had taxes withheld that when refunded are a big part of their income. They generally file in late January and early February, as soon as possible so they can get their refund, and who could blame them? That job is done, those folks have filed. The second wave contains people with more complex assets and it’s a flip of the coin for them, sometimes they owe and sometimes they get refunds.  So, they still want to file as soon as possible, but when the return is done it’s like waiting for cancer test results, they say, “well,...

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Posted on Friday, April 23, 2021
We use the term “Tax Planning” often, but we are aware that many people are not sure what it really is.  Some people think “That means off shore accounts and citizenship shell games ending with jail time.  No thank you!”.  That is not tax planning; that’s tax evasion, and it’s not at all what we recommend.  Others think only the wealthy need a tax planner, and for regular folks it can mean paying a 30 year mortgage off 12 years early or having a college fund with enough in it to actually pay for college.  It’s not just for the wealthy, though.  Tax planning can be a useful tool for anyone who is aware of the opportunities.  Our tax code...

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Posted on Friday, April 16, 2021
It goes without saying that the amount of new tax rules and programs that are now in force because of the pandemic is astounding.  Preparers are stressed as the programs have come out during the active tax season so that extra time to slow down and read and comprehend just is not available, and people are stressed and want answers.   What should you do to get help and or make sure you dont miss out on programs that you can qualify for and that can help you recover or survive?  For many the answer is to file an extension!  Even though the IRS is allowing until May 17th to file, your preparers need time to read, think, run different options...

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Posted on Friday, April 09, 2021
When you start tax planning with a new client, the first thing people often ask is why the accountant or CPA they are using doesn’t think or act the way you do in discussing the hunt for possible tax savings. After all, the current CPA is smart, trustworthy, running a successful accounting business and trusted in the community. So, why are you telling them all these wonderful new tax savings ideas that their CPA has never mentioned? There are many explanations, but the simplest is how the accountants themselves view the job that they do. Often, accountants think that the profession of accounting in its simplest form is the job of telling the story of money that has already come...

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Posted on Friday, April 02, 2021
People often struggle with record keeping and are often so busy that they are simply unaware of tools or services that have been developed that could greatly improve the recording and tax deductibility of expenses, miles and other useful things.  Tons of topics we could cover here, but two that are universal.  If you are in business, you have a phone and a car.  Cell phone are pretty typical for smaller companies.  What we usually see is a personal cell phone bill and of about $150-300 a month, and of course the business owner wants to deduct it all.  When you start asking questions however , almost always, it’s a family plan with spouse and kids on it, so 80%...

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Posted on Friday, March 26, 2021
The latest round of stimulus payments, on top of the backlog left from the 2020 IRS slowdown in processing 2019 returns and the constant new tax rules coming out of the legislature, has produced a “HOT MESS” resulting in the extension of the federal income tax filing deadline for the second year in a row, this time to May 17th.   Last week we cautioned that some sates might not follow suit, so be sure to check and see whether  or not your state is following suit.  A few things are now more clear: If you have already filed and had unemployment benefits taxed, there is no need to amend your return.  The IRS will do a fix sometime this Summer...

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Posted on Friday, March 19, 2021
Last year, 41 states that have a personal income tax postponed their April 15 filing and payment deadlines due to the fallout from the pandemic, but that hasn’t officially happened this time, at least not yet.  The IRS has moved the deadline for filing 2020 federal income tax returns from April 15 to May 17, 2021.  This will also give the tax agency, which already has a backlog of unprocessed tax returns, more time to adjust its computer systems and forms to account for tax changes made by the recently enacted American Rescue Plan Act – most notably, the $10,200 federal exemption for unemployment compensation received in 2020, that might be only federal AND NOT STATE TAX EXEMPT. Oklahoma has delayed their state...

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Posted on Friday, March 12, 2021
Lately we’ve seen a historic amount of spending, due of course to the pandemic and trying to keep the economic ship righted.  So, who’s to know whether what we’ve done is right or wrong?  Only time will tell, but for now, especially for those retired or about to retire, this is a blind crossing moment that takes some forethought and reflection to navigate.  In the future, taxes are likely to go up.  Biden targeted only people earning over $400,000 in his campaign promises, but as we all know, even with the best intentioned candidates, Republican or Democrat, once they get into the reality of “the books and the art of compromise,” promises are not always kept.  The country has been on a bad path from a spending perspective for a...

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Posted on Friday, March 05, 2021
A lot of things have changed in the last two years when it comes to tax rules.  Every year, the IRS tweaks things a little.  Old habits die hard, so some of these new tax rules will probably slip by many for some years to come, until they realize they’ve lost an opportunity or pay a penalty.  It’s not everybody’s favorite topic, right? That being said, there are a lot of good things in these changes.  One good thing is that the IRS has finally stopped unfairly not allowing people to put money away for their retirement when they plan on working past 70.  There was an inequity in the tax system for some time, because if someone was employed...

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