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Required Minimum Distributions

2018 – 11/26 Don’t forget to take required minimum distributions (RMDs). Taxpayers who are at least age 70-1/2 must take a 2018 RMD from their IRAs, 401(k) plans or other employer-sponsored retirement plans before year end. Failure to do so can bring a penalty of 50% of the amount of the RMD that should have…

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What is Ordinary and Reasonable?

2018 – 11/26 Taxpayers can generally deduct the ordinary and reasonable, bona fide costs that are part of doing business, but the costs must be supported. In one case, the IRS found that a married couple wasn’t entitled to deduct payments made to the husband’s assistant, even though they might have been business expenses. Reason:…

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How Long Do I Keep Tax Returns?

With the next tax season rolling up fast, the IRS is reminding taxpayers of a few points. It’s important to keep copies of previous-year returns for at least 3 years, or 7 years if you claim certain security or debt losses. The information on those returns may be needed for current-year filing or to answer…

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When holiday gifts and parties are deductible or taxable

The holiday season is a great time for businesses to show their appreciation for employees and customers by giving them gifts or hosting holiday parties. Before you begin shopping or sending out invitations, though, it’s a good idea to find out whether the expense is tax deductible and whether it’s taxable to the recipient. Here’s…

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Stock Market Drop and Traditional IRAs

2018- 11/14 Does a stock market drop have an immediate tax effect on the finances of people with traditional IRAs who aren’t yet taking required minimum distributions (RMDs)? No, because losses and gains aren’t recognized in these accounts. However, there may be tax implications for taxpayers already taking RMDs from traditional IRAs. They can’t reduce…

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2019 Standard Deduction

2018 – 11/16 The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act suspended personal exemptions for 2018–2025, but roughly doubled inflation-adjusted standard deduction amounts. For 2019, the amounts are $24,400 for married joint filers, $12,200 for single filers, $18,350 for heads of households and $12,200 for married couples filing separately. For an individual who can be claimed as…

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Family Tax Credits

2018 – 11/19 The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act revised family tax credits for 2018. To help taxpayers prepare for the 2019 filing season, the IRS recently issued a reminder about the changes. The law doubled the maximum child tax credit to $2,000 and raised the income limits to claim the credit. A child must…

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Tax reform expands availability of cash accounting

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), many more businesses are now eligible to use the cash method of accounting for federal tax purposes. The cash method offers greater tax-planning flexibility, allowing some businesses to defer taxable income. Newly eligible businesses should determine whether the cash method would be advantageous and, if so, consider…

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3 ways to get more from your marketing dollars

A strong economy leads some company owners to cut back on marketing. Why spend the money if business is so good? Others see it differently — a robust economy means more sales opportunities, so pouring dollars into marketing is the way to go. The right approach for your company depends on many factors, but one…

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IRA Distribution

2018 – 11/06 An IRS private letter ruling forecasts a good tax outcome for a widow. The taxpayer, as the decedent’s spouse, would be treated as having acquired the IRA in question directly from the decedent, not from the trust that was the IRA’s primary beneficiary, the IRS stated. And she was eligible to roll…

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Smooth processing of 2018 tax return

2018 – 11/08 The IRS has launched a campaign to advise taxpayers about what preparations they can make to ensure the smooth processing of their 2018 tax returns. As part of the campaign, the tax agency issued Publication 5307, “Tax Reform Basics for Individuals and Families.” It focuses on several topics, including the gathering of…

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Some tax ID numbers expire soon

2018 – 11/18 Some tax ID numbers expire soon. The IRS issues Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to those required to file or report information to the IRS, but who don’t qualify for Social Security numbers. Some who use an ITIN must reapply before the end of 2018 because their number will expire and will…

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Taking the hybrid approach to cloud computing

For several years now, cloud computing has been touted as the perfect way for companies large and small to meet their software and data storage needs. But, when it comes to choosing and deploying a solution, one size doesn’t fit all. Many businesses have found it difficult to fully commit to the cloud for a…

©2018 Bland Garvey CPA