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Higher Education Exception

2019 – 06/14 The tax code imposes a 10% penalty on the taxable amount of an early distribution from a qualified retirement plan. An early distribution is one made to an employee who hasn’t attained age 59-1/2. There are exceptions to avoid the 10% penalty, including if a distribution is used to pay qualified higher…

Innocent Spouses

2019 – 06/17 Married couples filing joint tax returns are generally both responsible for the entire tax liability that should be reported on their income tax returns. Certain protections exist for “innocent spouses.” The Taxpayer First Act, which was passed by Congress on June 13 and is expected to be signed by the President, gives…

Beware of Tax-Related Scams

2019 – 06/11 Beware of tax-related scams to steal your identity and money. The IRS just issued a warning about “a spring surge of evolving phishing emails and telephone scams.” The agency is seeing two new scams. The first has been dubbed the “SSN hustle.” It involves scammers claiming to be able to suspend or…

Could you unearth hidden profits in your company?

Can your business become more profitable without venturing out of its comfort zone? Of course! However, adding new products or services may not be the best way for your business — or any company — to boost profits. Bottom-line potential may lie undiscovered in your existing operations. How can you find these “hidden” profits? Dig…

Avoid a Larger Penalty by June 14th

2019 – 06/10 Paying a hefty tax bill can be tough. But the IRS urges taxpayers who owe tax and haven’t filed their 2018 returns to act by Friday, June 14, to avoid a larger penalty. The failure-to-file penalty (generally 5%) is assessed when a taxpayer owes taxes and hasn’t filed a return or requested…

Reporting Foreign Financial Accounts

2019 – 06/10 U.S. taxpayers with an interest in or signing authority over certain foreign financial accounts must report those accounts on their tax returns. This applies to foreign financial accounts with aggregate value exceeding $10,000 at any time during 2018. Form 114, the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), must be electronically…

June 17th Deadline for Estimated Tax Payments

2019 – 06/07 A reminder: June 17 is the next deadline for those who make estimated tax payments. Self-employed individuals, retirees, investors and some individuals involved in the sharing economy are among those who often need to pay quarterly estimated taxes. That’s because all, or a substantial part, of their income isn’t subject to withholding….

Redesign of Form W-4

2019 – 06/03 The IRS has issued a draft of its redesign of Form W-4, “Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate.” The revised form implements the changes affecting taxpayer withholding made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The form no longer uses the concept of withholding allowances tied to the personal exemption. Instead, it’s divided into…

HSA Contribution Limits Up for 2020

2019 – 05/28 The IRS has issued inflation-adjusted Health Savings Account (HSA) figures for 2020. The new annual HSA contribution limit for an individual with self-only coverage will be $3,550 (up from $3,500 for 2019). For family coverage, the contribution limit will be $7,100 (up from $7,000 for 2019). HSA contributions can be made only…

Employers: Be aware (or beware) of a harsh payroll tax penalty

If federal income tax and employment taxes (including Social Security) are withheld from employees’ paychecks and not handed over to the IRS, a harsh penalty can be imposed. To make matters worse, the penalty can be assessed personally against a “responsible individual.” If a business makes payroll tax payments late, there are escalating penalties. And…

Targeting and converting your company’s sales prospects

Companies tend to spend considerable time and resources training and upskilling their sales staff on how to handle existing customers. And this is, no doubt, a critical task. But don’t overlook the vast pool of individuals or entities that want to buy from you but just don’t know it yet. We’re talking about prospects. Identifying…

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