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Simplify Seasonal Staffing with these Smart Strategies

October 16, 2017

Whether your business needs temporary workers to get through the holiday season or you hire short-term help on a regular basis, the process of finding the right candidates can be challenging. Try applying these strategies to make seasonal staffing easier:

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5 Tips to Reset Your Stress Response

October 2, 2017

Because stress related to work, family issues and other events is something that affects many of us, it’s important to reset your own stress response to protect your health and productivity. Sharon Melnick, Ph.D., a business psychologist, offers these tips:

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Proposed Tax Reform Plan: What Could It Mean for You?

September 29, 2017

Tax reform, one of President Trump’s key legislative agenda items, is moving closer to fruition. Based on the outline of his proposed tax reform package, which he unveiled on September 27, 2017, we’ve compiled this brief overview of the President’s major tax proposals:

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Impacted by the Equifax Hack? Take These Steps Now!

September 14, 2017

If you were a victim of the recently announced Equifax hack, you need to take action to mitigate any negative impact it may have on your finances and credit. If you’re not sure if you were affected, you can use Equifax’s Potential Impact tool to find out. You will need to input your last name and the last six digits of your social security number to use this tool.

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Tips for Maximizing the Value of Your Next Staff Retreat

August 30, 2017

Staff retreats can offer companies a lot of value. They can also be expensive and, unless managed effectively, not particularly productive. Before you plan your next (or first) staff retreat, review the following key factors to help you make the most of...

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Free Money-Saving Apps for Every College Student

August 15, 2017

There likely aren’t many college students who don’t have a smart phone loaded with helpful apps. However, it is unlikely that any of these apps are dedicated to helping them build their financial fortitude. This is why we created our list below—chock-full of apps designed to make it easier for college students of any age to save money.

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Expert Advice to Keep Your Internet-Enabled Devices Safe from Cyber Criminals

August 1, 2017

Did you know that your webcam and even your home or office internet router can be the gateway through which cyber criminals gain access to your most sensitive data? If not, don’t panic—we have helpful tips below from the experts at the National Cyber Security Alliance to ensure that you head off this type of malicious action.

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Be Alert and Aware: Tax Scammers Don’t Take a Summer Vacation

July 13, 2017

The IRS has identified several new variations of standard tax scams involving fake tax bills and demands for payments. Many of these scams involve purchasing and transferring information using a gift card or iTunes card. Other scams to be aware of include:

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Reduce Certain Summertime Costs with the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit

IRS

July 12, 2017

Reduce Certain Summertime Costs with the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit

Many parents send their children to summer day camps while they work or look for work. The IRS urges those who do to save their paperwork for the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. Eligible taxpayers may be able claim it on their taxes in 2018...

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Illinois Income Tax Act

IL CPA Society

July 12, 2017

Illinois Public Act 100-0022 amends the Illinois Income Tax Act and Retailers’ Occupation Tax Act resulting in numerous state tax changes 
 

1.  Effective July 1, 2017, Illinois income tax rates for individuals, trusts and estates increase from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent;

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Tips for Implementing a Successful Flex-time Schedule this Summer

June 29, 2017

Now that summer/vacation season is here, your business may be enjoying a more relaxed vibe with employees taking time off or leaving early. If you’ve ever thought about implementing a flexible work program, now may be the time to pilot one, especially if your business is a bit slower this time of year. To help, we offer the following tips...

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Four Money-Saving Mid-Year Financial Planning Tips

June 15, 2017

It’s almost exactly the mid-point of the year, which makes it prime time for a mid-year financial review. If you need some monetary motivation for evaluating your financial progress so far this year, you may want to think of mid-year planning as a series of potential money-saving opportunities, for example:

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How to Protect Your Business from the Next “Wanna Cry” Attack

June 1, 2017

The recent “Wanna Cry” ransomware attack that paralyzed several large organizations in the U.S. and Europe is a solemn reminder that the risk of cyber security breaches is real. Every business owner should take steps...

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Tips to Help You Stem the Flow of Potential Risks This Flood Season

May 16, 2017

Whether from heavy rains or hurricanes, this time of year can bring with it the risk of floods across many parts of the United States. While you may not be able to predict the likelihood of a flood in your area, with these tips you can help to mitigate physical and financial damage if a flood occurs where you live.

  1. Treat structural damage seriously. In any...

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How to Really “Clean Up” at Your Next Yard Sale

May 4, 2017

This time of year is when you often see yard sale signs popping up. For some, holding a yard sale is a means of clearing out unwanted items. For others, it’s an opportunity to get some great “finds.” Whichever side of the yard sale fence you’re on, these tips can help you “clean up”:

Choose your timing carefully. Research continues...

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Take Your Spring Cleaning to the Office with These Tips

April 19, 2017

Window washing, carpet cleaning, garden grooming—these are all popular spring cleaning chores for homeowners. However, with year-end and tax season behind you, this time of year is also perfect for spring cleaning at the office. These tips will help you and your staff get—and keep—that “just cleaned my office” feeling:

Start with a clean sweep of...

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These Tax Day Treats Shine Light at the End of the “Tax Season Tunnel”

April 3, 2017

With just a few weeks to go until Tax Day on April 18, it’s time to make sure that you’re on track to get your individual return filed. If you haven’t already engaged our firm to help you with your taxes and you need assistance, don’t delay…it’s time to let us know!

While tax season can be stressful, Tax Day itself can be quite rewarding if you...

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Do You Sit All Day? Take a Stand Against a Sedentary Lifestyle

March 20, 2017

The average American sits a lot. Many of us sit while we work, while we relax and while we learn. Over the long term, this sedentary way of life can have a negative impact on our health, increasing the risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer—in addition to shortening life spans. To counteract these negative effects, it’s important to get up, get active and get...

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Set the Stage to Help Your Home Sell This Spring

March 1, 2017

Spring is in the air...which means peak home-selling season isn’t far away. In fact, according to recent market data, 60 percent of all home sales in the United States will occur in the spring and summer months. If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market, now is the time to get prepared—which includes considering how you will “stage” your home to...

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Avoid March Madness—Why You Should File Your Taxes Now

February 17, 2017

For sports fans, this time of year is an exciting one. First the Super Bowl, and then the buildup toward the NCAA March Madness tournament. While tax season isn’t quite as exciting as these events, you’ll still want to make the effort to get ahead of the game—and the April 18 deadline—to score the benefits of early filing.

Avoiding identity...

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Home Improvements as Medical Expenses

Charlie Caufield

February 10, 2017

Home Improvements as Medical Expenses

Not long ago we referred to the fact that an increasing number of aged individuals with a variety of infirmities wish to continue to reside in their homes and need significant levels of care, and that the cost of this care was posing many tax questions for those responsible.  This is particularly critical with regards to the payment for...

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Small Businesses Can Restart Health Reimbursement Accounts in 2017

February 1, 2017

Although the fate of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is not yet clear, thanks to the passing of the 21st Century Cures Act at the end of 2016, employers with fewer than 50 employees can now start funding stand-alone health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) again. Employees can use HRAs to pay for medical expenses, including health insurance coverage on the Obamacare health insurance...

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Tips to Defend Your Business from Cyber Attacks

January 17, 2017

You need only tune into the news to see that cybercrimes are a very real threat. From viruses to malware, everyday computer use and online browsing can leave you vulnerable to hackers who want your valuable information. If you have a small business, your risk of a cyberattack is likely even higher, especially if you do not have the resources or know-how to enact effective security policies....

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Break Barriers in 2017 with These Mind-Changing Mini Resolutions

December 28, 2016

There’s a reason why the regular New Year’s resolutions like losing weight, exercising more and sticking to a budget are popular—so many of us need to do them! There’s also a common reason why so many of us fail to meet our goals in these areas: we haven’t developed the mindset to support the changes that we want to make.

Instead of setting a big,...

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Keep the Holidays Merry with These Simple Stress Relievers

December 14, 2016

The holiday season can be wonderful, but they can also be one of the most stressful times of the year. Fortunately, the experts at Psychology Today also offer these simple stress relievers to put the joy back in this special time of year:

  1. Take a time-out. Time-outs aren’t just for toddlers who have a tantrum. In fact, rather than being a...

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Obama’s New Overtime Pay Rule is On Pause—What Does it Mean for Your Business?

November 30, 2016

Just days before it was scheduled to be implemented on December 1, a federal judge in Texas has blocked the implementation of the new Department of Labor (DOL) federal overtime rule, which would have doubled the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA’s) salary threshold for exemption from overtime pay. According to an NPR report, this extension of overtime eligibility would have...

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Take Note of New Business Tax Deadlines in 2017

November 15, 2016

As a result of the highway funding extension bill signed into law by President Obama in 2015, there are important changes coming in 2017 to deadlines for business tax filings including:

  1. W-2 and 1099 filings are due January 31 in 2017 instead of March 31. These forms are still due employees and contractors by January 31, so it’s important to prepare and...

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Help for College Bills?

Charlie Caufield

November 1, 2016

Help for College Bills?

                Now would be a good time to see if you qualify for either of two college tax credits upon filing the 2016 federal income tax return.  In general, the American Opportunity Tax Credit, or Lifetime Learning Credit, is available to taxpayers who pay qualifying expenses...

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Five Key Areas Every Business Owner Should Review Before Year End

November 1, 2016

We’re well in to the fourth quarter of the year, which means year end is fast approaching. Here are five important areas of your business to review before the calendar turns to 2017.

  1. Tax planning opportunities. November and December are prime time for tax planning, which can pay big dividends when filing time arrives. Touch base with our firm now to...

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Start Holiday Gift Giving for the Kids with an IRA Contribution

October 17, 2016

If you’re like many parents and grandparents, you may already be thinking about what kind of gift to get the children on your list this holiday season. For teens and young adults especially, it can be challenging to come up with truly unique and meaningful gifts. One idea with long-lasting impact is to make a contribution to either a traditional or Roth IRA on your children or...

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Don’t Let Year-End Cost-Cutting Derail Your Business Goals

October 3, 2016

Many businesses need to adjust their spending to meet the reality of their cash flow during the last few months of the year. While it can be tempting to just cut expenses across the board, this strategy may actually backfire if you cut in the wrong places. Here are four budget areas you should try to preserve to avoiding derailing your long-term business goals:

1....

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Mom Needs Help. What Now?

Charlie Caufield

September 22, 2016

Mom Needs Help. What Now?

We have noticed with increasing frequency Mom is confused about whether she has eaten, or has taken her medicine or any number of similar day to day activities that she has successfully managed for years. Whether it is an onset of Alzheimer or any number of other debilitating diseases it is obvious Mom cannot cope, even to the point of needing constant...

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Wondering About Tax Deductions for Political Contributions? Here’s the Lowdown

September 19, 2016

With election season in full swing, you may be wondering, “Are political contributions tax deductible?” Here’s the lowdown:

Whether it’s your county mayor or the future President of the United States, the rules on taking advantage of tax deductions for political contributions are the same: Donations are deductible if the organization you give to is a 501(c)(3)...

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Take Note! The Filing Deadline for W-2s and 1099s is January 31 in 2017

September 1, 2016

Consider this blog post as early notice that the date by which employers must file their W-2s and 1099s with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and IRS will change to January 31 in 2017.

Previously, W-2s and 1099s were not due to governmental agencies until March 31, so this new deadline will significantly reduce the window for making any necessary changes. These forms are still...

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The World is Chipping Away at Credit Card Fraud—But Individual Vigilance is Still Key

August 16, 2016

EMV chip technology, which is the first major upgrade for credit card fraud protection in many years, is slowly being rolled out by merchants around the world, including in the United States. While this technology has the potential to provide better security for your credit card data, it still has its limits and it is not completely hacker-proof or secure. As such it is still important to be...

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Before the First School Bell Rings, It’s Time to Reset the Alarm Clock

August 2, 2016

It’s August and children and parents everywhere are facing a grim reality: back to school season is just around the corner. At this time of year, many parents struggle to get their kids back into a regular sleep routine. To help, we offer these tips to reset your family’s alarm clock before the first school bell rings:

  1. Start tonight. While child...

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Is it Time to Revisit Roth IRAs?

Charlie Caufield

July 28, 2016

Is it Time to Revisit Roth IRAs?

 

            Once again, tax planning emphasis appears to have shifted from focusing on minimizing the estate subject to tax and focusing on the reduction of current taxable income.  The main reason for this shift is that only a few estates may actually be taxed because to incur...

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Getting Married this Year? Here’s Your Tax Tip Sheet

July 18, 2016

While most couples go to great lengths to ensure that their wedding day is perfect, far fewer think about how their nuptials will impact their tax liability. The truth is, the moment you get married, no matter what time of the year it is, in the eyes of the government you are considered to have been married for the entire tax year. With this in mind, here are some tax tips to consider as you...

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Key Lessons from the Financial Fallout of the ‘Brexit’ Vote

July 5, 2016

It’s fair to say that the recent ‘Brexit’ vote by Britons to exit the European Union (EU) has shaken global financial markets to their core, at least in the short-term. Financial analysts say that it’s too early to tell what the long-term impact of this historic vote will be. But one thing is for certain, the Brexit offers several important lessons that individual...

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Smart Strategies to Handle the “Downfall” Problem 1 in 4 New Businesses Experience

June 21, 2016

One of the most (if not the most) important indicators of business health is its cash flow. Even if your business is profitable and growing, if you don't have a consistent stream of cash coming in, you'll run into financial trouble. Lack of cash flow is the primary reason that more than one quarter of new businesses fail—29 percent to be exact. Here are some smart strategies...

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IRS Fights Scammers – Instructs Staff to Initiate All Future Audits by Mail; Never by Telephone

June 10, 2016

With a rise in IRS phone scams, the Agency changed its policy on contacting taxpayers whose tax records are subject to an audit. The new policy instructs IRS agents to contact affected taxpayers only by mail—never by phone (which used to be the IRS’ go-to method of contact). As such, we urge all of our clients to adhere to the following guidelines should...

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Premium Tax Credit Update

Charlie Caufield

June 8, 2016

Premium Tax Credit Update

When filing your 2015 income tax return, one of two things may have effected the amount that you were refunded or the amount you owed:  (1) an increase in taxes owed resulting from receiving an excess of premium assistance throughout the year, or (2) receipt of Premium Tax Credit (PTC) due to not receiving sufficient government assistance in paying...

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No Time to Garden? Try These Time-Saving Tips

June 1, 2016

While many of us appreciate the glory of a beautiful garden, there’s no denying that having one is a time-consuming endeavor. That’s why we’ve compiled these tips to help you make the most of your yard in less time:

1. Start with a plan.
A well-thought-out plan for your garden that utilizes low-maintenance plants and flowers will save you time...

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Overtime Pay Eligibility Expanded – What Businesses Need to Know

May 20, 2016

President Obama, declaring that “Americans have spent too long working more and getting less in return,” ordered the Labor Department to revise federal rules on overtime pay for salaried workers that log more than 40 hours a week. The long-awaited rule change will extend overtime pay to an estimated 4.2M workers.

Under current federal regulations, only salaried employees...

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Sleep on This! Think Quality Not Quantity When It Comes to Shut-Eye

May 16, 2016

We’ve likely all heard the news—Americans are incredibly sleep-deprived. However, according to recent research, achieving better quality sleep may be more important than actually increasing the number of hours of sleep. In fact, experts report that 6 hours of deep refreshing sleep is more beneficial than 8 hours of light interrupted sleep.

May is Better Sleep...

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Be $1,000 Richer by Next Year with These Simple Savings Strategies

May 2, 2016

Wow! May is already here—and if you’re like many Americans your savings account balance is still stuck where it was at the beginning of the year. So what to do? You can’t make up for lost savings opportunities…or can you? We believe that you can with a little bit of discipline. For example, saving $125 a month can be as easy as:

  • Renegotiating your...

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Social Security Shuts Down the File and Suspend Procedure

April 20, 2016

In November, 2015 a new law was enacted that closed a long time tactic within the Social Security system popularly known as the File and Suspend strategy. With this method, a spouse could receive spousal benefits while the other spouse takes advantage of a provision that allowed his or her monthly Social Security to grow.

For example, a husband could file a claim for Social Security...

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5 Actions to Reduce Cyber Liability Risks in Your Business Today

April 14, 2016

A quick glance at the news is all it takes to realize that the threat of cyber attacks is increasing for businesses. So how can your business beat the odds and avoid becoming another victim of cybercrime? Try putting the following five action items at the top of your priority list:

  1. Encrypt your data. Whether it's bank routing digits, credit card accounts or...

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Final Check – Did You Claim Every Eligible Tax Deduction?

March 31, 2016

Every year, American taxpayers leave millions of dollars on the table for Uncle Sam—in the form of unclaimed tax deductions. With Tax Day just around the corner, it’s time to do one final check to make sure that you are not missing out on three of the most common deductions:

  • Retirement contribution deductions for single-income couples and the...

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Five Snacks to Spring Clean your Body and Mind

March 15, 2016

Spring is here and the season for new beginnings. This is a good time to re-think "spring cleaning" and choose snacks that can cleanse our bodies from the inside out.

These five snacks are guaranteed to feed your mind, detoxify your body, and satisfy your palate!

1. Guacamole - High in fiber and “fat” but don’t worry, it’s good fat!...

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Make Your Spring Break Worry-Free with These Home Security Tips

March 1, 2016

If you’re packing your bags for a spring break getaway, take a little time before you leave to implement the tips below—they’ll help keep your home safer while you’re gone, and free your mind of worry so that you can truly enjoy your trip.

  1. Tell your neighbors that you will be away. Inform your neighbors and friends of the dates that you...

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Tax Season is Scam Season... Keep Your Information Safe!

February 16, 2016

The IRS has joined with industry and states on a public awareness campaign to provide taxpayers with easy tips to better protect themselves. For some quick tips, you can watch an informative video here.

Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security Number to file a tax return...

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Identity Protection PIN Letters List Incorrect Tax Year

February 1, 2016

According to a recent IRS notice, due to an error, taxpayers are receiving Identity Protection (IP) PIN letters with an incorrect year listed. If you received the CP01A Notice dated January 4, 2016, be aware that the PIN contained in it is valid for use on all individual tax returns filed in...

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Getting Over It… Quick Tips for Beating the Post-Holiday Slump

January 18, 2016

It’s a stark reality that millions of us face once the holiday season is over: the post-holiday slump. Even just a few days off can make coming back to the office seem excruciating—there’s all that work to do, the anticipation and cheer of the holidays are gone, and for many people the next vacation day is a long way off. Yes, being a working adult is tough, but getting over...

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2016 Mileage Rate Notice

IRS.gov

January 7, 2016

2016 Standard Mileage Rates for Business, Medical and Moving Announced

IR-2015-137, Dec.17, 2015

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2016 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2016, the standard mileage...

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Customer Service Goes Social—Is Your Business Prepared?

January 4, 2016

If your business engages in social media, you may have noticed an uptick in the number of customers who are posting questions on your Facebook page, tweeting comments or engaging with your company on other social platforms looking for customer service support. It’s a trend that is affecting just about every type of business—and using social media as a customer service channel will...

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Year End Tax Planning for 2015

December 17, 2015

Most of the readers can easily identify the number of days remaining to Christmas, but how many days to the New Year?  Why is that important?  Because for most of us it is perhaps the last opportunity to do some tax planning for 2015 and 2016.  Although for most of us the focus is on 2015, the possibilities that potential future transactions could be accelerated to impact 2015...

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IRS Simplifies Filing and Recordkeeping for Small Business – Hooray!

December 15, 2015

In an ongoing effort to keep you informed of IRS changes, we have a new and important one to report. And this time, the change eases your filing burden.

Within the last month, the IRS significantly simplified the paperwork and recordkeeping requirements for small business by raising the safe harbor threshold for deducting certain capital items from $500 to $2,500. This applies to...

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Tis the Season! Avoid Common Holiday Scams with These Tips

December 1, 2015

As cybercriminals begin to take advantage of the holiday season, it’s important to take extra precautions to avoid having your money, credit card information, social security number, or identity stolen. E-commerce thieves, at this time of year especially, will try to create holiday-related websites, scams, and other phishing e-mails that can trick even the most alert consumers. The...

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The Key to Scoring on Black Friday? Create a Pre-Game Plan

November 16, 2015

The countdown is on to the what retailers hype as the best shopping day of the year—the day after Thanksgiving dubbed by Americans as ‘Black Friday’—represents the kick-off to the holiday shopping season. However, given the explosion of retail competition and the Internet in the past several years, Black Friday is really not what it used to be. And if you’re not...

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Time for the RMD Withdrawal

November 3, 2015

As the year draws to a close there are many concerns running through our minds. Of course there are the holidays. There is the concern that our investment portfolio’s current year status is as balanced as it can be. And there is the need to assure ourselves that we have properly handled our Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

Many IRAs are controlled by the sponsoring...

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It’s Tax Planning Time—Here Are Some Money-Saving Tips for Individuals and Businesses

November 2, 2015

With just a few short weeks to go before the end of the year, it’s important to take a look at your tax situation and consider ways to decrease your tax obligations. In other words, it’s time for tax planning. We put together the following tips for you to support smart tax decisions:

  1. Stay apprised of potential tax provision extensions. Congress...

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4 Steps to Finding the Sweet Spot for Success

October 14, 2015

Ah, the sweet smell of success! Achieving goals and bringing our vision to fruition is the end-game for most of us, especially in our business lives. Unfortunately, success can sometimes elude us to the point where we have to start looking at what, exactly, is going wrong. Perhaps, though, the question we ought to be asking is this: What is going right? By honing in on what is bringing you or...

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To “B” or not to “B”

October 6, 2015

For many years estate planners worried foremost about avoiding the federal estate tax because it could take a bite out of the estate of as much as 55%. In order to combat this result a reasonably common solution for married couples was to establish a system in which the first spouse to die would create either through the will and/or a living trust a provision wherein the first assets would go...

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Income Tax Planning for Trusts

October 6, 2015

It has become apparent that in the last few years an increasing number of families have become involved with trusts as an integral part of their estate and financial planning. It is of particular concern that taxpayers understand that whatever income is generated by the trust, income tax on that income must be paid by somebody, usually either the beneficiaries or the trust. Because a trust is...

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Health Care Coverage and Small Business

October 6, 2015

Once again small business is the goat. As much as the politicians profess how wonderful it is that the United States economic structure continues to provide ample opportunities for the small business to succeed and grow, the law givers construct stumbling blocks.

I suppose one question might be what one considers a small business. There are a variety of measurements that one might...

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Ease Aches, Pains and Worker’s Comp Claims with These Ergonomics Tips

September 30, 2015

The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society has designated each October as National Ergonomics Month (NEM). Ergonomics is an applied science that incorporates principles of usability into the design process with the goal of making finished products more effective and safe for people to use.

In the workplace, proper ergonomic practices can play an important role in reducing pain,...

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Spending Less Cash on Gas? Use Your Savings to Rev-Up Your Finances

September 15, 2015

If you did any road trips over the summer—or you commute to work—you’ve likely noticed that filling up your vehicle doesn’t necessarily empty your wallet anymore. Thanks to lower gas prices, the average American is on track to save approximately $750 on gas this year.

While it’s not life-changing, $750 can make a difference to your personal finances if...

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New Tax Law More Than Doubles Fines for Failure to File Information Returns and Failure to Provide Payee Statements

September 1, 2015

The Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 was recently signed into law. Part of this new law includes a provision that more than doubles the cap on penalties from $1.5 million to $3 million for 1) failure to file correct tax information returns and 2) failure to provide payee statements. In both cases, fines have been increased from $100 to $250.

These changes are...

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Highway Funding Bill Ushers in New Tax Return Due Dates and Other Important Changes

August 13, 2015

As reported by The Journal of Accountancy on July 31, the short-term highway funding extension passed by the Senate—and signed by President Obama—at the end of July contains several important tax provisions (H.R. 3236). The bill was passed by the House of...

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Not Sure Which Metrics Are Right for Your Business? Help is Here!

July 29, 2015

As legendary business author Peter Drucker once said, "What's measured improves." If you've been in business any length of time, you know that creating meaningful measurements that tell you how your business is doing (a.k.a. Key Performance Indicators or KPIs) can be challenging. The good news is, you only need a few KPIs to really get a handle on the financial pulse of your...

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Plan in Advance to Help Aging Parents Manage Their Money

July 14, 2015

For many adult children, it’s hard to contemplate the fact that their once seemingly invincible parents may now—or at some point down the road—become dependent on them to take care of their everyday needs. If you don’t feel prepared to take on these tasks, this scenario can be very stressful—especially when part of your duties involves taking care of your...

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Income Tax Planning for Trusts

Charles Caufield

July 7, 2015

 It has become apparent that in the last few years an increasing number of families have become involved with trusts as an integral part of their estate and financial planning.  It is of particular concern that taxpayers understand that whatever income is generated by the trust, income tax on that income must be paid by somebody, usually either the beneficiaries or the trust. ...

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Four Ways Mid-Year Financial Planning Can Pay Off

June 29, 2015

Tax season is over and one of the biggest American celebrations—the Fourth of July—is just around the corner.  Maybe you’re looking forward to a little downtime this summer, so perhaps working on your financial plan has slipped to the bottom of your to-do list. It’s understandable, but putting your finances on cruise control at mid-year is not an ideal strategy....

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The IRS and Identity Theft

Judy Lynn, CPA, MST

June 17, 2015

Preparation and payment of income taxes are an unpleasant process for many. The tasks can be further aggravated by IRS notification of a rejected return due to possible identity theft. The refusal of the IRS to accept the return is a short statement indicating the social security number of the taxpayer has been used on a previously accepted electronic file. The most likely possibility for the...

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Love and Taxes

February 27, 2015

It’s the month of February, and hopefully, the flowers are still fresh and the romantic feelings have not waned since Valentine’s Day.

For those of you who got engaged, it is important to plan for the tax implications of marriage, possibly even going so far as to strategize a wedding date depending on your particular situation. Potential newlyweds should be aware that...

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Our New Website

Caufield & Flood is excited to announce the recent launch of our firm’s new website. We’ve been working very hard to enhance our website and give our firm a fresh look. We’ve also continued to research and identify the latest and greatest technologies to improve the services we provide and ensure we continue to meet your needs.

Take a moment to look around our...

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New Standard Mileage Rates Now Available; Business Rate to Rise in 2015

December 11, 2014

The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2015 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be:

  • 57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, up from 56...

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Individual Tax Planning

Featured in the Northwest Herald

December 1, 2014

As another year draws to a close, there may still be opportunities to reduce your 2014 taxes. Tax planning can be beneficial regardless of your income level or the complexity of your taxes. A few simple steps can do much to reduce your tax bill, or increase your refund on April 15.

Maximize retirement contributions

One of the most effective methods to reduce...

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Many Retirement Plan Dollar Limits are Changed for 2015

October 29, 2014

IRS has announced the 2015 cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retirement plans. Many of the limits pertaining to pension and other retirement plans, which are adjusted by reference to Code Sec. 415(d), are changed for 2015 since the increase in the cost-of-living index met the statutory thresholds that trigger their adjustment. However, others remain unchanged. Certain dollar limit...

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Social Security wage base increases to $118,500 for 2015

October 29, 2014

The Social Security Administration has announced that the wage base for computing the Social Security tax (OASDI) in 2015 will increase  to $118,500 from $117,000, which was the wage  base  for 2014. The $1,500 increase , which is about 1.3%, is due to an increase in average total wages.

The Federal Insurance...

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Home Office Deduction

Featured in the Northwest Herald

October 27, 2014

Using a portion of a home for business may qualify taxpayers for deductions on an individual tax return. Historically some taxpayers have declined the deduction either because of the record keeping burden or because of a perception that claiming the deduction increased the risk of an IRS audit. The IRS introduced a significant modification to the existing regulations in 2013. The basic...

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Nanny Taxes are not just for nannies

Featured in the Northwest Herald

October 2, 2014

Did you hire someone to do a little work around the house, or care for your children this summer? If so, you may be subject to federal and state filing requirements under the Nanny Tax rules. The worker is considered to be a household employee if you control the work that is done as well as how it is done, you provide all the necessary tools and supplies required for the work, and the worker...

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Does your Employer Treat You as an Employee?

Featured in the Northwest Herald

August 26, 2014

Employers looking to cut costs will occasionally offer to treat workers as independent contractors instead of employees. This may seem like a win-win situation at first. The employer often offers a higher pay rate to a contractor than an employee. In turn, the employer saves money on employee costs such as unemployment insurance. In a 2013 article, we discussed the risks faced by an employer...

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Net Investment Income Tax

Featured in the Northwest Herald

June 6, 2014

Are you subject to the new 3.8% Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT) that went into effect in 2013? If so, you may want to do planning to make sure you have paid in enough tax to avoid penalties, or to avoid paying the tax.

What is the Net Investment Income Tax?

NIIT is a 3.8% tax rate that applies to certain net investment income of individuals, estates and...

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Foreign bank account and financial reporting requirements

Featured in the Northwest Herald

May 1, 2014

While most people are aware of the importance of the April 15th tax deadline, another important deadline, June 30th is approaching. Taxpayers with a financial interest in foreign bank and financial accounts with an aggregate value over $10,000 at any time during the year must file FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts by this date. An extension of time to file an...

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State Taxes

Featured in the Northwest Herald

March 26, 2014

State tax laws encompass many aspects of business including sales and use tax, payroll tax, income and franchise tax, and others. If your business has a customer, contractor, property, payroll, or performs services across state lines, you have exposure for compliance with the myriad of state tax laws. The rules are complex, continually evolving, and have a tremendous degree of inconsistency...

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Defective Grantor Trusts: Efficient Estate Freezing Tool

Featured in the Northwest Herald

February 20, 2014

What is a Defective Grantor Trust?

Lifetime gifts of assets, including closely held stock, real estate, or marketable securities, from parents to children transfers those assets to the next generation while minimizing estate taxes. For large gifts, an outright transfer, although simple and straightforward, may not be the most effective type of transfer. Not including...

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Tax Deductions

Featured in the Northwest Herald

January 15, 2014

It is the time of year when businesses close the books and prepare for the completion of their 2013 tax returns.   In order to minimize their tax liability, business owners look to deduct as many expenses as are allowed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Professional tax advisors, such as CPAs, know the nuances of the IRS Code and may be able to identify tax savings that might...

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