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Tax Planning

In addition to a time for exchanging gifts with family and friends, the holidays are often a time when individuals and businesses give to others. Holiday food and toy drives are in full swing and the Salvation Army’s bell ringers are manning their posts across the county.

On a larger scale, this is the time of year that many people are making relatively significant donations to charities and other organizations. And while much of this can be attributed to the holiday spirit, it is also true that the end of the year rush to contribute can mean savings on this year’s tax returns. read more »

 

Many business owners look at the month of December as one last chance to get some tax deductions, which is why equipment purchases and other expenditures are common at the end of the year. There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of year-end tax deductions, but some accountants caution: Don’t spend the money if you don’t have to.

“My general philosophy is, ‘Economics prevails, not tax deductions.’ Don’t buy a new computer if you don’t need it — you’re about to spend $1 to save a quarter,” says Frank Warner, a Certified Public Accountant based in Silverdale. read more »

 

Pretty much every year the IRS makes changes to the tax code and 2006 will be no different. Here are a few of some of the changes that may affect businesses and individuals.

Mileage: The IRS raised the mileage rate twice in 2005, and they are doing so again in 2006. The new mileage rate will be 44.5 cents per mile, down from 2005’s final adjustment of 48.5 cents per mile. read more »

 

If you were to die tomorrow, would your spouse or loved ones know where to find your will, safe deposit box key, or the password to access your online accounts? For those left behind, finding all of these items can be difficult if there is not a list to guide them. The estate inventory list can be as simple or detailed as you like. The estate inventory list can be written in any format, such as a letter or a spreadsheet. read more »

 

The world of 50 years ago was a lot different than it is today. An individual often worked at the same job all his or her adult life, lived in the same house, and stayed married to the same spouse. In those days, too, one spouse could support a family, paying for college ordinarily didn’t require taking out a second mortgage, and people could look forward to retiring on Social Security and possibly a company pension. read more »

 

Now that it’s December, you’re probably busy with family gatherings and holiday celebrations. Still, try to find some time to think about a non-holiday topic: taxes.

You may have until April 17, 2006, to file your taxes, but you only have until the end of the year to make some moves that could benefit your tax situation - so you’ll need to take action soon. read more »

 

You’ve probably heard that “generosity is its own reward.” This may be true, but when you make a charitable gift to a non-profit organization, your generosity also can reward you — especially when you file your taxes.

In fact, you can get at least three types of tax benefits:

Immediate tax deduction: You can deduct your charitable gift from your current income taxes. For example, if you give $1000 in cash to a charitable group this year, and you are in the 28 percent tax bracket, you can deduct $280 from your taxes on your 2005 tax return. read more »

 

Gosh, 2005 is almost over! Can you believe how time flies when you’re having so much fun? And, speaking of fun and the end of the year, why not take a moment and reflect on your upcoming taxes?

December tends to be the month that everyone waits for to do those things that are put off until there just isn’t any more time. Like tax-loss harvesting, for example. I know this is one that crops up every year but, let’s just cover the basics to make sure we’re all on the same page. First off, any losses that are to be accounted for in tax year 2005 must be taken in 2005. Period. read more »

 

The computer can help a modern consumer do just about anything - keep in touch, shop, make vacation reservations. Among those conveniences, filing taxes is also only a few clicks away. In 2005, 68.5 individual returns were filed electronically, an 11 percent increase over the previous year, according to the Internal Revenue Service. More than 8 million business returns were also e-filed, up from 6.7 million in 2004.

“We are becoming a paperless society. Even some forms can only be obtained online,” says Clarke Whitney, CPA, with the firm Clarke Whitney CPAs. read more »

 
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