DiSabatino CPA Blog

DiSabatino CPA Blog

A blog by Michael DiSabatino CPA with topics on Tax Savings, Business, Management and more...

Understanding Tax Terms: Pass-through Entities What are they? Why should you care?

Small business owners have a number of options on how to organize their business for tax purposes. Many small, single owner, businesses are not incorporated, and are deemed "sole proprietors", in the eyes of the IRS. Other business entities, like C corporations, are taxed as a separate entity with distributions to owners taxed a second time as dividends. Still others are deemed "pass-through" entities like S corporations, Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies (LLC).

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Here's why your 2018 tax bill may be different

Even if you received a tax refund in 2017, there are plenty of things that can cause your taxes to rise. Consider the following big tax law changes that could affect what you owe this year:

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Kick your record-keeping skills into high gear

With all the major tax changes, it's more important than ever to make sure you're keeping the right records for tax purposes. Here are some tips.

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Reminder: Third Quarter Estimated Taxes Due - Now is the time to make your estimated tax payment

If you have not already done so, now is the time to review your tax situation and make an estimated quarterly tax payment using Form 1040-ES. The third quarter due date is now here.

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Is amending your tax return worth it?

Before you decide to amend your tax return, ask yourself if it's necessary, especially if amending an error only saves you a few dollars.

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Reduce Your Medical Expenses: Tax smarts that make a difference

Medical expenses are on the rise. According to the Milliman Medical Index, the average family of four on an employer-sponsored plan will spend $28,000 on healthcare in 2018 – a $1,000 increase from 2017. Below are some ways you can save tax dollars when paying those medical bills:

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Hidden Back to School Tax Deductions

Summer is coming to a close and the back-to-school advertising blitz is underway. Hidden in some of those school expenses are tax deductions you can take advantage of. Here are some ways you can save:

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Common Tax Increase Surprises: "I did not owe that last year!"

Picture this: For the past few years you've received your tax return and have had a small but nice refund. Now imagine your surprise, when next year, you are required to send in a fairly big check to settle your tax bill. Believe it or not, this message is almost as hard to deliver to a taxpayer as it is to hear it. Here are some situations to watch for that can increase your tax liability:

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Alimony Tax Changes Require Planning: Law change to have dramatic tax impact in 2019 and beyond

The taxation of alimony will change drastically starting in 2019. Here’s what you need to know:

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So You Sold Your Home, Now What? Understanding the taxable gain exclusion on home sales

If you're considering selling your home or have recently sold your home, there are possible tax consequences. The good news: much of the gain on the sale of your home may be tax exempt. Here's what you need to know:

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Understanding Tax Terms: The Marriage Penalty Couples filing jointly still get the short end of the stick

There are a lot of positive things about getting married, but the IRS' marriage penalty isn't one of them.

The marriage penalty occurs when you pay more tax as a married couple than you would as two single filers making the same amount of money. It pops up again and again in the federal tax code.

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Income the IRS Can't Touch

Wouldn't it be nice to have a source of nontaxable income? You may be more fortunate than you realize. Listed here are a number of income items that the IRS does not tax.

  1. Tax-free interest. The federal government does not tax municipal bond interest. This includes bonds issued by a state or municipality. The tax-free benefit increases the higher your income, but caution must be taken to ensure the underlying municipality is not in dire financial condition.
  2. Health insurance premiums. For now, most health insurance premiums are tax free. This could change in the future to help pay for health care reform, but for most this benefit can be paid in pre-tax dollars.
  3. Income from Roth IRA and Roth 401(k) accounts. While the amounts contributed into these retirement savings accounts are taxed, any earnings made on the contributions are federal tax free as long as holding period and distribution rules are followed.
  4. Health savings accounts (HSA). Contributions and earnings in health related savings accounts are tax free as long as the proceeds in the account are used to pay for qualified health care expenses.
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File That Final Tax Return

File That Final Tax Return
Five reasons death and a tax return makes sense

If a parent or loved one died this past year, you may wish to consider filing a final tax return even if not technically required to do so.

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Do You Need to File a Tax Return?

Do You Need to File a Tax Return?
Getting this wrong can cost you

One of the more common tax questions is whether you need to file a tax return this year. The answer is: It all depends. Here are some quick tips to help you determine your answer.

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Understanding Tax Terms: All those 1099's

Understanding Tax Terms: All those 1099's
Be prepared to file your tax return

Most taxpayers receive at least one 1099 each year. Virtually every small business, including sole-proprietors, must issue at least one 1099 each year. Here is a summary of the most common of these informational tax forms that you will need to file your tax return this year.

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Now is the time to make your estimated tax payment

Now is the time to make your estimated tax payment

If you have not already done so, now is the time to review your tax situation and make an estimated quarterly tax payment using Form 1040-ES. The fourth quarter due date is now here.

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Your Home. A Bundle of Tax Benefits.

Your Home. A Bundle of Tax Benefits.

There are many tax benefits built into home ownership. Here is a review of the most common. It may be worth a quick check to ensure you are maximizing your home ownership tax benefits.

Interest deductibility. Mortgage interest is one of the few allowed deductible interest expenses. It is limited to the first $1 million dollars in loans secured by your primary residence. Bonus: You can also deduct interest on a second home (cabin).

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Are You Paying too Much?

Are You Paying too Much?
Tips to avoid common investment gain mistakes

All too often when you sell an investment there are errors made in recording the taxable gain or loss on the transaction. Here are some ideas to ensure your tax bite is accurate.

Keep good cost documentation. Brokerage firms are now required to keep track of the cost of your purchases and report them to you and the IRS when you sell. Unfortunately, they are not always accurate. The only way to ensure accuracy is to keep personal records of how much an investment cost. Then you can double-check the accuracy of any Form 1099 received.

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March 2015 DiSabatino CPA Newsletter

news header

In this issue:

  • Is a Reverse Mortgage the Solution?
  • IRS Announces Annual Scams
  • Tax Breaks for Education
  • Common Missing Tax Return Items

This month:

  • March 8th: Daylight Savings Time Begins
  • March 16th: Due Date for 1120, 1120S Corp. Tax Returns

This month's issue outlines the benefits and risks of reverse mortgages, includes a recap of all too common IRS tax scams, reviews some common educational benefits and provides a list of "frequently missing" information that can often hold up filing your tax return.

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Going into business with a franchise

[block type="rounded" color="#FFF" background="#000000"]Going into business with a franchise[/block]

Have you ever wanted to be your own boss, but didn't want to start a business from scratch? If so, buying a franchise might be the right choice for you.

When you purchase a successful franchise,

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