DiSabatino CPA Blog

DiSabatino CPA Blog

A blog by Michael DiSabatino CPA with topics on Tax Savings, Business, Management and more...
Mike's weekly post usually concentrated on tax saving strategies.

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 federal tax return this year. The answer is: it depends. But not filing a tax return when you should can cost you plenty. Here are some quick tips to help you determine your answer.

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Homeowner Alert! Review Your Tax Forms - New tax rules are creating confusion

Because of new laws many home related tax rules have changed and now require you to prove how funds are used to qualify for a deduction. This is catching many taxpayers by surprise. So when your mortgage company reports tax-related information to you and the IRS using Form 1098, it no longer means all the interest and points reported on these statements are tax-deductible.

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Audit Proof Your Tax Return

No one likes the stress involved when your tax return is under the audit spotlight. Here are some ideas to avoid some of the more common audit triggers.

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IRS Announces Impact of Government Shutdown - See how due dates, collections and audits are affected

The government shutdown is over (for now) and the IRS is up and running. Here is a recap of IRS clarifications regarding the impact of the recent shutdown:

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Early Filers Alert! - Know whether you should file early

Tax filing season officially begins on Monday, Jan. 28. While the U.S. government remains shut down, the IRS will be bringing back 36,000 employees, without pay, to process returns and issue refunds. With the new rules and uncertainty around the shutdown, it's more important than ever to get your tax records organized early. If any of the following situations pertain to you, consider filing your taxes as soon as possible.

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Tax Forms are Arriving. ARE YOU READY? Conduct an essential review now!

Tax forms come in more varieties than flavors of ice cream. Nearly any time something of value changes hands, there’s a specific tax form available to capture it for posterity. Check out the list below to familiarize yourself with some of the forms that are likely to hit your mailbox this tax season:

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New Baby? Tax Tips Everyone Should Know - Especially parents, grandparents and relatives

For new parents, information is coming from every direction – feeding times, car seats, sleep schedules, strollers, child development and of course ... taxes. What most new parents do not consider is that this little bundle of joy just complicated their tax situation!

Whether you are a new parent, grandparent, or know someone who is expecting, here are some tax tips to consider:

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Retirees: You still owe taxes

Did you know that full retirement doesn't end your income tax obligations?

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 IT'S TIME FOR 2019 W-4 FORMS 

IT'S TIME FOR 2019 W-4 FORMS

It is important for you to understand the importance for all employers to get new 2019 W-4 forms from all employees. I think that employers should give all employees not only the 2019 W-4 forms to fill out, SIGN, and DATE., and include all 4 pages of instructions, especially pages 3 & 4.
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Last-Minute Tax Deductions Hiding in Your Closet - There is still time to lower your tax bill!

Mileage rates for travel are now set for 2019. The standard business mileage rate increases by 3.5 cents to 58 cents per mile. The medical and moving mileage rates also increase by 2 cents to 20 cents per mile. Charitable mileage rates remain unchanged at 14 cents per mile.

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Your year-end beneficiary designation checkup

Now is a good time to check in on your beneficiary designations, as life events that happened in 2018 may have changed circumstances.

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Beware of fake tax transcript emails

If you get an email claiming to be from the IRS with an attached tax return transcript file, delete it.

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5 ways to get smart when giving at year-end

Considering a last-minute donation? You've still got time. Here are a few tips on the best way to proceed.

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Modified Adjusted Gross Income - What is it?

Under the Affordable Care Act, eligibility for income-based Medicaid and subsidized health insurance, such as Covered California, through the marketplaces is calculated using the modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) of your household.  Let's take a look at how this MAGI is different then the Adjusted Gross Income found on your tax return. 

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Last-Minute Tax Deductions Hiding in Your Closet - There is still time to lower your tax bill!

There’s no time left to procrastinate! Now is the time to make last-minute tax moves to save you some money. Here are ideas to consider:

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Bringing business clients out for a night on the town?

Recent entertainment deduction clarification from the IRS stated that you may still deduct 50 percent of food and beverages during a business outing with clients as long as those items are paid separately from other entertainment expenses.

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Say goodbye to the individual mandate health insurance penalty

Starting in 2019, the penalty imposed on people who don't have qualified health insurance will go away. This penalty is still in effect through 2018, however.

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3 big ways the tax code helps natural disaster victims

The aftermath of a natural disaster can be devastating. Fortunately, there's a few major ways the tax code can offer relief to those affected by Hurricane Michael and other federally declared natural disasters.

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Beware the Tax Torpedo - Large retirement account balances can cause Social Security tax problems

Putting off distributions and holding assets in your retirement accounts as long as possible may seem like a good idea, but waiting too long can cause a major tax problem. When you reach 70 ½, the trigger requiring minimum distributions (RMDs) from qualified retirement accounts is pulled and a potential tax torpedo is launched.

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Alimony payment tax rules are changing

If a divorce is in your near-future plans, consider the new tax treatment for those agreements finalized after Dec. 31, 2018.

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