Why Donating to Disaster Relief Can Have Optimal Tax Benefits

If you were fortunate enough to have not been impacted by Hurricane Irma or Hurricane Harvey’s wrath, why not consider making a charitable donation to the victims? There are several “smart” ways to make a contribution that will help provide disaster relief and also get you tax deductions and other rewards for your generosity. While [...]


Don’t Let These 7 Tax Terms Scare You

It’s that time of the year when neighbors hang ghosts in their front yard, cobwebs and witches adorn the breakroom, and jack-o’-lanterns are on every corner. That eerie vibe shouldn’t carry over into tax-planning season, though. Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with these common tax terms so that they don’t spook you! 1.     [...]

September 26th, 2017|INDIVIDUAL TAX, OCTOBER 2017|

Summon These Superheroes to Protect You From the Equifax Breach

On July 29, 2017, the world could have used a cyber superhero to save millions of Equifax customers from an Equifax security breach. Data items such as social security numbers, birthdates, addresses, and credit card information were exposed – stolen! – through a vulnerability introduced in a patching process for a website application. This type [...]


Tax Deadlines Extended for Hurricane Harvey Victims

Highlights of Texas Taxpayer Relief Due to Recent Storms and Floods **Updated 9/29/2017** As anticipated, the IRS is providing disaster relief to Hurricane Harvey victims - individuals, businesses, and relief workers. The IRS has granted automatic extensions for several tax-filing and tax-payment deadlines to qualifying taxpayers in the following counties: Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Bexar, Brazoria, [...]


IRS Announces Tax Relief for Hurricane Irma Victims

**Updated: 9/20/17** Hurricane Irma's record-breaking size, speed, and endurance recently precipitated billions of dollars of damage, and her timing couldn't have been worse for U.S. victims with fast-approaching tax filing deadlines. To help, the IRS has announced that it will provide tax relief to qualifying taxpayers in the Presidential Disaster Areas, as well as areas identified by the [...]


Up Next at Auction: Make a Winning Bid Using Mortgage Interest Points

When a lender offers the next item up for bid – a brand spanking new mortgage! – a working knowledge of mortgage interest points can help a borrower come in with the strongest bid. Going once: Understanding mortgage interest points Mortgage interest points are payments made by a borrower to the lender when securing a [...]

July 26th, 2017|AUGUST 2017, INDIVIDUAL TAX|

4 Debt Management Magic Tricks for Financial Success

Debt is a reality for many Americans. Consider the following statistics from consumer information provider ValuePenguin: The average amount of credit card debt in America is $5,700. More than one-third of all American households have credit card debt. The total outstanding U.S. consumer debt is $3.4 trillion. Many individuals find themselves underestimating or ignoring their [...]


Sail Smoothly Through Those Saving or Shredding Decisions

With that sigh of relief that the April 18 deadline to file your tax return—or request an extension—may also come the desire to purge some prior year documents such as receipts, canceled checks, and bank and brokerage statements. Follow these general retention tips for individuals and businesses as you head toward the blue skies of [...]

May 5th, 2017|BUSINESS TAX, INDIVIDUAL TAX, May 2017|

Knocking Down the “Pins” of Self-Employment Tax Challenges

Today’s technology strives to make self-employment easier than ever. However, those who work for themselves can face some distinctive self-employment tax challenges. Such individuals can step into the following three “lanes” to help overcome these obstacles. Lane #1: Learn Liabilities Because self-employed individuals are liable for self-employment tax, they must pay both the employee and [...]

March 27th, 2017|APRIL 2017, INDIVIDUAL TAX|

“Yours, Mine, or Ours?” Part 1: Determining Community and Separate Property in a Divorce

It is often estimated that approximately half of all U.S. marriages end in divorce. While some may consider this statistic to be common knowledge, what is less well-known is how divorcing couples should go about dividing their assets and liabilities. Thus, “Yours, Mine, or Ours?” is a three-part saga that explores the story of Bob [...]

February 22nd, 2017|INDIVIDUAL TAX, MARCH 2017|

“Yours, Mine, or Ours?” Part 3: Four Income Tax Considerations of a Divorce

In our “Yours, Mine, or Ours?” series, we have explored the issues of separate property and marital assets as they relate to Bob and Helen, who are divorcing after more than three decades of marriage. In the final installment of our saga, Helen and her CPA, Ruth, meet to review four key income tax considerations [...]

February 22nd, 2017|INDIVIDUAL TAX|

“Yours, Mine, or Ours?” Part 2: Identifying and Valuing Marital Property

The first part of our “Yours, Mine, or Ours?” series introduced Bob and Helen, a divorcing couple living in Texas. In the first meeting with her attorney, Helen discovered that the couple owns assets in several categories, each of which will be treated differently in the divorce proceedings. This second part follows Helen as she [...]

February 22nd, 2017|INDIVIDUAL TAX|

Extensions and Amendments: What Increases Your IRS Audit Risk

Contrary to popular belief, tax extensions may be more likely to make the IRS smile than frown. Watch as Matt Zasada explains why filing an extension might be less risky than rushing to meet a deadline.

January 12th, 2017|INDIVIDUAL TAX, VIDEO|

Why the Election Outcome Could Bring an Avalanche of Tax Law Changes

The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, along with Republicans retaining control of both chambers of Congress, will likely result in an overhaul of the U.S. Tax Code. Based on Trump’s tax reform plan released earlier this year, tax law changes may include a reduction in tax rates for some individual [...]


The PATH Act: Providing A “Cornucopia” of Tax Savings

It seems like retailers just put up their back-to-school sale displays, which are already being replaced with Thanksgiving decorations. Before planning your Black Friday shopping strategies, consider a gift from Uncle Sam that will likely bear fruit for many tax years to come. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, which was signed into [...]

October 24th, 2016|INDIVIDUAL TAX, NOVEMBER 2017|

Why Your Tax Vote Counts This Presidential Election

The President of the United States leads our country on many fronts – international trade, immigration, and education to name a few. The President also dramatically influences the economy, especially through tax law. Those influences can have a major impact on us and on future generations. One example of the ability of a president to [...]

August 7th, 2016|INDIVIDUAL TAX, SEPTEMBER 2016|

Busting 3 Common Individual Tax Return Myths

Nobody wants to be the target of an IRS audit. Fear of an audit leads taxpayers to believe in myths about what may or may not trigger the wrath of the IRS. Unfortunately, these misconceptions could potentially steer taxpayers toward greater audit risk and a higher tax bill. Below are three widespread individual tax return [...]

July 19th, 2016|AUGUST 2016, INDIVIDUAL TAX|

Avoid the Trap Set by AMT Triggers

The Ambush - A Separate Tax Computation in the Form of AMT In addition to the normal tax calculation taxpayers make, there is a lesser known taxing system called the alternative minimum tax (AMT), which can increase your overall tax bill.  Congress wanted to make sure that certain taxpayers weren’t able to avoid tax under [...]

June 28th, 2016|INDIVIDUAL TAX|

Recent Flooding Flows Deadline Extension to Houston Residents

The Houston area has been designated a federal disaster area due to the flooding that began on April 17, 2016. Given this designation, the Treasury Department has offered tax relief to residents in specified Houston counties. The deadlines for certain federal tax payments and filings have been extended until September 1, 2016. Individual Taxpayers Payments [...]


Three Strikes That Generate the Most Individual Tax Notices from the IRS

Baseball season is in full swing in April of each year—around the same time as tax return filing deadlines. It also happens to be the season for the IRS starting its mailings of the millions of notices it issues every year. Of course, the last thing most of us want is to spend time responding [...]

February 23rd, 2016|INDIVIDUAL TAX, MARCH2016|