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Your Tax Advisor

4 Ways to be a Better Tax Client

February 13, 2013 by Kay Bell

Stress can damage any relationship. And one of the most stressful times of the year is tax season. That means that tax professional and tax client relationships definitely can become strained.[read more]

Don't Overlook These 2012 Tax Breaks

February 9, 2013 by Kay Bell

While the Internal Revenue Service says that our duty as good U.S. taxpayers is to meet our tax paying obligations each year, we all know the real goal of filing returns. It's to make sure Uncle Sam gets as little of our money as possible. To accomplish that, we taxpayers need to claim every tax deduction, credit or other income adjustment we can.[read more]

Happy 100th Birthday to the Income Tax Amendment?

February 7, 2013 by Barbara Weltman

What is the future of the income tax? There is much talk about sweeping reform to eliminate “loopholes” (which are merely tax breaks created for special purposes, such as encouraging home ownership or charitable contributions) and, perhaps, reduce tax rates to a flat (or nearly flat) rate.[read more]

Are Tips Taxable?

February 4, 2013 by Kay Bell

Tips are taxable income. This covers the cash gratuities that an appreciative customer leaves on the table or slips into your palm, as well as non-cash tips. And it means that in addition to providing services to clients, you also have another job: reporting the tip income.[read more]

Tax Moves to Make in February

February 2, 2013 by Kay Bell

The year's shortest month is here. But there's no shortage of tax moves to make in February. Since we've only got 28 days, it's important to focus. You don't want to turn into a tax-time Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, doing the same tax tasks over and over.[read more]

Worker Classification Continues to be on IRS Radar

December 20, 2012 by Barbara Weltman

If your company has been treating workers as independent contractors, talk your tax advisor to make sure you are properly classifying these workers. You can’t arbitrarily pin an independent contractor label on a worker who is really an employee because of the level of control exerted by the company over the worker.[read more]

Year-End Tax Tip: Sell Appreciated Assets

December 16, 2012 by Kay Bell

Pay no tax before it's time. That old tax axiom generally is good advice. But not necessarily this year. Higher income folks should consider springing into action before the end of 2012 and selling appreciated assets.[read more]

Chicago visitors pay the most travel taxes

September 13, 2012 by Kay Bell

Chill, Chicagoans. I've been to many conferences in your city and I love it. But according to the 2012 survey of travel-related taxes by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Foundation, Chicago is the costliest destination for visitors.[read more]

Tax moves to make in September 2012

September 5, 2012 by Kay Bell

We're into September. Summer's over. School's underway. Cooler temperatures will be here soon, we hope! And there are tax moves to be made.[read more]

Getting Your Website Ready for Tax Season

September 4, 2012 by Rick Telberg

Now is the time to be thinking about your marketing push—starting now in fact—and your website and digital marketing content to prepare for the upcoming tax season and to draw in new clients.[read more]

When Taxing Social Security, What is Social Security?

August 31, 2012 by James Maule

Most retired people, and many not-yet retired people know that Social Security benefits are subject to federal income taxation. Describing the principle in simple terms is challenging, because the computation of how much of a taxpayer’s social security benefits is included in gross income is complex.[read more]

Even tax bloggers need good records for their 1040s

August 23, 2012 by Joe Kristan

It’s not shocking that a tax practitioner would lose a case. The tax law is hard, and there are plenty of areas for dispute. It’s the way this case was lost that is a dazer.[read more]

How Not to Claim a Casualty Loss Deduction

August 22, 2012 by James Maule

Even a legitimate casualty deduction can be derailed for lack of timely filing. Here's a good example.[read more]

401(k) fee disclosure info due Aug. 30

August 21, 2012 by Kay Bell

Do you know how much of your 401(k) retirement money is lost to fees? If you don't, help (if it hasn't already arrived) is on the way.[read more]

Sometimes When It Comes to Tax Violations, Voters Get It Right

August 6, 2012 by James Maule

Take the case of the Idaho legislator who happens to think that the federal income tax is unconstitutional. What’s going on in the heads of people who think they can escape responsibility?[read more]

12 midyear tax moves for 2012

July 6, 2012 by Kay Bell

Just to make sure you don't miss some things that could save you valuable tax dollars, here are 12 tax moves to consider at this midyear mark.[read more]

Obamacare: It's a Tax!

June 29, 2012 by Joe Kristan

The Supreme Court surprised just about everyone with it's ruling on Obamacare. As a practical matter, then, nothing changes. All of the new taxes and penalties — oops, it’s all taxes now — will take effect as scheduled.[read more]

IRS going the Postal Service route

May 23, 2012 by Kay Bell

The reason in both cases is, what else, money. The IRS today announced a sweeping office space and rent reduction initiative that over the next two years will close 43 smaller offices and reduce space in many larger facilities.[read more]

Why is the IRS so slow to pay tax whistleblower rewards?

May 16, 2012 by Kay Bell

Sen. Charles Grassley is blowing the whistle on the federal tax whistleblower office. The Iowa Republican, a long-time supporter of rewarding those who help track down tax cheats, thinks the Internal Revenue Service's relatively new Whistleblower Office isn't doing its job.[read more]

Tax Cheating and Tax Complexity

May 14, 2012 by James Maule

If a person does not realize he or she is breaking the tax law, the person is not committing fraud. Depending on the circumstances, the taxpayer could be accused of being negligent, perhaps even reckless. But in order to commit fraud, there needs to be intentionality and knowledge.[read more]