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    Joanmarie Curtis - Big 3

    Joanmarie graduated from Neumann University with a Bachelor in Communication Arts and a Major in Business Journalism. She joined the Brinker Simpson & Co. team in February. She has 9 years experience in Graphic & web design, marketing and customer service, and 4 years experience in Print Industry. She resides in Springfield with her two children and fiancé.
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    Tips for Getting Paid on Time

    Business Tips, Big 3, Tips for Getting Paid on Time

    Have you found that collecting on your accounts receivables has become more challenging? If so, strengthening your collection procedures may allow you to improve collection rates and shorten the aging days of your accounts receivables.

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    What to Do if You Missed the Tax Deadline

    2019, Tax Deadline, Missed the Tax Deadline, What to Do if You Missed the Tax Deadline

    Monday, April 15, 2019, was the tax deadline for most taxpayers to file their tax returns. If you haven't filed a 2018 tax return yet, it's not too late.

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    EIN application Process Revised to Enhance Security

    Big 3, Enhance Security, EIN Application, Revised Process

    Starting May 13, 2019 only individuals with tax identification numbers may request an Employer Identification Number (EIN) as the "responsible party" on the application. An EIN is a nine-digit tax identification number assigned to sole proprietors, corporations, partnerships, estates, trusts, employee retirement plans and other entities for tax filing and reporting purposes.

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    8 Tips When Reporting Foreign Income

    Year-End Tax Planning, Tax Filing, Reporting Foreign Income, Required Forms, Automatic Extension, FBAR, FATCA

    If you are living or working outside the United States, you generally must file and pay your tax in the same way as people living in the U.S. This includes people with dual citizenship.

    In addition, U.S. taxpayers with foreign accounts exceeding certain thresholds may be required to file Form FinCen114, known as the "FBAR" as well as Form 8938, also referred to as "FATCA." 

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    SCAM ALERT: Fake Calls from Taxpayer Advocate Service

    Brinker Simpson, Tax Scams, 2019, Alert, New Scam, 2019 Alert, Taxpayer Advocate Service, Fake Calls

    Like clockwork, every year, there's a new twist on old scams. This year, it is the IRS phone scam whereby criminals impersonate IRS agents and make fake calls from the Taxpayer Advocate Service.

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    The Qualified Small Business Stock Exclusion

    Tax Breaks, Tax Planning for Small Businesses, Big 3, Tax Benefits, Small Business, 2019, Qualified Small Business Stock Exclusion

    As the driving force in today's economy, small businesses benefit from numerous tax breaks in the tax code. One of these, the Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS), was made permanent by the PATH Act (Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015). If you're a small business investor, here's what you need to know about this often-overlooked tax break.

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    7 Common Small Business Tax Myths

    Small Business, 2018 Tax Return, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Tax Myths

    The complexity of the tax code generates a lot of folklore and misinformation that could lead to costly mistakes such as penalties for failing to file on time or, on the flip side, not taking advantage of deductions you are legally entitled to take and giving the IRS more money than you need to. With this in mind, let's take a look at seven common small business tax myths.

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    5 Facts about the Opportunity Zone Tax Incentive

    2018 Tax Return, Tax Filing, Qualified Opportunity Zones, QOZ, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

    Providing tax benefits to investors who invest eligible capital into distressed communities throughout the U.S. and its possessions, Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZs) were created under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to spur economic development and job creation. If you're considering investing in a QOZ, here are five facts you should know:

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    2018 Tax Filing Season Begins

    2018 Tax Return, Refund, Individual, Tax Filing, Tax Payments, 1040

    January 28, 2019, marked the start of this year's tax filing season, and it's the first time taxpayers will be filing under the new tax reform laws, most of which became effective in 2018. Complicating matters is a newly revised Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, as well as the partial shutdown of the federal government. With more than 150 million individual tax returns expected to be filed for the 2018 tax year, here's what individual taxpayers can expect:

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    Like-kind Exchanges are Limited to Real Property

    Important Tax Changes 2018, Big 3, 2019, Like-Kind Exchanges, Limitations

    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed in December 2017, made tax law changes that will affect virtually every business and individual in 2018 and the years ahead. One tax provision that taxpayers should be aware of is that like-kind exchanges are now generally limited to exchanges of real property. Here's what you need to know:

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    Employers Beware: Identity Theft and W-2 Scam Alert

    Identity Theft, Tax Scams, New W-2 Scam, Big 3, Alert, W2 Scam, Warning

    The 2019 tax season is quickly approaching and with it an increase in identity theft and W-2 scams. Small business identity theft is big business for identity thieves. Just like individuals, businesses may have their identities stolen, and their sensitive information used to open credit card accounts or used to file fraudulent tax returns for bogus tax refunds.

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    Important Tax Changes for Individuals and Businesses for 2019

    Planning for Tax Changes, Important Tax Changes 2018, Big 3, 2019

    Every year, it's a sure bet that there will be changes to current tax law and this year is no different, now that the tax provisions under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) are in full effect. From standard deductions to health savings accounts and tax rate schedules, here's a checklist of tax changes to help you plan the year ahead.

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    Tax Transcript Email Scam Alert

    Tax Scams, Big 3, 2018 Alert

    Taxpayers should be aware of a new round of fraudulent emails that impersonate the IRS and use tax transcripts as bait to entice users to open documents containing malware. The scam is especially problematic for businesses whose employees might open the emails infected with malware as it can spread throughout the network and may take months to remove.

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    Recap of Business Tax Provisions for 2018

    Tax planning, Tax Provisions, Tax Planning for Small Businesses, Big 3, Small Business

    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) eliminated or modified numerous tax provisions starting in 2018. Here's what businesses need to know as they get ready for tax season. Here's what business owners need to know about tax changes for 2018.

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    Year in Review: Tax Changes for Individuals 2018

    Individuals, Year-End Tax Planning, Big 3

    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) eliminated or modified numerous tax provisions starting in 2018. Here's what individuals and families need to know as they get ready for tax season.

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    Section 199A: Qualified Business Income Deduction

    Big 3, Small Business, Sec 199A

    Thanks to tax reform legislation passed in December 2017, eligible taxpayers may now deduct up to 20 percent of certain business income from qualified domestic businesses, as well as certain dividends. Eligible taxpayers can claim the deduction for the first time on the 2018 federal income tax return they file in 2019.

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    Year-End Tax Planning for Businesses 2018

    Small Businness, Tax planning, Family Business, Tax Planning for Small Businesses, Big 3

    There are a number of end of year tax planning strategies that businesses can use to reduce their tax burden for 2018. Here are a few of them:

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    Year-end Tax Planning for Individuals 2018

    Tax planning, Individuals, Big 3

    Once again, tax planning for the year ahead presents a number of challenges, this year, primarily due to tax laws changes brought about the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018. These changes include the nearly doubling of the standard deduction, elimination of personal exemptions, and numerous itemized deductions reduced or eliminated. Let's take a closer look.

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    Choosing a Retirement Destination

    Retirement Planning

    With health care, housing, food, and transportation costs increasing every year, many retirees on fixed incomes wonder how they can stretch their dollars even further. One solution is to move to another state where income taxes are lower than the one in which they currently reside.

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    Tax Considerations when Hiring Household Help

    Household Help, Minimizing Tax, Tax Benefits

    If you employ someone to work for you around your house, it is important to consider the tax implications of this type of arrangement. While many people disregard the need to pay taxes on household employees, they do so at the risk of paying stiff tax penalties down the road.

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    5 Things to know before Starting a Business

    Start-Up Business, Business Tips, New Business, Small Business

    Starting a new business is an exciting, but busy time with so much to be done and so little time to do it. Also, if you expect to have employees, there are a variety of federal and state forms and applications that will need to be completed to get your business up and running. That's where a tax professional can help.

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    Succession Planning: Strategies for Leaving a Business

    Succession Planning

    Selecting your business successor is a fundamental objective of planning an exit strategy, but it requires a careful assessment of what you want from the sale of your business and who can best give it to you.

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    529 Education Savings Plan Updates under Tax Reform

    529 Plan

    Taxpayers with school-age children should be aware of three recent tax law changes affecting 529 education savings plans.

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    5 Ways to Minimize Your Tax Liability

    Minimizing Tax Liability

    If you want to save money on your tax bill next year, consider using one or more of these tax-saving strategies that reduce your income, lower your tax bracket, and minimize your tax bill.

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    Small Business Financing: Securing A Loan

    Big 3, Securing a Loan, Financing, Small Business

    At some point, most small businesses owners will visit a bank or other lending institution to borrow money. Cash flow is the key to business success. Understanding what your bank wants, and how to properly approach them, can mean the difference between getting your money for expansion and having to scrape through finding cash from other sources.

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    Cash Flow: Key to Business Success

    Big 3, Cash Flow, Small Business

    Cash flow is the lifeblood of every small business but many business owners underestimate just how vital managing cash flow is to their business's success. In fact, a healthy cash flow is more important than your business's ability to deliver its goods and services.

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    Safeguarding Financial Records

    Big 3, Safeguarding Records

    Natural disasters such as hurricanes are more common in summer, but tornadoes, floods, and fires can strike at any time. As such, it's always a good idea to plan for what to do in case of a disaster. Here are some necessary steps you can take right now to prepare:

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    Tax Rules for Rental Income From Second Homes

    Tax Rules, Rental Income, Big 3

    Tax rules on rental income from second homes can be complicated, particularly if you rent the home out for several months of the year and also use the home yourself.

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    Tax Benefits of S-Corporations

    Big 3, Tax Benefits, S-Corporation

    As a small business owner, figuring out which form of business structure to use when you started was one of the most important decisions you had to make; however, it's always a good idea to periodically revisit that decision as your business grows.

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    5 Tax Deductions That Disappeared in 2018

    Tax Reform, Important Tax Changes 2018, Big 3

    Under tax reform, taxpayers who itemize should be aware that deductions they may have previously counted on to reduce their taxable income have disappeared in 2018.

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    Saving for Education: 529 Plans

    Tax-Saving Strategies, 529 Plan, Big 3

    Many parents are looking for ways to save for their child's education and a 529 Plan is an excellent way to do so. Even better, is that thanks to the passage of tax reform legislation in 2017, 529 plans are now available to parents wishing to save for their child's K-12 education as well as college or vocational school.

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    Tax Breaks for Hiring New Employees

    Hiring Employees, Tax Preparation, Big 3

    If you're thinking about hiring new employees this year you won't want to miss out on tax breaks available to businesses with employees.

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    Discover a Mistake on Your Tax Return?

    Tax Preparation, 2018, Big 3, Tax Return Error

    Finished filing a tax return? What should you do if you already filed your federal tax return and then discover a mistake? First of all, don't worry. In most cases, all you have to do is file an amended tax return. But before you do that, here is what you should be aware of when filing an amended tax return.

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    5 Easy Ways to Lower Your Tax Bill When You're Self-Employed

    Lowering Tax Bill, Self-Employed

    If you're like most small business owners, you're always looking for ways to lower your taxable income. Here are five ways to do just that.

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    Selling Your Small Business

    Small Businness, Business Valuations, Selling Your Business

    Selling a small to medium-sized business is a complex venture, and many business owners are not aware of the tax consequences.

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    Reporting Virtual Currency transactions

    Reporting Transactions, Virtual Currency

    With the price of Bitcoin hitting record highs in 2017, many Bitcoin holders cashed out not realizing the impact it could have on their tax bill.

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    Donating A Car to Charity

    If you donated a car to a qualified charitable organization in 2017 and intend to claim a deduction, you should be aware of the special rules that apply to vehicle donations.

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    BEWARE THE W2 SCAM!

    Tax Scams, IRS Scam Warning, New W-2 Scam

    The Form W-2 scam has emerged as one of the most dangerous phishing emails in the tax community. During the last two tax seasons, cybercriminals tricked payroll personnel or people with access to payroll information into disclosing sensitive information for entire workforces. Read on to learn more about this recent scam...

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    5 Tax Breaks that Survived Tax Reform

    New Tax Laws

    Recent tax reform legislation affected many provisions in the tax code. Many were modified, either permanently or temporarily, while some were repealed entirely. Here are five that survived.

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    10 Things Taxpayers Should Know About Early Withdraws

    Taxpayers may sometimes find themselves in situations when they need to withdraw money from their retirement plan early. What they may not realize is that taking money out early from your retirement plan may trigger an additional tax. Here are 10 things taxpayers should know about early withdrawals from retirement plans:

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    Selecting a Business Entity

    Selecting a Business Entity

    When you decide to start a business, one of the most important decisions you'll need to make is choosing a business entity. It's a decision that impacts many things--from the amount of taxes you pay to how much paperwork you have to deal with and what type of personal liability you face, and with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, it's more important than ever to choose the business entity that benefits your business.

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    IMPORTANT TAX CHANGES FOR 2018

    New Tax Laws, Important Tax Changes 2018

    As the New Year rolls around, it's always a sure bet that there will be changes to current tax law and 2018 is no different now that many of the tax provisions pursuant to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) are in full effect. From health savings accounts to tax rate schedules and standard deductions, here's a checklist of tax changes to help you plan the year ahead.

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    Small Businesses: Tax Breaks for Charitable Giving

    Small Businness, Tax Planning for Small Businesses, Tax Breaks for Charitable Giving

    Tax breaks for charitable giving aren't limited to individuals, your small business can benefit as well. If you own a small to medium size business and are committed to giving back to the community through charitable giving, here's what you should know.

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    2017 Year-End Tax Planning Strategies for Businesses

    2017, Tax Planning for Small Businesses

    There are a number of end of year tax planning strategies that businesses can use to reduce their tax burden for 2017. Here are a few of them:

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    2017 Year-End Tax Planning Strategies for Individuals

    Individuals, 2017, Year-End Tax Planning

    Once again, tax planning for the year ahead presents a number of challenges: What tax reform measures (if any) will actually become legislation--and when they take effect (e.g. retroactive to January 1, 2017, or a future date); A number of tax extenders expired at the end of 2016, which may or may not be reauthorized by Congress and made retroactive to the beginning of the year?; And there are the normal variations in individual tax circumstances such as the sale of a home that could bump up income into another tax bracket.  With this in mind, let's take a look at some of the tax strategies you can use given the current uncertainties.

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    2017 Tax Planning for Small Business Owners

    Tax Planning for Small Businesses

    What is Tax Planning?

    Tax planning is the process of looking at various tax options to determine when, whether, and how to conduct business transactions to reduce or eliminate tax liability.

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    Tax-Saving Strategies

    Tax-Saving Strategies

    If you're looking to save money on your taxes this year, consider using one or more of these tax-saving strategies to reduce your income, lower your tax bracket, and minimize your tax bill.

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    The Equifax Data Breach

    Equifax Breach

    Equifax is one of three major U.S. credit reporting bureaus. The other two are TransUnion and Experian. There is also a smaller, less well-known credit-reporting agency called Innovis (aka CBCInnovis) that operates slightly different in that its main purpose is to provide mortgage credit reporting services to the financial services industry.

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    SCAM ALERT: Hurricane Charities and Ransomware

    IRS Scam Warning, Charity Scam, 2017 Alert

    While The IRS, state tax agencies and numerous people in the tax and accounting industry are working together to warn tax professionals and their clients about phishing scams, they are still all too common. Here's what you need to know about the two most recent scams: fake charities that take advantage of people's generosity during times of natural disasters and IRS/FBI-themed ransomware.

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    SIMPLE IRA Plans for Small Businesses

    SIMPLE IRA Plans, IRA Plans

    Of all the retirement plans available to small business owners, the SIMPLE IRA plan (Savings Incentive Match PLan for Employees) is the easiest to set up and the least expensive to manage. The catch is that you'll need to set it up by October 1st. Here's what you need to know.

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    Online Retailers Required to Collect Sales Tax

    Online Sales Tax, Remote Sellers vs. Physical Presence

    From declining sales at local retail establishments to brick and mortar store closings, almost everyone would agree that the rise of Internet sales has transformed the retail landscape. One consequence of this uptick in online sales is lost revenues in states that collect sales (or use) tax.

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    Identity Theft: What to Watch out for and What to do

    Identity Theft, Tax Scams

    Tax-related identity theft typically occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. Anyone can fall victim to identity theft. Here is an important reminder of how to protect yourself from identity theft, what to watch out for, and what do if your identity has been compromised:

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    Business Entertainment Expense

    Business Tips, Entertainment Expense

    As a business owner, you are entitled to deduct certain expenses on your tax return such as those relating to entertaining clients. Entertainment is considered any activity that provides entertainment, amusement, or recreation.

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    Preparing an Effective Business Plan

    Business Tips, New Business

    Whether you're starting a new company, seeking additional financing for an existing one, or analyzing a new market, a business plan is a valuable tool.

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    Tax Breaks for Hiring New Employees

    New Business, Tax Breaks, Hiring Employees

    If you're thinking about hiring new employees this year, you won't want to miss out on these tax breaks.

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    Phone Scam Alert: Fake Certified Letters

    Fraud, IRS, Tax Scams

    Taxpayers should be aware of the most recent scam linked to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), where fraudsters call to demand an immediate tax payment through a prepaid debit card.

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    Minimizing Tax on Mutual Fund Activities

    Minimizing Tax, Mutual Fund Activities

    Whether you're new to mutual funds or a seasoned investor who wants to learn more, these tips will help you avoid the tax bite on mutual fund investments.

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    Tax Planning for Small Business Owners

    Small Businness, Tax planning, Business Tips

    Tax planning is the process of looking at various tax options to determine when, whether, and how to conduct business and personal transactions to reduce or eliminate tax liability.

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    Planning for Retirement: Withdrawals

    Tax planning, Early Retirement, Retirement Planning

    Are you thinking of retiring soon, or changing jobs? You may face a major financial decision: what to do about the funds in your retirement plan.

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    What to do if you get a letter from the IRS

    IRS Letter, Taxes Due

    Each year, the IRS mails millions of notices and letters to taxpayers for a variety of reasons. If you receive correspondence from the IRS here's what to do:

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    Retirement Plan Options for Small Businesses

    Early Retirement

    Employer-sponsored retirement plans have become a key component for retirement savings. They are also an increasingly important tool for attracting and retaining the high-quality employees you need to compete in today's competitive environment.

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    Renting a Vacation Home

    Vacation Homes, Tax Rules, Rental Income

    Tax rules on rental income from second homes can be complicated, particularly if you rent the home out for several months of the year, but also use the home yourself. There is, however, one provision that is not complicated.

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    What to do if you Haven't Filed a Tax Return

    Taxes, Filing Late, Payment Options

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017, was the tax deadline for most taxpayers  to file their tax returns.  If you haven't filed a 2016 tax return yet, don't delay. There's still time--and it's not as difficult as you think.

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    Eight Tax Facts about Exemptions and Dependents

    Tax-exempt, 2017, Dependents

    Most people can claim an exemption on their tax return. It can lower your taxable income, which in most cases, that reduces the amount of tax you owe for the year. Here are eight tax facts about exemptions to help you file your tax return.

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    Small Business Financing: Securing a Loan

    Small Businness, Loan, Finance

    At some point, most small businesses owners will visit a bank or other lending institution to borrow money. Understanding what your bank wants, and how to properly approach them, can mean the difference between getting your money for expansion and having to scrape through finding cash from other sources.

    Read More

    IRS Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2017

    Fraud, 2017, Tax Scams

    Compiled annually by the IRS, the "Dirty Dozen" is a list of common scams taxpayers may encounter in the coming months. While many of these scams peak during the tax filing season, they may be encountered at any time during the year. Here is this year's list:

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    5 Tax Breaks that Expired in 2016

    Expired Tax Breaks

    Many tax provisions were made permanent with the passage of the PATH Act in late 2015, but more than 36 others expired at the end of 2016. Here are the five that are most likely to affect taxpayers like you. 

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    Claiming an Elderly Parent or Relative as a Dependent

    Tax planning, Claiming Dependents

    Are you taking care of an elderly parent or relative? Whether it's driving to doctor appointments, paying for nursing home care or medical expenses, or handling their personal finances, dealing with an elderly parent or relative can be emotionally and financially draining, especially when you are taking care of your own family as well.

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    IRS TAX SCAMS 2017

    Taxes, Fraud, IRS

    As tax season approaches, taxpayers are reminded to be on the lookout for an array of evolving tax scams related to identity theft and refund fraud. Every year scam artists look for new ways to trick taxpayers out of their hard-earned money, sensitive financial information or even access to their computers. It seems that no matter how careful you are there's always a possibility that identity thieves could steal your personal information and try to cash in by filing fraudulent tax returns in your name.

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    Paying Taxes on Household Help

    Taxes, Individuals, Household Help

    If you employ someone to work for you around your house, it is important to consider the tax implications of this arrangement. While many people disregard the need to pay taxes on household employees, they do so at the risk of paying stiff tax penalties down the road.

    Read More

    Early Retirement Distributions and Your Taxes

    Early Retirement

    Taxpayers may sometimes find themselves in situations when they need to withdraw money from their retirement plan early. What they may not realize is that taking money out early from your retirement plan may trigger an additional tax. Here are 10 things taxpayers should know about early withdrawals from retirement plans:

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    Tax Changes for 2017: A Checklist

    Taxes, Individuals, Business

    Welcome, 2017! As the New Year rolls around, it's always a sure bet that there will be changes to current tax law and 2017 is no different. From health savings accounts to tax rate schedules and standard deductions, here's a checklist of tax changes to help you plan the year ahead.

    Read More

    Employee or Independent Contractor -- Which is it?

    Employee, Business, Independent Contractor

    If you hire someone for a long-term, full-time project or a series of projects that are likely to last for an extended period, you must pay special attention to the difference between independent contractors and employees.

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    Understanding the Net Investment Income Tax

    Taxes, Individuals, Net Investment Income Tax

    One of the most significant tax changes affecting higher income taxpayers was the Net Investment Income Tax that went into effect on January 1, 2013. While it tends to affect wealthier individuals most often, in certain circumstances, it can also affect moderate income taxpayers whose income increases significantly in a given tax year. Here's what you need to know:

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    2016 Tax Provisions for Individuals: A Review

    Taxes, Individuals, Tax Provisions, PATH

    Many of the tax changes affecting individuals and businesses for 2016 were related to the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH) that modified or made permanent numerous tax breaks (the so-called "tax extenders"). To further complicate matters, some provisions were only extended through 2016 and are set to expire at the end of this year while others were extended through 2019. With that in mind, here's what individuals and families need to know about tax provisions for 2016.

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