When should you retire? Consult this checklist of questions
The question sounds simple, but it is tough to answer: At what age should you retire?
I get this question from readers and friends more often than any other. It is difficult to answer because it brings into play such a wide range of issues: Do I have enough money to retire? What will I do with my time in retirement? Will I have adequate medical coverage? When should I claim Social Security?
The answers are highly subjective and personal.
Your receipts are important: save them
When it comes to taking qualified deductions on your federal tax return, three things must happen: (1) Recognize that an expense might be deductible on your tax return; (2) keep a record of the expense in an organized fashion; and, (3) obtain the proper (and timely) documentation to support your deduction.
This might be obvious to most people, but here are some typical areas where taxpayers often fall short. In the long run, these items could end up costing you plenty during tax filing season, and trigger IRS audits.
1. Cash donations to charity. To deduct and support your deduction to a qualified charity you must have valid support. Donations of cash are no longer deductible if they are not supported by a canceled check or written acknowledgement from the charity. A donation deduction of $250 or more needs to be supported by documentation created at the time of the donation. A canceled check and bank statement are not sufficient. If you get audited, having the charity issue documentation after the fact may not be enough.
Dugan & Lopatka summer issue of NFP newsletter now available!
The summer issue of Dugan & Lopatka's Solutions for Nonprofits newsletter is here!
6 tax tips for startups
Taxes are rarely the first thing that entrepreneurs think about. With that in mind, the IRS put together a short-list of tax related considerations for start-up businesses.
1. Pick a business structure. One of the first things you will need to decide is how to structure your business – as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, an S or C corporation, and so on. Each comes with different tax rules and different filing requirements, so the advice of an expert is invaluable.
2. Pick a tax year. How and when a business files its taxes is determined by its tax year, which can either match the calendar year, or be a fiscal year of any 12 consecutive months. In most cases, the business owner can choose whichever works best for them. But, calendar years are required for businesses with no books or records, no annual accounting period, or in certain circumstances laid out in the Internal Revenue Code or the income tax regs.
What's New in Finances: Don′t forget to review your insurance
When was the last time you reviewed your insurance coverage? An annual insurance review makes good financial sense. Here are points to consider as you review your various insurance policies.
Health care. If you have an individual policy, investigate whether your employer, union, or professional association offers a less expensive group policy.
Long-term care. Long-term care insurance may be advisable if you're between the ages of 55 and 72 and you don't have enough assets to fund long-term care.
Properly classifying workers remains a major problem
From an August 2, 2017, online Accounting Today post
Worker misclassification is a perennial issue for the Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities due to the perception that many employers are not properly classifying their workers.
By avoiding labeling their workers as employees, employers also avoid paying minimum wages, overtime, payroll taxes, worker’s compensation, unemployment, Social Security contributions, health benefits, paid leave, 401(k) benefits and unpaid leave under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act. And workers have some benefits to being considered independent contractors, such as the ability to deduct certain business expenses that are not available to employees, the ability to set up their own retirement plans, and the fact that they are not subject to withholding. Of course, many workers want to be considered employees so they can get the benefits due employees, such as vacation pay, overtime pay and health insurance.