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Tax-Free Rental Income

Most income you receive is taxable income that is reported to you and to the Federal/State tax authorities. However, there are a few income-producing events that the IRS has said are not taxable. One of them is renting out your home or vacation property. The rule: If you receive rental income for less than 15 days per year, that income is generally not taxable income. Added benefit: In addition to

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Using Losers to Make Winners

Understanding the rules surrounding investment losses can really help minimize your tax obligation each year. This is because investment gains and income can be subject to a variety of federal tax rates as high as 39.6%. This and a newly minted tax law in 2013 that could add a 3.8% Medicare investment tax surcharge make planning around when to take investment losses an important tax planning subject. Know the meaningful

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IRS Notices with Interest Calculation Error

IRS to send out special mailings Noted here is a copy of a recent interest error calculation announcement made by the IRS. If you recently received a form CP2000 from the IRS please be aware an adjusted, higher interest amount may be owed. The IRS alerted taxpayers and tax professionals about an interest calculation error on certain notices mailed the weeks of July 1 and July 8. The IRS discovered

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Avoid the Gambling Winnings Tax Surprise

With the increased popularity of lotteries and casinos, more unsuspecting winners are experiencing a lucky payday only to end up with a huge tax head-ache when filing their income taxes. Here is what you need to know: Look for the warning signs You are required to report as income any winnings you receive including, but not limited to: • slot machines • bingo • pull tabs • horse/dog racing •

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Avoid the 50% Penalty!

Understanding Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) Rules Every year thousands of taxpayers are hit with a heavy 50% penalty for not withdrawing enough money from their retirement plan(s). Here is what you need to know to ensure this does not happen to you or someone you know. Who is subject to Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) rules? Anyone who participates in a qualified retirement plan like IRAs (traditional, SEP, SARSEP, and SIMPLE),

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Does Your Mileage Log Travel the Distance?

The tax code allows deductions for qualified miles driven for business, medical, moving and charitable purposes. But to claim this deduction you must keep adequate records of actual miles driven. During an audit this is an often disallowed deduction, despite the fact that you actually drove the distance claimed. How to make sure this doesn’t happen to you? Here are some tips. Keep a log. The tax code is clear

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Who Pays What?

In a continuing effort to provide information as we listen to the budget and debt debates out of Washington D.C., outlined here are some IRS statistics on who pays individual income taxes. The information provided here is the most current available information. Income % of Income Share of Income Tax Paid Average Tax Rate Top 1% 18.9% 37.4% 23.4% Top 5% 33.8% 59.1% 20.6% Top 10% 45.2% 70.6% 18.5% Top

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So You’re Thinking about Starting a Business?

Tax complexities can be confusing. Creating and running a small business in America can be a lot of hard work. It can also be rewarding. Unfortunately, doing the tax part of this correctly can be a real head-ache. Here are some tips. Other reporting may be required depending on your type of business and your state and local requirements. Start-up expenses. Keep track of expenses prior to starting your business.

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Beware IRS Phishing Scams

Each year the IRS publishes the top dozen tax scams it encounters over the prior year. One of them that makes an all too common appearance on their list is the phishing scam. Here is what you need to know. Phishing requires bait Phishing is the act of creating a fake e-mail or website that looks like the real thing. This “bait” is then used to bring you into the

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2014 Health Savings Account Limits Announced

The savings limits for the ever-popular Health Savings Accounts (HSA) are now set for 2014. The new limits are outlined here with current year amounts noted for comparison purposes. What is an HSA? An HSA is a tax advantaged savings account where part of your wages can be contributed on a pre-tax basis. There is no tax on the funds contributed or the interest or investment earnings as long as

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