Mid-Year Tax Planning Checklist

All too often, taxpayers wait until after the close of the tax year to worry about their taxes, missing opportunities that could reduce their tax liability or help them financially. Fall is the perfect time for tax planning. The following are some events that can affect your tax return; you may need to take steps to mitigate their impact and thus avoid unpleasant surprises after it is too late to address them.

  • Did you get married, divorced, or become widowed?
  • Did you change jobs or has your spouse started working?
  • Did you have a substantial increase or decrease in income?
  • Did you have a substantial gain from the sale of stocks or bonds?
  • Did you buy or sell rental property?
  • Did you start, acquire, or sell a business?
  • Did you buy or sell a home?
  • Did you retire this year?
  • Are you on track to withdraw the required amount from your IRA (age 70.5 or older)?
  • Did you refinance your home or take out a second home mortgage this year?
  • Were you the beneficiary of an inheritance this year?
  • Did you have a child? Time to start a tax-advantaged savings plan!
  • Are you taking advantage of tax-advantaged retirement savings?
  • Have you made any significant equipment purchases for your business?
  • Are your cash and non-cash charitable contributions adequately documented?
  • Are you keeping up with your estimated tax payments or do they need adjusting?
  • Are you aware of and prepared for the 3.8% surtax on net investment income?
  • Did you make any unplanned withdrawals from an IRA or pension plan?
  • Have you updated your income and other information with your Health Marketplace?
  • Have you stayed abreast of every new tax law change?

If you anticipate or have already encountered any of the above events, it may be appropriate to consult with our office, preferably before the event, and definitely before the end of the year.

Reporting Gambling Income and Losses on Your Tax Return

If you play the ponies, play cards or pull the slots, your gambling winnings are taxable. You must report them on your tax return. If you gamble, these IRS tax tips can help you at tax time next year:

  1. Gambling income. Income from gambling includes winnings from the lottery, horse racing and casinos. It also includes cash and non-cash prizes. You must report the fair market value of non-cash prizes like cars and trips.
  2. Payer tax form. If you win, the payer may give you a Form W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings. The payer also sends a copy of the W-2G to the IRS. The payer must issue the form based on the type of gambling, the amount you win and other factors. You’ll also get a form W-2G if the payer must withhold income tax from what you win.
  3. How to report winnings. You normally report your winnings for the year on your tax return as “Other Income.” You must report all your gambling winnings as income. This is true even if you don’t receive a Form W-2G.
  4. How to deduct losses. You can deduct your gambling losses on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. The amount you can deduct is limited to the amount of the gambling income you report on your return.
  5. Keep gambling receipts. You should keep track of your wins and losses. This includes keeping items such as a gambling log or diary, receipts, statements or tickets.

See Publications 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income for rules on this topic. Refer to Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions for more on losses. It also lists some of the types of records you should keep. You can download and view both on IRS.gov/forms at any time.

This message was distributed automatically from the IRS Tax Tips mailing list. For more information on federal taxes please visit IRS.gov.

What’s So Great about CPAs?

You may not have asked yourself that question in so many words, but you may have wondered what sets CPAs apart from other financial professionals. The answer in short: A lot. We typically begin our careers with years of college and graduate education. To become licensed, we must take the demanding Uniform CPA Examination, which tests our knowledge on a wide range of business topics over a total period of 14 hours. In addition, we have to meet an experience requirement and then be licensed by a State Board of Accountancy to practice. But it doesn’t stop there. Once we become CPAs, we also must meet continuing education requirements to update our knowledge of new business developments as well as commit to a strict code of ethical standards. Armed with this rigorous training, we’re on the job year round, ready to help individuals and businesses address their own unique challenges.

If you want more information about our firm and how we can help you resolve all your financial issues, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Email: info@mccpas.com     Phone: (913)239-9130     Fax: (913)239-0520

We Can Help You Address the Issues that Keep You Up at Night

Where will your business be in five years? Would strategic budget cuts in some areas improve your company’s health? Are there ways you can boost revenue? If you’re nearing retirement, is there a buyer or successor in the wings? These are the kinds of questions that keep many business owners up at night. Fortunately, as your CPA, we can probably help you sleep a little easier. Our firm is made up of highly qualified and educated professionals who work with clients like you all year long, serving as trusted business advisers. We act as coaches, guides and trainers for our business clients, helping them chart the best route to success. So be sure to turn to us with all your business questions or concerns.

Email: info@mccpas.com     Phone: (913)239-9130     Fax: (913)239-0520

How Do Taxes Affect Your Financial Picture?

Do you know how much you’re paying in taxes? You may have a sense of what you spend on income taxes, but have you also considered the taxes you pay on utilities, gasoline, cigarettes and alcohol, hotel stays and numerous other items? The CPA profession’s Total Tax Insights™ calculator (www.totaltaxinsights.org) can put these numbers in perspective, enabling you to make better informed financial decisions.

Take a few minutes to drop in your numbers, and if your results raise questions about your financial planning choices, we can help. If you’d like to get started, don’t hesitate to contact us with all your questions.

Email: info@mccpas.com     Phone: (913)239-9130     Fax: (913)239-0520

Let Us Help You Leverage What You Can Learn from Your Tax Return

What does your tax return say about your financial situation? The fact is, the paperwork you file each year offers excellent information about how you are managing your money—and about areas where it might be wise to make changes in your financial habits. If you have questions about your financial situation, remember that we can help. Our firm is made up of highly qualified and educated professionals who work with clients like you all year long, serving as trusted business advisors.

So whether you are concerned about budgeting; saving for college, retirement or another goal; understanding your investments; cutting your tax bite; starting a business; or managing your debt, you can turn to us for objective answers to all your tax and financial questions.

Email: info@mccpas.com     Phone: (913)239-9130     Fax: (913)239-0520

Is a Like-Kind Exchange a Good Option for Your Business?

Normally, when companies sell properties, they must pay taxes on any gain they receive. Like-kind exchanges, transactions in which companies trade properties, may be carried out without any immediate tax consequences.

They must satisfy IRS rules, however, which include:

  • The properties must have the same “nature or character,” as set forth in IRS guidance.
  • The exchanges can be business or investment properties put to a productive use.
  • The exchanges can’t involve inventory, most securities and some other asse
  • Taxes must be paid on any cash or non-similar property that is part of the deal.

Keep in mind that like-kind exchanges are tax-deferred transactions, not tax free. When a company eventually sells the property it received in an exchange, it must pay tax on any gain from its original investment. In the meantime, though, the business/company can use the funds it would have paid in taxes and it has acquired a new property that may better suit its needs without necessarily making a cash outlay.

Want more information about whether like-kind exchanges can be a good strategy for your business and insights on their tax impact? We can help. Contact us today for expert advice on the best ways to address your business and tax concerns.

Email: info@mccpas.com     Phone: (913)239-9130     Fax: (913)239-0520

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