CPA Firms

IRA Charitable Donations: An Alternative to Taxable Required Distributions

You can make cash donations to IRS-approved charities out of your IRA using so-called “qualified charitable distributions” (QCDs). This strategy may be advantageous for high-net-worth individuals who have reached age 70 1/2. It expired at the end of 2014, but QCDs were made permanent for 2015 and beyond under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH)… Read more »

For Richer or Poorer: Financial and Legal Considerations in Marriage

Last year, the average U.S. wedding cost $32,641 — including engagement rings but excluding honeymoons — according to the 2015 Real Weddings Study published by The Knot, a wedding marketplace and concierge service. That staggering amount represents an increase of more than $5,500 over the past five years. On average, the couple foots 43% of… Read more »

Could Your Business Benefit from the Work Opportunity Credit?

If you plan to hire new employees this year, you’re not alone. Employment statistics ended 2015 on a positive note. In addition, roughly 242,000 new jobs were added in February and the unemployment rate fell to 4.9%, its lowest level in eight years. Several recent studies indicate that the hiring momentum will continue in 2016. Hiring… Read more »

IRS Extends ACA Filing Deadlines

Employers and other organizations got some good news from the IRS for the start of the new year. The tax agency announced that it’s extending the due dates for filing 2015 Affordable Care Act (ACA) information returns. This gives employers extra time to complete two tasks: 1. Provide the forms to the recipients and 2…. Read more »

New Law Closes Loopholes Involving Social Security Benefits

A new law closes loopholes in the Social Security rules that have allowed married couples to receive more benefits over their lifetimes by following certain strategies. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, signed by President Obama on November 2, 2105, shuts down loopholes that Congress said will “prevent individuals from obtaining larger benefits than Congress… Read more »

News on Social Security Benefits: Read All About It

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced some important news. Rumors about a benefits freeze had surfaced in the summer. Finally, on October 15, the SSA formally announced that the consumer price index it uses to gauge inflation wasn’t high enough to trigger cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for the upcoming year. Although the announcement is generally good… Read more »

What You Need to Know About 529 Plan Withdrawals

The big advantage of Section 529 college savings plans is that withdrawals used to cover qualified higher education expenses are free from federal income tax (and usually state income taxes too). That part is very easy to understand, but the full story on withdrawals is not so simple. What are qualified expenses? What happens if… Read more »

Protect Your Heirs, Name a Trust as Your IRA Beneficiary

When setting up an IRA, account holders are asked who they want to name as a beneficiary. The first thought is usually a relative or a friend, but there are some circumstances when it might be better to name a trust. For example: You’re concerned that your child might divorce and want to protect the… Read more »