Dear Client,
This year our newsletter is designed to give you the guidance needed for understanding how the big new tax law changes will personally affect you; to dispel some myths that are floating around; and to provide some basic ideas for tax planning.
2018 Tax Changes for Individuals
Everyone seems to think that the new “postcard” return will make income tax preparation easier! Not true. The recurring theme in all of our continuing education classes this year has been the 20% increase in time we can expect to properly complete your return. Here are some of the major changes that have occurred.
The new Federal withholding tables were designed to lower your total tax bill for the year by giving you a bigger paycheck throughout the year. Unfortunately, they were not designed to give you a refund at year end, and for those of you that did not heed our warnings to change your withholding, your refund will be very small (if any) because you already received it in bits and pieces through larger paychecks throughout the year. One of our simple recommendations for 2019 is that all married individuals fill out a W-4 reflecting “single and zero” withholding.
The ability to itemize deductions has been dramatically decreased because the new law provides a much, much larger standard deduction. (You are allowed to deduct the greater of the two). However, we still need to accumulate the information on your medical, tax, mortgage interest, charity and other deductions in order to apply the new rules, and to complete your state tax returns.
A major change has occurred on home equity lines and 2nd mortgages, most of which are now not deductible. In order to get your largest deduction, we will need to know much more information on these amounts than in the past such as amounts borrowed and use.
Employee work related business expenses are no longer deductible on the Federal return, but we may still need the information for your state return, and if you incur a lot of these types of expenses, you need to discuss the use of an accountable plan with your employer.
Most home-related energy efficiency credits are now expired, but an incredible 30% Federal credit still exists for solar, wind and geothermal costs; and a $7,500 Federal credit for buying a fully electric car still applies through the end of 2018.
If you are retired, over age 70 ½, and have an IRA you must utilize the direct IRA to charity transfer tool to make charitable contributions. This simple trick can save you hundreds of dollars in income tax.
With over 50% of working Americans now covered by health savings insurance policies, it is of absolute importance that you start a health savings account, even with $50, and discuss some excellent tax-savings ideas with us for these tax-beneficial plans. And yes, you were still required to maintain health insurance for every member of your family for 2018 or face a potential penalty.
Finally, in order to prepare your return this year we are required to obtain all of your W-2’s, 1099’s from retirement, interest, dividends and brokers, Forms 1095 for health insurance, bank Forms 1098 and any other official IRS documents.
2018 and Future Tax Planning Ideas


  1. Every year we are told “I pay too much in taxes” or “I want some of the tax loopholes that rich people get”. We can answer both statements with one answer. Rich people get no more tax deductions or “loopholes” than anyone else, they just take advantage of what is there to keep their taxes at a low legal level. The single greatest tax “loophole” that they use, which few average people use to its limit is the ability to defer nearly $20,000 into a 401-K if your employer has one. If your employer has a 401-K and you are not putting the maximum deferral in it, there is no reason to even think about other tax planning ideas.
  1. In the current tax era of greatly increased requirements to itemize deductions, a tax “bunching” strategy is absolutely mandatory. The “bunching strategy” recognizes that the best tax deductions are obtained by putting deductions in one year rather than spreading them amongst several years. For example, in years where your charitable contributions are very low, hold off until the next year to catch up, then also pay the full amount of the next year’s contributions in the “catch up” year in order to double your chances of itemizing. Similarly, few Americans receive medical deductions anymore, but if you incur a large expense for say, the deductible on surgery, then try to do all of your other medical items in the same year, such as dental and vision exams, check-ups, etc.
  1. Check into your employer’s handbook to see what employer provided fringe benefits are available. Taxpayer’s are often surprised at the available benefits, or at our explanation of what some benefits really mean. We offer special “tax planning” sessions to go through the handbooks and your paycheck to see what is available and what your options may be, via appointment.

We are happy to meet with you throughout the year for tax planning, retirement and similar income tax related issues, and sincerely appreciate your continued business each year.
Thank you,


On December 27, we will be offering live and live streaming versions of Payroll – Year end Compliance: W-2’s and 1099’s and Payroll – Hiring, Compliance, & Reporting. These courses will also be offered as self-study and rebroadcast. 

By popular demand, on January 3 & 4, we will be offering another Business Tax in Depth webinar. Click here to sign up today!
Elections, Checklists, & Letters USB --  Available Now! 
Jam-packed with immediately useful information and organized in an easy to use manner, the desktop reference will prove to be an invaluable source for the operation of your office. To view all of the contents, click here. To purchase yours today, head over to our website
Talking with TaxSpeaker Series
This week's video is on a group of miscellaneous questions-- questions submitted by you! To subscribe to the series, please visit If you aren't sure how it works, we answer 10-15 questions every week or two that have been submitted by you, our members. To see how the series works, click here to watch one of the videos free of charge! It's $20/month or $200/year. (A yearly subscription saves you 17%!) A subscription will give you access to all previously released videos as well as any future videos for the duration of your subscription. If you have questions you'd like to have answered, please email them to

See the questions for last week's video below: 

1.       Can a company selling merchandise with less than $25mm revenues can use the cash basis?

2.       What is the proper K1 treatment of selling my customer list or other self-developed intangibles (not purchased)- Schedule D or 4797? 

3.       How would you handle a new roof on commercial property?

4.       Do you have any updates on whether the Residential Energy Credit will be extended through 2017 from the Budget Bill in February of 2018?

5.       Will our personal presentation of the check made payable to the charity by the bank violate the direct transfer requirement just because it isn’t mailed by the bank?

6.       I found out the IRS suspected by EFIN may have be comprised, and the turned my number off. Talking to the help desk they gave me a new EFIN. My question is what do I do now. Whom do I have to contact etc.

This occurred between the end of the filing season and May 1st

7.       What records need to be returned to a former client?  In what format do they need to be returned?

8.       They may be reclassified as a Hobby Farmer and the deductions may not be deductible, but the gross income is taxable. If this is true, does it hold that week-end crafters that only make things and have an occasional show in the summer are to be classified as Hobby, and that their gross income will be taxable but the expenses are not deductible?

9.       Due to the recent Supreme court decision vs Wayfair where a physical location is not necessary to be responsible in collecting sales tax.  The other side of this is the Corporate Tax Returns.   I have a manufacture company that sells only to business and were never required to collect sales prior to this.  Which I still think will be the case.  MY question is this.   Because they sell in multiple states but do not have a physical location in each state are now required to file a separate State Corporate Tax Return for every state they have sales in, and because it is a S-Corporation, it will also kick in a separate state tax return on the personal side.  This seems crazy nuts to me for a small company to handle.  Am I thinking this right?

10.   If an Accountable Plan is put in place and reimbursed does the accounting and tax just list an expense line as Accountable Plan? Or do you have to list each expense travel, cell phone, meals?? As the plan documents will show what can be reimbursed and expensed and the receipts would be available if an audit took place.

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Upcoming Webinars & Seminars
Click below to learn more about each event.
November 30
Federal Tax Update- Business & Individual (Web)
November 29
Federal Tax Update- Individual (Web)
December 3
1040 Tax in Depth (Live)
Preparations, Compilations, & Review (Web)
S Corporations- Built in Gains Tax (Web)
December 4
Intro to Social Security (Web)
Medicare (Web)
Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (Web)
December 5
1040 Tax in Depth (Web)
S Corps from A-Z (Web)
Upcoming Live Self-Sponsored 1040 Tax in Depth Seminars 
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