The Mailbox Rule

It is often said that timing is everything. When it comes to the submission of tax returns, Tax Court petitions, and other time-sensitive tax actions, this statement is true because they must be completed and filed by the deadline. Thus a return for 2015 must be delivered and received by the IRS no later than…

Recordkeeping: How, What, and How Long

Keeping good records makes tax preparation easier and ensures that you claim every tax break to which you are entitled. It’s not too late to get your records in order and be prepared for tax season. 1. How to keep records The tax law doesn’t indicate how you must keep required records for tax purposes.…

Filing Jointly: Special Concerns

If you are legally married, you must file a joint federal income tax return unless you choose to file separately. This rule applies to both opposite sex- and same-sex married persons. There are certain issues that you should consider in deciding which filing status—jointly or separately—to use. 1.     Signing the return Usually, in order for…

3 Things to Know about Your Health Coverage for 2016

Under the Affordable Care Act, every individual must have minimum essential health coverage or face a tax penalty unless eligible for an exemption. Now is the time to get ready for 2016 by checking your health coverage options. 1.     Premium tax credit eligibility Low- and moderate-income taxpayers may be eligible for a federal subsidy to…

Education-Related Changes for 2015 and Beyond

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, which extended permanently or temporarily dozens of tax rules, impacts various breaks for education and educators. The changes affect 2015 returns as well as tax planning for 2016 and beyond. Here’s a roundup of these changes. 1. American opportunity credit The American opportunity credit allows…

Don’t be a sheep!

RETIREMENT We are consumed with thinking about retirement. Our televisions are loaded with retirement advertising. From simple questions like are you going to outlive your retirement to more complex issues about how sheep in Asia effect rice in China. Really? The retirement industry is huge and employs lots of people that have to be paid…