What Does the Omnibus Spending Law Mean to Me?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Financial Planning, Financing, News and Politics

It is not possible to analyze a massive 2,232 page $1.3 Trillion dollar federal law within a matter of hours after its passage. Yet this new federal spending bill is likely to have more impact on the lives and personal finances of most Americans than anything else that happens in government this year. Here are […]

Implications of blockchain in everyday accounting

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, cryptocurrency, Taxes

The AICPA co-published a new report on blockchain that is written primarily by accountants at Deloitte & Touche LLP. The report covers a range of issues from introduction of concept to a call for action for CPAs. It is not an accounting standards publication but rather a white paper on the issue of blockchain. The decentralized […]

Questions about a QSEHRA?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Health Insurance, payroll, Small Business, Taxes

Yesterday I was hired for a single consultation engagement for a small business in Silicon Valley to answer a few simple questions about setting up a Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA). This is a simple, low cost and highly effective way for a small business to save money on employee health costs in […]

Sample tax representation agreement

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Uncategorized

I occasionally post sample current or previous engagement letters online. This one was used for tax representation services. This one was use in email format in 2016. TAX REPRESENTATION AGREEMENT EMAIL OR TEXT MESSAGE REVISED 1/15/2016 ***IF AFTER READING THIS YOU AGREE TO ALL THE TERMS, RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL AND TYPE “AGREED”.*** Dear _______: […]

Husband and wife partnerships are complicated

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Small Business, Taxes

I’m talking taxes here, not relationship advice. I’m the last person who should be giving advice on marital relationships. Unfortunately, I might not be much help on the tax and legal issues either. The best I hope to accomplish in this blog post is to list some of the issues, in bullet format, that should be […]

How health care became a human right

Posted Leave a commentPosted in government, Health and wellness, Health Insurance

When I started in the health benefits advisory business more than 30 years ago (1987) through the predecessor of Freedom Benefits I strongly disagreed that health care was a “right”. My opinion was shared by the majority of Americans. But three things have happened since then and public opinion has shifted: 1) The wealth gap […]

Avoid these three tax traps

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Uncategorized

There are three ways that taxpayers get into trouble with the tax authorities. Recognizing these three tax traps can help us avoid them. Under-reported income. This is usually the most obvious omission and usually easiest for tax authorities to spot and assess additional taxes. Sometime the taxpayer’s omission is deliberate and sometimes it is simply […]

Don’t replace common sense with technology

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Tax Planning, Taxes

Tax filing is like grocery shopping Technology has transformed the annual tax filing ritual but far too many people are replacing good judgement with purely online mechanical tools. The result is a recent spike in errors leading to costly tax penalties and higher tax payments over the long-term. The most important part of the tax […]

One door closes, another opens

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Taxes, technoogy

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us”. – Alexander Graham Bell A poorly matched tax engagement ended early yesterday on the same day as I brought in a record amount of new business. I hardly have time […]

Impact of Tax Reform on the Finances of Seniors

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Retirement, Taxes

Most of the changes included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are already effective for 2018. These are mostly good news for seniors. Retirees will be less affected by the tax law changes than other Americans since the changes do not affect the way Social Security and investment income are taxed.However, changes that become effective […]