What options are available to employers who wish to help employees afford the cost of health care?

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in Employee Benefits, Small Business, Tax Planning, Taxes

Provisions of the Affordable Care Act dramatically changed the tax treatment of employer-paid health benefits. Some of the most popular traditional health plans of the recent past now trigger an extremely harsh tax on the employer. Taxes of up to $36,500 per employee per year kicked in on July 1, 2015 for businesses with less than […]

Quoting fees for tax return preparation

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Tax Planning, Taxes

Another accountant proposed the concept that there is significant business value of having a standardized and rehearsed response to an initial call from a potential client asking about tax work. I agree. We presume that a primary motivation of the caller is to push for price information. But giving a price with limited information is risky and, […]

Financial planning tips for seniors with unaffordable life insurance

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Retirement, Tax Planning

Today’s Wall Street Journal covers the topic of retirees stung by collapsing life insurance policies in this low-interest environment. I added the comment: “For those unfortunate individuals who are caught in this situation, there are some tax saving strategies that can help soften the blow. I see too many individuals who lose the benefit of the […]

Variance in taxes is part of the game

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Tax Planning, Taxes

I have little patience lately for tax accountants who assert that their approach is “correct” and that all other results are “errors”. This is like having the sideline judge disagreeing with the referee on the field that called the play. We understand the mentality that the law is meant to be precise and therefore the results […]

Why middle-income tax planning is dead

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Financial Planning, Tax Planning, Taxes

Bloomberg and Wall Street Journal ran articles this week that compile and analyze federal income tax data. These articles were meant for use as an exposé of policy tax policy. I skipped the social policy discussion entirely and I looked at the data from the perspective of a small solo CPA’s income tax service. It is interesting […]

Financial Planning Considerations When Your Business is Losing Money

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Financial Planning, Small Business, Tax Planning, Taxes

This post was inspired by the stories of some of my neighbors and clients in southern New Jersey. Most were struggling with  a weak economy before super storm Sandy hit in late 2012. Those that re-opened over the next few years face continued business losses and the prospect of continued weakening of the local economy […]

Fixed Asset Accounts in QuickBooks Online

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Small Business, Tax Planning

Here is something I learned about the conversion of fixed asset accounts (like machinery or vehicles) from QuickBooks desktop to QuickBooks Online. (While I am a QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor and currently in the middle of studying for advanced certification, many new issues come up on a daily basis that are not obvious or well-documented. This […]

Five Things I’ve Learned From Tax Preparers

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Social Media, Tax Planning, Taxes, Values

Last month I joined an online discussion group of tax preparers. My past experience is that every online discussion group has its own personality and you don’t know the tone of the group until you really get involved. This is my first year preparing tax returns after being completely out of the field for 9 […]