PA unreimbursed business expense deduction creates an audit risk

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Taxes

For he past few years the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue aggressively audited the tax returns of individuals who took a deduction for unreimbursed employee expenses on Schedule PA-UE. The topic was covered by the Pittsburg Tribune in June 2014. My quick online poll of professional tax preparers last summer indicated that the audit rate was near 100% of […]

Homeowner tax credits for energy efficient upgrades

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Tax Planning, Taxes

Have you overlooked a small tax credit? The IRS offers two types of tax credits to homeowners in 2015 and 2016: the Residential Energy Efficiency Property Credit and the Nonbusiness Energy Property Credit. The first applies only to solar and renewable energy systems and is not discussed in this article. The second type of tax […]

Beware of these tax penalties

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Small Business, Taxes

Yesterday my attention was drawn to several small business tax penalty issues. 1099-MISC Several situations came to my attention where small businesses and especially home-based businesses are not aware of their requirement to file form 1099-MISC for payments they made last year. Heed this basic rule: If your business pays $600 to an individual or […]

Why tax rates will be higher

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

We should recognize that tax rates for the wealthiest individuals and corporations will be higher in the future than they are today. I stirred up a handful of comments yesterday on Wall Street Journal social media about the future of income tax rates. Some people apparently think that higher income tax rates are not possible […]

“Pay half” tax preparation offer draws public discussion

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Accounting, Small Business, Taxes

H&R Block has caused commotion within the tax preparation industry last week with its “pay half” offer for new clients. Likewise, Intuit has annoyed some with its TurboTax advertisements suggesting that tax preparation is a simple do-it-yourself project.  The TurboTax “It doesn’t take a genius” ad campaign belies the decades of training that tax professionals […]

Mobile scanning apps for taxes and accounting

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Computers and Internet, Taxes

If you want to handle taxes or accounting on your smartphone or tablet, you need a mobile scanning app installed on your device. The two most popular apps that are completely free, have no premium upgrade option, include optical character recognition, and are available on all cell phone and tablet computer platforms are: Office Lens […]

How to help employees pay for individual health insurance

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Employee Benefits, Health Insurance, Small Business, Taxes

Small business employers often help employees afford the cost of individual health insurance rather than enroll employees in the company’s own health insurance policy. This is often the least expensive way to ensure that employees find the best coverage at the lowest price. For employees this employer involvement is often the best way  – sometimes the […]