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Hurricane Irma Update

A new tax bill was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump over the weekend that pertains to special tax provisions relating to Hurricane Irma.  Basically, all of Florida has been declared a disaster area for which federal relief is available.  In addition to extending most tax filing dates until January 31, 2018, there are a couple of new and significant points this new law serves that will help out Florida taxpayers and other taxpayers in the disaster areas of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Maria. (more…)

Posted in: Tax Laws

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Hurricane Harvey Donation Warning

We are all very aware of the damage and destruction that has occurred to Houston, TX and the surrounding areas due to Hurricane Harvey.  Those of us who live in Florida are well aware of how a hurricane can and does affect the lives of those impacted by these storms.  Sometimes the only help we can provide for those affected by the storm is by our financial support through donations.  If you want to make a donation, please do so carefully.  In today’s world of the internet, social media, email, telephone campaigns, there will be those scams to entice you to make a contribution.  Many of these will try to impersonate a bona fide and reputable charity by using information so closely similar to that of the legitimate organization that you may be misled.  Here are a couple of tips I suggest that you follow. (more…)

Posted in: Donations

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Obamacare Update – February 27, 2017

On February 23, 2017 an announcement came out that extended by one year from 2017 to 2018 the availability to keep a grandfathered group health insurance plan that was in effect prior to Obamacare in effect for another year.  These original plans were given a grace period that allowed an employer to keep these plans in place for a period of time after Obamacare began to allow for a transition by the employer over to Obamacare.  These grandfathered plans which were being allowed only to December 31, 2017 will now be allowed be continue until December 31, 2018. (more…)

Posted in: Obamacare

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Remembering Your Pets

Scientific research has documented the positive affect that pet ownership can have on one’s life. There has been a pet in our home for over 30 years except for a period of about 6 months. We could really tell there was a void during those months when we were without a pet. Needless to say, we have filled that void and now our home is run and ruled by a rotten little 7.4 pound scoundrel.

 

Our more mature citizens often fear becoming a pet owner. Even though they understand the benefit of pet ownership and the love, attention, and devotion that a pet brings to the home, they have an overriding fear for the continued care of their pet should their pet outlive them. That is a very understandable, admirable, and unselfish trait. They do not want to run the risk that their pet which is so near and dear to them could end up being abandoned. (more…)

Posted in: Retirement and Estate Planning

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Obamacare Insurance Premium Rates Are Expected To Increase For 2017

If you have your health insurance through the Obamacare exchange, hold on to your hat. The 2017 insurance premium rates are expected to be released around June 1, 2016 and they are expected to result in an increase of 10% to 30% and possibly more depending on the state where you live. This is due to insurers being hit with heavy medical claims and a lower than expected number of people signing up for health insurance coverage. (more…)

Posted in: Obamacare

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New Tax Laws For Required IRA Minimum Distributions – Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract

Under current law, a person, once they reach 70 ½ years old, must begin taking a required yearly minimum distribution from a traditional IRA. The required minimum distribution amount that must be taken is based on the account balance on January 1 of each year divided by a factor for the age attained during that year. Law sets the factor for each age. As an example, a $100,000 IRA owned by a person who is 75 years old would have a factor of 22.9. The required minimum distribution would be calculated by dividing $100,000 by 22.9 resulting in a required minimum distribution of $4,367. There is no problem with taking more than $4,367. However, if you take less than the required amount, the IRS will assess a penalty equal to 50% of the shortfall. (more…)

Posted in: IRA, Tax Laws

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Documenting Your Travel Expenses

Travel expenses are a high priority issue on IRS audits.  As such, as you go through the year, be sure to keep complete records for all of your business related travel, whether it is to attend seminars, conventions, trade events, or a general business meeting. Complete records include all receipts, hotel charges, airline ticket receipts, a log of any car mileage incurred and event flyers or promotional material showing that there was an actual event that took place.  The IRS wants to be sure the travel expense was tied to a trip or event. (more…)

Posted in: IRS, Tax Returns

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Protect Your Identity This Tax Season

As tax season begins, I wanted to alert you to an issue which is already making its appearance felt this year.  Scammers will send you e-mails and call you, asking for personal identifying information on behalf of the “IRS.”  In fact, my son received one of these e-mails just the other day.

I cannot stress enough that these are NOT legitimate requests from the IRS.  The IRS will ONLY contact you via mail, never by phone, and never by e-mail.  Please do not click on any links in e-mails reported to be from the IRS or someone on the IRS’ behalf as these are phishing scams designed to obtain your personal information.
Please be careful with these as we get closer to April 15th.  Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about this.

Posted in: IRS

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Important 2015 Tax Extenders Update

It finally happened – we have a “tax extender” package. The bill was signed into law on December 18, 2015. This is a multi-faceted law with a lot of wrinkles. There are some new tax provisions contained in the law. Some of the extended provisions are effective for 2015 and 2016. Some of the extended provisions run through 2019. Finally, some of the extended provisions are now permanent fixtures in the tax law meaning that we do not have to take a wait and see attitude if these provisions are going to be in for one year and out for the next year.

 

There were over 50 provisions that were on the table for consideration. The following is a recap of the most popular extenders. (more…)

Posted in: Tax Extenders

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Florida Sales Tax Update for Livestock

This popped up this morning on my daily tax updates. Give me a call if you have any questions.

 

Florida—Sales and Use Tax: Equine Nonprescription Medications Are Taxable

Sales of equine nonprescription medications are subject to Florida sales and use tax since they are not substances or preparations commonly known as “prescription” or “legend” drugs that are required by federal or state law to be dispensed only by a prescription except when sold to veterinary clinics and licensed veterinarians. In addition, equine joint supplements that contain glucosamine, which fights against wear and tear on a horse’s joints, are exempt as feed for livestock. Insect and fly repellants that contain active ingredients and kill biting flies, mosquitoes, and ticks are exempt. Equestrian clothing that offers fly protection to keep pests away from a horse’s face and ears is taxable. Technical Assistance Advisement, No. 15A-011, Florida Department of Revenue, September 25, 2015

Posted in: Sales Tax

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