Are scholarships and fellowships taxable?

I recently received an interesting question from a client that I know many of you may have as well: The Question: “My son-in-law is doing a PhD and has an NSF Fellowship from the government.  Interestingly, the government does not take out taxes nor provide a W2...

This Thursday – Free Webinar

Sign up for our August 16th Webinar on Economic and Investment Overview: Looking Past the Headlines presented by Alex Oliver, First National Corporation What will be covered: North Korea. Trade wars. The Fed. Oil prices. With today’s sensationalized media, it can be...

Two Practical Personal Finance Lessons for College Students

by Andrew D. Schwartz CPA (Originally written for the September 2016 newsletter.) Last week, my wife and I dropped off our older child at college to start his freshman year.  He is eager to spend the next four years taking classes in a variety of interesting subjects...

Tax and Financial Planning Calendar for August 2018

Month Income Taxes Saving and Investing AUGUST Returns on extension are no longer due 8/15.  For 2017 tax returns, you have until 10/15 to file returns that have been put on extension. Work through a Tax Projection to avoid any surprises next winter, especially with...

Upcoming Financial Boot Camps

Sign up now for our FREE financial boot camps. You won’t break a sweat like those gym boot camps, but you will become financially stronger and learn how to flex your money muscles! All events are online and begin at 12 noon. For more info and to RSVP, please visit...

Trade Rhetoric Buries Strong Economic Fundamentals

By Alex Oliver, Investment Advisor, First National Corporation Volatility returned to the markets this past quarter as fears of inflation, trade wars, and privacy issues with technology companies flooded the headlines. The S&P 500 fell as much as 10%, the first...

IRS Explains Deducting Mortgage & Equity Loan Interest

From IRS NEWS – Issue IR-2018-32 The Internal Revenue Service advised taxpayers that in many cases they can continue to deduct interest paid on home equity loans. Responding to many questions received from taxpayers and tax professionals, the IRS said that despite...

This Year’s Most Interesting Tax-Season Observations

By Andrew D, Schwartz, CPA This year’s most interesting observation actually has more to do with next year’s taxes.  The tax software we use comes with a Tax Projection option, and I prepared a 2018 tax projection for many of the clients I met with during...

HSAs Make a Great Buy and Hold Proposition

Are you aware that there is an investment option available that allows for tax-deductible contributions and also for tax-free distributions? First introduced back in 2004, Health Savings Accounts offer individuals that unique winning combination. The favorable tax...

July 2018 Tax and Financial Planning Calendar

Month Income Taxes Saving and Investing JULY If you changed jobs, give one of our CPAs a call to discuss filling out new W-4 Forms Now’s the time to work through your 2018 income tax projection, especially to figure out how things look due to the recent tax law...

Planning for the Rising Cost of College

We recently held the fourth live webinar in our Financial Boot Camp series titled “Planning for the Rising Cost of College” which was recorded and is now online. Alex Oliver from First National Corporation a discussed a variety of topics. Did you know that...

2018 Tax Talking Points

by Andrew D. Schwartz, CPA Let’s start with the usual advice we dole out each year. Max out your 401k or 403b at work. The retirement savings accounts remain the best tax shelter available to working people Salary Deferral Limit increased to $18.5k for 2018...

Tax and Financial Planning Calendar for June 2018

          Income Taxes: 2nd quarter estimates due 6/15/18 Income tax returns (or extension requests) for Ex-Patriots due 6/15/18 Saving and Investing: See if you have adequate Disability Insurance and Life Insurance in...

Barton Associates Shares Webinar on Taxes for Independent Contractors

by Jess Huckins  How can you make filing your taxes as an independent contractor as easy as possible? How will tax reform affect your locum tenens career in the years to come? Barton Associates’ locum tenens tax guide author and healthcare tax specialist Andrew...

IRS Shares What to do if You Missed April 18th Filing Deadline

 IR-2018-102, April 23, 2018 WASHINGTON – While the federal income tax-filing deadline has passed for most people, there are some taxpayers still facing tax-related issues. This includes people who still haven’t filed, people who haven’t paid their...

Tax Benefits of Establishing a Donor-Advised Fund (DAF)

Are you a Trump Tax Bill “tweener”, a taxpayer making sizable charitable contributions each year but with the new tax law recently enacted at the end of 2017, no longer being able to itemize your deductions nor claiming a tax deduction for those charitable...

Estate Planning: Intro to the Essentials

On March 13, my firm held the third live webinar in our Financial Boot Camp series titled “Estate Planning: Introduction to the Essentials” which was recorded and is now online. Alex Oliver from First National Corporation and Sean Hagan from Eskow Law...

IRS Explains How to File For An Extension

Extension of Time to File Your Tax Return April 17 is the deadline for most taxpayers to file an extension and to pay taxes owed to avoid penalty and interest charges. If you file for an extension, your return is due October 15, 2018. Special rules may apply if...

Tax Guide for Physicians Working as Independent Contractors

Our friends at Barton Associates, the Locum Tenens Experts, wanted to compile a tax guide to provide their contractors with a summary of the basic tax rules affecting them. Founded in 2001, Barton Associates is a leading locum tenens staffing company serving...

Real Estate: Three Common Mistakes Healthcare Professionals Make

by Matt Kolcum, Carr Healthcare Realty Real estate is the second highest expense behind payroll for most healthcare practices. The benefits of capitalizing during lease negotiations can include a healthy raise through increased profitability, reduced debt, a nicer...

IRS Explains New Rules for Deducting Mortgage & Equity Loan Interest

From IRS NEWS – Issue IR-2018-32 The Internal Revenue Service today advised taxpayers that in many cases they can continue to deduct interest paid on home equity loans. Responding to many questions received from taxpayers and tax professionals, the IRS said that...

Deadline: March 15

March 15, 2018, is the deadline for filing 2017 S-Corp and partnership tax returns, or extensions, 2018 S-Corp elections, and 2018 Section 475 elections. Don’t forget! Don’t think you can file in time? 2017 S-Corp and partnership extensions give six additional...

2017 & 2018 Tax Amounts

For 2017, the standard deduction for a single individual is $6,350 and for a married couple is $12,700. A person will benefit by itemizing once allowable deductions exceed the applicable standard deduction. Itemized deductions include state and local income taxes (or...

IRS Announces Slightly Higher Standard Mileage Rates fr 2018

The IRS announced that the standard mileage rate will increase to 54.5 cents per business mile driven in 2018.  That is an increase of one cent from the 53.5 cents allowed in 2017.  According to the IRS, “Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the...

9 Ways to Minimize Your Taxes Under the New Tax Rules

On Friday, December 22nd, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 into law. Here are some 9 steps to consider taking prior to 12/31/17 and then during 2018 to minimize your federal tax liability. Prior to 12/31/17, pay all of your 2017 state taxes...

UPDATE: New Tax Act Details & What You Can Do

Just this week the House and Senate both voted on and passed the Tax Cuts and Job Act.  With President Trump’s signature, expected in the next week, this tax bill will be enacted into law.  Considered to be the largest tax reform in 30 years, this new tax law is...

Tax tip for GOP tax bill

Just want to give you this one quick recommendation as the year winds down to save some taxes.  Now that it appears there is a very good chance there will be tax law changes enacted into law for 2018, there is one deduction that is essentially being eliminated in 2018...

Can I pay for my child’s private school tuition using his 529 plan?

Recently, a client sent us the question “Can I pay for my child’s private school tuition using his 529 plan?”. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Tax free distributions from a 529 plan can only be used for post-secondary education expenses. However, there is...

Making Sense of the Tax Reform Proposals

With the year-end quickly approaching and time running out on whether or not a major tax overhaul will be enacted before December 31, year-end tax planning has become a big question mark in recent weeks.  However, with the Senate passing the “Tax Cuts and Job Act” by...

IRS Announces Higher Retirement Plan Limits for 2018

Most working professionals have access to a 401(k) plan or a 403(b) plan at work.  Amounts contributed to these plans generally reduce your taxable earnings and always grow tax deferred. You can contribute up to $18,500 into a 401(k) or 403(b) plan through salary...

Year End Projections Can Reduce Your Taxes

With the end of the 2017 calendar year quickly approaching, reviewing your specific tax situation may be tax-wise to help reduce your income taxes as well as possible underpayment of tax penalties. Year-end planning techniques to reduce your taxable income or increase...

Checklist To Cut Your 2017 Taxes

It’s not too late to cut your 2017 tax bill.  Prior to Dec. 31st:   Increase your 401(k) and 403(b) contributions if you haven’t been contributing at the maximum rate all year. This year you can put away up to $18,500 ($24,500 if 50 or older) into...

Roth or Regular?

These days, most 401k and 403b plans give their participants the option of contributing to the “traditional” version or the “Roth” version. With the traditional version, the amount you contribute reduces your taxable income in the current year,...

IRS Announces Higher Retirement Plan Limits for 2018

Contributing to a retirement plan is one of the best tax shelters available to you during your working years.  Recently, the IRS announced that some of the retirement savings limits will increase for 2018. Employer Sponsored Plans Most working professionals have...

Social Security Max Increase to $128,700 for 2018

Most years, the government bumps up the maximum Social Security taxes that you can pay.  For 2018, the maximum wage base jumps to $128,700, an increase of $1,500, or 1.2%, over the max of $127,200 that was in place for 2017. The Social Security Administration predicts...

Tax & Financial Planning Calendar for Nov. 2017

Month Income Taxes Saving and Investing November Need to make applicable elections in connection with employer’s flexible spending account Good time to make semi-annual donation of clothing and household items to charitable organizations.  Don’t forget to...

Equifax Data Breach – What Our Clients Should So

As you may have heard, Equifax, one of the nation’s three leading credit reporting agencies, announced last week that they had a major data breach from May through July. The hackers accessed over 143 million consumers’ information, including Social Security numbers,...

Tips For Teenagers With Summer Jobs

Students and teenagers often get summer jobs which can be a great way to earn extra spending money or to save for later. Here are some additional top tips from the IRS for people with summer jobs: New Employees. When a person gets a new job, they need to fill out...

Andrew’s Summer Reading Recommendations

It’s only August which means there is still plenty of time to do some reading before Labor Day.  Why not take this opportunity to read some business management books before life gets busy again in September? I’m pleased to share with you some of my...