Own a vacation home? Adjusting rental vs. personal might save some taxes

 

Now that we’ve hit midsummer, if you own a vacation home that you both rent out and use personally, it’s a good time to review the potential tax consequences:

If you rent it out for less than 15 days: You don’t have to report the income. But expenses associated with the rental (such as advertising and cleaning) won’t be deductible.

If you rent it out for 15 days or more: You must report the income. But what expenses you can deduct depends on how the home is classified for tax purposes, based on the amount of personal vs. rental use: 

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When it comes to IRS audits, be prepared!

 
 

If you recently filed for your 2016 income tax return (rather than filing for an extension) you may now be wondering whether it’s likely that your business could be audited by the IRS based on your filing. Here’s what every business owner should know about the process. We have had great success handling IRS and New York State Audits over the past decade.

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Turning next year's refund into cash in your pocket now




Each year, millions of taxpayers claim an income tax refund. To be sure, receiving a payment from the IRS for a few thousand dollars can be a pleasant influx of cash. But it means you were essentially giving the government an interest-free loan for close to a year, which isn’t the best use of your money. 

Fortunately, there is a way to begin collecting your 2017 refund now: You can review the amounts you’re having withheld and/or what estimated tax payments you’re making, and adjust them to keep more money in your pocket during the year. 

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Claiming A Federal Tax Deduction for Moving Costs

Summer is a popular time to move, whether it’s so the kids don’t have to change schools mid-school-year, to avoid having to move in bad weather or simply because it can be an easier time to sell a home. Unfortunately, moving can be expensive. The good news is that you might be eligible for a federal tax deduction for your moving costs. 

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WARNING: A New 2017 IRS Scam


    F rom Forbes: Kelly Phillips June 15, 2017 In the scam, callers posing as IRS representatives advise potential victims that two certified letters were sent to the taxpayer in the mail but were returned as undeliverable. The callers then threaten to arrest the potential victim if a payment is not immediately made through a prepaid debit card. The scammer also tells the victim that the purchase of the card is linked to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) system: it is not. To ensure that the potential victim doesn't back out, the caller warns the taxpayer not to contact their tax preparer, an attorney or their local IRS office until after the tax payment is made. This should be a red flag. You should always have the opportunity to contact your tax professional before resolving a tax dispute. Additionally, if you're not sure that you owe taxes, you always...
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What are the most tax-advantaged ways to reimburse employees' education expenses?


     Reimbursing employees for education expenses can both strengthen the capabilities of your staff and help you retain them. In addition, you and your employees may be able to save valuable tax dollars. But you have to follow IRS rules. Here are a couple of options for maximizing tax savings.   A fringe benefit qualifying reimbursements and direct payments of job-related education costs are excludable from employees’ wages as working condition fringe benefits. This means employees don’t have to pay tax on them. Plus, you can deduct these costs as employee education expenses (as opposed to wages), and you don’t have to withhold income tax or withhold or pay payroll taxes on them. To qualify as a working condition fringe benefit, the education expenses must be ones that employees would be allowed to deduct as a business expense if they’d paid them directly and weren’t reimbursed. Basically, this means...
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Howard Froman

We lost a friend and mentor yesterday with the passing of Howard Froman.  Many of us will remember the years at First Investors from where is encouraged us to live up to our potential and told us that we could.  Many of you came to us through Howard.  We treasure our relationship with each one of you and our relationship with the family.  Arrangements will be handled through Frank E. Campbell in Manhattan.   -Keith
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