Making Charitable Plans

           Many plan on making charitable donations this time of year, especially for Giving Tuesday. Before doing so, it is always best to know if the gift is tax-deductible. It is also a good practice to research the organization to make sure it is tax-exempt and get a written acknowledgement of a donation greater than $250. Usually, a gift of cash or property given to a charity can be deducted when itemized on a tax return. However, some donations do not qualify for a tax deduction. For example, a donation carried forward from a prior year, a donation made to a supporting organization, or donations made to most private foundations will not be eligible for a tax deduction. Take time now to plan your gift and understand how it may affect your taxes.

Tax Resources for Members of the Military and Veterans

             The Internal Revenue Service ( IRS ) provides resources to meet the needs of different groups of people. That is especially true of active members of the military, veterans, and their families. Certain benefits relate to the taxpayer’s military status. There are different rules that apply to those who are serving abroad, or in combat zones.           Depending on their situation, they may qualify for automatic deadline extensions, and the ability to claim certain moving expenses. Military members and veterans often have some of the most uniquely complex tax situations. The IRS recognizes that. If you fall into this category, take time now to be prepared before January arrives.

When Family Members Work for Each Other

                 When being employed by a family member, things can get complicated. That is especially true when it comes to tax responsibilities. Often, it depends on the relationship and the type of business. For example, a spouse is considered an employee if the first spouse makes the management decisions. Then their income is subject to income tax withholding, Social Security, and Medicare taxes.           When children are employed by their parents in a Sole Proprietorship or partnership, the wages are always subject to income tax withholding. However, only after the children turn 18 does Medicare and Social Security come into play. This changes when the business is a corporation or an estate. At that point, all wages are subject to withholding, Medicare, and Social Security. It does not matter how old the child is. If you are planning on starting a business and employing family members, it might be best to consult a Qualified Tax Professional to get things started in the righ

The Deadline Has Arrived

               For those who requested an extension to file their 2021 tax return, the deadline is Monday, October 17 . The Franchise Tax Board ( FTB ) follows the lead of the Internal Revenue Service ( IRS ) in this area. The time to file is now. However, there is no need to wait until the last minute of the last day. If you are ready before October 17, get your return filed then. When you have your information, there is no need to wait. If something unexpectedly comes up, and you file after the deadline, there will be a late filing penalty.           In some cases, there are some who are given extra time. Members of the military serving in a combat zone have extra time. They usually have up to 6 months after they leave the combat zone to file. Taxpayers who live in a declared disaster area will have extra time. In these situations, the filing date can continue to change, so those affected need to check for the latest updates.

Check Your Cybersecurity!

                 October is National Cybersecurity Awareness month. But we don’t want to wait for a particular time to check how secure our systems and our habits are. That gives the criminals more opportunities.           The scams are constantly changing, and that is especially true in our industry. It is very common for a criminal to send a phishing email or a text message to try and trick someone into giving up their personal information. They could send it to a taxpayer pretending to be the Internal Revenue Service ( IRS ), or to a Tax Professional pretending to be a potential client. Don’t click on strange links or download files from people you do not know! It could allow malware to be downloaded and from there passwords are stolen and computer networks are compromised. They might even hold the data for ransom.           There are steps we could all take to keep ourselves secure. Don’t act too quickly to click on a link, even if it is from someone you know. That is what the

Tax Relief for Disaster Victims!

                 The Franchise Tax Board ( FTB ) has announced state tax relief for individuals and businesses impacted by Hurricane Ian. This means that there is a postponement for required payments and an automatic extension given to file a return. The FTB automatically follows the Internal Revenue Service ( IRS ) lead when it comes to postponement periods for presidentially declared disasters.           This means that for those who have been affected by the hurricane, the October 17 tax filing deadline has been moved to February 15, 2023. Taxpayers can also deduct a loss related to a disaster. Instructions must be closely followed in this process.

The Threats Continue

             Taxpayers and Tax Professionals alike must continue to be vigilant against security threats. This is a year-round concern. Criminals involved in identity theft will always be one step ahead and willing to try new tactics, but they usually involve similar methods. Being familiar with these methods goes a long way to keep you and your information safe.           They will attempt to phish the information they want through emails or text messages. The goal is to get you to give up passwords, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, and Social Security numbers. This is accomplished in two ways. The first is making you feel that the message is coming from someone or some entity that you trust. The second is that a false sense of urgency is created to make a person open a link or attachment, or in some other way give up their sensitive information.           New schemes continue to emerge, but we can protect ourselves. If we stop and think, often we can reason on and fig