When Happily Ever After Isn’t: Innocent Spouse Relief

The union of two people in life generally comes with optimism for the future; a hope for the life that will be “happily ever after”. Reality however, can sometimes have a different agenda. There are situations where one spouse or ex-spouse finds themselves on the wrong side of the IRS for a jointly filed tax …

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UPDATE: 2015 Change to Exemption for Arizona Retail Sales to Out-of-State Buyers

The Arizona Department of Revenue has released additional information on the effective 1/1/2015 change to the retail sales tax exemption for sales to out of state buyers after the amendment of Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 42-5061.A.14. Under prior law, the exemption for sales to out of state buyers included language that made tangible personal …

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Going to School? Get a Break with the American Opportunity Tax Credit

Sending a child to school is expensive. Really expensive. I have 2 sons in college and the costs of tuition, books, and extracurricular activities add up quickly. Fortunately, there are tax credits you can take advantage of to help offset the rising cost of education. If you, your spouse, or dependents are currently attending or …

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Establishing that Debt is Bona Fide Debt

Recently, there have been a number of cases disallowing bad debt deductions, particularly for loans to shareholders and related parties. If a related party loan becomes worthless, it is treated no differently from a debt to an unrelated party. Of course, this assumes the related party loan meets the bona fide debt standard. In order …

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Going to the Chapel… Wedding Tax Tips

Planning that big wedding this summer? While taxes may not be high on your list of things to do before you walk down the aisle, be aware of the tax issues that come along with your marriage. Name change: The name and Social Security number on your tax return must match your Social Security Administration …

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Tax-Free Student Aid vs. Education Credit

The American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning tax credits were created to subsidize the cost of college education. Generally, the credits are based on qualified costs of education, namely, college tuition and fees, books, supplies and equipment. Those qualified costs must be reduced, however, by the amount of any tax-free student aid received, such as scholarships …

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Mid-Year Tax Planning Tips

Summer is the perfect time to begin your year-end tax planning so that you have time to identify the strategy (or strategies) that work for you and implement them well before year end. Try to avoid the new 3.8% net investment income tax (NIIT). It only affects higher-income individuals, but that can include anyone who …

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Proposed Simplification of Education Tax Breaks: The Good and the Bad

With the cost of education climbing and more students graduating with record student loan debt, many college students and families unintentionally miss out on education tax breaks because of the complexity of tax-based student aid. In 2013, families with college students could benefit from the American Opportunity Credit (AOTC), the Lifetime Learning Credit, or the …

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How Can a Change in Income Have Unexpected Consequences?

Do you feel like you are unique? Don’t follow the crowd? Go your own way? Well, if you went against your norm and followed the pack and were one of the 7.1 million people who signed up for health insurance by the March 31, 2014 deadline, then keep reading. If you receive advance payment of …

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Key Dates & Milestones: Social Security, Pensions, IRAs, Medicare

There are many age-related financial and planning milestones that you need to be aware of in your sixties. Keep this list in mind. 59 ½ – Penalty Goes Away This is the age at which one can withdraw money from traditional IRAs, 401(k)s or similar retirement plans without restrictions and without an added 10% tax …

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