We’re from the Government and We’re Here to Help Finance Your Education

President Obama’s recent proposal to offer two free years of community college tuition has garnered a lot of attention. But like my favorite finance guru Dave Ramsey likes to say, “When the government says ‘free’, pull out your wallet.” Along with the idea of ‘free’ college tuition, the President’s proposal includes some tax hikes. One …

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Do You Know and Trust Your Accountant?

What do you look for in a CPA? Knowledge of tax codes? Professionalism? Business advice? Personality? Wait, what? Did that last one throw you for a loop? It may seem odd to include personality on the list, but it is actually important. Think about it. People like doing business with people they like. Do you …

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Identity theft: how to protect yourself

With tax season underway and scams running rampant, here are some tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of identity theft: The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or social media tools to request personal or financial information. If someone contacts you claiming to be from the IRS and threatens police …

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California’s New College Access Tax Credit

California recently passed a new personal and corporate California tax credit called the College Access Tax Credit (CATC). If you donate to the College Access Tax Credit Fund, you can offset your California taxes by 60% (for 2014) of the amount of the donation. In addition, the donation qualifies as a charitable deduction on your …

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Business Use of a Vacation Home

Recently, a client came to me with a question. My clients’ primary residence is in Arizona, but they also own a beach house in California. The office of an important business connection is just blocks away from the beach house. The clients and their family visit the beach house often. While there, they meet with …

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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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