Who’s Calling? Not the IRS.

scam-alert_290922791As we get deeper into tax filing season and more taxpayers gather their receipts and forms to begin the filing process, it bears repeating that tax returns have become a leading target for cyber criminals. We can’t emphasize enough the necessity to be as secure as possible in protecting your personal data and financial information, creating challenging passwords, and paying close attention to anything that seems amiss. Continue reading

Mileage Deduction Rates Set for 2017

gas-pumpThe Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has set the 2017 standard mileage rates for tax deduction purposes.

  • 53.5 cents per mile for business-related miles
  • 17 cents per mile for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile for miles driven for charitable purposes

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Don’t Get Caught by a “Phishing” Scam

phishing-scam-2016“Phishing” is one of the most insidious and dangerous identify theft scams, because it is one in which victims willingly participate.

The Oxford Dictionary defines phishing as, “the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.” Continue reading

The “Myth” of Tax Free Shopping

shopping“The first thing to know about shopping in New Hampshire is that it is tax free!”

This is information pulled directly from the DiscoverNewEngland.org website. Indeed, the State of New Hampshire is eager to promote itself as a tax-free shopping haven. You may take this into consideration if you plan to cross the state line to “save” on taxes for your holiday shopping.

But is the claim true? Unlike the vast majority of states, including all other New England states, New Hampshire does not have a sales tax on goods or services. That means that if an item, such as furniture, a television or an iPad, is purchased in New Hampshire the vendor will not charge any sales tax, regardless of the residence of the buyer. Even if the purchaser is from a state that has a sales tax the New Hampshire seller is not required to charge the tax and remit it to the buyer’s home state. Continue reading

Wedding Bells? Many Happy Returns!

Wedding Bells? Many Happy Returns!Summer is traditionally wedding season, and our congratulations go out to all of the newly married couples starting out their lives together. But we also want to remind you of your obligation to report your new marital status to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other government agencies. Before you sit down to write out all those “thank you” cards, be sure to take care of the following: Continue reading

Owe Federal Taxes? You Could Lose Your Passport.

Passport -shutterstock_258682454A new law enacted in January 2016, the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act” (FAST), would seem to be a very helpful and positive step toward repairing the nation’s crumbling transportation infrastructure. Indeed, the U.S. Department of Transportation calls FAST “a down-payment for building a 21st century transportation system.”

But, as with a number of laws that have worked their way through the halls of Congress, FAST has been used as a vehicle to pass many provisions and amendments that have no direct connection with building roads and bridges. One of the lesser publicized provisions in the FAST Act authorizes the denial of a U.S. passport application or the revocation of a current passport for individuals who have more than $50,000 in unpaid federal taxes. Continue reading

IRS Busy with Rulings and Regulations During Tax Season

Rules and RegulationsThe IRS was busy processing tax returns in the first half of 2016, but that does not mean they were sleeping when it comes to new regulations or tax court rulings. Here is just a sample of what the IRS and tax court have been up to so far this year.

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Tax Breaks for the Military

Military - shutterstock_158900600As we celebrate National Military Appreciation Month, we thank the uniformed members of our armed services and their families for their selfless dedication to defending our freedom. The IRS shows its appreciation as well, with a number of helpful tax breaks for serving members of the military.

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Tips on Hiring Your Child for the Summer

children working-shutterstocksmall_165341906With the end of the school year just a few weeks away, it may be time to consider hiring your son or daughter for the summer. There are several advantages to hiring your children (or grandchildren), if you structure their employment properly. It is unlikely they will earn enough during the summer months to pay significant income taxes (if any), but your business will still earn a deduction for the payroll.

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Avoiding Going Over Budget under New Overtime Regulations

By Michael D. Koppel, CPA, PFS, CITP, MBA
Retired Partner at Gray, Gray & Gray, LLP

Overtime-shutterstock_312512738The Department of Labor’s proposed changes to “white collar” overtime exemptions are expected to be finalized and put into effect in late 2016 or early 2017. So it is important for business owners and managers to get ahead of the process by understanding the proposed rules and how they could affect payroll budgets. Continue reading