Is a Tax Refund Really a Good Idea?

It’s hard not to like a tax refund. And many taxpayers receive them -- over 111 million federal income-tax refunds were issued to individual taxpayers in 2016, according to IRS data. If you expect to receive a refund this year, here is some food for...

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Take Control of Your Tip Income

In a recent Tax Court case,* the IRS challenged a bartender’s income-tax return, arguing that he had made substantially more in tip income than he had reported. The judge ruled in favor of the bartender, finding that the bartender’s daily tip diary was...

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Need to Set Up Users in QuickBooks Online?

Your employees probably don’t need access to every corner of QuickBooks Online. Here’s how to set limits. One of the best attributes of QuickBooks Online is that multiple users can access it without having software installed on their PCs. No more paying up front for a...

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How to Keep Your QuickBooks Data Safe

You work hard to make sure your QuickBooks data is accurate. Make sure it’s safe, too. Your QuickBooks company file contains some of the most sensitive information on your computer. You may have customers’ credit card numbers and employees’ Social Security numbers. An...

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Ten Things You May Not Know About an LLC

You probably know of several businesses whose formal names end with the acronym LLC. And you probably also know that LLC stands for limited liability company. Here are ten things you may not know. An LLC generally protects its owners from personal liability for...

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What You Need to Know about IRAs and Taxes

Tax deferral is a key benefit of investing in a traditional individual retirement account (IRA). But the tax law doesn’t allow indefinite tax deferral. Starting at age 70½, IRA owners must withdraw a minimum amount — called a required minimum distribution, or RMD —...

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Four Advantage of a Second Home

Whatever the location, size, or value of a second home, certain tax advantages are built in. However, your opportunity to benefit from them depends on how you use the property.   Personal Use Both property taxes and mortgage interest are as deductible for a...

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Four Life Events that Affect Your Taxes

Even after you’ve filed your income-tax return, you’ll want to keep thinking about your tax situation. For example, if you experience any of the “life events” listed below in 2015, it may be a good time for some tax planning. A job change. If you are eligible for a...

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Tax Rules for Selling Inherited Property

Sooner or later, you may decide to sell property you inherited from a parent or other loved one. Whether the property is an investment, an antique, land, or something else, the sale may result in a taxable gain or loss. But how that gain or loss is calculated may...

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Four Ways to Control Business Costs

Increasing your profits requires selling more and/or spending less. While building up your sales may require an extended effort, business costs are often very ripe for a quick trimming. Here are some possibilities. Supplies and Other Purchases Usually in any business,...

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How to Put a Value on Donated Property

Donating noncash property valued at more than $5,000 to a charitable organization generally requires a qualified appraisal that meets IRS guidelines.* Fair market value is the price that property would sell for on the open market. Its principles — willing buyer and...

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Not all Home Renovations are Created Equally

Some improvements are likely to increase your home’s value. However, others may actually decreasepotential buyers’ interest in your home. So, put away your toolbox until you know more about projects that typically don’t pay. Too Much Improvement When you remodel your...

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