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Tag Archive for Advice

Choosing The Right Tax Preparer

Harold Blotcher, Tax Connections

As we approach the new year, we will start seeing a plethora of television ads from competing tax preparation companies. They will make claims like promising “instant tax refunds” or they will tell you that you don’t need your W-2 forms to come in and prepare your taxes. Well, the IRS does not process tax refunds any faster for these companies than for anyone else. What they are offering, if you qualify, is a short term generally high interest loan to be paid back by having your refund sent to them or the financial institution providing the loan. They will also usually be charging an extra fee for this service. The interest and fees will be deducted from the total amount of the refund as well as the tax preparation fee. As for not needing a W-2, except in certain situations where a substitute W-2 may be used, if you are employed for salary or wages you will need a W-2 to file your tax return. The ploy is to get you in the office to “start” your return so that you fell you have to come back to finish once the actual W-2 arrives. Read more

Avoid Holiday Shopping Ho-Ho-Hoaxes

Barry Fowler, Tax Connections

Package Theft

You may find it hard to believe, but according to delivery services like the USPS and UPS, some 23 million recipients each year don’t get their holiday goodies because thieves steal them right off the doorsteps. There is an easy way to prevent this. Simply arrange for a delivery that requires a signature upon receipt. Other options include sending gifts to the recipient’s workplace or have them delivered to a pickup location operated by the carrier. For example purchases made through Amazon can be delivered to an Amazon Locker location and retrieved by using a pickup code. There’s no extra fee to use the service, which can be selected during checkout. Amazon has about 2000 secure locations in more than 50 cities. Read more

An Interview With Tax Expert Lisa Nason Who Advises Athletes, Entertainers, Expatriates And Businesses

Kat Jennings: Can you tell us about your area of tax specialization and why you are so passionate about it? 

Lisa Nason: Our firm focuses on small and medium sized businesses as well as individuals. My particular focus leans towards professional athletes and entertainers, estates and trusts, and international issues. I love working with athletes, showing them how to save on their taxes and the different things we can do to mitigate them. Sometimes they are still young and have never filed a tax return at all. Working with them to help them manage some of that and consulting with them on being a business in general (as some of them are) is just so rewarding. Read more

Don’t Make Yourself A Target

Almost everyone knows the story of William Tell. Back in the days when the Austrian Hapsburgs were the bully of the block, one of the family’s lackeys ran an arrow through a hat and stuck it to a tree with the strict edict that all good Swiss in Uri should remove their hats in the presence of their overlords. William Tell, either because he was a nationalist or because he had a receding hairline, refused to doff his capuchin.

The enraged Duke of Someplace – whose name no one seems to remember – stood Billy’s son against a tree and placed an apple on his head. The pressure was on. If William could not shoot the apple off the boy’s head with a single arrow at 120 paces, it would not be a pleasant ending for either of them. But the task was mere child’s play for our intrepid hero. “Your life is now safe,” the Duke admitted. Yet, he was curious. “Kindly Read more