Category Archives: Tax Related

Tax Findings and thoughts from the 2018 Tax Season as we cross the finish line, finally!

Frequently our posts here act as a diary, for clarification, look back, and for possible reference in the future.

With tax season officially ending today – thank goodness – we felt like no better time than the present to pin our thoughts on what we saw this tax season.

So here we go…

2018 New Tax Law Review and thoughtsUncle Sam

Initially as we entered the tax year, we heard rumors and complaints of higher taxes – which on our first few returns, we found inaccurate.

As we carried through tax season we found that there were winners and losers and we will try to explain in greater detail for future reference for this time next year and for possible planning… for the record it way generally very hard to anticipate the winners from losers in advance as each situation seemed to have it’s own twist.

This is in general and very broad terms – as there are always exceptions, especially when dealing with taxes..

First the losers:

Single Taxpayers – With many deductions no longer allowed, simple standard deduction caused lower write offs in many cases.

Folks with heavy real estate right offs – SALT -State and Local Tax – deduction limited many – For the record clumping did not work as well as we had hoped.

Folks and heavy tax state residences – Again due to SALT deduction, we saw limits being reached frequently.

Folks that just fell under the itemized deductions due to limitations from the new tax laws – Limited deductions held many under the standard deduction.

Charitable donors – but not heavily charitable donors – standard deduction comes in play.

And the winners:

Large Families – Child credit in play here – $2k credit per child helped.

Married couples – especially those that had been filing non-itemized returns in the past-higher deduction in play here – a net gain in the higher standard deduction.

Non Itemizers – Those filing regular standard tax returns, usually found meaningful benefit.

Business owners with qualified pass  through taxes – lower tax rate at work here.

Real estate holdings that were not high property tax but possibly had meaningful interest expense – Although SALT limited much, interest expense was not limited in many cases.

So what have we learned?

Given the lower marginal tax rates in certain situation it likely makes sense to accelerate IRA distributions if one is in the appropriate asset position.

Heavy property tax real estate holdings may have limits, the SALT limit will greatly affect the deductions of such holdings.

While salt clumping – The clumping the property taxes-may not work as well, charitable deduction clumping will work very effectively but needs planning. Clumping years of charity gifting to get over the standard deductions may provide greater benefit.

In closing, the thing we learned the most –

The new tax forms and all of their crazy schedules are horrible!

The effort to go to a simplified tax return was nice, however it over complicated the details of any non-simple tax return.

We hope that in the future many of the schedules are enlarged or pulled to the front as it is very difficult to reconcile and reconcile tax returns with the current forms.

Have a Great “Last Unofficial” Tax Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

 

Tax Update – Reminder busiest wire day of the year – Friday

With a full girth of tax returns under our belt now, the general gist is there are winners and losers – but it is very difficult to pin the success or the lack of success on any one reason.

Thanks for the Thanks – Happy to Do Our JobUncle Sam

A special shout out and thank you to all of those who have thanked us for getting their tax information to them or their tax professional in an expedited manner – Our theory on this is if someone’s working on your return we want it to stay at the top of the pile, hence we try and get the documents in lightning fast fashion!

Again you are all welcome but happy to do our job and hopefully cut down on the inevitable start and stop mistake!

Wire Reminder

Speaking of taxes – the busiest wire day of the year is tax day – Certainly understand the desire to wait to the last minute – weight that option with something going wrong on the busiest day of the year!

Spring Has Sprung

Today is a Friday and it’s finally getting warm at least here in the south.

Enjoy your weekend, we will stay alert for tax questions through our electronica tether.

Don’t forget to spend time with those special in your life!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

IRS Annual Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2019

Each year the IRS publishes their most common list of Tax Scams that they are seeing during tax filings.

Each year we like to review and publish here, just as one more extra reminder to help us all stay away from the bad guys.

So without further ado…..

IRS 2019 Dirty Dozen Tax Scamsburglar-308858__480

Phishing: Taxpayers should be alert to potential fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information. The IRS will never initiate contact with taxpayers via email about a bill or tax refund. Don’t click on one claiming to be from the IRS. Be wary of emails and websites that may be nothing more than scams to steal personal information. (IR-2019-26)

Phone Scams: Phone calls from criminals impersonating IRS agents remain an ongoing threat to taxpayers. The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams in recent years as con artists threaten taxpayers with police arrest, deportation and license revocation, among other things. (IR-2019-28)

Identity Theft: Taxpayers should be alert to tactics aimed at stealing their identities, not just during the tax filing season, but all year long. The IRS, working in conjunction with the Security Summit partnership of state tax agencies and the tax industry, has made major improvements in detecting tax return related identity theft during the last several years. But the agency reminds taxpayers that they can help in preventing this crime. The IRS continues to aggressively pursue criminals that file fraudulent tax returns using someone else’s Social Security number. (IR-2019-30)

Return Preparer Fraud: Be on the lookout for unscrupulous return preparers. The vast majority of tax professionals provide honest, high-quality service. There are some dishonest preparers who operate each filing season to scam clients, perpetuate refund fraud, identity theft and other scams that hurt taxpayers. (IR-2019-32)

Inflated Refund Claims: Taxpayers should take note of anyone promising inflated tax refunds. Those preparers who ask clients to sign a blank return, promise a big refund before looking at taxpayer records or charge fees based on a percentage of the refund are probably up to no good. To find victims, fraudsters may use flyers, phony storefronts or word of mouth via community groups where trust is high. (IR-2019-33)

Falsifying Income to Claim Credits: Con artists may convince unsuspecting taxpayers to invent income to erroneously qualify for tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. Taxpayers should file the most accurate tax return possible because they are legally responsible for what is on their return. This scam can lead to taxpayers facing large bills to pay back taxes, interest and penalties. (IR-2019-35)

Falsely Padding Deductions on Returns: Taxpayers should avoid the temptation to falsely inflate deductions or expenses on their tax returns to pay less than what they owe or potentially receive larger refunds. Think twice before overstating deductions, such as charitable contributions and business expenses, or improperly claiming credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit. (IR-2019-36)

Fake Charities: Groups masquerading as charitable organizations solicit donations from unsuspecting contributors. Be wary of charities with names similar to familiar or nationally-known organizations. Contributors should take a few extra minutes to ensure their hard-earned money goes to legitimate charities. IRS.gov has the tools taxpayers need to check out the status of charitable organizations. (IR-2019-39)

Excessive Claims for Business Credits: Avoid improperly claiming the fuel tax credit, a tax benefit generally not available to most taxpayers. The credit is usually limited to off-highway business use, including use in farming. Taxpayers should also avoid misuse of the research credit. Improper claims often involve failures to participate in or substantiate qualified research activities or satisfy the requirements related to qualified research expenses. (IR-2019-42)

Offshore Tax Avoidance: Successful enforcement actions against offshore cheating show it’s a bad bet to hide money and income offshore. People involved in offshore tax avoidance are best served by coming in voluntarily and getting caught up on their tax-filing responsibilities. (IR-2019-43)

Frivolous Tax Arguments: Frivolous tax arguments may be used to avoid paying tax. Promoters of frivolous schemes encourage taxpayers to make unreasonable and outlandish claims about the legality of paying taxes despite being repeatedly thrown out in court. The penalty for filing a frivolous tax return is $5,000. (IR-2019-45)

Abusive Tax Shelters: Abusive tax structures including trusts and syndicated conservation easements are sometimes used to avoid paying taxes. The IRS is committed to stopping complex tax avoidance schemes and the people who create and sell them. The vast majority of taxpayers pay their fair share, and everyone should be on the lookout for people peddling tax shelters that sound too good to be true. When in doubt, taxpayers should seek an independent opinion regarding complex products they are offered. (IR-2019-47)

Have a GREAT “No Dirty Dozen” Tax Scam Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

A Break (Spring Break – next week) on the way to the Tax Finish Line – Travels

Next week we will all be headed different ways as Spring Break for all occurs. Richard will be in the office as his little ones are out of the house and with my little ones getting closer to driving (less dependence more independence coming) we cherish the last few “Family” spring breaks as they will certainly be different soon…

We will be lightly electronically tethered as a tennis tournament starts our break, followed by a true break to a warmer climate.springbreak

Tax Update – SALT withdrawals

As we get closer to the Tax finish line, we get more views on the tax situation. Generally it is good news, however the SALT or State and Local Tax deduction may cause grief for those in an income tax burdened state or those used to writing off heavy property taxes – be prepared if either or both of those are applicable.

Today is a Friday, heading into a Tennis Weekend, followed by a much desired family spring break ….. Talk to you week after next as we will TRY to stay off the airwaves for a family week – no promises!

Have a Great “FRIIIIDAAAAY” !

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

 

Tax Form Updates – Tax Return Update … So far so good … Rainy Friday

Today a round of Corrected 1099’s are due to show up electronically (not out as of this writing yet) and will automatically be mailed to those of us lucky ones…. Again, you have been notified last week if you were on the corrected list…

Any totally new folks receiving a corrected that were not notified last week?  We will reach out to you … we do not expect any more TOTALLY  new corrected folks ….

Initial Tax Return ThoughtsUncle Sam

We are very happy to announce that the first few tax returns (1040’s) have come through, and they look good (refunds or not paying as much as in years past!)

We hope we are not jinxing ourselves by announcing this so early but wanted to share in the excitement!

There will be some disappointments we are certain, but so far so good!

Friday….

Send the Sun if you can …. Rainy here!

Have a Great “Good Tax News” Friday!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

 

1099 Update – Corrected Update – Reminder, a Paper Copy is being mailed UNLESS you specifically turned it off – Holiday Weekend !

Those that follow us know we had a fun conference last week and pretty much burned the candle at both ends… We look forward to bringing you more soon!

Being the last of the four in my gang to NOT get the winter sore throat or flu… and after bragging about not getting sick AT ALL the last four years, those three fingers pointing back at myself came home to roost… GIANT head ache Saturday followed by sandpaper in my throat Monday morning… on the down hill side now….

Corrected 1099 Update1099 sho

Yesterday we sent a blast email out to all of the lucky ones who will be receiving a corrected 1099 printed and mailed one week from today …

If you did not receive the email, so far you are in the clear….

EVERYONE will receive a paper copy of their 1099 – even if you receive electronic copies of everything else – unless you specifically turned your tax copies off – no one we know of has done this and this is the one item we do not recommend you turn off unless you REALLY want to!

Holiday Weekend

Today is Friday, heading into a Presidents Day Weekend – you know the drill … banks, capital markets and those buildings holding our little ones hostage during the day will be closed on Monday – mandating our offices are closed as well… all good, again!

Have a Great “Presidents Day Weekend” Friday!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

Job Change or Retirement? Here is a great reminder checklist – Updated

Books get updated and reprinted on a regular basis. This post is originally from several years back, but worthy of a re-post/update regularly!

So Important

Maybe you are about to Retire… CONGRATULATIONS ! ……Or maybe you are about to change jobs… exciting new times, just around the corner…

Here are a few handy reminders before/as you leave!

Job/Retirement Change ChecklistFinanicial Planning Doc

Grab that Last paycheck– Once you are gone, the internal system may be harder to access, be sure to get your last paycheck downloaded for your tax and personal recordkeeping.

RSU -Options- Grants -Make sure you are not leaving anything on the table via a vesting sunset or time line that can be associated with your departure.

Employee Stock Purchase Plan-Confirm you have control of your stock and transfer it to an easily controlled account-most ESPP plans are only holding tanks and cumbersome to make transactions.

Deferred Comp– Check on when your plan will be paying you your funds- i.e. tax year, time frame, and if all at once or over several series of payments- confirm the payments method and where they will be sent if mailed.

Pension – Get a copy of your latest balance or estimated amount, time frame of payment, if the projection is inclusive of your departure, if your spouse is included as beneficiary and his/her date of birth is correct and MOST IMPORTANTLY your correct address.

Health Coverage– You do not want to go a day without coverage, make sure you have some type of overlap such as Cobra, New company coverage, Medicare or outside personal coverage.

UPDATED NEW REMINDER – Long Term Health Coverage– If you have been at your employer some time (10+ Years usually), check to see if some type of retirement health coverage options are available. Frequently these have a one time option of opting in and if you leave, you will NEVER get another chance. We have found these to be very good options in certain cases.

401k– In most instances you want to take control of your old 401k by rolling into a self directed IRA. Make sure your final paycheck withholding has hit your 401k before you roll it over or there will be residual amount later.

New 401k– In most cases you want to allocate your new 401k aggressively- be careful NOT to overfund your old and new plan in the same year- most maximums are $18k (+$6k catch up) – If your two employers do not know about each other they may accidentally allow you to overfund the total afore mentioned amount

Severance– Be sure to get your arms around the type, amount, timing and pay and benefits.

Social Security Withholding – Withholdings may likely be over withheld since your two employers did not know about each other – keep good tax records- if they did, you get a refund.

While mentioned several times, once more due to just how important, be sure to keep your address up to date with your former employer !

Have a great ‘More Organized” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com