Christopher Boyer's Blog

Topics and tips on Bookkeeping, Income Taxes, Audits, Business to personal IRS Representation and more!

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Individual, Business , General

What documentation do I need to deduct cash and non-cash charitable donations to my charity?

Bookkeeping and charitable donations go together. You cannot have one without the other! Have you donated cash to a meaningful cause? Or, maybe you've gifted a real estate property? You'll want to review the following guidelines in order to properly classify your donations. Don't get caught up in confusion! Today's blog focuses specifically on Cash...
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How to check your refund status with the IRS

We are just under 3 weeks away from the April 15 th deadline! You might have started to grown impatient for your return and are wondering what the average refund looks like for the 2018 tax year. Tax refunds are down from last year, but the great news is that it is not by as much as you think. While the total number of refunds received has seen a s...
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Saving receipts and proper record keeping

We've all wondered whether or not we need to save all of our receipts. As a business owner, this might be something you are concerned about on a day-to-day basis. We've all at some during our career compiled receipts in a extra large Nike shoe box. The common question that we are asked on a daily basis is do you have to save your receipts...
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The government is open! (for now). How is the IRS doing?

President Trump came to an agreement to reopen the government for three weeks on Friday, January 25 th . Government workers, including those that work for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), will receive pay again as normal. But, Trump said that if Republicans and Democrats do not reach an agreement on the wall by February 15 th , he would close th...
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What you need to know about the IRS and the Government Shutdown

Tax filing season is almost in full swing and it is becoming even more important to stay proactive as the government shutdown continues. Today's post reviews two things to keep in mind as the end of January approaches. IRS WILL PROCESS RETURNS AS SCHEDULED DESPITE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN In our blog last week, we mentioned that the government shut...
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1760 Hits

Year-end bookkeeping "to do's"

T ime is flying and we all have that to-do list that we'd like to finish by the end of the year. You have to shop around for those last minute gifts and need to clean the house before the guests arrive, but what about your business? Have you put thought into what tasks should be completed at the end of the year. When it comes to your business, it's...
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Will I be audited by the IRS? What you need to know about IRS Audits.

Every client's fear is the risk of being audited. No one wants to go through an IRS or state examination. We are experienced in the audit process and can defend you if you are under examination. The IRS audited 0.5% of returns filed in the 2016 calendar year, according to the 2017 IRS Data Book. The odds are slim and definitely in your favor, but i...
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719 Hits

Bookkeeping Automation is the Future

Most of what we do in our day-to-day lives operates through some method of technology: banking on a mobile app, ordering products online, hailing a car service, etc. Bookkeeping services are also heading in the direction of automation as technology continues to advance quickly. With artificial intelligence at work, we see new apps and pro...
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622 Hits

Sales tax and bookkeeping tips for your photography and video business

Photographers & New York Sales Tax Years ago, the photography business was mainly based on prints for the customer. Now with the advancement of technology, photographers provide a number of services to their customers that go beyond that. From photo editing to digital downloads to photo shoots, it can be challenging for photographers to determi...
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Learn about the tax consequences on the "currency of the future"

Over the last several years, virtual currency has become increasingly popular. Bitcoin is the most widely recognized form of virtual currency, also commonly referred to as digital, electronic or cryptocurrency. In late 2017 Bitcoin reached a value as high as almost $20,000 per coin. Most recently a new study claimed that Bitcoin's price was artificially inflated last year. Over the past month, bitcoin has lost roughly 25% of its value. Many predict is to be the "currency of the future". But what are the tax consequences of these transactions?

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What the IRS examines when selecting tax returns for audit

IRS examiners use Audit Techniques Guides (ATGs) to prepare for audits — and so can small business owners. Many ATGs target specific industries, such as construction. Others address issues that frequently arise in audits, such as executive compensation and fringe benefits. These publications can provide valuable insights into issues that might surface if your business is audited.

 

 

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Businesses will see a valuable deduction under the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act

 Although the drop of the corporate tax rate from a top rate of 35% to a flat rate of 21% may be one of the most talked about provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), C corporations aren’t the only type of entity significantly benefiting from the new law. Owners of noncorporate “pass-through” entities may see some major — albeit temporary — relief in the form of a new deduction for a portion of qualified business income (QBI). 

 

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742 Hits

An unfavorable cost for businesses under the TCJA

Along with tax rate reductions and a new deduction for pass-through qualified business income, the new tax law brings the reduction or elimination of tax deductions for certain business expenses. Two expense areas where the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) changes the rules — and not to businesses’ benefit — are meals/entertainment and transportation. In effect, the reduced tax benefits will mean these expenses are more costly to a business’s bottom line. Meals and entertainment Prior to the TCJA, taxpayers generally could deduct 50% of expenses for business-related meals and entertainment. Meals provided to an employee for the convenience of the employer on the employer’s business premises were 100% deductible by the employer and tax-free to the recipient employee.  Under the new law, for amounts paid or incurred after December 31, 2017, deductions for business-related entertainment expenses are disallowed.  Meal expenses incurred while traveling on business are still 50% deductible, but the...
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Some tax credits you may not know about that will reduce your 2017 and 2018 tax bill

Tax credits reduce tax liability dollar-for-dollar, potentially making them more valuable than deductions, which reduce only the amount of income subject to tax. Maximizing available credits is especially important now that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has reduced or eliminated some tax breaks for businesses. Two still-available tax credits are especially for small businesses that provide certain employee benefits.  1. Credit for paying health care coverage premiums  The Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers a credit to certain small employers that provide employees with health coverage. Despite various congressional attempts to repeal the ACA in 2017, nearly all of its provisions remain intact, including this potentially valuable tax credit. The maximum credit is 50% of group health coverage premiums paid by the employer, if it contributes at least 50% of the total premium or of a benchmark premium. For 2017, the full credit is available for employers with 10 or fewer...
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Getting around the $25 deduction limit for business gifts



At this time of year, it’s common for businesses to make thank-you gifts to customers, clients, employees and other business entities and associates. Unfortunately, the tax rules limit the deduction for business gifts to $25 per person per year, a limitation that has remained the same since it was added into law back in 1962. Fifty-five years later, the $25 limit is unrealistically small in many business gift-giving situations. Fortunately, there are a few exceptions.

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The ins and out of tax on income investments

 

Many investors, especially more risk-averse ones, hold much of their portfolios in “income investments” — those that pay interest or dividends, with less emphasis on growth in value. But all income investments aren’t alike when it comes to taxes. So it’s important to be aware of the different tax treatments when managing your income investments.

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Timing strategies could become more powerful in 2017




Projecting your business income and expenses for this year and next can allow you to time when you recognize income and incur deductible expenses to your tax advantage. Typically, it’s better to defer tax. This might end up being especially true this year, if tax reform legislation is signed into law. 

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1081 Hits

Save more for college through the tax advantages of a 529 Plan

 



With kids back in school, it’s a good time for parents (and grandparents) to think about college funding. One option, which can be especially beneficial if the children in question still have many years until they’ll be starting their higher education, is a Section 529 plan. 

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928 Hits

Larger deduction might be available to businesses providing meals to their employees



When businesses provide meals to their employees, generally their deduction is limited to 50%. But there are exceptions. One is if the meal qualifies as a de minimis fringe benefit under the Internal Revenue Code.

A recent U.S. Tax Court ruling could ultimately mean that more employer-provided meals will be 100% deductible under this exception. The court found that the Boston Bruins hockey team’s pregame meals to players and personnel at out-of-town hotels qualified as a de minimis fringe benefit. 

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1055 Hits

Are you a teacher? The ABC's of the Tax Deduction for Educator Expenses




At back-to-school time, much of the focus is on the students returning to the classroom — and on their parents buying them school supplies, backpacks, clothes, etc., for the new school year. But let’s not forget about the teachers. It’s common for teachers to pay for some classroom supplies out of pocket, and the tax code provides a special break that makes it a little easier for these educators to deduct some of their expenses. 

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