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The Insight Accounting Blog

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KNOW THE TAX RULES FOR SUMMER TRAVEL

Are you traveling for business this summer? If you’re planning to take a tax deduction for your expenses, the rules may be more complicated than you think. Here’s a refresher. The general rule. “Travel” expenses are ordinary and necessary costs incurred while away from your normal working area. “Away” means you’re away from your tax…

Art teacher and children painting in school

GET A TAX CREDIT FOR DEPENDENT CARE EXPENSES

Did you know that federal tax law allows you to claim a credit when you pay someone to care for your kids while you’re at work? The child and dependent care credit is valuable because it reduces the amount of tax you owe dollar for dollar. Here’s an overview of the rules. The child care…

Hacker stealing credit card numbers

IDENTITY THEFT: WHAT TO DO IF IT HAPPENS TO YOU

Tax identity theft once again topped the IRS list of tax scams for 2015. Here’s what you need to know if it happens to you. The warning signs. Have you gotten a tax bill you weren’t expecting based on income you never received? Has your return been rejected or your refund delayed? These unanticipated incidents…

summertime-planning-save-taxes

SAVE TAXES WITH SUMMERTIME PLANNING

Looking to reduce your 2015 income taxes? Consider these summertime strategies. Take a credit for summer day care. If you have one or more children under age 13, your costs of in-home childcare, a day care facility, or sending the kids to day camp may qualify for the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. The…

self-employed-save-for-retirement

SELF-EMPLOYED? START SAVING FOR RETIREMENT

If you’re self-employed, retirement may be the last thing on your mind. When financial gurus recommend setting aside 15-20% of your income toward retirement, your eyes may glaze over. After all, as an independent contractor or small business owner, you know income is often sporadic. Clients don’t always pay on time. Markets tend to move…

standard-or-itemized-deductions

STANDARD OR ITEMIZED: WHICH SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?

Each year when you file your federal income tax return, you have a choice to make: claiming the standard deduction or using an itemized list of qualified deductions to calculate your taxable income. Sometimes the decision is easy. For instance, if you have a large mortgage or make substantial charitable donations, you’ll generally come out…

marriage-financial-benefits

FINANCIAL TIPS FOR SECOND MARRIAGES

Disagreements about spending and debt can disrupt any marriage, but they can be particularly divisive when one or both partners have been married before. People entering second marriages often come with additional financial baggage, like child support, alimony, and carryover debts. Nobody wants to be stuck with obligations from their partner’s former relationship, but such…

non-profit-tax-benefits

IMPORTANT MAY 15 DEADLINE FOR NONPROFITS

The much-publicized April 15 tax deadline has come and gone. But for many charities, May 15 is just as important. That’s the deadline for calendar-year nonprofit annual returns, and missing it could be a serious problem for your charity. Why? Failure to file required returns for three years in a row can lead to automatic…

foreign-investments

FOREIGN INVESTMENTS REQUIRE EXTRA REPORTING

If you’re a U.S. citizen with substantial foreign investments or you live abroad, you may have to file extra forms to report foreign income and holdings. Here are two. Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). You must file an FBAR if you’re a U.S. citizen and own foreign bank and financial accounts exceeding…

tax-advice

ARE YOU MISSING DEDUCTIONS?

If you choose to itemize on your federal income tax return instead of using the standard deduction, every eligible expense you find can save money. Here’s a list of easily overlooked deductions. Points paid by you on a new home loan. Points paid by a seller on your behalf. Points paid when you refinance your…

tax-extensions

CAN’T FILE BY APRIL 15? GET AN EXTENSION

April 15, the tax filing deadline for 2014 federal income tax returns, will be here before you know it. If you won’t be able to file your income tax return by then, be sure to file for an extension using Form 4868. The extension is automatically granted and gives you until October 15, 2015, to…

frustrated little girl

DO YOUR CHILDREN NEED TO FILE A 2014 TAX RETURN?

As a parent, you expect to file a federal income tax return every year. But do you check to see if your children need to file a return of their own? The filing requirements for children vary depending not only on the amount of income they have, but also on whether their income comes from…

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