Zinner & Co. Blog and Newsroom

Do You Have an HSA? What you need to know about the 2018 limits

Posted by Zinner & Co. on Jun 21, 2017 6:03:00 PM

The 2018 health savings account (HSA) guidelines were recently released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These guidelines outline the inflation-adjusted contribution, deductible, and out-of-pocket spending limits for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) for calendar year 2018. 

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Topics: HSA, Taxes - Planning, Rules and Returns, Taxes - Individual

IRS Warns of New Phone Scam Involving Bogus Certified Letters; Reminds People to Remain Vigilant Against Scams, Schemes this Summer

Posted by Howard J. Kass, CPA, AEP®, CGMA, Partner on Jun 21, 2017 2:31:10 PM
WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service again warned people to beware of a new scam linked to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), where fraudsters call to demand an immediate tax payment through a prepaid debit card. This scam is being reported across the country, so taxpayers should be alert to the details. 
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Topics: fraud, Howard Kass, income tax, IRS

Partner Howard Kass to lead Society of Finance Service Professionals

Posted by Zinner & Co. on Jun 16, 2017 7:56:10 AM

Partner Howard J. Kass, CPA, CGMA, AEP®, was recently installed as president of the Cleveland-Akron Chapter of the Society of Finance Service Professionals.  

"It is an honor and privilege to serve the Society and continue its longstanding mission of setting and promoting standards of excellence for professionals in financial services.  

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Topics: Howard Kass

Employers: $1 billion Headed Your Way in July

Posted by Zinner & Co. on Jun 15, 2017 3:35:35 PM

From the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation news desk
June 15, 2017

Ohio’s economy will get a big boost in July. That’s when the BWC will send $1 billion in rebates to eligible Ohio employers, the first part of The Third Billion Back plan that was announced in March.

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Topics: Bureau of Worker's Compensation, Taxes - Corporate & Business, Business - Management, Issues & Concerns

IRS Alerts Taxpayers with Limited English Proficiency of Ongoing Phone Scams; Urges Caution Before Paying Unexpected Tax Bills

Posted by Brett W. Neate, CPA, MTax on Jun 8, 2017 1:17:56 PM
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service continues to warn taxpayers with limited English proficiency of phone scams and email phishing schemes that continue to occur across the country. 

Con artists often approach victims in their native language, threaten them with deportation, police arrest and license revocation, among other things.

“These scammers continue to adapt and evolve, and the IRS continues to receive reports of these schemes using multiple languages trying to find victims across the country,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said.

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Topics: Brett W. Neate, Credit card fraud, IRS

Help! I Can't Remember All My %&*!# Passwords

Posted by Mike Jaworske on Jun 2, 2017 10:45:53 AM

Q: I am fed up and frustrated trying to keep—and remember passwords that are both complex and creative. This is frustrating and I am at my wit's end. What can I do to make it easier for me to remember but more secure against attacks? -Mary Kay C, Business Executive, Brookpark, Ohio


A: Thanks for your question, Mary Kay. Yours is one that almost everyone can relate and you are not alone in your frustration. Fortunately, I may be able to provide some insight and an alternative for you. 
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Topics: fraud, cybersecurity, Mike Jaworske

Common Cents: Can you deduct summer travel with business expenses? 

Posted by Gary Sigman, CPA, M.Tax, PFS, AEP on Jun 1, 2017 1:53:00 PM
If you take a business trip during which you also vacation, you can take allowable deductions for travel expenses (i.e., airfare, hotel, cab fare, meals - subject to limitation, etc.) as long as the main purpose of the trip is for business.

Deductibility of local travel  If you are self-employed and your residence is your principal place of business, you can deduct expenses you incur in traveling from your residence to any other work location.
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Topics: business travel expense, Gary Sigman

Why Your 401(K) Plan May Not Be the “End-All Be-All” For Your Retirement

Posted by ZInner & Co. Tax Team on May 30, 2017 3:46:00 PM

Since their inception via the Revenue Act of 1978, 401(k) plans have been great tools to help workers save for retirement. While a 401(k) plan has many advantages, there are also some drawbacks to them that one should consider when creating a comprehensive retirement-strategy.

The advantages of a 401(k)

The basic concept of a 401(k) plan is to allow workers to make pre-tax contributions to the plan from their paychecks. As a result, money contributed is not included in their taxable income for that year.

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Topics: Brett W. Neate, Taxes - Planning, Rules and Returns, Retirement Planning & IRAs

Show Me the Money - How InvestOhio may reduce your taxes

Posted by Brett W. Neate, CPA, MTax on May 28, 2017 8:39:00 AM

While there are a myriad of ways to reduce Ohio income taxes that are well known and widely leveraged, some methods seem to go largely unnoticed.  One of those lesser-known and underutilized methods that every small business owner, or those interested in owning a small business, should be aware of is the InvestOhio program.

InvestOhio, launched by the State of Ohio several years ago, was created to encourage investment in Ohio-based eligible small businesses.  Qualifying applicants to this program will receive non-refundable Ohio personal income tax credits equal to 10% of their investment in an eligible small business.  Any unused credits can be carried forward up to seven years.

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Topics: Ohio business owners, Brett W. Neate, Taxes - Corporate & Business

When Sallie Mae is on Your Personal Payroll

Posted by DeAnna Alger, CPA on May 25, 2017 4:34:26 PM

Now that income tax filing season is behind us, it is not too early to plan and prepare for 2018. For many taxpayers, the idea of an income tax refund of any amount is welcome, anticipated, and often needed.

Few people think that they have “too much” money, and as taxpayers continue to receive their IRS income tax refund, folks begin to consider paying off credit cards or making a large purchase. Sadly, however, when Sallie Mae is on one’s personal payroll, that shopping spree or big screen TV may be just a virtual reality.  Sallie Mae is the nation's saving, planning, and paying for college company. Their mission is to help American students and families make the dream of higher education a reality through borrowing.

According to a recent article in Time Magazine, about 8 million (education loan) borrowers have given up paying on more than $137 billion in education debts. 

What does this mean? If a taxpayer has defaulted on their federal student loans, their refund may not be issued and instead, applied to what is called a tax refund offset.

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Topics: deanna alger, Financial Planning - College

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