Zinner & Co. Blog and Newsroom

Ask the Expert: Should I Take the Educational Tax Breaks or My Child?

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Team on Mar 13, 2019 7:52:02 AM

Who should take the educational tax breaks, me or my child?

That’s a great question! The answer is: It depends.

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Topics: education, deductions, income tax

6 Common Tax Mistakes You Should Avoid

Posted by Matt Szydlowski, CPA on Jan 29, 2019 7:02:00 AM

Tax season is here, once again! I anticipate that this season will be different than tax years of the recent past due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”). While a lot has changed, there are a few things about tax season that never change – mistakes.

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Topics: Taxes - Individual, deductions

IRS Increases Mileage Rates for 2019

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Team on Dec 20, 2018 12:17:57 PM

The IRS has announced the 2019 standard mileage rates used for calculating deductible costs for operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. 

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Topics: business travel expense, deductions, IRS, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

ALERT: Be Wary of States Circumventing the $10,000 SALT deduction limitation

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Team on Sep 20, 2018 10:19:00 AM

Current Law:

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 limits individual taxpayer's state and local tax (SALT), itemized deduction to $10,000 (including real estate taxes). The previous law allowed an unlimited deduction. This change may be detrimental to many individual taxpayers who relied heavily on these deductions in the past.

State Work-Arounds:

Some states have considered "work-arounds" to combat this limitation. Select states (California, Connecticut, Illinois, New York and New Jersey, thus far) have created state

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Topics: Taxes - Planning, Rules and Returns, Taxes - Individual, deductions, taxes, IRS, tax avoidance, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

Tax planning – Why is this year any different?

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Team on Sep 17, 2018 9:26:00 AM

Every year at this time, you start to hear more about the importance of year-end income tax planning in radio and television commentary. For many people with more complex businesses or investments, the beginning of the 4th quarter of the year signals the time to start to organize their tax documents and to set-up an appointment with their advisors to review results.

This year is different! This year, tax planning should be important to everyone, not just for those that have complex tax situations. The implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has impacted every taxpayer. While we have all heard about it, not everyone has an applied working knowledge of what the impact will be in the first annual income tax filing season, which begins in about three months.

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Topics: payroll, Taxes - Corporate & Business, Taxes - Individual, deductions, income tax, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, health care

The Rules Have Changed for Attending the Game (and Other Entertainment Events)

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Department on Jan 27, 2018 8:43:00 AM

The recent enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) brought many changes to how individuals and businesses are affected by our tax system.  

Among the deductions affected was the deduction for meals and entertainment incurred in the course of operating a business.  Prior to the enactment of the TCJA, which took effect for many provisions on January 1, the allowable deduction for meals and entertainment expenses was capped at 50% of the allowable amount of such costs that were incurred.  Under the old law, no deduction was allowable unless the cost was either directly related to or associated with the conduct of business.

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Topics: Taxes - Corporate & Business, deductions

5 Things Every Small Business Owner Should Do Before Dec. 31.

Posted by Richard Huszai, CPA on Dec 13, 2016 10:11:45 AM

For many small business owners, the fourth quarter signifies a final flurry of activity. Whether that is projecting inventory against sales or contemplating major purchases against anticipated revenue, for those who use QuickBooks software, it may seem as if the program takes care of the business loose ends on their behalf.  As a result, business owners view the end-of-year task list as one less thing  to think about in the middle of the night.

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Topics: Taxes - Corporate & Business, Business - Management, Issues & Concerns, Richard Huszai, CPA, deductions

If Your Kids Attended Summer Camp, You Could Save on Your Taxes

Posted by Laura Haines, CPA and Andres Rios on Aug 11, 2016 5:30:00 PM

As summer winds down, many parents are now facing the reality of what their summer child care costs actually totaled. Surprisingly, it is quite significant. When registering little Timmy for day camp back in the spring, the $250 early-bird fee seemed so insignificant. In addition to the weekly cost of camp, there were a variety of incidental costs, such as concession stand monies, field trip fees, souvenir dollars and three replacement swim goggles that contributed to a very shocking bottom line. 

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Topics: Taxes - Individual, deductions, laura haines

Can You Deduct Your PJs and Coffee? Getting Creative with Home Office Deductions

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Department on Jun 24, 2016 8:30:00 AM
If you regularly work from home, you may be able to take advantage of a deduction for the business use of your personal residence. The home office deduction, however, has some specific requirements you should be aware of before claiming it on your tax return.
Do I Qualify?
To qualify, there are some basic requirements must be met.
1. The part of your home used to calculate the home office deduction must be used regularly and exclusively for business. In other words, the space must be used exclusively as your office, and not a kitchen table that you work at from time to time.
However, there are two exceptions. If you run a daycare facility from your home or store inventory or product samples there, you don’t have to meet the exclusive use test.
2. The office must either be your principal place of business or a space where you meet clients or customers. Part of your home may qualify as your principal place of business if you conduct administrative or management activities there, as opposed to running your c
ompany entirely from another location. The office doesn’t even have to be the only one, as long as you don’t conduct substantial administrative or management activities somewhere else.  Your principal residence does not have to be a home that you own.  As long as you meet the other requirements for a home office deduction, you can still utilize the home office deduction for a rented home or apartment.
How is the Deduction Calculated?
There are two ways to calculate the home office deduction, using either the simplified or traditional methods.
1. Under the simplified method, the deduction is based on the square footage ofthe home office at a standard rate prescribed by the IRS. For 2016, the rate is $5 per square foot, up to a maximum office size of 300 square feet, resulting in a maximum possible deduction of $1,500.
2. The traditional method of calculating the home office deduction begins with adding up the actual expenses you incurred throughout the year. This includes any money you spent
maintaining the office itself, as well as a proportional share of the entire home's expenses,
including but not limited to:
          -  Mortgage interest
          -  Rent
          -  Homeowners' insurance
          -  Property taxes
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Topics: tax services, tax, deductions, home, office, home office


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