Zinner & Co. Blog and Newsroom

Trick? How to Know if the Knock on Your Door is Actually Someone from the IRS

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Department on Oct 31, 2017 8:00:53 AM

Every Halloween, children knock on doors pretending they are everything from superheroes to movie stars. Scammers, on the other hand, don’t leave their impersonations to one day. They can happen any time of the year.

People can avoid taking the bait and falling victim to a scam by knowing how and when the IRS does contact a taxpayer in person. 

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Topics: Howard Kass, Gary Sigman, Brett W. Neate, IRS

Medicare Open Enrollment Begins October 15: What you need to know now

Posted by Gary Sigman, CPA, M.Tax, PFS, AEP on Oct 17, 2017 8:18:07 AM

For many, Medicare open enrollment is an opportunity to fine tune their healthcare coverage needs and assess (or anticipate) what coverage may be needed in the coming year.
Open enrollment may also allow you to save money as plans are reevaluated and adjusted and in some instances, improve coverage where you recognize you may have gaps. While the open enrollment plan changes may seem confusing, it is your opportunity to switch Medicare health and prescription drug plans to better suit your needs.

What is the Medicare open enrollment period?

The Medicare open enrollment period is the time during which people with Medicare can make new choices and pick plans that work best for them. Each year, Medicare plans typically change what the plans cost and cover. In addition, your health-care needs may have changed over the past year. 

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Topics: Gary Sigman, Taxes - Individual, Medicare

The Equifax Data Breach - What you need to know now

Posted by Gary Sigman, CPA, M.Tax, PFS, AEP on Sep 15, 2017 10:16:44 AM
On September 7, 2017, Equifax, one of the three main credit reporting agencies, announced a massive data security breach that, according to the Wall Street Jurnal, exposed vital personal identification data — including names, addresses, birth dates, and Social Security numbers — on as many as 143 million consumers, roughly 55% of Americans age 18 and older.

This data breach was especially egregious because the company reportedly first learned of the breach on July 29 and waited roughly six weeks before making it public (hackers first gained access between mid-May and July) and three senior Equifax executives reportedly sold shares of the company worth nearly $2 million before the breach was announced.

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Moreover, as CNN points out, consumers don't choose to do business or share their data with Equifax; rather, Equifax — along with TransUnion and Experian, the other two major credit reporting agencies  — unilaterally monitors the financial health of consumers and supplies that data to potential lenders without a consumer's approval or consent.

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Topics: fraud, Gary Sigman

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

Is Your Employee Really an Independent Contractor? What you need to know in the eyes of the IRS

Posted by Gary Sigman, CPA, M.Tax, PFS, AEP on Apr 3, 2017 2:40:39 PM

If your business uses independent contractors as part of its work force, depending on the circumstances, the IRS might reclassify these workers as employees. Such a reclassification would expose your business to employment taxes and penalties. In addition, your business might be responsible for retroactive fringe benefits for any reclassified workers.

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Topics: Employee or Independent Contractor, Gary Sigman, Taxes - Corporate & Business, IRS

10 Things You Should Know Before April 18

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Department on Mar 30, 2017 6:16:00 PM

If you are a taxpayer in the homestretch of preparing to file your income tax return, keep in mind these ten points that could affect your tax bill.

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Topics: Howard Kass, Gary Sigman, Brett W. Neate, income tax

Money: How Much is Enough?

Posted by Gary Sigman, CPA, M.Tax, PFS, AEP on Feb 25, 2017 12:44:42 PM

Financial planning is one of the most important (if not the most important) and concerning money topics that many folks share. How much should you have saved by a certain age? Should new parents start to save now for their newborn baby or is it ok to wait awhile? How much will you need in retirement for healthcare costs or everyday living?

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Topics: Gary Sigman, financial planning, Retirement Planning & IRAs

My CPA Says, “Extend.” What Does That Mean to Me?

Posted by Gary Sigman, CPA, M.Tax, PFS, AEP on Jan 30, 2017 1:00:31 PM

Each year, some taxpayers find themselves scrambling to find their income tax return paperwork, a year's worth of receipts, and ultimately becomes stressed in the attempt to file their tax return by April 18. Others know and understand that simply filing a tax extension can earn them time, reduce their stress, and possibly, incur a lower tax bill.

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Topics: Gary Sigman, income tax

How the 65th Day of the New Year Could Help You Save on your Taxes

Posted by Gary Sigman, CPA, M.Tax, PFS, AEP on Dec 26, 2016 6:02:00 PM

The benefits of trusts in managing one’s financial affairs, both during one’s life and after one’s death, are well documented and quite significant.  Among the trade-offs for their benefit are the complexity of their tax structure and the highly compressed tax brackets that apply to them.  In addition, it is important to note that estates are subject to most of the same tax treatment as trusts.

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Topics: Gary Sigman, Taxes - Individual, Estates, Gifts & Trusts

Client Alert:  Due Dates for Certain Tax Returns are Changing

Posted by Gary Sigman, CPA, M.Tax, PFS, AEP on Nov 7, 2016 7:17:00 PM

 

There are changes in due dates coming for many different business tax returns beginning in 2017, and many business owners are unaware of these changes.  What’s changing and how is it changing?

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Topics: Gary Sigman, Taxes - Corporate & Business, IRS

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