Zinner & Co. Blog and Newsroom

Do You Apply the Five-year Test for Your Roth IRA? Here’s why you should

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Department on Feb 27, 2018 7:03:00 PM

The pros and cons of Roth IRAs, which were introduced 20 years ago, are well understood.ll money flowing into Roth IRAs is after-tax, so there is no upfront tax benefit.

As a tradeoff, all qualified Roth IRA distributions can be tax-free, including the parts of the distributions that are payouts of investment earnings.

To be a qualified distribution, the distribution must meet two basic requirements:

Read More

Topics: Gary Sigman, Taxes - Planning, Rules and Returns, Retirement Planning & IRAs

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

Posted by Gary Sigman, CPA, M.Tax, PFS, AEP 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.

Read More

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

Take This Job and … Retire? 5 things you must consider before clocking out

Posted by Gary Sigman, CPA, M.Tax, PFS, AEP on Dec 13, 2017 10:39:13 AM

While many entrepreneurs find satisfaction in owning their business and others simply love their jobs, most do not necessarily want to work for the rest of their lives. 

If you are such an entrepreneur, you are not alone. Many look forward to the idea of never having to work again, yet, the concern about whether there will be enough income to survive can’t be overlooked. This leads to the all-important question:  How much does one need to save for retirement?

Read More

Topics: Gary Sigman, Taxes - Individual, Retirement Planning & IRAs

Split Ends: Why we're reading about 'gray divorce'

Posted by Gary Sigman, CPA, M.Tax, PFS, AEP on Nov 24, 2017 7:32:00 AM

The Journal of Accountancy recently published an interesting article addressing the issue of 'gray divorce.'  Gray divorce refers to couples divorcing later in life and while a 30-something divorcing couple may be squabbling over custody, visitation, and credit card bills, those couples divorcing over age 50 are facing battles over retirement funds, the long-term residence, and a diverse portfolio of assets.

Oftentimes, divorcing couples believe that because the court suggests a particular division of assets, that it is what they must do. Couples may not realize that the court will decide in the absence of either party striking an agreement. When the court makes a decision for the couple, this may not be in the best interest for either.

Learn more about retirement and estate planning in Gary's blogs

Meeting with your CPA, whether as a couple or individually, will allow you to take a closer look at the reality of the tax and financial implications depending on how the assets are ultimately divided.  Also, your CPA will run scenarios, especially if one spouse was the higher earner or if one spouse did not work, which will greatly affect the financial future of both.

Read More

Topics: divorce, Gary Sigman, Retirement Planning & IRAs

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. 

Read More

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. 

Read More

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.

DOWNLOAD: FREE Ebook - Income Tax Return Fraud and Identity Theft

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.

Read More

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.
Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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


Latest Posts

Click me

Subscribe to Our Blog