Money Management Articles
Do's and don'ts for paying your tax bill
About three-quarters of individual taxpayers received refunds last year,
according to Internal Revenue Service statistics. However, many people
find that they do owe taxes when April 15 comes around. If you fall into
that group, the Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA) offers these
recommendations on the best way to settle your bill.
Tax impact: First official filing year for married same-sex couples
As same-sex spouses across Minnesota prepare to file taxes jointly for
the first time, many are struggling to understand the benefits recently
awarded to them.
Quirky Minnesota sales tax rules: Differences in application of sales tax can leave taxpayers scratching their heads
The end of Minnesota's 2013 legislative session brought with it some
hotly debated new sales and use tax rules for Minnesota taxpayers and
businesses. Some of those rules are being considered for repeal this
MNCPA issues list of strange and unusual tax deductions
The Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA) recently
conducted its annual CPA member survey about the most strange and
unusual tax deductions proposed by clients. Responses included
everything from pets and wedding rings to gifts not given.
Tips for organizing your records: Get organized now for a smoother tax-filing process
The approaching April 15 tax deadline serves as a great reminder to
maintain well-organized and secure records of your personal information.
The Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA) offers
recordkeeping recommendations to significantly ease the filing process.
What you should know about taxes and Social Security benefits
Will your tax bill this year include taxes on your Social Security
benefits? About 55 million people receive monthly Social Security
payments and some of them pay taxes on up to 85 percent of those
benefits, depending on their financial situation.
Tackling taxes if you're self-employed
Tax time is tough, there's no question about it, but it's even more
challenging when you're self-employed and trying to deal with the
sometimes confusing rules and recordkeeping that can go hand in hand
with running your own show.
Your tax return: What could go wrong?
Every year taxpayers make mistakes on their tax returns that range from
silly to serious. What kinds of errors should you keep in mind as you
get ready to file this year's return? The Minnesota Society of CPAs
highlights three common missteps to avoid.
Five steps to achieving your financial goals
What do you want to do now, or next year, or five or 10 years down the
road? This is the time of year when people step back and consider where
they stand and how close they are to achieving long-held goals. No
matter what your objectives, there's no doubt that a sound financial
plan will put you in a better position to achieve them, according to the
Minnesota Society of CPAs.
2013 tax changes that may surprise taxpayers
With significant changes made to the federal and Minnesota tax rules in
2013, the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA)
would like to remind taxpayers of the importance of tax planning and
understanding how the new rules affect their respective tax situations.
College students home for the holidays? Discuss practical tax decisions
The winter holiday break provides a great opportunity for parents and
college students to decide who claims whom on their 2013 federal and
state tax returns. Surprisingly, it's not just limited to minor
Taxpayer identity theft on the rise: Know how to protect yourself
Taxpayer identify theft continues to increase in the U.S. In 2012, there
were 1.8 million incidents of identity theft and fraudulent tax
refunds, creating a $5 billion problem, according to the U.S. Treasury
Inspector General for Tax Administration. In the first half of 2013, the
number of tax-related identity thefts had already surpassed the 2012
'Tis the season for charitable contributions
Along with an avalanche of catalogues and holiday greetings from family
and friends, you may also find your mailbox inundated with donation
requests from charitable organizations.
How can you cut next year's taxes?
Taxes may be the last thing you want to think about at the holidays, but
the end of the year is a great time to take some smart steps that can
help you minimize your future tax outlays. The Minnesota Society of
Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA) provides these ideas for keeping
more money in your pocket.
Five questions to ask your CPA before the end of the year
Your to-do list is probably pretty full at this time of year. While the
thought of adding one more task may feel overwhelming, it's one that can
help put your mind at ease this New Year's Eve: Talk to your CPA.
Deciphering the health insurance requirements
You can't put it off any longer: Effective Jan. 1, 2014, the Affordable
Care Act (ACA) requires all Americans to maintain a minimum level of
health coverage or face a tax penalty. While some people are flocking to
www.healthcare.gov to research and purchase their insurance, others are
unsure how to proceed.
Going back to work after retirement: How Social Security, taxes and health care may be affected
Retirement isn't what it used to be. Instead of leaving the
workforce at age 65 and hitting the golf course every day, many retirees
are going back to work. According to a recent Longevity Alliance and
Harris Interactive poll, 43 percent of surveyed retirees seriously
considered re-entering the workforce shortly after they had left their
Tax tips for small-business owners
There are 23 million small businesses in America, according to the U.S.
Small Business Administration. Although each business is unique, you can
be sure that they have a common desire to minimize their taxes and make
the most of the deductions for which they qualify. The Minnesota
Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA) offers these tips on how
to achieve those goals.
Financial planning for same-sex couples after the DOMA decision
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the Defense of Marriage Act
unconstitutional, a decision that has sweeping financial implications
for same-sex couples who were married in states that recognize same-sex
The rising cost of day care: Manage your costs, maximize your deductions
The cost of child care in the U.S. has climbed dramatically during the
past three decades. Unfortunately, wages aren't keeping pace with the
skyrocketing increases, and working parents are struggling to keep up.
Tax tips for newlyweds
June is traditionally a time when couples tie the knot and, as is the
case with so many major milestones in life, all newlyweds should be
aware of the tax considerations associated with marriage. If you or a
loved one is planning nuptials, the Minnesota Society of CPAs offers
this advice on addressing the tax concerns.
Surviving an IRS audit: What to expect and do when Uncle Sam comes calling
Statistics from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
show last year that 1.48 million taxpayers were invited to spend a
little extra quality time with the IRS because they underwent an
Retaining personal financial records: What do you need to keep and for how long?
Does looking at overflowing filing cabinets of bank statements and boxes
of old check stubs make you want to start a bonfire in your backyard?
Before you grab the lighter fluid and matches, make sure you know what
you can torch and what you need to keep.
Safeguarding your tax records
There are many reasons to be sure that your tax and other financial
records are safe and available when you need them. At this time of year,
as you prepare and file your tax return, it’s important to have easy
access to receipts, the tax forms you receive from employers and other
Seven smart tips for last-minute filers
In the wake of the Fiscal Cliff negotiations, the Internal Revenue
Service delayed the start of tax filing season until Jan. 30 this year.
Some taxpayers faced even further delays in filing, including those who
claimed residential energy credits or whose returns involved property
depreciation or general business credits.
New tax rules for your small business
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 resolved most of the tax issues included in last year’s Fiscal Cliff debate and answered many pending tax questions for small businesses. What impact did the Act have on businesses?
How did the Fiscal Cliff deal affect your taxes?
The fiscal cliff problems invovled a list of expiring tax issues and congressionally mandated spending cuts.
Learn about the Earned Income Tax Credit
The EITC is a tax credit to help you keep more of what you earn by giving you a tax refund, says the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA). Yes, there are requirements you need to meet, but you should take the time to see if you qualify. After all, who couldn’t use a little more money?
Taking a trip over the fiscal cliff: Expiring tax cuts and deficit-cutting compromise measures leave American taxpayers with lots of uncertainty
The term “fiscal cliff” has become a popular phrase among politicians and pundits over the past several months, but what does it mean? If the United States goes over it, will you be affected? The so-called fiscal cliff actually refers to two separate sets of economic events that will take place starting Jan. 1, 2013. If politicians in Washington fail to come to an agreement, a popular set of tax cuts will expire. At the same time, a plan for severe government budget cuts will begin to be phased in. Over the long term, the combined effect would be significant.
Preparing for next year’s tax season
Now is the time of year when people begin to think about peace, generosity — and taxes? While it may seem to be much too early to worry about filing your tax return, the end of the year is a great time to get your records in order and take other steps that will minimize the hassles when tax time does roll around. It’s also often your last chance to take advantage of deductions or other tax-saving opportunities for the year.
Understanding your taxes: What you pay and why
For most people, taxes are a mysterious thing — a sum of money just disappears from every paycheck. And then every year, sometime before April 15, you have to prepare a tax return. Most people don’t give their taxes much thought beyond the fact that it’s money out of their pocket. It is important, however, to pay attention to tax and other paycheck withholdings. Time invested now in understanding these matters can greatly reduce tax-season uncertainty.
What you can learn from your tax return
Tax time may be over, but before you store your return in the attic, take a moment to review it. You can discover a lot about your financial situation and identify changes that will improve your tax outlook before it’s time to file next year’s return.
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