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We Answer Your Tax Questions2020-01-16T18:38:14+00:00
What information do I need to provide to do my tax return?2020-12-17T18:05:28+00:00

Information needed at the time your 2020 income tax return items are dropped off at our office:

Confirm name, date of birth, social security number, address, telephone numbers, and email address(es) are correct.

Any dependent information is correct.

Letting us know whether you have any virtual currency transactions or foreign bank accounts.

Provide us with Forms W-2, 1099, 1098, property tax statements, donation statements and totals, medical expense for insurance totals and co-pay totals. Any investment transactions will be on a Form 1099.

Do you need to get a copy of your income tax return?2022-10-27T17:09:41+00:00

If necessary, taxpayers can request a copy of a tax return by completing and mailing Form 4506 to the IRS address listed on the form. There’s a $50 fee for each copy and these are available for the current tax year and up to six years prior.

Cyber and Legal Protections2020-01-16T19:47:47+00:00

We are hearing so much about cybercrime, these days, that we (you and I) need to be protecting our identities.  Especially given the Equifax cyber intrusion which may have put yours and my social security numbers and other private information at risk.

What I am finding out is that there are two levels of limited protection that will let you know that your information might have been compromised.  The first level is more after the fact, and that is notifying you of a change in your credit report i.e. a new account set up, or the like.  The second level is not quite as available, but it is monitoring the dark side of the internet.  That will let you know when your information is in that area of the internet and will let you know what others are doing with that information.

I am not yet comfortable enough with what companies to recommend that might provide either of those services.

The one thing is certain – these hacks will continue and the need to protect your information will continue to increase.

When are tax returns due?2021-07-09T15:25:14+00:00

For Individuals, the Form 1040 and Form 40 (Oregon) are normally due to be filed by April 15th or the next business day if April 15th is on a weekend or holiday.

For Businesses, the Form 1065 (Partnership) and the Form 1120S (S Corporation) are due by March 15th.  The Form 1120 (C Corporation) is due by April 15th.

For Estates and Trusts, the Form 1041 is due by April 15th.

Exempt Organizations (Non-Profit), the Form 990 is due by May 15th.

For returns due April 15th, filing an extension allows them to file by October 15th.  Keep in mind that extensions are only for filing.  Tax payments due are still due by April 15th, and payments after that date make the taxes due susceptible to penalties and interest.

When should I get a 1099 or W2?2020-01-16T19:53:29+00:00

Employees, did you know that you should be having withholding taxes removed from your payroll and be issued a form W-2 at the end of the year IF your employer provides the work space, work tools necessary for the job, and tells you when you are required to be at work? Many are being given Form 1099 which requires YOU to pay the payroll taxes the employer should be paying.

Do you have retirement benefits set aside and not yet taking distributions from them? 2021-07-09T15:35:06+00:00

Did you know that once you are retired and turn 72 years old (effective 12/20/19), you have to start taking distributions from those accounts based on life expectancy tables. This is called Required Minimum Distributions (RMD).  

Want to take Social Security and keep working before full retirement age?2021-07-09T15:40:45+00:00

For 2021, you can receive total annual wages (earned income) of $18,960 without reducing your SS Benefit. Your social security benefit will be reduced $1.00 for each $3.00 of earned income above the $18,960 threshold. If you reach full retirement age during 2021, you can earn up to $50.520 for the year up to your birth month. Beginning with your birth month, there is no earnings limit.

Each year, Social Security Administration (SSA) makes available online a report of your annual and historic social security wages.  If those annual and historic wages are incorrect, it could affect social security benefits including retirement and disability. In order to reflect accurate information, it needs to be corrected with SSA within two years of the date that you have access to the report. If you fail to act, after three years from the applicable tax year, the amount cannot be corrected. The result is that any future benefits will be less than what they should be, and cannot be changed.

Getting close to eligibility for Medicare? 2020-01-16T19:58:03+00:00

Even if you do not intend to draw social security benefits, you should call Medicare at 800-772-1213 three months before your 65th birthday to discuss your options. Other answers can be found at For planning purposes, you need to know that if you wait to start drawing Medicare AFTER your 65th birthday, you may end up paying more in premiums.

What? I can receive a penalty for owing tax?2021-07-09T15:43:30+00:00

Did you know that if your Federal tax owed on your tax return is more than $1,000 you might have to pay a penalty? The way to avoid that is by paying in at least what your total Federal tax liability was for the prior year (same rule for the state returns). This is accomplished by paying in that amount over four installments (estimated tax payments). But many find themselves owing a large amount at those times. Another solution is to pay an amount monthly that will be enough to cover your projected total Federal tax so that you do not have such a large liability when the return is due. This procedure can also be applied to the filing of your Oregon income tax.

Keep in mind that these rules are only effective up until the due date of the return, usually April 15th.  If you owe after that date, you may have penalties and interest assessed by both The IRS and the applicable states.

What if my mortgage debt was forgiven?2020-01-16T19:59:58+00:00

If your mortgage debt is partly or entirely forgiven,  you may be able to claim special tax relief and exclude the debt forgiveness income. Ask us how.

Moving away from Portland?2021-07-09T15:46:53+00:00

Yes, we can continue doing your work through the portal,  email, and snail mail systems. Ask us how we will be able to provide that service.  You can reach us at 503.723.4223.

Did you get married or divorced in the current tax year?2021-07-09T15:46:10+00:00

Your marital status on your tax retum is determined on December 31. If you got married on or before that date,. you file a “married filing joint” or “married filing separate” return for the entire year. If you got divorced in the current tax year and the divorce was final by December 31, then you file as a “single” person for the entire year. If you have others living in your household, then you may be able to file “head of household”. If you had any marital status changes, give us a call at 503.723.4223 to help you determine the correct marital status for filing. This information is necessary to calculate the proper withholding amounts for wages, unemployment or other special types of income. 

Should I let my dependent children file their own return?2021-07-09T15:48:17+00:00

Do not allow any dependent children to file their own return, particularly college students, and do not file them yourself.  Although this guidance appears self-serving for us, let us assure you this guidance is meant to protect you from your children inadvertently costing you literally thousands of dollars in potential education credits and dependent tax credits.

What are the 2022 and 2023 mileage rates?2022-10-26T18:27:04+00:00

The January 1st through June 30, 2022 mileage rates are 58.5 cents per mile for business, 18 cents for medical or moving, and 14 cents per mile  for charitable. From July 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022, the mileage rates are 62.5 cents per mile for business, 22.0 cents per mile for medical or moving, and remain at 14 cents per mile for charitable.

What if my business receives more than $10,000 cash in a transaction?2021-07-09T15:55:17+00:00

If you are in the trade or businessand receive more than $10,000 in cash in one or a series of related transactions, then you are to file Form 8300 with the IRS within 15 days of the transaction. Most would think that this will not apply. But the definition of “cash” and related transactions” is broader than you might think. Cash includes cash, cashier’s checks, money orders, and traveler’s checks unless excluded in IRS Publication 1544. Related transactions can be one transaction, or a series that might be related to the same transaction such as monthly rents, purchases of products or supplies, and other transactions that can be tied together. The rule seems to be ‘when in doubt, report’. Give us a call at 503.723.4223 to discuss in more detail.

Is my business required to pay payroll taxes?2020-01-16T20:07:42+00:00

For businesses that have employees, there may be a requirement to pay the payroll taxes more frequently than quarterly. For those meeting the requirements, the only method for making these payments will be through the IRS EFTPS system. You can sign up by calling 1-800-555-4477 or through the website at  The Oregon payment requirements follow the same dates as Federal.

Exempt Organization Filing Requirements2022-10-26T17:02:45+00:00

Those with less than $25.000 of gross receipts MUST file postcard Form 990-N by May 15th.  Those organizations with more than $25,000 MUST file either Form 990-EZ or Form 990 depending on asset totals or income totals.    FAILURE TO FILE FOR THREE YEARS WILL CAUSE YOUR EXEMPTION TO BE LOST.

Can I gift part of my assets to another?2022-10-26T18:25:44+00:00

Yes.  For 2022, you can gift up to $16,000 to any person you want to gift to.  If you are married, you and your spouse can gift $16,000 each, or a combined amount of $32,000.  If you had more than one person that you wanted to gift to, you can gift $16,000 ($32,000) to the first person, the same to a second person, etc.

For 2023, that gift goes to $17,000 per person.


What about probate?2021-07-09T15:59:10+00:00

Did you know that upon death any assets held in only the name of the decedent must go through a probate process which turns the property over to the court system for final outcome. The ways to avoid probate cost are (1) to have joint ownership of the property, (2) beneficiary designations, or (3) have all property owned by a trust.

Reasons to avoid probate include (1) costs of probate can be great, (2) probate information is open to the public, (3) court system controls who those assets are transferred to, but they are required to follow the will, if it is properly executed.  If there is no will, then state law will determine who those assets are distributed to.

Going through the probate process puts creditors on a time limit  for collecting or arranging collection on those estate liabilities. 

What tax filings need to occur when a person dies in Oregon?2022-10-27T17:37:05+00:00

What are tax filing requirements when an Individual who is a resident of Oregon dies?

At least one of three things can happen:

  1. If there is a surviving spouse when one spouse dies, then the surviving spouse will inherit the assets of the deceased spouse unless there is a designated beneficiary on assets of the deceased.
  2. If there is not a surviving spouse and there is a will, then the designated executor named in the will, shall prepare an asset list of all the assets owned by the deceased on the date of that person’s death. If the total of those assets is more than $1,000,000, then an Oregon 706 form must be filed showing all of those assets.  The amount exceeding $1,000,000 will have asset tax paid with the filing of the Form 706.  The Form 706 is due within nine months of the date of death.
  3. If there is income from the decedent’s estate of trust after the date of death, then Form 1041 is to be filed. That return reports the income from the date of death to the later of December 31 of the year of death, or the end of the month eleven months after the date of death.

If your total assets for 2022 are more than $12,060,000, then a Federal Form 706 will need to be filed.  That amount increases to $12,920,000 for 2023.

These get very complicated, so you should call our office at 503.723.4223 to get advice.  Or you should discuss with your tax or estate attorney.

Veteran benefits link2020-01-16T20:16:37+00:00
What is the Oregon Property Tax Exemption?2021-07-09T16:43:23+00:00

If you are a disabled war veteran or the surviving spouse of a war veteran, for 2021, you may be entitled to exempt $23,370 or $28,045 of your homestead property’s assessed value from property taxes. The exemption amount increases by 3 percent each year. The exemption is first applied to your home and then to your taxable personal property. If you are an Oregon resident and a qualifying veteran or that veteran’s surviving spouse and live in your home, you may file a claim and receive the exemption.

You can find more information at

What is the minimum wage in Oregon?2022-10-27T17:31:11+00:00

For 2022, the Oregon minimum wage is $13.50 per hour.  In Portland, OR, the minimum wage is $14.75.  In the rural part of the state, the minimum wage is $12.50.

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