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We Answer Your Tax Questions2017-08-17T17:17:53+00:00
Cyber and Legal Protections2017-11-30T17:09:47+00:00

We are hearing so much about cybercrime, these days, that we (you and me) need to be protecting our identities.  Especially given the recent 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 who to recommend companies 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?2018-07-15T17:42:48+00:00

For Individuals, the Form 1040 and Form 40 (Oregon) are 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.

What’s the best way to get my questions answered?2017-08-17T22:23:49+00:00

Yes, we will answer your telephone questions, Yes, we will repair those improperly prepared returns; Yes, we do ALL of the business returns; Yes, we prepare tax returns for Estates and Trusts; Yes, we prepare Non-Profit (Exempt) Organization returns; and Yes, we provide consulting for ALL business and individual taxpayers. And we do all of these at very reasonable prices. Give us a call. Unlike many, WE honor OUR quoted prices.

What is Oregon’s minimum wage?2018-07-15T18:19:00+00:00

Oregon’s minimum wage for effective July 1, 2018 is $12.00 per hour  in the Portland metropolitan area and .$10.50 in other areas.

When should I get a 1099 or W2?2017-08-17T17:19:51+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? 2017-08-17T17:20:19+00:00

Did you know that once you are retired and turn 70 1/2 years old, you have to start taking distributions from those accounts based on life expectancy tables. This is called Required Minimum Distributions (RMD). What if you are continuing to work?  If that is the case, then you DON’T have to start taking that RMD.

Want to take Social Security and keep working before full retirement age?2017-08-17T17:21:37+00:00

For 2016, you can receive total annual wages (earned income) of $15,480 without reducing your SS Benefit. Your social security benefit will be reduced $1.00 for each $3.00 of earned income above the $15,480 threshold. If you reach full retirement age during 2016, you can eam up to $41,880 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. 0ft/e are told that they are going to start mailing the report out every five years.) We’ll wait and see. 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? 2017-08-17T17:21:10+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 http://www.medicare.gov 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?2017-08-17T17:21:59+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 is for the state return). 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.

What if my mortgage debt was forgiven?2017-08-17T17:22:29+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?2017-08-17T17:22:52+00:00

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

Did you get married or divorced in the current tax year?2017-08-17T17:23:12+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 to help you determine the correct marital status. 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?2017-08-17T17:23:44+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 health care tax credits, education credits, and dependent tax credits.

Tell me about the Affordable Health Care Act2017-08-17T17:24:13+00:00

Everyone is required to have health insurance coverage beginning March 31, 2014 under the Affordable Health Care Act.    You are exempt from this requirement if you are covered under Medicare or an Employer insurance program. Failure to obtain the insurance may cause you to have to pay a penalty with the filing of your 2015 tax return.  Those having income under 400% of the Federal poverty level may be entitled to an advance credit to help pay for the health care premiums.

What are the 2018 mileage rates?2018-07-15T17:57:58+00:00

The 2018 mileage rates are 54.5 cents per mile for business, 18 cents for medical or moving, and 14 cents for charitable.

What if my business receives more than $10,000 cash in a transaction?2017-08-17T17:25:03+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 Rrelated transactions” is broader than you might think. Cash includes cash, cashier’s checks, money orders, traveler’s checks, and money orders 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 to discuss in more detail.

Is my business required to pay payroll taxes?2017-08-17T17:25:25+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. You can sign up by calling 1-800-555-4477 or through the website at www.eftps.gov.

What is the Small Business Health Care Credit?2017-08-17T17:25:55+00:00

The Small Business Health Care Credit is a credit implemented by Congressional passage on March 23, 2010 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The maximum credit is 25% for tax exempt organizations or 35% for other organizations with ten or fewer qualified Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employees with average annual wages of $25,000 or less per qualified employee.

A qualified employee is one for whom the employer is paying at least 50% of that employees health insurance premiums.

There is a phase out of the credit for organizations with more than ten FTE employees but less than 25 FTE employees, or whose average annual wages are more than $25,000 but less than $50,000.

Call us to discuss the details of the credit computation if you think that you might qualify.

Do you need help with accounting controls?2017-08-17T17:26:30+00:00

Do you have concerns about your accounting controls and management decisions? Are you looking for someone to provide accounting oversight while using your own bookkeeping staff? We can help. Just give us a call at 503-723-4223 to discuss.

When are partnership returns due?2018-07-15T17:46:12+00:00

Beginning in 2017, Partnership Returns will be due March 15 (previously April 15) and C Corporation Returns will be due April15 (previously March 15). S Corporations will remain due March 15 and Non-profit Returns will remain due May 15.

Exempt Organization Filing Requirements2018-07-15T17:56:20+00:00

Those with less than $25.000 of gross receipts MUST file (used to be exempt from filing) bv May 15th.  Those organizations with more than $25,000 have always had to file.    FAILURE TO FILE FOR THREE YEARS WILL CAUSE YOUR EXEMPTION TO BE LOST.

What about probate?2017-08-17T17:31:10+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.

Going through the probate process puts creditors on a time limit  for collecting or arranging collection on those estate liabilities.  When going through this process, the probate court uses the will in determining the decedent’s wishes for their asset disposition.  If there is no will, the state law determines that disposition.

What is the gift exclusion?2018-07-15T17:54:58+00:00

The annual gift exclusion for 2018 is $15,000.

If a person dies and has a gross estate greater than $11,180,000, then a Federal Form 706 and Oregon Form 706 have to be filed. If the gross estate is less than $11,180,000 and over $1,000,000, and the deceased is an Oregon resident, then only the Oregon Estate Tax Form 706 is required to be filed.  For Washington State, the threshold is over $2,000,000 Gross estate includes any asset in the decedent’s name plus assets under control by the decedent at the time of his/her death plus an add back of all prior gift transfers.

Veteran benefits link2017-08-17T22:22:43+00:00
What is the Oregon Property Tax Exemption?2017-08-17T22:23:09+00:00

If you are a disabled war veteran or the surviving spouse of a war veteran, you may be entitled to exempt $17,911 or $21,493 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.