The Key Tax Changes to Anticipate in 2017

Back in October, the IRS announced a number of key changes to policies regarding taxes, both for individuals and businesses. As we enter 2017, it is important to anticipate these changes coming into effect. These changes will affect the taxes you file for the fiscal term of 2017. What are the key changes to anticipate this year?… [Read more]

How to Save Money on Your Business Taxes

Business taxes are an unfortunate part of doing business. They come under many names, such as corporation taxes, but the reality is this is the government attempting to claim their slice of your pie. Do everything you can to reduce your business taxes and you can save thousands every year.

Let’s take a look at this complex issue.… [Read more]

Affordable Care Act and Taxes for 2015

Since the Affordable Care Act took effect in 2010, the number of uninsured Americans has dropped from 18 percent to 13.4 percent at the end of the 2014 enrollment period, according to a Gallup poll. The law has had its ups-and-downs, but appears to be working the way Congress and President Barack Obama envisioned it.

Each year more provisions of the law go into effect.… [Read more]

Pinocchio’s Nose

This morning I heard 3 commercials for 3 different Republican candidates and they all said a variation of the same thing:  “I will protect your freedoms from the encroachment of growing government.”

Great line. Who wouldn’t want that? It resonates and there is a lot of evidence of that “growing government” by which to give the statement credibility.… [Read more]

Distribution of wealth in the USA

The United States has a significantly unequal distribution of weallth when held in comparison with other developed countries across the globe. So much so that recent figures state reveal that in the US 75.4% of all wealth is owned by the richest 10% of the population. This means that the US has the most extreme wealth concentration of any of the top 20 developed nations in the world.[Read more]

How corporations protect the rich

There are a multitude of tax breaks and subsidies provided by federal, state and local governments which protect the financial interests of rich corporations. These include direct federal subsidies to corporations which allegedly cost taxpayers over $100 billion each year. (Image Source) In addition to federal subsidies, many corporations also receive state and local subsidies. Louise Story calculated that state and local governments provide at least $80 billion in subsidies to corporations, with over 48 major corporations receiving over $100 million each.This is mainly due to the fact that state and local governments fear these major corporations will move their jobs overseas if they do not receive subsidies from the US.… [Read more]

Tax Traps to Beware of in 2014

When Americans all across the country rang in the New Year, many breathed a sigh of relief for more than a few reasons. First of all, taxpayers no longer have to wait for Congress to finish constituting the tax laws that impact their 2013 returns and, secondly, the American Taxpayer Relief Act — which went into effect last spring —  will extend many advantageous provisions for recently filed returns.… [Read more]

Department of Justice Suing Texas over Voting Rights

Well, well, well…look here, y’all!. The Justice Department is fired up and ready to go. Breaking news is that the Justice Department has officially announced that it will file suit against the state of Texas, the Texas Secretary of State, and the Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety over the State’s strict voter photo identification law (SB 14).… [Read more]

Death and Taxes

April has come and gone, and virtually all of us have dutifully filed a tax return or an extension. The anti-tax mob hasn’t gone anywhere. Somebody’s going to have to pay the tab, according to their means. Despite the sequester that wasn’t supposed to be, replete with “For special friends of Rick’s” special interest mulligans, the bugaboo of taxation hasn’t left us.… [Read more]

Fox News: Warning of Perils of Sunny Beaches, Liberal Asians, and Progressive Income Tax

Ah, sandy shores, blue water, and…liberals?? Well, doesn’t sound like a bad vacation spot to me, but our friends over at Fox News made the trip to the startling, new liberal bastion of America: Hawaii. No relaxing here. Oh, there was so much investigative journalism to be done! Interviews to be conducted! They even managed to find one conservative willing to speak to them who wasn’t their standard rich old dude.… [Read more]

Peering over the “fiscal cliff” without vertigo

So now, in Federal Follies, we have the looming breakers denoting the “fiscal cliff”, which The Party of No tried to steer a campaign with to naught. This isn’t exactly Preikestolen, a picturesque, actual cliff, 604 meters (1,800 ft.) over a fjord. In Norway.

In a recent San Francisco Bay exercise of American Exceptionalism, billionaire Oracle software honcho Larry Ellison was several million bucks lighter after his latest multi-hull America’s Cup racing yacht flipped and tried turning into a submarine.… [Read more]

Mitt’s Kamikaze Flight School

If I were a G.O.P. professional political operative, I would be chugging the Jack Daniels’ bottle in perfect John Belushi ‘Animal House’ Bluto frat form. Political science textbooks will be written with ‘Romney’ becoming synonymous with ‘bumbling campaign skills’ in the same way as ‘Quisling’ became interchangeable with ‘traitor’ in Oslo.

Gordon Gekko meets Thurston Howell III in magic underwear.… [Read more]

Say it Isn’t So, Clint!

I guess I’m the last person in the world to find out that Clint Eastwood is no hero. He only plays one in the movies. He’s a great actor and a director, but not a good judge of politicians.

While it’s been widely known that Clint is a Republican, his recent publicized comments on Gay Marriage gave me the idea he was still a pretty nice guy.… [Read more]

Five Tax Tips for the Unemployed

With just over 8% of the American work force currently unemployed, with no projected change in the next year and a half, I thought it might be a good time to review the tax implications of unemployment.

  1. Yes, you do have to claim unemployment benefits as taxable income.  You should receive a 1099-G form which will show the total amount of unemployment benefits received at the end of the year.  
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Wrap Up: July 15, 2012

We began this week discussing accountability; we were focused on international issues — Pakistan, specifically — but, once again, the nutty GOP — Mitt Romney, specifically — diverted our attention…Oh goodie! Since we’re all about putting the truth out there, we’re glad to see that even the mainstream media is catching on to the notion that the most phony candidate this side of Mars doesn’t want to be held accountable for where he worked and/or where his loot money is stashed.… [Read more]

Debt Decisions

So, you’ve set an intention to get yourself out of debt. Noble, my friend. Studies have shown that the average American has over $10,000 in debt, most of which is credit-card debt. Yikes. But then you’re staring at your pile of bills, or your Mint.com account, and wondering — where do I start? Which debt do I tackle first?… [Read more]

The REAL Defense of Marriage Act—Income Taxes and the “Marriage Penalty”

For all the talk about defending marriage as a sacred institution between one man and one woman in the news these days, no one seems to be talking about the third party involved in every marriage in this country… the Internal Revenue Service. Yes, the marriage penalty is alive and well in the United States of America, and it seems ironic that some are so focused on preserving the sanctity of marriage, only to tax the holy hell out of you when you do it.… [Read more]

Quarterly Taxes—Who, When, and Why?

I get questions fairly frequently about quarterly taxes.  Who is required to file them?  And why?  Since the second quarter filing is coming up and I’m busy helping my clients get these done, I’ll make this short and sweet.

In general, if you either owed more than $1,000 last year in taxes, or expect to owe more than $1,000 this year, you are required to file quarterlies.… [Read more]

The Reagan Rule

In one breath, they scream, “Class warfare! Class warfare!” In the next, “It’s statistically insignificant!” Well, which is it? They can’t have it both ways. The they to which I refer, is the ever-duplicitous and incessantly histrionic Republican Party. The it, is the Buffett Rule. If it is truly insignificant, then how can it be considered class warfare?… [Read more]

Careful What You Wish For

No discussion about economic inequality would be complete without an uneducated, unemployed outlier’s two cents, would it?

I’m down with the Occupy movement, its message and its method. I’ve stopped by McPherson Square, taken in the sites and smells, chatted with some Occupiers, and had a cool time. The place had a warm, inviting vibe that got me thinking about pitching a tent so that I wouldn’t have to pay rent or attention to personal hygiene ever again.… [Read more]