The Thomas Howell Ferguson Blog

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Here’s What You Should Know About Penalty Relief

If you make an effort to comply with the law, but are unable to meet your tax obligations due to circumstances beyond your control, you may qualify for relief from penalties. If you receive a notice stating that a penalty was assessed, you first should check that the information in the notice is correct.  If […]

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Plan Ahead for Vacation Home Rentals

During the summer, people often rent out their property. They usually think about things such as cleanup and maintenance, but owners also need to be aware of the tax implications of residential and vacation home rentals. If you receive money for the use of a house that’s also used as a someone’s personal residence, it […]

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Law Change Affects Moving, Mileage, and Travel Expenses

The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (TCJA) created wide sweeping changes to tax rules at both the business and individual level.  Detailed below are some changes centered around vehicles that are now in effect. Changes to the deduction for move-related vehicle expenses The TCJA suspends the deduction for moving expenses for tax years beginning after […]

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Tax Reform: Changes to Depreciation Affect Businesses Now

If you are a business owner, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act may affect your depreciation deductions and taxes. You can generally depreciate tangible property except land, which includes buildings, machinery, vehicles, furniture, and equipment. Changes to depreciation and how they will affect businesses may include: Businesses can immediately expense more under the new law. […]

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If You Are in a Two-Income Family or Work Multiple Jobs, You Should Check Your Withholding Amount

The passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which will affect 2018 tax returns that you file in 2019, makes checking your withholding amounts even more important. These tax law changes include: Increased standard deduction Eliminated personal exemptions Higher thresholds for individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) Increased Child Tax Credit Limited or discontinued certain […]

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Retirement Plan Credit

Small employers that create a retirement plan may be able to claim up to $500 in income tax credit per year for three years by filing the Form 8881 Credit for Small Employer Pension Startup Cost. The credit is limited to 50% of qualified startup costs. To be eligible, small employers should not exceed 100 […]

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Nine Facts About the Adoption Credit

Did you know that adoptive parents may qualify for a tax credit? Parents who either adopted a child or tried to adopt a child may claim the adoption credit. Here are nine things you should know about this credit. Credit. The credit is nonrefundable. This means the credit may only reduce your tax liability to […]

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Make the Most of Your HSA

If you’re hoping to build retirement wealth in a health savings account (HSA), it helps to have a game plan. There’s a growing buzz and excitement around HSAs. HSAs have a triple tax advantage. Contributions are tax-deductible, typically grow tax-free, and can be withdrawn without incurring taxes as long as you use them for qualified […]

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Taxpayers Beware of Unsolicited Calls from the IRS

Taxpayers who get an unsolicited phone call from the IRS should be cautious – it’s probably a scam. These scammers will use your personal information to gain access to your bank or other accounts. When a scammer calls, it might be a recording or an actual person claiming to be from the IRS. Sometimes they […]

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Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts (TCJA) Overview

The TCJA passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump is a sweeping tax package. Below is an outline of some changes and the TCJA’s impact on individual and business tax filers. Individual Tax Change Highlights  Tax Brackets There are seven tax brackets: 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%. Your income […]

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Tax Alert: TCJA New Tax Brackets

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump is a sweeping tax package. Many in the tax profession are calling its passage and enactment the greatest change to the tax code in over 30 years! One change that will affect everyone is the new tax brackets. […]

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College Tax Benefits

With the fall semester coming to a close, it’s important for parents and students to think about tax benefits that can help with college expenses. There are two college tax credits that can apply to students enrolled in an eligible college, university, or vocational school: the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit. […]

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Employers that hire Holiday Help: Understand the Health Care Law’s Rules Around Seasonal Workers

As an employer, your size – for purposes of the Affordable Care Act – is determined by the number of your employees. If you hire seasonal or holiday workers, you should know how these employees are counted under the health care law. Employer benefits, opportunities, and requirements are dependent upon your organization’s size and the applicable […]

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Tax Benefits for Educators

As teachers, administrators, and aides have kicked off the new school year, taxes may not be heavy on their minds just yet. However, knowing what to track throughout the school year can help reduce the burden at tax time. There are three key work-related tax benefits that may help educators reduce what they pay in taxes. […]

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5 Helpful Tips about Employee Business Expenses

Taxpayers who pay unreimbursed work-related expenses out of their own pocket may be able to deduct them, if certain criteria is met.  In general, the deduction for employee business expenses is part of a taxpayer’s itemized deduction shown on Schedule A of their personal tax return and is deductible to the extent that the expenses […]

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