The IRS does not care what your Divorce Decree says!

The IRS does not care what your Divorce Decree says!

Every year at tax time, we encounter a variety of situations relating to divorced spouses claiming their children. In prior years, there were various ways used to justify who claimed which child. Sometimes the spouses agreed who claimed who and sometimes they didn’t. For years, the state court systems would approve divorce agreements that specified… Continue Reading

Ethics in Tax Practice

Ethics in Tax Practice

In the course of operating a tax practice, we sometimes find ourselves dealing with issues and situations that seem harmless or insignificant, but that are really landmines waiting to explode. As practice owners, we must set the standards of performance and adherence to policies that our clients and staff members are expected to follow. No… Continue Reading

Employing your child could be a win-win strategy

Employing your child could be a win-win strategy

I met with one of my higher income clients this morning to discuss tax saving ideas. She operates a business out of her home to keep the overhead low. This year her income has increased about 20 percent and it looks like the growth will continue for the foreseeable future. We discussed a number of… Continue Reading

The Balance Sheet: The Unappreciated Statement

The Balance Sheet: The Unappreciated Statement

I have prepared financial statements for business owners throughout my entire career. A standard set of financial statements can be a wealth of information when it comes to operating a successful business. Too often the value of these tools is unappreciated by the business owner. Many times, their attention goes straight to the bottom line… Continue Reading

Don’t be Afraid to Raise your Prices!

Don’t be Afraid to Raise your Prices!

This morning I met with a small contractor to review his year to date results of operations and compute the income tax he should submit by Sept. 15th. During the meeting he mentioned how busy he has been and that he is turning down offers to look at more work because he is already scheduled… Continue Reading

Tax-Related Telephone Scams

Tax-Related Telephone Scams

This week our area has been hit with an increased number of tax-related scam telephone calls. They are starting to sound much more realistic than similar scams in prior years. Usually the caller will identify themselves as a member of an enforcement division of either the IRS or Maryland State Police. They will inform you… Continue Reading

We can’t do it all…well

We can’t do it all…well

As business owners, we do our best to minimize our expenses while trying to maximize our revenues. Too often we become revenue-focused and pour the majority of our time and energy in to producing more revenue. This naturally leads to a decline in the aspects of our business that don’t directly produce the revenue. We… Continue Reading

Behind the Scenes at a Carnival

Behind the Scenes at a Carnival

Last week, I had the opportunity to serve my Ruritan Club and the Jefferson community by working every night at our annual carnival. Most people are unaware of the recordkeeping and statistical tracking that goes on at a carnival. Each major activity is a separate profit center. The revenues and the related expenses of that… Continue Reading

IRS to Audit More Small Businesses!

IRS to Audit More Small Businesses!

The 2018 IRS Forum was a valuable source of information regarding the upcoming tax filing season. Among the many tidbits I gleaned were issues of IRS concern relating to small businesses. The IRS has announced they are going to scrutinize such things as: personal use of the business assets such as cell phones and laptops,… Continue Reading

Many New Tax Law Changes are Just Around the Corner!

Many New Tax Law Changes are Just Around the Corner!

Last week I spent three fantastic days at the IRS Nationwide Tax Forum! Many new tax laws and changes to the tax forms are slated for the next filing season. The amount of new information, procedural changes and tax form modifications discussed was at times, overwhelming. The increasing number and types of new tax scams… Continue Reading