Blog | WM. F. Horne & Company, PLLC

17Feb2011

Small Business Expenses 101

For small business owners, tax breaks often come in the form of tax deductions – which can offer a nice little instant cash savings – if you know how to navigate tax law and claim the deductions you deserve (not what you believe you are entitled to).

Large tax deductions are a notorious red flag for the IRS, with home-based businesses, in particular, facing an increase in tax audits due to suspicious deduction activity on income tax returns.

  • 17 Feb, 2011
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14Feb2011

Are You Supporting Your Parents?

If you are helping support your parents, you may qualify to claim a tax benefit if you are providing over half of your parents’ support. But you may be having difficulty showing over half of the support for both parents, thus failing to qualify for the dependency exemptions (and for the beneficial head of household filing status if you are a single taxpayer).

You may overcome this problem by designating the support to only one of your parents….

  • 14 Feb, 2011
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11Feb2011

Do You Have to File a Tax Return?

Not all individuals are required to file tax returns. If your income is less than the sum of your standard deduction and personal exemptions, you are generally not required to file a tax return. There are, however, circumstances where you may have to file anyway based on certain types of income or special circumstances.

Even if you are not required to file, it may be in your best interest to do so. The following are some of the…

  • 11 Feb, 2011
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08Feb2011

Do Not Mix Your Business and Personal Bank Accounts!

Whether you are working on your business part-time, operating as a sole proprietor, or starting a business with a more formal structure (such as a partnership or corporation) – it’s vital that you keep your business banking separate from your personal finances.

Keeping the two separate not only provides your business with credibility, it reduces your personal liability (a must if you are incorporating your business as a distinct and separate legal entity under its own name) and…

  • 8 Feb, 2011
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05Feb2011

Does Your Paycheck Seem a Little Larger?

That is the result of a new stimulus provision included in tax legislation passed late in December last year that takes the place of the Making Work Pay credit that expired at the end of 2010.

This new provision reduces employees’ Social Security (OASDI) payroll tax withholding by a full 2 percentage points from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent of wages paid. The reduction applies to all wage earners regardless of income. The employer’s share of the payroll…

  • 5 Feb, 2011
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02Feb2011

Revising Your W-4? Seek Professional Advice.

Around the beginning of the year, employers typically ask their employees to provide new W-4s. You may have already done that. If you have updated your W-4 recently and did so without knowledge of the consequences, it may be appropriate to revisit the issue and have this office assist you in completing an appropriate W-4 that suits your unique circumstances.

Owing money at the end of the year or receiving excessively large refunds while struggling to make ends…

  • 2 Feb, 2011
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30Jan2011

2011 Required Minimum IRA Distributions

Now that the New Year is here, you can begin taking your required minimum distribution (RMD) for 2011. The following is an overview of the rules regarding these mandated distributions for older taxpayers.

The IRS does not allow IRA owners to keep funds in a Traditional IRA indefinitely. Eventually, assets must be distributed and taxes paid. If there are no distributions, or if the distributions are not large enough, the IRA owner may have to pay a 50%…

  • 30 Jan, 2011
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27Jan2011

Do You Have Enough to Retire?

Generally, retirees need somewhere between 70 and 80 percent of their pre-retirement salary to maintain their current standard of living upon retirement. This includes income from company pension plans, Social Security benefits, individual retirement plans (such as IRAs, 401(k) plans, etc.) and other investments.

Do you plan to stay in your existing home or are you planning to downsize? Downsizing and relocating may provide additional cash and reduce expenses. How is your health and do you have reasonable…

  • 27 Jan, 2011
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24Jan2011

Business & Rental Owners – Begin Collecting W-9s for 2011

If you use independent contractors to perform services for your business or rental and you pay them $600 or more for the year, you are required to issue them a Form 1099 after the end of the year to avoid facing the loss of the deduction for their labor and expenses, and to avoid a monetary penalty. (This requirement generally does not apply for payments made in 2011 to a corporation.)

IRS Form W-9 (Request for Taxpayer…

21Jan2011

2011 Standard Mileage Rates

The Internal Revenue Service has issued the 2011 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2011, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 51 cents per mile for business miles driven (includes a 22 cent per mile allocation for depreciation);
  • 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes;…
  • 21 Jan, 2011
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