10 Apr 2019 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
As it does every year during filing season, the IRS released its annual list of the Dirty Dozen tax scams, updated for the 2019 filing season. It is probably not a big surprise that for the third year in a row, one of the top scams is phishing attempts. Phone scams also continue to be huge, with the fiends making threatening phone calls to innocent taxpayers. Without further ado, here is the IRS's list of ...
27 Mar 2019 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
Have you gotten caught up in the KonMari craze (i.e, "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo" on Netflix)? Anyone else feels just a tad bit inadequate after watching that show? In case you aren't aware of the show, in each episode, so-called organizing expert Marie Kondo helps clients clear out clutter in their lives with her KonMari method. Watching what happens is enough to make even the most ardent neat freak feel like a slob! But ...
13 Mar 2019 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
Pretty much everyone who is even aware that "tax reform" occurred with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) at the end of 2017 probably knows that it reduced most tax rates and expanded a few other tax benefits. But many seem to not know (or have forgotten) that TCJA also limited, if not eliminated, a number of itemized deductions that have been big tax savers for many individual taxpayers. Here are ...
27 Feb 2019 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
It's a fact - Baby Boomers, like myself, are retiring or facing retirement in huge numbers. Retirement is also staring Gen X'ers squarely in the face, especially those born in the 1960s. It is also a fact that time has a way of getting rapidly away from us, and one day we wake up, having had the best of intentions for years to save for this approaching day, only to find that we have put ...
25 Jan 2019 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
With the onset of the tax season (and yes, even with the recent partial government shutdown, the IRS expects you to file on time) comes the annual onslaught of the various types of Form 1099. Among others, you have Form 1099-INT for interest income, 1099-DIV for dividend income, 1099-B for sales of securities and the dreaded 1099-MISC, which reports such income as rents received or nonemployee compensation. Generally speaking, businesses must send out 1099s to ...
24 Jan 2019 | Holly Fish
Partners of EGP, PLLC announce the acquisition of the Jesse G. Griffin, CPA LTD tax and accounting practice of Little Rock, AR. The Griffin tax practice has served individuals and businesses in various industries, with a strong focus on farming and agriculture, for decades. Leading the acquisition and head of serving these new clients is Todd Brown, CPA, Partner at EGP, PLLC. Brown, along with other members of our firm, have extensive experience working with ...
11 Jan 2019 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
Embedded in last year's tax reform bill was a new and unique provision that to this point has not received the attention it deserves; the creation of "Opportunity Zones" and the ability to defer or even completely avoid some capital gain taxes when investments are made in a so-called "Qualified Opportunity Fund' (QOF). This new law allows you to defer paying tax on current capital gains realized from the sale of assets such as real ...
20 Dec 2018 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
If you are a business owner, you still have time to significantly reduce your 2018 tax bill. Here are six year-end moves to ponder, including some from changes that were part of 2017's tax reform. 1. Claim 100% Bonus Depreciation for Asset Purchases 100% first-year bonus depreciation is available for qualified new and now also, thanks to tax reform, used property that is acquired and placed in service in the calendar year 2018. That means ...
4 Dec 2018 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
Retirement InSight #4 Why Take On Debt To Help Your Kids with College? An unsettling trend is emerging among pre-retirees and retirees. Parents are picking up a greater share of college education costs, and in doing so, they may risk damaging their retirement prospects. A new analysis of higher education debt patterns by SavingforCollege.com finds that the average college loan debt shouldered by parents rose approximately 6% this year, topping $35,000. College is so expensive ...
21 Nov 2018 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
Arkansans are known as a generous lot! We care about each other, and most people I know will sacrifice to help others in need. That is one of the things I love about my native state! Of course, there are many avenues for helping others, but today I want to encourage you to "give where you live". Ok, since that is in quotes, it obviously is not original with me. "Give Where You Live" is, ...
6 Nov 2018 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
The latest round of tax reform has substantially increased the tax incentives and benefits of buying new and used business equipment. Even so, leasing of equipment is still an attractive alternative for many. If you are in business and are considering acquiring additional equipment (or may be in the future), it behooves you to know the pros and cons of both buying and leasing, so let's take a look at those. Buying Pros From a ...
23 Oct 2018 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
It seems of late that I have spent an inordinate amount of time and space writing about identity theft, fraud, and scams. The problem is rampant, as we all know, but I thought maybe, just maybe, I was done for a while. But just as you might think you have seen and heard it all, some new scheme pops up on the scene. Such is the case, and while I tire of devoting my column ...
27 Sep 2018 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
My guess is by now you have heard the news of the recent passing of the legendary "Queen of Soul", Aretha Franklin, on August 16. The music world mourns the loss of this great talent to be sure. It was revealed in court filings August 28 (that sure didn't take long), that unfortunately, Aretha died without a will in place. Like other celebrities before her, such as Prince and Amy Winehouse to name a couple, ...
20 Sep 2018 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
Over the years since its enactment, much has been hashed and rehashed about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, i.e., Obamacare, both pro and con. However, in my practice as a CPA and financial consultant, there is one element of Obamacare that can have a significant detrimental financial consequence if the situation is right, but doesn't seem to have gotten the press I feel it should. It involves the health insurance "Premium Tax Credit" ...
6 Sep 2018 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
Would You Pay More for a Better Employee Retirement Plan? If that trade-off sounds worthwhile, rest assured you are not the only one who feels that way. Sixty-six percent of the working Americans surveyed late last year by consulting firm Willis Towers Watson said that they would defer a greater percentage of salary than they currently do if their potential retirement benefits were upgraded, and 61% said that they would increase their plan contributions if ...