February 16, 2019
Dear Clients & Friends:
Here it is the middle of
February and tax season is in full swing. We are meeting with our business
clients to get started on corporate returns and many of our individual clients
have received and are bringing their information in. In January, we mailed
organizers to our individual clients. If
you did not receive one but would like to, please call our office today.
Enclosed, please find our quarterly
newsletter. The spring edition, released during tax season, contains quite a bit
of beneficial information. The newsletter has a new look. The company we used
to get our newsletter from was bought out and this is the new offering we have
As you know, the tax year
2018 is a year of change. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 signed into law on
December 22, 2017 goes fully into effect for this tax year. The main focus of
the new law was to reduce corporate tax rates from a high of 38% to a flat 21%.
For individual taxpayers, tax rates declined on average by 4%. The biggest
impact for individuals is what is deductible. The standard deduction basically
doubled. It is $24,000 for married individuals and $12,000 for singles. The
increase is offset by a loss of personal exemptions. Each exemption was worth $4,100,
now the deduction is zero. For taxpayers that itemize, there are major changes.
The deduction for state and local taxes is now limited to $10,000. Interest on
Home Equity loans is no longer deductible and deductions for employee business
and investment expenses has been eliminated. With all the changes to itemized
deductions, many taxpayers will use the standard deduction at the federal level
but will continue to itemize on the state level because the state did not
increase its standard deduction.
After you digest the new
laws’ effect on your 2018 return, we will talk about what to do in 2019 to take
full advantage of the new laws’ provisions. Our newsletter contains information
and ideas to help you manage your 2019 tax obligation. The 2019 retirement plan
contribution limits have increased, so you may want to increase your pension
withholding. These changes are detailed on the enclosed newsletter.
Did you know that the portion
of the Affordable Care Act that requires you to have health insurance or pay a
penalty will be suspended beginning with the 2019 tax year? You can still
purchase insurance on the exchange and many taxpayers qualify for subsidies to
pay part of the premium.
Additionally, if you pay
alimony, beginning in 2019, it is no longer a tax deduction for those paying
it. It will also no longer be income for those receiving it. This change only
effects new divorce agreements.
Also, the standard mileage
rate increased from 54.5 cents to 58 cents for 2019 for every business mile
driven, 20 cents per mile for medical and moving miles and 14 cents per mile
for miles driven in service of a charitable organization.
Please call our office for an
appointment as soon as you receive all of your tax information. We try to use the first-in, first-out method
when preparing returns, so the sooner you bring in all your information, the
sooner we will be able to prepare your return and get it back to you. We are looking forward to meeting with you in
the coming weeks and assisting you with your financial and tax preparation
Thank you for your continued
patronage. As always, we welcome any feedback you may have on the services we
offer and we also welcome any referrals you may have.
Starkey & Company, PA
June 8, 2018
Dear Clients & Friends:
Schools are letting out and tourists are arriving, a sure sign that summer is upon us. If you find a break from the hustle and bustle of summer, please read the enclosed summer edition of our newsletter.
Are you engaged or recently married? Did you know there is a marriage penalty? Please check the first page of our newsletter for tips and steps you should take once you become married. Please call us to see how being married will affect your tax situation.
Are you looking to sell or purchase a business? Check Page 2 for commonly made mistakes during the business sale or purchase process. Some of these mistakes are overestimating the value of the business, failing to get independent appraisals, poor communication and not accounting for variables. Selling a business can be a step toward retirement or to pursue other activities while purchasing a business can be step toward starting the right career for you. Either way, it is important to make sure you cover all your bases and reach out to a professional for guidance along the way.
As always, be very mindful when answering the phone or checking your email when you don’t recognize the number or the email address. Have you been receiving a lot of phone calls from other states or telephone numbers you don’t recognize? Think twice before you answer and never give away your personal information or answer any questions. Additionally, the IRS generally does not reach out to taxpayers by telephone or email. If you get an unsolicited email from what appears to be an IRS agent, please report it by emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Considering how effective mid-year tax planning can be, summer time is a great time for tax planning. This summer, you can review your income and deductions, plan for any tax-saving home improvement projects, adjust your retirement plan contributions, evaluate your investments and update your estate plan among many other forms of tax planning. It is more important than ever this year with all the new tax law changes taking effect in 2018.
As the IRS issues guidance on the new tax laws, our staff is taking the time to attend seminars and become informed on the many tax changes going into effect. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act brings tax changes for individuals, modifies a number of deductions and creates new tax planning opportunities while also introducing many pitfalls. As many of you are aware, it will take some time for the IRS to work out all the details and technicalities. We are attending seminars to learn how these changes will affect our individual and business clients.
Important dates to remember for this quarter are June 15, July 31 and September 17. June 15 is the due date for the second installment of 2018 individual estimated tax, July 31 is the due date for filing 2017 retirement or employee benefit plan returns and September 17 is the due date for extending Corporate and Partnership tax returns and the third installment of estimated individual tax for 2018.
We are working faithfully to complete the tax returns we have on extension. If you have not dropped off your 2017 information, please do so as soon as possible. During the busy tax season, we sometimes forget to tell our clients how much we appreciate their patronage. We enjoy interacting and assisting you with your individual and business tax and financial needs. We appreciate any comments you have on the services we provide and welcome any referrals. If you haven’t already, please check out our website. We have recently made changes and welcome your feedback.
Starkey & Company, CPA’s
March 28, 2018
Dear Clients & Friends:
Here it is the end of March and we are well into tax season. We are wrapping up our business clients’ Corporate and Partnership returns. Many of our individual clients have received and dropped off their information. We are busy trying to complete their individual returns before the April 17 deadline. In January, we mailed organizers to our individual clients. If you did not receive one but would like to, please call our office today.
Enclosed, please find the spring edition of our quarterly newsletter. The spring edition, released during tax season, contains quite a bit of beneficial information. While we are working on completing your tax returns for 2017, we are also studying the new tax law and how it will affect you.
The new tax law, known as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” was enacted by Congress at the end of last year and includes a number of tax changes. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act brings tax cuts for individuals, modifies a number of deductions and creates new tax planning opportunities while also introducing many pitfalls. As many of you are aware, it will take some time for the IRS to work out all the details and technicalities. We are attending seminars to learn how these changes will affect all of our clients. The first two pages of the enclosed Newsletter cover the basics of the changes to expect with the new tax law.
On Page 2 of the quarterly newsletter, you will find updates directly from the IRS on how to check your tax refund status and keeping track of your tax filing. On Page 3, is advice on preparing for an IRS audit and keeping all of your information on deduction, exemptions and other financial information organized.
On the back page, is advice on preparing to apply for a bank loan. If you want to improve your chances of obtaining a loan, please read the advice offered in our newsletter. Being prepared with information and questions is a great way to show the lender that you are knowledgeable and prepared to obtain financing.
Do you have a savings account set up for emergency purposes? Please refer to the back page of our newsletter for savings advice and additional information about setting up a savings account. Getting ahead of the curve and being prepared for financial emergencies is important and requires planning. Following these tips can help you get off on the right track.
The standard mileage rate increased from 53.5 cents to 54.5 cents for 2018 for every business mile driven, 18 cents per mile for medical and moving miles and 14 cents per mile for miles driven in service of a charitable organization.
Please call our office for an appointment as soon as you receive all of your tax information. We try to use the first-in, first-out method when preparing returns, so the sooner you bring in all your information, the sooner we will be able to prepare your return and get it back to you. We are looking forward to meeting with you in the coming weeks and assisting you with your financial and tax preparation needs.
Thank you for continued patronage. As always, we welcome any feedback you may have on the services we offer and we also welcome any referrals you may have.
Starkey & Company, PA