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 email@example.com.
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
January 2, 2018
Dear Clients & Friends:
We hope that you enjoyed the holiday season and were able to spend time with your family as we head into the New Year. As 2017 has come to an end and a new year begins, it’s important to think about tax planning and the various tax rules, tax breaks and deductions that could affect you. If you find a minute during the Holiday hustle, please read the enclosed newsletter.
In the newsletter, you will find details on the various natural disaster relief tax codes available. Did you know that if you’re an unlucky victim of a natural disaster, you may be able to take an itemized deduction for part of your loss?
If you’re an owner in a business with multiple owners, please read page 3 of the newsletter. This page covers the importance of a buy-sell agreement. A buy-sell agreement is basically a will for the business owners that describes how assets and other business interests will be distributed should an owner leave the business or in the event an owner becomes disabled or passes away.
We all have New Year’s resolutions. The back page of the Newsletter offers goals for expanding your wallet. Creating a financial strategy and sticking to it is a great way to start of the New Year.
The Affordable Care Act mandates are still effective for the tax year 2017. The Affordable Care Act requires that every individual is required to maintain at least the minimum essential health insurance coverage or be penalized on your income tax return. The penalty for not having insurance in 2017 is either 2.5% of your income or a flat fee of $695 per adult and $347.50 per dependent.
If you earn more than $100,000 a year, it’s important to note that the wage base for withholding social security tax from wages has increased from $127,200 to $128,700 for 2018.
As a reminder, for individuals, if you have estimated tax payments for the 2017 tax year, please make sure you have made your payments, including the last installment due on January 16. If you believe your taxable income has changed for 2017, please contact our office today so we can revise your estimates.
In firm news, you may have noticed one or more of us are out of the office occasionally in December. We were attending seminars and keeping abreast of any new tax provisions for 2017. For 2018, there is a brand new set of rules to digest thanks to the new tax bill enacted just before Christmas. We are attending a tax seminar the first week of January to get the inside scoop of what it is all about and how it will affect your situation.
We would like to take a minute to thank you for your past patronage and we look forward to assisting you with your future tax and financial needs.
Happy New Year,
Starkey & Company, PA
August 25, 2017
Dear Clients and Friends:
We hope your summer has been enjoyable. The kids are headed back to school in the coming weeks and fall is right around the corner. Hopefully the mild summer we have had isn’t a sign of a harsh winter to come.
Enclosed, please find the fall edition of our quarterly newsletter. On the cover page of the newsletter, you will find important information on filing an amended tax return. There are essential things to know when deciding if amending your return is the right option. Typically amended returns are required if you are correcting an error that will yield a significant refund or an additional tax due. If the IRS discovers the error before an amended return is filed, you could face interest and penalties on the additional tax. In the event an error is discovered, please call our office so we can decide the best approach.
On Page 2 of the newsletter, you will find valuable information about home office deductions. Did you know if you have office space and work from home, you can deduct a variety of expenses? These expenses include portions of your rent or mortgage, insurance, utilities and improvements and repairs among other potentially deductible expenses. The Home Office Deduction is a tricky provision in the tax code. Although many believe it can increase your chances of being audited and may be too complicated for what it’s worth, there are simple methods available. Please call our office to find out about deducting your home office expenses.
Also in our newsletter you will find suggestions for parents of young adults that are affected by the high levels of unemployment and college debt and are struggling to make it on their own. As parents, we are ready and available to help our kids. With our experience, we can offer advice and help set expectations. Additionally, the last page of the newsletter discusses things to know and questions to ask about paying your mortgage off early. Before making the decision to pay off your mortgage early, please call our office to decide if this is the best decision for you. While it may seem like an easy choice, will it earn you the highest return for the money spent?
Important dates to note on your calendar in the coming months include the September 15 due date for the third estimated tax payment for 2017. September 15 is also the deadline to file extended tax returns for S-Corporations and Partnerships. October 16 is the deadline to file all extended Individual returns and C-Corporation returns on extension and the deadline for characterizing a Roth to a regular IRA contribution.
With the filing deadline fast approaching, we are working diligently to complete the returns that are on extension. If you have not dropped off all of your 2017 information, please do so as soon as possible.
The months of November and December are a great time to evaluate your tax situation and review the options you have. If you have any concerns or questions, please don’t hesitate to call our office. We look forward to meeting with you in the coming months to discuss tax planning for 2017.
Please call our office today to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions regarding the information contained in this letter. As always, we appreciate your continued patronage and welcome the referrals of your friends and associates.
Starkey & Company, P.A.