Our Blog

Tag: Chicago cpa

What Income is Taxable?

Are you wondering if there’s a hard and fast rule about what income is taxable and what income is not taxable? The quick answer is that all income is taxable unless the law specifically excludes it. But as you might have guessed, there’s more to it than that. Taxable income includes any money you receive, such as wages and tips, but it can also include non-cash income from property or services. For example, both parties […]

Federal Tax Forms: Which one should you use?

U.S. citizens and resident aliens use one of three different forms for filing individual federal income tax returns: 1040EZ, 1040A, or 1040. If you’re wondering which form you should use, keep reading. Form 1040EZ   Form 1040EZ, Income Tax Return for Single and Joint Filers With No Dependents, is the least complicated federal tax form. however, if you file Form 1040EZ, you should be aware that you can’t itemize deductions or claim any adjustments to income […]

Missing Important Tax Forms? Here’s what to do

Form W-2   You should receive a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, from each of your employers for use in preparing your federal tax return. Employers must furnish this record of 2017 earnings and withheld taxes no later than January 31, 2018 (allow several days for delivery if mailed). If you do not receive your Form W-2, contact your employer to find out if and when the W-2 was mailed. If it was mailed, it […]

Six Overlooked Tax Breaks for Individuals

Confused about which credits and deductions you can claim on your 2015 tax return? You’re not alone. Here are six tax breaks that you won’t want to overlook. 1. State Sales and Income Taxes Thanks to last-minute tax extender legislation passed in December, taxpayers filing their 2015 returns can still deduct either state income tax paid or state sales tax paid, whichever is greater. Here’s how it works. If you bought a big-ticket item like […]

Charitable Giving Forecast to Grow in 2014

According to a report on charitable giving released in May 2014 by a leading forecast organization, Atlas of Giving, the U.S. is likely to see more than a 7% growth in charitable donations in 2014 compared to 2013. Atlas of Giving provides a monthly estimate of charitable giving by sector, source, and state. In 2013, Americans set a record. Fueled largely by significant gains in stock prices, charitable giving in the U.S. increased 13% in […]

An Introduction to Split-Dollar Life Insurance

Contrary to what you may think, split-dollar life insurance is not an insurance policy, at least not in the classic sense. It is a type of arrangement that allows two parties, typically an employer and an employee, to split life insurance protection costs and benefits. The premium payments, rights of ownership, and proceeds payable on the death of the insured are often split between the company and a key employee. In many situations, however, the […]

Small Employers Should Check Out the Health Care Tax Credit

New and existing small employers who do not yet benefit from the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit should look into whether the credit can help them provide insurance to their employees. For tax years beginning in 2014 and after, the maximum credit is 50 percent of premiums paid for small business employers, and 35 percent of premiums paid for tax-exempt small employers, such as charities. Beginning in 2014, a small employer may qualify for […]

Top Four Year-End IRA Reminders

Individual Retirement Accounts are an important way to save for retirement. If you have an IRA or may open one soon, there are some key year-end rules that you should know. Here are the top four reminders on IRAs: 1.       Know the limits.  You can contribute up to a maximum of $5,500 ($6,500 if you are age 50 or older) to a traditional or Roth IRA. If you file a joint return, you and your spouse […]