Archives For Tax tips


March 18, 2014 — Leave a comment

“Let’s be honest, taxes are not one of the most stimulating subjects around,” says Laughlin.  “So if you want to engage with young people you’ve got to give them something fun to engage in the conversation with. “

Up 6 percent from last year, nearly 27 million Americans have filed their 2013 taxes on their home computers. H&R Block has something to say about this new trend, and it has unveiled a new marketing campaign to get younger Americans to its offices and website for tax preparation help. Continue Reading…

If you’re headed back to school this fall, check to see if your state is highlighted in blue on the infographic below. If it is, you’re in luck! 17 states are participating in a state-wide sales tax holiday for certain back-to-school supplies (listed below) such as computers, textbooks and clothing.

Of course, if you live in Delaware, New Hampshire, Montana, Oregon or Alaska then you don’t pay sales tax anyways. Enjoy!

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Warren Buffet still remains as one of the world’s richest men even with his philanthropic lifestyle. He has pledged to give away 99% of his fortune as part of The Giving Pledge. According to Forbes, he has so far donated $11.5 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation. So what are the tax benefits of such massive donations? Read on to find out.

This year, alone, the multi-billionaire has donated over $2.6 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and four other charities. However, note that he made this year’s donation by handing over some of his stock in his company, Berkshire Hathaway.

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It turns out that the summer time could be the best time to be thinking about your taxes. Planning halfway through the year is more beneficial because you have a good idea of what your earnings are going to be and you will have ample time to make the necessary changes to cut down on the taxes you will owe.

With the help of Fox Business, here are the top 10 mid year tax moves to make now.

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Until recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had complex filing requirements for self-employed or small business taxpayers interested in taking advantage of the home office deduction. While not getting rid of the old requirements completely, the IRS developed a simplified home office deduction option beginning in the 2013 tax year. This simplified method is an easier way to deduct business expenses incurred while working from home.

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With a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court struck down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which required same-sex spouses to be treated as unmarried for purposes of federal law. The ruling, however, does not mean that states, which currently ban same-sex marriage, now have to permit it.

Though it is not considered tax law, the repeal of this particular legislation means there are new tax consequences. Same-sex couples should look into refiling their taxes, where applicable; the repeal of DOMA could mean more money from Uncle Sam.

With the help of the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch section, here are some of the important tax breaks now given to same-sex couples.

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Medical costs seem to increase every year. Uncle Sam can be there to foot some of the doctor bills, but you need to make sure you know and follow the rules. You can find those and overlooked tips for deducting medical expenses here.

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In the spirit of this joyous tax filing season, check out this handy infographic that outlines ten all too common income tax filing errors.  Of course, hiring a tax professional is the best way to avoid these costly mistakes and assist you or your business with all your tax and legal needs.  To see our entire collection of tax-related infographics, click here. Continue Reading…


If you want a better loan rate than your mortgage lender is offering, you might be able to buy it down via points. Each point is one percent of the mortgage amount and points are offered on both original home loans and refinancings. And in both case, the points are tax deductible. However, the precise method of deducting them does differ.

On your first mortgage, you can deduct the points in full on your tax return for the year the points are paid. But with a refi loan, rather than deducting the full amount of refi points in the tax year in which you paid them, you must amortize them over the life of the loan.

So instead of deducting, for example, $1,500 in full refi points on a 15-year loan, you deduct $100 worth of points on each tax filing for 15 years — or until you pay it off, at which time you can claim the remaining points on the return for that tax year. And remember, the other home-related tax breaks that you’re used to taking are the same for your newly refinanced loan.

JDKatz, P.C. is a full-service law firm focused on tax law and estate planning. We are dedicated to minimizing your existing liability and risks while providing valuable tax planning to streamline your tax issues in the future. Please call us at 301-913-2948 to schedule an appointment to meet with one of our trusted attorneys.

End of the Year Tax Tips

December 14, 2011 — 1 Comment

As 2012 draws near, there are still several ways to minimize your tax bill for 2011. The current $5 million lifetime gift-tax exclusion is on the line of extinction to balance the government deficit. Thus, if you have a high net worth, it may be advisable to establish estate plans sooner rather than later to ensure that any transfer of property involves minimal tax debt.

Maximizing tax breaks can help relieve many individuals and businesses from financial burden come April. If an individual can pay next year’s property-tax bill in December or push their income into the following year, their current-year taxes would decrease significantly. Additionally, a business owner should take inventory of expected purchases for the first few months of 2012. The owner can prepay for these purchases in December and maximize their deductions in April. Furthermore, a business or individual should capitalize on using a Roth IRA if he/she has assets allocated to future heirs. A Roth IRA can provide tax-free income in the future, however you must pay the typical income tax when converting assets.

After December 31, 2011 a tax incentive that lets people age 70 ½ or older donate from their IRA to a charity will no longer be available unless Congress extends it. Taxpayers can contribute up to $100,000 to a given charity without acknowledging it as income. However, the contribution to the charity is not tax deductible. Regardless of whether you have an IRA, donating to a charity is not only a good gesture but it will help you increase the value of your deductions.

Some other deductions that may end this year include environmentally conscious home improvements (energy efficiency). You may be able to receive up to $500 in tax credit. In addition, teachers can deduct up to $250 for out-of-pocket costs related to school supplies. Again, these deductions may end in the beginning of 2012, so capitalize on your savings now before it is too late.