Lots of important things are happening in the world these days, but based on what I’m seeing in social media, perhaps the thing that people are MOST interested in is the return of NFL and college football.
Perhaps that causes a mere shrug of the shoulders for many, but regardless of how we feel about it, what it DOES signify is that summer is over. Saturdays and Sundays are now full of tailgates and, soon, (in most cities where I have clients) autumn colors.
Around here, we’re investing ourselves in continuing education so that we can take advantage of every available (and ethical) tax move on behalf of our clients, and gearing up for what already promises to be a very full final quarter with our client family.
Our economy is now about *knowledge* … and that’s why I take the time each week to inform YOU about the “real world” steps you should be taking with your family’s finances, and how to be prepared for any circumstance.
Including the upcoming tax season — which, as I’m beginning to realize, will be here sooner than any of us think.
So I’ve put together a simple primer on what you should be pulling together over this quarter. But the BEST way to be prepared is to have a conversation now about a proactive strategy to minimize your tax burden. January through April may be “tax season”, but September-October is “tax planning season” — and to that end, I suggest you call us ((516) 449-2852) and set up a time for a tax planning session.
But regardless, here’s what you need to be making sure you have ready for 2017 …
Michael Kessler’s Tax Planning Strategy For 2016
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” -Nelson Mandela
Believe it or not, now is the time to start making sure that you’ll be ready for a few months from now, when 2016 tax time is upon us.
Generally speaking, you should keep any and all documents that may have an impact on your federal tax return. Individual Long Island and Stamford taxpayers should usually keep the following records and supporting items on their tax returns for at least three years:
• Bills, Credit card and other receipts
• Invoices, Mileage logs
• Canceled, imaged or substitute checks or any other proof of payment
• Any other records to support deductions or credits you claim on your return.
You should normally keep records relating to property until at least three years after you sell or otherwise dispose of the property. Examples include…
• A home purchase or improvement
• Stocks and other investments
• IRA transactions
• Rental property records
Health insurance verification
The IRS will be sending out “information returns” (form 1095) before the end of January (presumably) that should cover your documentation … but as with everything in dealing with the IRS, it’s a good idea to be armed with your own documentation as well, which would include insurance cards, EOB forms, statements from your insurer, etc.
If you are a Long Island and Stamford small business owner, you must keep all your employment tax records for at least four years after the tax becomes due or is paid, whichever is later.
Examples of important documents Long Island and Stamford business owners should keep include:
• Gross receipts: Cash register tapes, bank deposit slips, receipt books, invoices, credit card charge slips and Forms 1099-MISC
• Proof of purchases: Canceled checks, cash register tape receipts, credit card sales slips and invoices
• Expense documents: Canceled checks, cash register tapes, account statements, credit card sales slips, invoices and petty cash slips for small cash payments
• Documents to verify your assets: Purchase and sales invoices, real estate closing statements and canceled checks
Here’s the best part of all of this: By pulling together this information NOW, we can really work our “magic” and ensure that we aren’t simply playing catch-up for you after the fact. That’s what tax planning is all about.
So give us a call this week, and let’s plan out the rest of 2016 and beyond.
Michael J. Kessler, CPA
PS–Join us for our show, Business Profits In The Real World Saturday afternoons at 4 on 103.9FM WRCN. Even if you don’t own a business we might inspire you to start one! No radio? No problem! Listen live at LINewsRadio.com – or can’t listen live? Hear our past shows at MichaelKesslerCPA.com