Easy to Understand Tax Tips

Written by financialplanning  |  13. February 2001

By Joseph R Emmett, CPA This is my first article and my goal is to provide tax & financial information in an easy to understand format. As it is tax time I will touch on a few ideas, which may affect you and the preparation of your tax return. Contributions: are you giving clothing & household items to charities and not getting a receipt? Wrong idea!!! Contributions of clothing and household items without a receipt are deductible up to $500. With a receipt and a proper list of valuations the deduction can become substantially higher. Discuss this with your preparer for guidance. New York saves: a college savings program created by the state of New York. It works and should be discussed with your financial advisor as to its use in your planning concepts. Self-employed - paper, paper, paper the more documentation you have the better the deductions on your Schedule C. Internal Revenue Service auditors require documentation, so prepare while you go. Start with your diary. It is the bible of the self-employed. It is the road map to your deductions so keep it up every day and win. Your CPA should be able to advise you on what is required to be in your diary. Roth IRAs - you should consider them as part of your retirement planning. Even though you and your spouse may be a member of a pension plan you may still be able to make a contribution. A nondeductible contribution earns income tax deferred and after five years the income and principle are tax free upon distributions after 591/2. You are not required to distribute after reaching the age of 701/2. In fact you never have to take a distribution. This is a very brief synopsis however please talk this over with your tax preparer. You get what you pay for! Does your preparer ask questions to draw information from you which can translate into deductions? Does your preparer talk to you about financial planning, college planning, estate planning? Does your preparer talk to you about life, disability and long-term health care insurance? If you have answered no perhaps it is time for a change. One good idea can save you a lot of money. Perhaps more than the fee charged. If you have a question about this please feel free to call to discuss. These were a few ideas as a start. Look for specific topics in the future. If you want something special send an email to emmettcpa@msn.com Joseph R Emmett, CPA is a full service CPA firm helping individuals & businesses in tax preparation, business and financial planning. We have over 25 years experience as a local CPA firm on long island. Joseph R Emmett, CPA 283 Commack Road Commack New York 11725 631-499-5999 emmettcpa@msn.com

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