Blog

What Is a Crummey Trust?
When it comes to handling your financial assets and transferring them to beneficiaries, often your children, a spouse, or long-term[...]
Planning for year-end gifts with the gift tax annual exclusion
As we approach the holidays and the end of the year, many people may want to make gifts of cash[...]
Is a Health Savings Account right for you?
Given the escalating cost of health care, there may be a more cost-effective way to pay for it. For eligible[...]
Getting a divorce? Be aware of tax implications if you own a business
If you’re a business owner and you’re getting a divorce, tax issues can complicate matters. Your business ownership interest is[...]
Selling a home: Will you owe tax on the profit?
Many homeowners across the country have seen their home values increase recently. According to the National Association of Realtors, the[...]
How Long Does it Take to do Taxes?
Filing income taxes is much more involved than filling out a couple of forms and submitting them. Record keeping and[...]
The deductibility of corporate expenses covered by officers or shareholders
Do you play a major role in a closely held corporation and sometimes spend money on corporate expenses personally? These[...]
What Is the Sales Tax on a Car in Illinois?
The car sales tax in Illinois outlines how much people must pay in taxes for their vehicles. This amount varies[...]
5 possible tax aspects of a parent moving into a nursing home
If you have a parent entering a nursing home, you may not be thinking about taxes. But there are a[...]
Getting a new business off the ground: How start-up expenses are handled on your tax return
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, government officials are seeing a large increase in the number of new businesses being launched. From[...]
Eligible Businesses: Claim the Employee Retention Tax Credit
The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) is a valuable tax break that was extended and modified by the American Rescue[...]
Exciting Upcoming Events in Lake Forest
Lake Forest, Illinois, is only about an hour north of Chicago, near the shore of Lake Michigan. It has great[...]
Illinois Charitable Games License & Tax – Charity Gaming Taxes
Whether you take part in charitable games regularly as a hobby, are celebrating a special occasion, or are looking to[...]
Tax-favored ways to build up a college fund
If you’re a parent with a college-bound child, you may be concerned about being able to fund future tuition and[...]
Recordkeeping DOs and DON’Ts for business meal and vehicle expenses
If you’re claiming deductions for business meals or auto expenses, expect the IRS to closely review them. In some cases,[...]
Retiring soon? 4 tax issues you may face
If you’re getting ready to retire, you’ll soon experience changes in your lifestyle and income sources that may have numerous[...]
The IRS has announced 2022 amounts for Health Savings Accounts
The IRS recently released guidance providing the 2022 inflation-adjusted amounts for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Fundamentals of HSAs An HSA[...]
Withholding Tax – IL-941
The Form IL-941 is for small business owners with employees working in the state of Illinois. You'll need to withhold[...]
Illinois Power of Attorney Instructions – IL-2848
The Illinois Power of Attorney Form IL-2848 is used for matters related to your Illinois taxes. Filing taxes can be[...]
Working in the gig economy results in tax obligations
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the number of people engaged in the “gig” or sharing economy had been growing, according[...]
Help ensure the IRS doesn’t reclassify independent contractors as employees
Many businesses use independent contractors to help keep their costs down. If you’re among them, make sure that these workers[...]
8 Great Restaurants You Have to Try in Lake Forest
Lake Forest is a lovely little town in North Chicago, on the edge of Lake Michigan. It has a strong[...]
What is a Direct Pay Permit?
When your company needs supplies, it's common to purchase a wide variety from just a few vendors because it's easier[...]
How to ensure life insurance isn’t part of your taxable estate
If you have a life insurance policy, you may want to ensure that the benefits your family will receive after[...]
Simple retirement savings options for your small business
Are you thinking about setting up a retirement plan for yourself and your employees, but you’re worried about the financial[...]
Home sales: How to determine your “basis”
The housing market in many parts of the country is strong this spring. If you’re buying or selling a home,[...]
Tax advantages of hiring your child at your small business
As a business owner, you should be aware that you can save family income and payroll taxes by putting your[...]
Who qualifies for “head of household” tax filing status?
When you file your tax return, you must check one of the following filing statuses: Single, married filing jointly, married[...]
Is an S corporation the best choice of entity for your business?
Are you thinking about launching a business with some partners and wondering what type of entity to form? An S[...]
New law tax break may make child care less expensive
The new American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provides eligible families with an enhanced child and dependent care credit for 2021.[...]
Event Space in Lake Forest, Illinois
Lake Forest, Illinois, offers event spaces for formal and informal affairs. Whether you're looking for a modest space for a[...]
Didn’t contribute to an IRA last year? There still may be time
If you’re getting ready to file your 2020 tax return, and your tax bill is higher than you’d like, there[...]
Business highlights in the new American Rescue Plan Act
President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) on March 11. While the new law is best[...]
What is the Illinois 1099-G Form?
A Form 1099-G is a tax statement sent to anyone who received unemployment benefits, overpaid state taxes, or deducted their state income[...]
Work Opportunity Tax Credit extended through 2025
Are you a business owner thinking about hiring? Be aware that a recent law extended a credit for hiring individuals[...]
What You Need to Know About Lake Forest Property Taxes
Property tax is taxation applied to physical property in a particular jurisdiction that's owned by an individual or legal entity.[...]
2021 individual taxes: Answers to your questions about limits
Many people are more concerned about their 2020 tax bills right now than they are about their 2021 tax situations.[...]
Many tax amounts affecting businesses have increased for 2021
A number of tax-related limits that affect businesses are annually indexed for inflation, and many have increased for 2021. Some[...]
Real Estate Transfer Tax in Lake Forest, Illinois
Any real estate purchase is a major undertaking. You must organize a significant amount of paperwork throughout the transaction, including[...]
New law doubles business meal deductions and makes favorable PPP loan changes
The COVID-19 relief bill, signed into law on December 27, 2020, provides a further response from the federal government to the[...]
PPP loans have reopened: Let’s review the tax consequences
The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) reopened the week of January 11. If you’re fortunate[...]
One reason to file your 2020 tax return early
The IRS announced it is opening the 2020 individual income tax return filing season on February 12. (This is later[...]
Educate yourself about the revised tax benefits for higher education
Attending college is one of the biggest investments that parents and students ever make. If you or your child (or[...]
Can your business benefit from the enhanced Employee Retention Tax Credit?
COVID-19 has shut down many businesses, causing widespread furloughs and layoffs. Fortunately, employers that keep workers on their payrolls are[...]
Business Enterprise Program in Illinois
If you're a female or a minority who owns a business in Illinois, you might be eligible for the Business[...]
A Local History of Lake Forest
Lake Forest is a beautiful city located in Lake County, Illinois. It has a rich and fascinating history from its[...]
Maximize your 401(k) plan to save for retirement
Contributing to a tax-advantaged retirement plan can help you reduce taxes and save for retirement. If your employer offers a[...]
Illinois Earned Income Tax Credit
The earned income tax credit allows taxpayers who qualify to get back more of the money they paid into taxes.[...]
Understanding Illinois Unemployment Benefits
Whether you've found yourself unemployed indefinitely or just between jobs, it's essential to know how and when you qualify for[...]
The 2021 “Social Security wage base” is increasing
If your small business is planning for payroll next year, be aware that the “Social Security wage base” is increasing.[...]
Divorcing couples should understand these 4 tax issues
When a couple is going through a divorce, taxes are probably not foremost in their minds. But without proper planning[...]
10 Awesome Parks Around Lake Forest
Lake Forest, Illinois, is a charming historic city situated along the shores of Lake Michigan. Founded in 1857, Lake Forest[...]
What tax records can you throw away?
October 15 is the deadline for individual taxpayers who extended their 2019 tax returns. (The original April 15 filing deadline[...]
What Vehicle Expenses are Tax Deductible?
Vehicles are one of the costliest items to own. Besides having to make a large initial investment, you also need[...]
Why it’s important to plan for income taxes as part of your estate plan
As a result of the current estate tax exemption amount ($11.58 million in 2020), many estates no longer need to[...]
Homebuyers: Can you deduct seller-paid points?
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that existing home sales and prices are up nationwide,[...]
Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (What it means for You)
Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker signed the Cannabis Act (Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act) into law on June 25,[...]
Wondering how to get a liquor license for your business in Illinois?
The cost of a State of Illinois liquor license can cost anywhere from $25 to $5,000. The exact cost of[...]
Employers have questions and concerns about deferring employees’ Social Security taxes
The IRS has provided guidance to employers regarding the recent presidential action to allow employers to defer the withholding, deposit[...]
2020 – 08/10 – The possible tax consequences of PPP loans
If your business got a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan taken out due to the COVID-19 crisis, there are potential[...]
Back-to-school tax breaks on the books
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, students are going back to school this fall, either remotely, in-person or under a hybrid schedule.[...]
The possible tax consequences of PPP loans
If your business was fortunate enough to get a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan taken out in connection with the[...]
More parents may owe “nanny tax” this year, due to COVID-19
In the COVID-19 era, many parents are hiring nannies and babysitters because their daycare centers and summer camps have closed.[...]
8 Top Golf Courses in Lake Forest, IL
Lake Forest, Illinois, is a quaint destination for those looking to explore the outskirts of Chicago or take in the[...]
How to File for or Locate Your Illinois Business Tax (IBT) Number
Starting up a new company is an exciting endeavor, but at times it can feel like trying to juggle just[...]
Conduct a “paycheck checkup” to make sure your withholding is adequate
Did you recently file your federal tax return and were surprised to find you owed money? You might want to[...]
What Is the Illinois CRT-61 Certificate of Resale?
Paying your taxes is an important part of civic contribution, but nobody and no business wants to pay more taxes[...]
PPP Application Period Extended to August 8, 2020
House joins Senate in approving 5-week PPP extension https://bit.ly/3dUSUGS
If you’re selling your home, don’t forget about taxes
Traditionally, spring and summer are popular times for selling a home. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in a slowdown[...]
Launching a business? How to treat start-up expenses on your tax return
While the COVID-19 crisis has devastated many existing businesses, the pandemic has also created opportunities for entrepreneurs to launch new[...]
5 Cool Educational Destinations in Lake Forest, IL
When you think of learning experiences, "fun" may not exactly be the first word that comes to mind. Fortunately, there[...]
Rioting damage at your business? You may be able to claim casualty loss deductions
The recent riots around the country have resulted in many storefronts, office buildings and business properties being destroyed. In the[...]
Student loan interest: Can you deduct it on your tax return?
The economic impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is unprecedented and many taxpayers with student loans have been hard hit.[...]
PPP Loan Forgiveness – New Rules passed June 5, 2020
Trump Signs New Law Relaxing PPP Rules: What You Need to Know The Small Business Administration will be issuing new[...]
Business charitable contribution rules have changed under the CARES Act
In light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many businesses are interested in donating to charity. In order to incentivize[...]
Do you have tax questions related to COVID-19? Here are some answers
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected many Americans’ finances. Here are some answers to questions you may have right now.[...]
Answers to questions you may have about Economic Impact Payments
Millions of eligible Americans have already received their Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) via direct deposit or paper checks, according to[...]
Relief from not making employment tax deposits due to COVID-19 tax credits
The IRS has issued guidance providing relief from failure to make employment tax deposits for employers that are entitled to[...]
COVID-19: IRS announces more relief and details
In the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Americans are focusing on their health and financial well-being. To help with[...]
SCAM ALERT COVID-19 PAYMENTS
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has issued an urgent warning to taxpayers to “be on high alert”[...]
CARES ACT changes retirement plan and charitable contribution rules
As we all try to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities safe from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you[...]
Answers to questions about the CARES Act employee retention tax credit
The recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides a refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of[...]
$1,200 COVID-19 Payments
It's no secret that, in coming weeks, the U.S. Treasury Dept. and the IRS will be sending out cash payments[...]
COVID-19 Relief Laws
Questions abound, regarding the economic impact payments and other topics related to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) relief laws.In response, the[...]
The new COVID-19 law provides businesses with more relief
On March 27, President Trump signed into law another coronavirus (COVID-19) law, which provides extensive relief for businesses and employers.[...]
Cash payments and tax relief for individuals in new law
A new law signed by President Trump on March 27 provides a variety of tax and financial relief measures to[...]
Individuals get coronavirus (COVID-19) tax and other relief
Taxpayers now have more time to file their tax returns and pay any tax owed because of the coronavirus (COVID-19)[...]
Do you run your business from home? You might be eligible for home office deductions
If you’re self-employed and work out of an office in your home, you may be entitled to home office deductions.[...]
Tax credits may help with the high cost of raising children
If you’re a parent, or if you’re planning on having children, you know that it’s expensive to pay for their[...]
Reasons why married couples might want to file separate tax returns
Married couples often wonder whether they should file joint or separate tax returns. The answer depends on your individual tax[...]
Do you want to go into business for yourself?
Many people who launch small businesses start out as sole proprietors. Here are nine tax rules and considerations involved in[...]
Numerous tax limits affecting businesses have increased for 2020
An array of tax-related limits that affect businesses are annually indexed for inflation, and many have increased for 2020. Here[...]
Answers to your questions about 2020 individual tax limits
Right now, you may be more concerned about your 2019 tax bill than you are about your 2020 tax situation.[...]
Can you deduct charitable gifts on your tax return?
Many taxpayers make charitable gifts — because they’re generous and they want to save money on their federal tax bills.[...]
4 New Law Changes That May Affect Your Retirement Plan
If you save for retirement with an IRA or other plan, you’ll be interested to know that Congress recently passed[...]
Using your 401(k) plan to save this year and next
You can reduce taxes and save for retirement by contributing to a tax-advantaged retirement plan. If your employer offers a[...]
3 last-minute tips that may help trim your tax bill
If you’re starting to fret about your 2019 tax bill, there’s good news — you may still have time to[...]
Setting up a Health Savings Account for your small business
Given the escalating cost of employee health care benefits, your business may be interested in providing some of these benefits[...]
Take advantage of the gift tax exclusion rules
As we head toward the gift-giving season, you may be considering giving gifts of cash or securities to your loved[...]
The tax implications of being a winner
  If you’re lucky enough to be a winner at gambling or the lottery, congratulations! After you celebrate, be ready[...]
The “kiddie tax” hurts families more than ever
Years ago, Congress enacted the “kiddie tax” rules to prevent parents and grandparents in high tax brackets from shifting income[...]
The tax implications of a company car
The use of a company vehicle is a valuable fringe benefit for owners and employees of small businesses. This benefit[...]
The “nanny tax” must be paid for more than just nannies
You may have heard of the “nanny tax.” But even if you don’t employ a nanny, it may apply to[...]
M&A transactions: Avoid surprises from the IRS
If you’re considering buying or selling a business — or you’re in the process of a merger or acquisition —[...]
Summer: A good time to review your investments
You may have heard about a proposal in Washington to cut the taxes paid on investments by indexing capital gains[...]
You may have to pay tax on Social Security benefits
During your working days, you pay Social Security tax in the form of withholding from your salary or self-employment tax.[...]
Which entity is most suitable for your new or existing business?
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has changed the landscape for business taxpayers. That’s because the law introduced a[...]
If your kids are off to day camp, you may be eligible for a tax break
Now that most schools are out for the summer, you might be sending your children to day camp. It’s often[...]
2019 Q3 tax calendar: Key deadlines for businesses and other employers
Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the third quarter of 2019. Keep[...]
Donating your vehicle to charity may not be a taxwise decision
You’ve probably seen or heard ads urging you to donate your car to charity. “Make a difference and receive tax[...]
Hire your children this summer: Everyone wins
If you’re a business owner and you hire your children (or grandchildren) this summer, you can obtain tax breaks and[...]
It’s a good time to check your withholding and make changes, if necessary
Due to the massive changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the 2019 filing season resulted in surprises.[...]
What type of expenses can’t be written off by your business?
If you read the Internal Revenue Code (and you probably don’t want to!), you may be surprised to find that[...]
Selling your home? Consider these tax implications
Spring and summer are the optimum seasons for selling a home. And interest rates are currently attractive, so buyers may[...]
Employee vs. independent contractor: How should you handle worker classification?
Many employers prefer to classify workers as independent contractors to lower costs, even if it means having less control over[...]
Deducting business meal expenses under today’s tax rules
In the course of operating your business, you probably spend time and money “wining and dining” current or potential customers,[...]
Three questions you may have after you file your return
Once your 2018 tax return has been successfully filed with the IRS, you may still have some questions. Here are[...]
Tax Implications for Divorcing Couples and Business Owners
If you’re getting a divorce, you know it’s a highly stressful time. But if you’re a business owner, tax issues[...]
Make a deductible IRA contribution for 2018. It’s not too late!
Do you want to save more for retirement on a tax-favored basis? If so, and if you qualify, you can[...]
Electric Vehicles Tax Credit Phaseout
The tax credit for buying certain plug-in electric vehicles begins a phaseout on April 1. The IRS announced that General[...]
2019 Q2 tax calendar: Key deadlines for businesses and other employers
Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines that apply to businesses and other employers during the second quarter of[...]
Could your business benefit from the tax credit for family and medical leave?
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created a new federal tax credit for employers that provide qualified paid family and[...]
The 2018 gift tax return deadline is almost here
Did you make large gifts to your children, grandchildren or other heirs last year? If so, it’s important to determine[...]
Vehicle-expense deduction ins and outs for individual taxpayers
It’s not just businesses that can deduct vehicle-related expenses. Individuals also can deduct them in certain circumstances. Unfortunately, the Tax[...]
Will leasing equipment or buying it be more tax efficient for your business?
Recent changes to federal tax law and accounting rules could affect whether you decide to lease or buy equipment or[...]
Careful tax planning required for incentive stock options
Incentive stock options (ISOs) are a popular form of compensation for executives and other employees of corporations. They allow you[...]
Some of your deductions may be smaller (or nonexistent) when you file your 2018 tax return
While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) reduces most income tax rates and expands some tax breaks, it limits[...]
When are LLC members subject to self-employment tax?
Limited liability company (LLC) members commonly claim that their distributive shares of LLC income — after deducting compensation for services[...]
Home Office Deduction: Pasquesi Sheppard’s Guide
Working from home has its perks. Not only can you skip the commute, but you also may be eligible to[...]
Fundamental tax truths for C corporations
The flat 21% federal income tax rate for C corporations under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has been[...]
Investment interest expense is still deductible, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll benefit
As you likely know by now, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) reduced or eliminated many deductions for individuals.[...]
Many tax-related limits affecting businesses increase for 2019
A variety of tax-related limits affecting businesses are annually indexed for inflation, and many have gone up for 2019. Here’s[...]
What will your marginal income tax rate be?
While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) generally reduced individual tax rates for 2018 through 2025, some taxpayers could[...]
2 major tax law changes for individuals in 2019
  While most provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) went into effect in 2018 and either apply[...]
A review of significant TCJA provisions impacting individual taxpayers
Now that 2019 has begun, there isn’t too much you can do to reduce your 2018 income tax liability. But[...]
Catch-up retirement plan contributions can be particularly advantageous post-TCJA
Will you be age 50 or older on December 31? Are you still working? Are you already contributing to your[...]
Consider all the tax consequences before making gifts to loved ones
Many people choose to pass assets to the next generation during life, whether to reduce the size of their taxable[...]
529 plans offer two tax-advantaged education funding options
Section 529 plans are a popular education-funding tool because of tax and other benefits. Two types are available: 1) prepaid[...]
Charitable IRA rollovers may be especially beneficial in 2018
If you’re age 70½ or older, you can make direct contributions — up to $100,000 annually — from your IRA[...]
Tax planning for investments gets more complicated
For investors, fall is a good time to review year-to-date gains and losses. Not only can it help you assess[...]
Teacher Tax Deductions: Everything You Need to Know
When teachers are setting up their classrooms for the new school year, it’s common for them to pay for a[...]
Are Gambling Losses Deductible?
If you gamble, be sure you understand the tax consequences. Both wins and losses can affect your income tax bill.[...]
What is AMT?
The AMT stands for the Alternative Minimum Tax. It is a modified income tax that occurs when a taxpayer takes[...]
Business deductions for meal, vehicle and travel expenses: Document, document, document
Meal, vehicle and travel expenses are common deductions for businesses. But if you don’t properly document these expenses, you could[...]
Why the “kiddie tax” is more dangerous than ever
Years ago, some parents and grandparents attempted to save tax by putting investments in the names of their children or[...]
Home green home: Save tax by saving energy
“Going green” at home — whether it’s your principal residence or a second home — can reduce your tax bill[...]
2 tax law changes that may affect your business’s 401(k) plan
When you think about recent tax law changes and your business, you’re probably thinking about the new 20% pass-through deduction[...]
The tax impact of the TCJA on estate planning
The massive changes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) made to income taxes have garnered the most attention. But[...]
Sending your kids to day camp may provide a tax break
When school lets out, kids participate in a wide variety of summer activities. If one of the activities your child[...]
Be aware of the tax consequences before selling your home
In many parts of the country, summer is peak season for selling a home. If you’re planning to put your[...]
Individual tax calendar: Important deadlines for the remainder of 2018
While April 15 (April 17 this year) is the main tax deadline on most individual taxpayers’ minds, there are others[...]
2018 Tax Tips
The IRS reminds taxpayers of big changes that apply to most individual 2018 tax returns. Initial inflation adjustments, which were[...]
Can I Claim My Parent as a Dependent?
Perhaps! If you’ve taken care of a parent, s/he may qualify as a dependent. Claiming your parent as a dependent relies[...]
How to check your federal tax status
Check the status of your federal tax account with an IRS online tool. Individual taxpayers can use the tool to[...]
Home-related tax breaks are valuable on 2017 returns, will be less so for 2018
Home ownership is a key element of the American dream for many, and the U.S. tax code includes many tax[...]
IRS Can Detect Inaccurate Tax Reporting
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) will be changing the tax rules of the road for alimony. Under current[...]
Moving Expenses Deduction 2018 vs 2017
If you moved for work-related reasons in 2017, you might be able to deduct some of the costs on your[...]
Size of charitable deductions depends on many factors
Whether you’re claiming charitable deductions on your 2017 return or planning your donations for 2018, be sure you know how[...]
State and local sales tax deduction remains, but subject to a new limit
Individual taxpayers who itemize their deductions can deduct either state and local income taxes or state and local sales taxes.[...]
Medical Tax Deduction 2021 Update: TJCA Threshold No Longer in Effect
Lake Forest and greater Chicago taxpayers know that medical expenses can take a bite out of the pocketbook, and fortunately[...]