Blog

Articles

The tax advantages of including debt in a C corporation capital structure
Let’s say you plan to use a C corporation to operate a newly acquired business or you have an existing C corporation[...]
Watch out for “income in respect of a decedent” issues when receiving an inheritance
Most people are genuinely appreciative of inheritances, and who wouldn’t enjoy some unexpected money? But in some cases, it may[...]
When businesses may want to take a contrary approach with income and deductions
Businesses usually want to delay recognition of taxable income into future years and accelerate deductions into the current year. But[...]
The pros and cons of turning your home into a rental
If you’re buying a new home, you may have thought about keeping your current home and renting it out. In[...]
Don’t have a tax-favored retirement plan? Set one up now
If your business doesn’t already have a retirement plan, it might be a good time to take the plunge. Current[...]
Your Guide to Experiencing Theatre in Chicago
Hey there, fellow Chicagoans! If you're a lover of the arts, then you're in for a treat because the Windy[...]
How Unemployment Effects Your Taxes
  Unemployment has been holding steady recently at 3.7%. But there are still some people losing their jobs — particularly[...]
When partners pay expenses related to the business
It’s not unusual for a partner to incur expenses related to the partnership’s business. This is especially likely to occur[...]
How to Handle IRS Audits Painlessly
  If you operate a business, or you’re starting a new one, you know records of income and expenses need[...]
Update on Retirement Account Required Minimum Distributions
  If you have a tax-favored retirement account, including a traditional IRA, you’ll become exposed to the federal income tax[...]
Coordinating Sec. 179 tax deductions with bonus depreciation
  Your business should generally maximize current-year depreciation write-offs for newly acquired assets. Two federal tax breaks can be a[...]
How Much to Save for Retirement in 2024
Retirement planning is a complex process, but it's something you truly can't afford to ignore. If you're over the age[...]
Maximize the QBI deduction before it’s gone
  The qualified business income (QBI) deduction is available to eligible businesses through 2025. After that, it’s scheduled to disappear.[...]
How renting out a vacation property will affect your taxes
  Are you dreaming of buying a vacation beach home, lakefront cottage or ski chalet? Or perhaps you’re fortunate enough[...]
Bartering is a taxable transaction even if no cash is exchanged
If your small business is strapped for cash (or likes to save money), you may find it beneficial to barter[...]
Keep these 3 issues in mind after you file your return
The tax filing deadline for 2023 tax returns is April 15 this year. If you need more time, you can[...]
Beware of a stealth tax on Social Security benefits
Some people mistakenly believe that Social Security benefits are always free from federal income tax. Unfortunately, that’s often not the[...]
Tips for Reducing Your Tax Burden
Tax season can present you with a welcome refund or a disappointing tax bill, depending on the state of your[...]
2024 Q2 Tax Calendar: Key Deadlines for Businesses and Employers
  Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines that apply to businesses and other employers during the second quarter[...]
How to File for an Extension or Your Taxes
  The April 15 tax filing deadline is right around the corner. However, you might not be ready to file.[...]
How to Save More With Your 529 College Savings Plan
  With the high cost of college, many parents begin saving with 529 plans when their children are babies. Contributions[...]
How To Start an Accounting Career
Do you possess a knack for problem-solving, addressing inconsistencies, and providing solutions? Are you excellent with time management, meeting tight[...]
Better tax break when applying the research credit against payroll taxes
The credit for increasing research activities, often referred to as the research and development (R&D) credit, is a valuable tax[...]
Taking your spouse on a business trip? Can you write off the costs?
A recent report shows that post-pandemic global business travel is going strong. The market reached $665.3 billion in 2022 and is[...]
If you didn’t contribute to an IRA last year, there’s still time
If you’re gathering documents to file your 2023 tax return and you’re concerned that your tax bill may be higher[...]
If you gave to charity in 2023, check to see that you have substantiation
Did you donate to charity last year? Acknowledgment letters from the charities you gave to may have already shown up[...]
What Should I Do Before My Tax Planning Meeting?
Tax time is a major stressor for many Americans, with 48% indicating that they worry about paying their taxes. While taxes[...]
What’s the best accounting method route for business tax purposes?
  Businesses basically have two accounting methods to figure their taxable income: cash and accrual. Many businesses have a choice[...]
9 Tax Tips if You’re Starting a Business as a Sole Proprietor
  When launching a small business, many entrepreneurs start out as sole proprietors. If you’re launching a venture as a[...]
IRAs: Build a tax-favored retirement nest egg
Although traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs have been around for decades, the rules involved have changed many times. The Secure[...]
Should a Married Couple File Jointly or Separately?
  When you file your tax return, a tax filing status must be chosen. This status is used to determine[...]
6 Tax Tips for the Self-Employed 
Are you a self-employed individual looking to get the most out of your tax savings? Whether you're a freelancer, consultant,[...]
Update on IRS efforts to combat questionable Employee Retention Tax Credit claims
  The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) was introduced back when COVID-19 temporarily closed many businesses. The credit provided cash[...]
Should your business offer the new emergency savings accounts to employees?
  As part of the SECURE 2.0 law, there’s a new benefit option for employees facing emergencies. It’s called a[...]
Tax-favored Qualified Small Business Corporation status could help you thrive
  Operating your small business as a Qualified Small Business Corporation (QSBC) could be a tax-wise idea. Tax-free treatment for[...]
Does your business have employees who get tips? You may qualify for a tax credit
  If you’re an employer with a business where tipping is routine when providing food and beverages, you may qualify[...]
2023 Tax Filing Changes
When tax season approaches, it's important to take care when preparing your forms and reporting your financial information to ensure[...]
Don’t Overlook Taxes When Contemplating a Move to Another State
  When you retire, you may think about moving to another state — perhaps because the weather is more temperate[...]
Get ready for the 2023 gift tax return deadline
Did you make large gifts to your children, grandchildren or others last year? If so, it’s important to determine if[...]
What Disqualifies You from Unemployment Benefits in Illinois
Many Illinois residents depend on steady employment. A sudden loss of income may leave you struggling to pay your mortgage[...]
The kiddie tax could affect your children until they’re young adults
The so-called “kiddie tax” can cause some of a child’s unearned income to be taxed at the parent’s higher marginal[...]
It’s possible (but not easy) to claim a medical expense tax deduction
One of your New Year’s resolutions may be to pay more attention to your health. Of course, that may cost[...]
Court awards and out-of-court settlements may (or may not) be taxed
Monetary awards and settlements are often provided for an array of reasons. For example, a person could receive compensatory and[...]
A company car is a valuable perk but don’t forget about taxes
One of the most appreciated fringe benefits for owners and employees of small businesses is the use of a company[...]
Choosing a business entity: Which way to go?
If you’re planning to start a business or thinking about changing your business entity, you need to determine what will[...]
Answers to your tax season questions
The IRS announced it will open the 2024 income tax return filing season on January 29. That’s when the tax[...]
Discover the Most Romantic Restaurants for Your Valentine’s Day Date in Lake Forest, IL
Are you ready to elevate your Valentine's Day celebration in Lake Forest, IL, with a truly romantic dining experience? Look[...]
A cost segregation study may cut taxes and boost cash flow
Is your business depreciating over 30 years the entire cost of constructing the building that houses your enterprise? If so,[...]
The standard business mileage rate will be going up slightly in 2024
The optional standard mileage rate used to calculate the deductible cost of operating an automobile for business will be going[...]
11 Exceptions to the 10% penalty tax on early IRA withdrawals
If you’re facing a serious cash shortfall, one possible solution is to take an early withdrawal from your traditional IRA.[...]
Don’t overlook taxes when contemplating a move to another state
When you retire, you may think about moving to another state — perhaps because the weather is more temperate or[...]
The “nanny tax” must be paid for nannies and other household workers
You may have heard of the “nanny tax.” But if you don’t employ a nanny, you may think it doesn’t[...]
What You Need to Know about Restricted Stock Awards and Taxes
  Restricted stock awards are a popular way for companies to offer equity-oriented executive compensation. Some businesses offer them instead[...]
Two New Tax Provisions May Soon Provide Emergency Relief
  Perhaps you’ve been in this situation before: You have a financial emergency and need to get your hands on[...]
Key 2024 inflation-adjusted tax amounts for individuals
  The IRS recently announced various 2024 inflation-adjusted federal tax amounts that affect individual taxpayers. Most of the federal income[...]
4 ideas that may help reduce your 2023 tax bill
If you’re concerned about your 2023 tax bill, there may still be time to reduce it. Here are four quick[...]
Don’t forget to empty out your flexible spending account
If you have a tax-saving flexible spending account (FSA) with your employer to help pay for health or dependent care[...]
There still may be time to reduce your small business 2023 tax bill
In the midst of holiday parties and shopping for gifts, don’t forget to consider steps to cut the 2023 tax[...]
New per diem business travel rates kicked in on October 1
Are employees at your business traveling and frustrated about documenting expenses? Or perhaps you’re annoyed at the time and energy[...]
Giving gifts and throwing parties can help show gratitude and provide tax breaks
The holiday season is here. During this festive season, your business may want to show its gratitude to employees and[...]
Contributing to your employer’s 401(k) plan: How it works
If you’re fortunate to have an employer that offers a 401(k) plan, and you don’t contribute to it, you may[...]
The Social Security wage base for employees and self-employed people is increasing in 2024
The Social Security Administration recently announced that the wage base for computing Social Security tax will increase to $168,600 for[...]
Planning ahead for 2024: Should your 401(k) help employees with emergencies?
The SECURE 2.0 law, which was enacted last year, contains wide-ranging changes to retirement plans. One provision in the law[...]
Are scholarships tax-free or taxable?
With the rising cost of college, many families are in search of scholarships to help pay the bills. If your[...]
How IRS auditors learn about your business industry
Ever wonder how IRS examiners know about different industries so they can audit various businesses? They generally do research about[...]
The tax implications of renting out a vacation home
Many Americans own a vacation home or aspire to purchase one. If you own a second home in a waterfront[...]
Casualty loss tax deductions may help disaster victims in certain cases
This year, many Americans have been victimized by wildfires, severe storms, flooding, tornadoes and other disasters. No matter where you[...]
Are Groceries Taxed in Illinois?
If you've suspected your grocery bill is going up in your Illinois town, you're correct. In July of 2023, Illinois[...]
What are the tax implications of winning money or valuable prizes?
If you gamble or buy lottery tickets and you’re lucky enough to win, congratulations! After you celebrate, be aware that[...]
Evaluate whether a Health Savings Account is beneficial to you
With the escalating cost of health care, many people are looking for a more cost-effective way to pay for it.[...]
Business automobiles: How the tax depreciation rules work
Do you use an automobile in your trade or business? If so, you may question how depreciation tax deductions are[...]
Investment swings: What’s the tax impact?
If your investments have fluctuated wildly this year, you may have already recognized some significant gains and losses. But nothing[...]
What types 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 for a big profit? Here are the tax rules
Many homeowners across the country have seen their home values increase in recent years. According to the National Association of[...]
Are you married and not earning compensation? You may be able to put money in an IRA
When one spouse in a married couple is not earning compensation, the couple may not be able to save as[...]
Being a gig worker comes with tax consequences
In recent years, many workers have become engaged in the “gig” economy. You may think of gig workers as those[...]
What Tax Do I Pay as a Contractor in Illinois?
If you're a self-employed contractor in Illinois, you must pay Illinois self-employment tax and income tax if your net earnings[...]
4 tax challenges you may encounter if you’re retiring soon
Are you getting ready to retire? If so, you’ll soon experience changes in your lifestyle and income sources that may[...]
Can you deduct student loan interest on your tax return?
The federal student loan “pause” is coming to an end on August 31 after more than three years. If you[...]
Benefits of a living trust for your estate
You may think you don’t need to make any estate planning moves because of the generous federal estate tax exemption[...]
Property Tax Exemptions in Illinois
While owning property comes with its fair share of responsibilities, one of the biggest financial considerations for homeowners is their[...]
Disabled family members may be able to benefit from ABLE accounts
If you have family members with disabilities, there may be a tax-advantaged way to save for their needs — without[...]
Receive more than $10,000 in cash at your business? Here’s what you must do
Does your business receive large amounts of cash or cash equivalents? If so, you’re generally required to report these transactions[...]
Planning ahead for 2024: Should your 401(k) help employees with emergencies?
The SECURE 2.0 law, which was enacted last year, contains wide-ranging changes to retirement plans. One provision in the law[...]
The advantages of using an LLC for your small business
If you operate your small business as a sole proprietorship, you may have thought about forming a limited liability company[...]
Pocket a tax break for making energy-efficient home improvements
An estimated 190 million Americans have recently been under heat advisory alerts, according to the National Weather Service. That may[...]
Can you deduct student loan interest on your tax return?
The federal student loan “pause” is coming to an end on August 31 after more than three years. If you[...]
A tax-smart way to develop and sell appreciated land
Let’s say you own highly appreciated land that’s now ripe for development. If you subdivide it, develop the resulting parcels[...]
Traveling for business this summer? Here’s what you can deduct
If you and your employees are traveling for business this summer, there are a number of considerations to keep in[...]
Keep these DOs and DON’Ts in mind when deducting 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,[...]
The IRS has just announced 2024 amounts for Health Savings Accounts
The IRS recently released guidance providing the 2024 inflation-adjusted amounts for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). HSA fundamentals An HSA is[...]
How to Celebrate Oktoberfest in Chicago
Oktoberfest is a German festival that celebrates the culture, cuisine, and beer of Bavaria. It originated in Munich in 1810[...]
Moving Mom or Dad into a nursing home? 5 potential tax implications
More than a million Americans live in nursing homes, according to various reports. If you have a parent entering one,[...]
Retirement account catch-up contributions can add up
If you’re age 50 or older, you can probably make extra “catch-up” contributions to your tax-favored retirement account(s). It is[...]
Use an S corporation to mitigate federal employment tax bills
If you own an unincorporated small business, you probably don’t like the size of your self-employment (SE) tax bills. No[...]
Payroll Taxes in Illinois: Everything You Need to Know
There's nothing small about being a small business owner. The jobs and responsibilities of the employer are far-reaching, including keeping[...]
Inheriting stock or other assets? You’ll receive a favorable “stepped-up basis”
If you’re planning your estate, or you’ve recently inherited assets, you may be unsure of the “cost” (or “basis”) for[...]
That email or text from the IRS: It’s a scam!
“Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams,” according to the IRS. The[...]
The IRS has just announced 2024 amounts for Health Savings Accounts
The IRS recently released guidance providing the 2024 inflation-adjusted amounts for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). HSA fundamentals An HSA is[...]
The best way to survive an IRS audit is to prepare
The IRS recently released its audit statistics for the 2022 fiscal year and fewer taxpayers had their returns examined as[...]
Are you married and not earning compensation? You may be able to put money in an IRA
When one spouse in a married couple is not earning compensation, the couple may not be able to save as[...]
That email or text from the IRS: It’s a scam!
“Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams,” according to the IRS. The[...]
When can seniors deduct Medicare premiums on their tax returns?
If you’re age 65 and older and have basic Medicare insurance, you may need to pay additional premiums to get[...]
Reduce the impact of the 3.8% net investment income tax
High-income taxpayers face a regular income tax rate of 35% or 37%. And they may also have to pay a[...]
Freelance Tax Deductions in Illinois
The number of freelancers in the United States is at an all-time high, with 60 million Americans performing freelance work.[...]
Benefits of a living trust for your estate
You may think you don’t need to make any estate planning moves because of the generous federal estate tax exemption[...]
How to Calculate Net Worth Tax
Even if you don't do your own taxes each year, you may have heard about a net worth tax, also[...]
If you’re hiring independent contractors, make sure they’re properly handled
Many businesses use independent contractors to help keep their costs down — especially in these times of staff shortages and[...]
Retirement saving options for your small business: Keep it simple
If you’re thinking about setting up a retirement plan for yourself and your employees, but you’re worried about the financial[...]
Paperwork you can toss after filing your tax return
Once you file your 2022 tax return, you may wonder what personal tax papers you can throw away and how[...]
The IRS clarifies what counts as qualified medical expenses
If you itemize deductions on your tax return, you may wonder: What medical expenses can I include? The IRS recently[...]
There’s a favorable “stepped-up basis” if you inherit property
A common question for people planning their estates or inheriting property is: For tax purposes, what’s the “cost” (or “basis”)[...]
The tax advantages of hiring your child this summer
Summer is around the corner so you may be thinking about hiring young people at your small business. At the[...]
Questions you may still have after filing your tax return
If you’ve successfully filed your 2022 tax return with the IRS, you may think you’re done with taxes for another[...]
Why am I getting a letter from the Illinois Department of Revenue?
You may receive a letter from the Illinois Department of Revenue for numerous reasons, and most are no cause for[...]
How is Cryptocurrency Taxed in Illinois?
Cryptocurrencies have been one of the most disruptive inventions in the financial world since the advent of the internet. Digital[...]
Is Angel Investing Tax Deductible?
Angel investing is when a single investor or an investor group invests in a startup company in the early stages.[...]
Key tax issues in M&A transactions
Merger and acquisition activity dropped dramatically last year due to rising interest rates and a slowing economy. The total value[...]
2023 Q2 tax calendar: Key deadlines for businesses and employers
Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines that apply to businesses and other employers during the second quarter of[...]
Two important tax deadlines are coming up — and they don’t involve filing your 2022 tax return
  April 18 is the deadline for filing your 2022 tax return. But a couple of other tax deadlines are[...]
The 2022 gift tax return deadline is coming up soon
  Did you make large gifts to your children, grandchildren or other heirs last year? If so, it’s important to[...]
Answers to your questions about 2023 limits on individual taxes
  Many people are more concerned about their 2022 tax bills right now than they are about their 2023 tax[...]
Many tax limits affecting businesses have increased for 2023
An array of tax-related limits that affect businesses are indexed annually, and due to high inflation, many have increased more[...]
Tax-saving ways to help pay for college — once your child starts attending
  If you have a child or grandchild in college — congratulations! To help pay for the expenses, many parents[...]
Why Do You Need a Family office?
Protecting, managing, and transferring your finances and assets often requires the help of a professional with expertise. Working with a[...]
Choosing a business entity? Here are the pros and cons of a C corporation
If you’re launching a new business venture, you’re probably wondering which form of business is most suitable. Here is a[...]
Employers: In 2023, the Social Security wage base is going up
The Social Security Administration recently announced that the wage base for computing Social Security tax will increase to $160,200 for[...]
The standard business mileage rate is going up in 2023
Although the national price of gas is a bit lower than it was a year ago, the optional standard mileage[...]
SECURE 2.0 law may make you more secure in retirement
A new law was recently signed that will help Americans save more for retirement, although many of the provisions don’t[...]
What Is Eligible As A Tax Deduction For 2023?
Ever-evolving tax laws mean changes are in store every year, and 2023 is no exception. Tax deductions have changed in[...]
2023 limits for businesses that have HSAs — or want to establish them
No one needs to remind business owners that the cost of employee health care benefits keeps going up. One way[...]
Inflation Means You and Your Employees Can Save More For Retirement In 2023
How much can you and your employees contribute to your 401(k)s next year — or other retirement plans? In Notice[...]
What Are The Tax Rules Involved In Donating?
  The holiday season is here and many people plan to donate to their favorite charities or give money or[...]
How Savings Bonds Are Taxed
  Many people have savings bonds that were purchased many years ago. Perhaps they were given to your children as[...]
How Inflation Will Affect Your 2022 and 2023 Tax Bills
  The effects of inflation are all around. You’re probably paying more for gas, food, health care and other expenses[...]
Is Your Business Required To Report Employee Health Coverage?
  As you’re aware, certain employers are required to report information related to their employees’ health coverage. Does your business[...]
Self Employed? Build A Nest Egg With a Solo 401(k) Plan
Do you own a successful small business with no employees and want to set up a retirement plan? Or do[...]
What Is The Property Tax In Illinois?
Whether you're a current homeowner in Illinois or considering moving to the Prairie State, you might wonder how the property[...]
Is Your Withholding Adequate? Here’s How To Check
  When you filed your federal tax return this year, were you surprised to find you owed money? You might[...]
What Are Some Year-End Tax Planning Ideas For Small Businesses?
Now that Labor Day has passed, it’s a good time to think about making moves that may help lower your[...]
Can Homeowners Deduct Seller Paid Points?
  In its latest report, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced that July 2022 existing home sales were down[...]
Why You Shouldn’t Forget Income Tax When Planning Your Estate
  As a result of the current estate tax exemption amount ($12.06 million in 2022), many estates no longer need[...]
What Is The Difference Between A Financial Advisor And A Financial Planner?
Financial planners and financial advisors often have duties that overlap, but there are a few key differences between these two[...]
What Are Some Year-End Tax Planning Ideas For Individuals
  Now that fall is officially here, it’s a good time to start taking steps that may lower your tax[...]
How Will The Social Security Wage Increase Affect Employers?
The Social Security Administration recently announced that the wage base for computing Social Security tax will increase to $160,200 for[...]
What Are Some Financial Consequences of Tax-Free Bonds?
  If you’re interested in investing in tax-free municipal bonds, you may wonder if they’re really free of taxes. While[...]
How To Plan A Tax-Smart Year-End Gifts Strategy
  Are you feeling generous at year end? Taxpayers can transfer substantial amounts free of gift taxes to their children[...]
What Is a Bookkeeper? What Do They Do & How Do I Benefit?
Bookkeeping services are essential for any business, no matter the industry. Any time there's money coming in and going out,[...]
What Is A Business Consultant? What Do They Do?
Successfully navigating complex business issues requires you to look closely at your company to gain clarity on challenges and opportunities.[...]
Vehicle Expenses: Can Individual Taxpayers Deduct Them?
It’s not just businesses that can deduct vehicle-related expenses on their tax returns. Individuals also can deduct them in certain[...]
Three Tax Breaks For Small Businesses
Sometimes, bigger isn’t better: Your small- or medium-sized business may be eligible for tax breaks that aren’t available to larger[...]
Is Your Withholding Adequate? Here’s How To Check
When you filed your federal tax return this year, were you surprised to find you owed money? You might want[...]
How To Avoid The Early Withdrawal Tax Penalty On IRA Distributions
When you take withdrawals from your traditional IRA, you probably know that they’re taxable. But there may be a penalty[...]
Help When Needed: Apply The Research Credit Against Payroll Taxes
Here’s an interesting option if your small company or start-up business plans to claim the research tax credit. Subject to[...]
The Kiddie Tax: Does It Affect Your Family?
Many wonder how they can save taxes by transferring assets into their children’s names. This tax strategy is called income[...]
The Best Parks To Visit In Lake Bluff, IL
Parks are an integral part of a healthy and happy neighborhood. Not only do they provide beautiful natural scenery but[...]
Interested In An EV? How To Qualify For A Powerful Tax Credit
Sales and registrations of electric vehicles (EVs) have increased dramatically in the U.S. in 2022, according to several sources. However,[...]
Five tax implications of divorce
  Are you in the early stages of divorce? In addition to the tough personal issues that you’re dealing with,[...]
Businesses may receive notices about information returns that don’t match IRS records
  The IRS has begun mailing notices to businesses, financial institutions and other payers that filed certain returns with information[...]
Multifamily Office vs. Private Bank
When selecting a bank to manage your hard-earned money, you want to understand all your options. Although there are many[...]
Your estate plan: Don’t forget about income tax planning
  As a result of the current estate tax exemption amount ($12.06 million in 2022), many people no longer need[...]
Businesses will soon be able to deduct more under the standard mileage rate
  Business owners are aware that the price of gas is historically high, which has made their vehicle costs soar.[...]
Social Security benefits: Do you have to pay tax on them?
Some people who begin claiming Social Security benefits are surprised to find out they’re taxed by the federal government on[...]
Is it a good time for a Roth conversion?
The downturn in the stock market may have caused the value of your retirement account to decrease. But if you[...]
Is Alimony Taxable in Illinois?
In recent years, spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, has changed in Illinois. State tax law changes affect the tax[...]
Inflation enhances the 2023 amounts for Health Savings Accounts
The IRS recently released guidance providing the 2023 inflation-adjusted amounts for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). High inflation rates will result[...]
Thinking about converting your home into a rental property?
In some cases, homeowners decide to move to new residences, but keep their present homes and rent them out. If[...]
Want to turn a hobby into a business? Watch out for the tax rules
Like many people, you may have dreamed of turning a hobby into a regular business. You won’t have any tax[...]
Valuable gifts to charity may require an appraisal
If you donate valuable items to charity, you may be required to get an appraisal. The IRS requires donors and[...]
Businesses: Prepare for the lower 1099-K filing threshold
Businesses should be aware that they may be responsible for issuing more information reporting forms for 2022 because more workers[...]
How to Deduct Medical Expenses: A Guide to Medical Tax Deductions
When it's time to file your taxes, it's important to take advantage of every applicable deduction. Being proactive allows you[...]
Caring for an elderly relative? You may be eligible for tax breaks
Taking care of an elderly parent or grandparent may provide more than just personal satisfaction. You could also be eligible[...]
IRA charitable donations: An alternative to taxable required distributions
Are you a charitably minded individual who is also taking distributions from a traditional IRA? You may want to consider[...]
How Can Internal Audits Help a Business
At Pasquesi Sheppard, we often speak with people who are unaware of the benefits an internal audit can have for[...]
Important tax aspects of operating your business as a sole proprietor
If you’re in business for yourself as a sole proprietor, or you’re planning to start a business, you need to[...]
Are you ready for the 2021 gift tax return deadline?
If you made large gifts to your children, grandchildren or other heirs last year, it’s important to determine whether you’re[...]
Are Union Dues Tax Deductible?
Employee business expense is a common term when dealing with taxes, and many believe that union dues are a classic[...]
Making withdrawals from your closely held corporation that aren’t taxed as dividends
Do you want to withdraw cash from your closely held corporation at a minimum tax cost? The simplest way is[...]
Married couples filing separate tax returns: Why would they do it?
If you’re married, you may wonder whether you should file joint or separate tax returns. The answer depends on your[...]
The Pros and Cons of Corporate Tax
Simply put, corporate tax is the tax levied on the profits of a corporation. The taxes are calculated using the[...]
Entrepreneurs and taxes: How expenses are claimed on tax returns
While some businesses have closed since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, many new ventures have launched. Entrepreneurs have cited[...]
How Can I Use a Flexible Spending Account?
There are two kinds of flexible spending accounts: one used for medical and health-related expenses and another for dependent care[...]
How will revised tax limits affect your 2022 taxes?
While Congress didn’t pass the Build Back Better Act in 2021, there are still tax changes that may affect your[...]
Numerous tax limits affecting businesses have increased for 2022
Many tax limits that affect businesses are annually indexed for inflation, and a number of them have increased for 2022.[...]
How to Avoid a Small Business Audit
Nothing strikes fear in the heart of a small business owner like correspondence from the IRS. Of course, it's possible[...]
Does Illinois Have A Gift Tax?
Let's examine what a gift tax is and the situations in which it is applied. Also, in short, Illinois does[...]
Estate Tax vs. Inheritance Tax: What’s the Difference?
Losing a loved one is a challenging time in anyone's life. The last thing you want to do is incur[...]
Employee Retention Credit: Sunset Early by New Infrastructure Law
The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) was a valuable tax credit that helped employers survive the COVID-19 pandemic. A new law[...]
Flexible Spending Account Money: Remember to Spend It All
Do you have a tax-saving flexible spending account (FSA) with your employer to help pay for health or dependent care[...]
What is the Difference Between a Family Office and a Hedge Fund?
Family offices and hedge funds are two types of wealth management tools designed especially for individuals and families with high[...]
Employers: The Social Security wage base is increasing in 2022
The Social Security Administration recently announced that the wage base for computing Social Security tax will increase to $147,000 for[...]
Factor in taxes if you’re relocating to another state in retirement
Are you considering a move to another state when you retire? Perhaps you want to relocate to an area where[...]
Feeling generous at year end? Strategies for donating to charity or gifting to loved ones
As we approach the holidays, many people plan to donate to their favorite charities or give money or assets to[...]
Illinois Gas Tax 2021
Illinois doesn't hold back when it comes to taxing anything car related. Beginning back on July 1, 2021, which was[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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[...]
What Is the Illinois Individual Income Tax Return IL-1040 Form?
The IL-1040 Form is the official document that taxpayers fill out to determine taxes owed or refund expected. It's divided[...]
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[...]
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.[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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,[...]
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[...]
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.[...]
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.[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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.[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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 “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[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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.[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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.[...]