Professional Accounting Blog

    Accounting For Your Prosperity

    Karen McCarthy

    Karen McCarthy, with 25+ years of tax planning experience, is a Vice President at Meaden & Moore and the Director of the Personal Tax Advisory Group.

    Recent Posts

    Thoughtful Charitable Planning Can Maximize Tax Savings Under the TCJA

    Posted by Karen McCarthy on Apr 16, 2019 2:39:12 PM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies

    The amount you donate to charity can make an impact on the organizations you support while providing relief from federal income tax. Now that we have had a full year to review the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), charitable giving can still play a key role in your tax planning.

    The TCJA continues to provide tax benefits for charitable giving for those taxpayers who are able to itemize their deductions. In fact, charitable contributions are one of the few deductions that were enhanced under the Act, which increased the AGI limitation on cash contributions from 50% to 60%. The 30% limitation on contributions of appreciated assets still applies and contributions exceeding the limits may be carried over for up to five years. 

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    A Wealth of Year-end Planning Opportunities for Individuals

    Posted by Karen McCarthy on Nov 6, 2018 4:07:04 PM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies

    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) created more than 100 new tax provisions — a staggering thought as you begin to prepare for the next filing season. The good news is that these and some of the surviving provisions create a wealth of year-end planning opportunities.

    Choose the right approach to deductions

    Many taxpayers who’ve traditionally itemized their deductions might end up simply claiming the standard deduction for 2018. The TCJA roughly doubles the standard deduction to $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for married couples. It also suspends personal exemptions and eliminates or limits many of the popular itemized deductions.

    The deduction for state and local income and sales taxes, for example, is limited to $10,000 for the aggregate of state and local property taxes and income or sales taxes. This could make it difficult to claim enough in itemized deductions to surpass the standard deduction.

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    How will the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affect your estate plan?

    Posted by Karen McCarthy on Mar 13, 2018 3:58:44 PM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies

    Effective January 1, 2018, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) reduces individual and corporate tax rates, eliminates a host of deductions and credits, enhances other breaks and makes numerous additional changes.

    One thing the TCJA doesn’t do is repeal the federal gift and estate tax, as originally contemplated by the House of Representatives version of the bill.

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    The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018

    Posted by Karen McCarthy on Feb 15, 2018 3:39:21 PM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies

    New budget agreement brings additional tax changes

    The ink on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which swept in a tidal wave of changes to federal tax rules, had been dry for only seven weeks before Congress passed more legislation that could affect many taxpayers. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA), which President Trump signed into law on February 9, 2018, contains several tax-related provisions that could reduce the amounts some taxpayers owe for the 2017 tax year.

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    New Tax Law Brings Big Changes For Individual Taxpayers

    Posted by Karen McCarthy on Dec 22, 2017 4:20:54 PM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies, Accounting & Auditing

    The reconciled tax reform bill, commonly called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (TCJA), is the most sweeping federal tax legislation in more than three decades. While many of the new law’s provisions affect businesses, it also includes significant changes for individual taxpayers, most of which take effect for 2018 and expire after 2025. Here are some of the most notable changes.

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    U.S. House Passes Tax Bill for Individuals and Businesses

    Posted by Karen McCarthy on Nov 20, 2017 1:15:34 PM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies

    On November 16, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by a vote of 227 to 205. What are tax reform’s next few steps? On November 17, the Senate Finance Committee approved its own tax reform bill, and the full Senate is expected to weigh in on the bill after the Thanksgiving holiday. If the Senate passes its bill, the House and Senate will work to reconcile their two bills into a final piece of legislation.

    Here’s an overview of some of the most significant provisions for individual taxpayers and businesses in the House bill. Most of the changes will go into effect in 2018 if they’re included in reconciled legislation.

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    Four Lesser Known Reasons You Could Get Audited

    Posted by Karen McCarthy on May 24, 2016 8:59:21 AM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies

    Typically when we hear that someone has been audited we think of the basics: Under-reporting income or posting significant losses, writing off the extra space in the home as a home office deduction, or claiming a number of deductions that don’t align with income. However, people generally overlook the following red flags that could result in you winding up on the IRS’ radar.

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    The Door is Soon Closing on the Social Security “File and Suspend” Strategy

    Posted by Karen McCarthy on Mar 3, 2016 9:15:33 AM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies

    There are a number of planning techniques available to assist in deciding when to start receiving Social Security benefits. Benefits become available starting at age 62, which is below the full retirement age of 66 or 67, or can be deferred up to age 70. The longer you defer benefits, the monthly benefit rises. Regardless of when you decide to start receiving benefits, it shouldn’t be done without a plan. Part of your overall strategy should consider timing your benefits with those of your spouse, which can include delaying benefits, suspending benefits, and deciding if and when to claim a spousal benefit. 

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    Ohio Department of Taxation Implements Identity Theft Safeguards That May Delay 2015 Refunds

    Posted by Karen McCarthy on Jan 21, 2015 12:49:54 PM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies

    To help protect Ohio taxpayers from identity theft, the Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) is implementing additional safeguards that will cause some 2015 tax refunds to be delayed. The new safeguards include an additional up-front filter that will be applied to all returns requesting a refund to analyze the demographic information reported on a return. This analysis will then assign a “probability of fraud” factor that will determine how the return is then further processed by ODT.

    If a return is pulled for review, ODT’s additional security measures will require some taxpayers to successfully complete an Identification Confirmation Quiz, before the return will continue to be processed. If a taxpayer’s return is selected for identity confirmation they will receive a letter from ODT containing instructions for confirming their identity.

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    Municipal Tax Reform in Ohio

    Posted by Karen McCarthy on Oct 23, 2014 9:45:58 AM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies

    This fall, the Ohio senate is scheduled to consider House Bill 5 (HB5), which is reform legislation that will overhaul Ohio’s dysfunctional municipal tax system. 

    Currently there are nearly 600 taxing municipalities in Ohio and each one is able to define income that is subject to tax. Each municipality is also free to disallow net operating losses (NOL’s) or allow them for any period ranging from 0 to 15 years. Each municipality also may individually define filing requirements, extensions, due dates, penalties, and the appeals process. 

    Ohio currently has the most complicated local tax system of any state that assesses local income tax on businesses and individuals. HB5 will create a uniform set of rules under which municipalities would assess income tax. It extends the occasional entry rule from 12 to 20 days and does not require look-back withholding once the 20 day limit is reached. Withholding would only be required for wages paid as of day 21.

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