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An “innocent spouse” may be able to escape tax liability

Batley CPA Tax & Business Alert September 2023

When a married couple files a joint tax return, each spouse is “jointly and severally” liable for the full amount of tax on the couple’s combined income. Therefore, the IRS can pursue either spouse to collect the entire tax — not just the part that’s attributed to one spouse or the other. This includes any tax deficiency that the IRS assesses after an audit, as well as any penalties and interest. But there may be relief. A brief sidebar addresses what to do about future returns.

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Your estate plan: don't forget about income tax planning

Batley CPA Tax & Business Alert August 2023

As a result of the current estate tax exemption amount ($12.92 million in 2023), many people are no longer concerned with federal estate tax. This article points out that before 2011, a much smaller dollar amount resulted in many people attempting to avoid estate tax. Now, because many estates won’t be subject to estate tax, more planning can be devoted to saving income taxes for heirs. A sidebar briefly looks at certain exclusions or discounts.

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Lost your job? Here are the tax aspects of an employee termination

Batley CPA Tax & Business Alert July 2023

Despite the robust job market, some people are still losing their jobs. For those who are laid off or terminated from employment, taxes are probably the last thing they’re concerned about. However, they may face tax implications when personal and professional circumstances change, and there may be some decisions to make.

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Is it a good time for a Roth conversion?

Batley CPA Tax & Business Alert June 2023

The volatility in the stock market may have caused the value of retirement accounts to decrease. To those with traditional IRAs invested in stocks, a decline may provide a valuable opportunity: that is, taxpayers may be able to convert a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA at a lower tax cost.

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Bolster wealth management with trusts

Batley CPA Tax & Business Alert May 2023

Trusts can help affluent individuals and families manage, protect and grow their wealth. But there are a wide variety to choose from, so it’s important to understand the basic concepts behind trusts before choosing one. This article defines trusts and provides an example of how one popular trust type works. A sidebar looks at another example: intentionally defective grantor trusts.

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Thinking about converting your home into a rental property?

Batley CPA Tax & Business Alert April 2023

In some cases, homeowners move to new residences, but keep their present homes and rent them out. Homeowners who are considering this are probably already aware of the financial risks and rewards of doing so. However, they should also know that renting out a personal residence carries potential tax benefits and pitfalls.

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SECURE 2.0 law may make you more secure in retirement

Batley CPA Tax & Business Alert March 2023

A new law was recently passed that will help Americans save more for retirement, although many of the provisions don’t kick in for a few years. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement 2.0 Act (SECURE 2.0) was signed into law on December 29, 2022. A sidebar discusses changes to Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts available to certain disabled taxpayers.

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Protect your business with meticulous records

Batley CPA Tax & Business Alert February 2023

Running a business requires that strong, supportable records be kept. Every expense that appears on a tax return might have to be defended if the IRS decides to audit the return. And failing to operate in a businesslike manner and keep good records might lead the IRS to deem the activity a hobby rather than a business. This means expenses may be limited or disallowed. This article and a sidebar illustrate how the IRS (and sometimes the courts) view business records, what they’re looking for and what’s considered acceptable substantiation.

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6 key tax Q&As for 2023

Batley CPA Tax & Business Alert January 2023

Right now, taxpayers may be more concerned about their 2022 tax bills than about how to handle their personal finances in the new year. However, as they deal with their annual tax filing, it’s a good idea to also familiarize themselves with pertinent tax-related amounts that may have changed in 2023. This article poses six key questions about such amounts, including those related to retirement planning and the itemized deduction.

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