The new tax reform law, commonly called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (TCJA), is the biggest federal tax law overhaul in 31 years, and it has both good and bad news for taxpayers. Here are some of the most significant changes affecting individual and business taxpayers.
Schlenner Wenner & Co. was chosen as the Best Accountant in Central MN from the St. Cloud Times Media 2017 Readers Survey!
Don’t let the sound of tax season scare you. It can sometimes be overwhelming and confusing, so Schlenner & Wenner Co. wants to help ease your worries during this hectic time. While some individuals calculate their own tax returns, many miss out on new law changes, discounts they weren’t aware of, or simply make mistakes. It is reassuring to file with a professional to guarantee the paperwork is filed correctly.
We’ve gathered the top tax tips and information to get you through this tax season effortlessly:
Stay Organized. Get rid of that junk drawer filled with old receipts and paperwork. Have one designated place to store all of your tax documents and earning statements. Keep a spreadsheet of your charitable donations for easy access. Being organized is the first step to a successful tax season and makes the rest a breeze.
Protect Your Identity. Identity theft is a common concern during tax season. Use a security software and always double check where you’re entering personal information online. Create strong passwords using random letters, numbers and special characters to prevent hackers. And stay on the lookout for tax season scams; remember, the IRS will never contact you directly via email, phone, or social media. They will only contact you via letter, and will not ask for specific payment instructions, like a prepaid credit or debit card.
Don’t Forget Your Earned Income Tax Credit. According to the IRS, one out of every 5 workers fails to claim their earned income tax credit. An income tax credit is a refundable tax credit for low to moderate income working individuals and couples. The amount of income tax credit benefit depends on the recipient’s income.
Make the Most of Your Educational Expenses. The IRS offers tax breaks to individuals who are furthering their education. If you, your spouse or your dependents had higher education costs this year, there may be some tax savings in your future. Learn what tax benefits for education you qualify for.
How you handle your taxes is up to you. Avoid common mistakes and create a stress-free tax season; work with Schlenner Wenner & Co. for assurance that your paperwork will be filed correctly and that you receive your maximum refund. We want to make this time of year a breeze for our clients and tax professionals.
We are happy to be voted central MN’s best accountant.
There are many temptations during the holiday season; temptations to grab that extra ginger cookie off the kitchen counter or splurging on that stylish holiday outfit for the office party. Stores certainly do not help us resist temptations by offering sales seemingly at every corner or fetching end caps that are far too accessible. How can we get the holiday season we want without spending more than we want? Let us help you stay on top of your holiday budget with some tips below:
Narrow Your Social Calendar
With holiday office parties, family gatherings, and expensive social excursions, your time and available finances will quickly be eaten up. It can be especially hard on your budget if you feel obligated to bring a gift, bottle of wine, or contribute to meals or party décor. While the holidays are the perfect time to spend with friends and family, limit your RSVP’s to a manageable amount. Also, consider getting together with friends after the holiday season or engaging in more low-key events to maximize time for your relationships and minimize stress and money spent.
Put Together an Honest Gift List
Be a smart shopper and plan an honest gift list that does not rely on credit cards to fill the gap. This will be important if you want to start out the new year free of debt. Set a spending limit for each person on your list and stick to it. The forethought that you put into planning and the dedication that you put into sticking your budget will help you start the new year on a financially strong foot.
Picking up smart shopping habits this holiday season will help you get into the practice of shopping smart all year round. To begin, learn how to comparison shop and use shopping apps to compare prices and save you time and money. Compare deals across multiple stores and online. This can ensure that you get the best deals. Keep your list with you and begin shopping as early as you can to reduce the stress of last-minute shopping. Another tip to remember? There’s no shame in thrift shopping if you can find one-of-a-kind gifts that are in great shape. There’s also no shame in regifting as long as the item can bring greater happiness to someone else.
Planning a budget for your holiday spending does not have to mean skimping out on the best of the season. Think ahead, have a strong financial plan, and have the dedication to stick to the budget. You will find yourself feeling thankful for it in the new year.
For more advice on becoming financially savvy in 2017, visit Schlenner Wenner & Company today.