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Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2018

Well, there are so many nuances to the new tax rules that we thought we would break them down over the next few weeks and cover a rule change a week, and then practical examples.  The news has covered the doubleing of the standard deduction to death, but knowing it happened doesn’t really help much.  What do you do about it?  Anything at all or just enjoy?  One practical matter would be thinking about what got listed on Schedule A of the return, and can you shift any of those expenses to other places on the return so that you not only get the new higher deduction but some additional benefit?  Probably.  Take, for instance, your charitable contributions, which are...

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Posted on Friday, January 05, 2018

  We have been reading about the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for a week now.  OVER 500 new pages of code changes and even new sections of code, with much detail yet to be released.  Our advice to you?  Step one…take a breath and don’t feel like you need to make a mad dash to major changes.  It may be months before we get some of the most important details about our new reality.  Step two, take all the water cooler, social media and barbershop advice you receive with a grain of salt, and with a “note to self” that you will need to go find out the FACTS about the rumored item (and yes, I am saying...

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Posted on Thursday, December 28, 2017

Like many people, we look hopefully at the New Year and all its potential.  The changes in the tax code are still not out in full detail which is something the IRS has often done, but enough is out to safely say that one New Year’s resolution will need to be to change some old habits around both financial behavior and record keeping. Structurally, many things remain the same.  There are still seven tax brackets, and where you land in those brackets will dictate how much of your income you will owe the government.  The numbers have changed from 10% to 12% and 15% to 22% but the standard deduction almost doubling for many will mean that although you might...

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Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2017

Here are 3 things you can easily do before the end of the year! Tip #1 For those people with capital gains from sales of stock or from mutual fund distributions, many know that they can offset those gains with a loss, but few actually sit down and do the annual exercise. It is a good idea to meet with a Tax Planner to look at your losses or winnings. By selling those losing assets, you can offset your other investment gains and end up with an equivalent of no capital gains. Many people would rather not sell their underperforming assets, because they believe they’re about to “come back” and wouldn’t dare wait the 31-day waiting period to repurchase the...

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Posted on Friday, December 15, 2017

With tax code changes in the air, like the sweat smell of fresh cut grass in the spring, we are hopeful. However, whether the tax code gets overhauled, or change somehow slips through the cracks, it is ultimately our own behaviors and choices all year that will save us the most in tax, not the rules around it. The government isn’t talking about taking away IRA, 401K or other pretax accounts.  They may allow a larger amount or lessor amount to be contributed in the new package.  It doesn’t really matter, as a large number of people who need to be contributing now…..don’t!  If the new tax rules go into effect, and they have $2,000 more in their pocket at...

The post Tax Savings Would Be Great! Planning “Trumps” Tax Cuts We Can’t Afford, By 100 Times! appeared first on Tax What If Doctor.

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Posted on Friday, December 01, 2017

By the time you read this we may know for sure the fate of the tax bill in the Senate, and we already know and have reviewed the tax bill in the House. The headlines at 3:50 PM ET on November 30th read “G.O.P. Lines Up Tax Bill Votes in Senate; Analysis Says Cuts Add $1 Trillion to Deficit” I would scream and hide under the bed, except for the fact that the national debt is already at 20 trillion and change already, and also if that was the biggest problem. The unfunded Social Security obligations of $32 trillion* and massive Medicare obligations make the deficit a small problem, as according to many sources and articles too numerous to list,...

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Posted on Friday, November 17, 2017

Every year all around America almost every tax preparer asks the question, “Do you have charitable deductions like donations?” The answer is often, “yes 500.00 at Goodwill, Salvation Army and others.” That answer although widely excepted is not defensible at audit so why not use the pre-holiday season to send your clients a few tips on how to easily and properly document those gifts in order to prove your value as a planner that cares about them. It`s a great excuse to dove tail that call into a request for an appointment between Thanksgiving and the end of year to talk about other more valuable tax saving opportunity that expire atmidnight when the new year’s eve ball drops! Cash is Cash...

The post This May Be the Last Year for Taking a Deduction on Schedule A! Here are Some News and Tips! appeared first on Tax What If Doctor.

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Posted on Friday, November 10, 2017

  My strategy?  Doesn’t this just happen?  NO!  And you need to pay attention!   Weather changes and holiday gear up often take people’s eyes off the ball.  Everyone over the age of 70 with money in IRA accounts of many kinds are penalized at 50% by the IRS if they do not properly withdraw the correct amounts from those accounts before year end.   Why would the IRS care if I take money out of my account? BECAUSE they get to tax it this year!  If, for instance, you are in the 10% tax bracket and you “should” take $10,000 from your IRA before the end of 2017, then they would charge you $1000 more on your taxes when...

The post You Have 6 Weeks to Handle IRA Mandatory Withdrawal… Let’s Discuss Your Strategy! appeared first on Tax What If Doctor.

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Posted on Friday, October 27, 2017

After October, trick-or-treaters are done banging on your doors, the fall wrap up begins around the house.  Any remaining lawn chairs, storm windows and et cetera, all go into place ahead of the first storm.  Sure, for some places, like Arizona, winter is just a nice break from the heat.  Wow, this summer it was 110 degrees on many days!  Crazy.  But, for a majority of the country that lives in the snow belt, November means batten down the hatches. The same is true for finance and tax planning.  People start looking at their holiday shopping budgets and looking at their end of year projections (if they’re financial goal setters) to see where they are at.  We often talk about...

The post The Most Used Tax Planning Concept for November and December. appeared first on Tax What If Doctor.

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Posted on Monday, October 16, 2017

Ask anyone if they “pay too much income tax” and the knee jerk reaction is almost always, “yes!” and without much hesitation.  Why do we call that a knee jerk reaction?  Because if you then follow the question up with two more questions, “What did you pay in federal tax last year? And/or what bracket are you in?” they almost as quickly say, “I don’t remember, or I’m not sure”.  Or they might guess at a bracket percentage, but usually not correctly.  I’ve even had people profess the pain of paying too much in tax only to discover that not only did they get back all of their withholdings, but were given tax credit refunds of money they did not...

The post Why Do People Fear Tax Audits More Than They Fear Overpaying? appeared first on Tax What If Doctor.

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