4 Steps to Save Money with Year-End Tax Planning

SJG Tax Consulting

Think back over the past year. Were you surprised by a large 2014 tax bill or items you didn’t expect to see? Chances are, if you’re the owner of a small or medium sized business, you were. According to former IRS revenue officer Michael Raanan, “Numerous businesses overpay their taxes every year by overlooking various tax deductions.” The good news is, with proper early planning, you can take steps to keep more of the money that you’ve earned by reducing your tax burden – whether that’s through deductions or other proven tax strategies.  … [Read more...]

Enrolling for Medicare: A Primer

SJ Gorowitz Morgan Stanley Medicare Primer

The complexity of Medicare and the myriad options enrollees face can be daunting. Here are some pointers on how to go about enrolling for Medicare, and suggestions on different alternatives such as working with a Medicare advisor. As any American over 65 knows, signing up for Medicare is not simple. There are four different parts, each with different options that can have widely divergent effects on costs and coverage. Enrollees may also wish to supplement their Medicare with private coverage. If you are approaching that landmark birthday, consider the following pointers to guide you through the enrollment process. Start by determining whether you’ll continue to have group coverage through an employer or association. This is an especially important first step for anyone who continues to work past age 65 or who can be covered by a spouse who continues to work. While not all private group plans allow people to keep their coverage after age 65, those that do could help give you … [Read more...]

Five Questions to Ask to Put Your Financial Books in Order for 2015

SJG Business Advisory Alpharetta

As we approach the end of 2014, many small businesses are looking eagerly at the potential in 2015. Knowing how to close out the year at hand is vital to starting your businesses off on the right foot in the new year. With five simple questions, you can make sure your financial books are in order, helping you to gauge the health of your business and plan with confidence. Here are the five questions to ask as you plan toward a successful 2015. Do you have multiple businesses? Is your accounting and record keeping set up separately for each company, and kept separate from your personal finances? Making sure you have a clear picture of operations is Step One to good financial management for your business and your personal finances. Are your records current? Do your financial statements show, with certainty, where you stand in terms of cash, accounts receivable, accounts payable, net income and gross profit? Keep all records current and formatted in a clear, usable document that … [Read more...]

Good News about Allowable Contribution Limitations

Tax Year 2015 Allowable Contributions

Between 2013 and 2014, business owners and wage-earning employees saw almost no increases in allowable contribution and elective deferral limitations. Tax year 2014 was characterized by increased tax rates, increased wage limits for social security tax and numerous other indexed items. These limitations effectively took more out of tax payers take home pay, and did not increase the amount someone could save for retirement, tax deferred. We’re due for some good news, and it has arrived. Uncle Sam is helping us keep a little more of our earnings. In October, the Internal Revenue Service announced cost‑of‑living adjustments for tax year 2015. These changes impact the dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement plan contributions. The change comes as a result of the cost-of-living index, which met statutory thresholds, triggering the adjustment. Some limitations will remain unchanged because the increase in the index did not meet the statutory thresholds that trigger … [Read more...]