Weekly Digest – October 6th, 2023

After so many days of rain it was wonderful to join with friends in their sukkah last Friday evening for shabbat dinner which coincided with the first night of Sukkot 2023.  It is also pretty cool to be able join in  daily ritual of shaking the lulav and etrog.  The first 2 and last 2 days of the holiday are the most strict, so I waited until yesterday for photos. It was really nice to understand the meaning behind the traditions.

Lulav & Etrog for Sukkot 2023
Lulav & Etrog for Sukkot 2023

It seems that my fig tree is very resilient, this year it survived the assault of the spotted lantern files and torrential rains it’s a bit late in producing but, better late than never.  Lunch menu today is fig, fetta, thyme and heirloom tomato salad with balsamic dressing and toasted pine nuts…

 

Fig Season Has Begun
Fig Season Has Begun

I was glad the rains let up enough for me to take a walk on the beach and catch this great sky at sunrise on Wednesday…

Sunrise on Rockaway Beach
Sunrise on Rockaway Beach

We are working through the last few 2022 personal and C-Corporation tax returns as we approach October 16th, wish us luck please.  For the rest of you I hope you have great plans and weather this weekend.

Weekly Take Away

Thank you Carey for inspiring this week’s take away I quote his email “thoroughness and professionalism is TIRING”. 😴💤  Yes for us too, but the results are well worth it.  As we check though those last “few/many” extended tax returns we are confirming we have taken advantage of all available tax deductions and credits and let our clients know that our policy is to take our time with each file.  We have seen that rushing a return out to meet a deadline can result in errors and leave us feeling like we may have missed something.   Just yesterday Raquel and I reviewed a client’s file which resulted in us calculating payroll, investment income and IRA distributions across NY, MA and RI (the client had moved mid-year).  Our efforts were well worth it as we were able to save an additional $2500 across the three states!  🤸‍♀️🎉🎇

TAX ISSUES/TAX PLANNING

Reducing Other Income When Your Tuition Statement Doesn’t Add Up to Your 529 Plan Withdrawal

When your annual tuition statement form 1098-T, is lower than the amount you withdrew from your 529 Plan as reported on form 1099-Q the difference may show up as Other Income (1040 schedule 1, line 8-Z).  What can we do to mitigate the situation? The IRS defines qualified education expenses as tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment (such as laptops and computers) required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution.  IRS Publication 970.  Be aware that you can’t claim the same education expenses for multiple tax benefits, such as the American Opportunity Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit, and the 529 plan distributions.  We recommend that you request the college/university “Statement of Activity” and document all relevant deductions in addition to the tuition payments. Now you can enjoy your upcoming family visiting day!

Still Time to Make Annual SEP/IRA Plan Contribution

The upcoming individual tax return filing deadline of October 16th is also a deadline for funding your company’s SEP/IRA for sole proprietorships.  This is a great tax minimization planning technique, take the funds from the tax liability pocket and put them into the pension plan pocket where they can grow tax free until retirement or required distribution dates.

Use Your 2022 Tax Refund to Invest in US Savings Bonds

When you file your tax return, you can save part or all of your refund and have the rest sent to your checking account. You can save part or all of your refund by submitting Form 8888, Allocation of Refund (Including Savings Bond Purchases) when you file your return. Let us know before we finalize and submit your returns; you don’t need to open an account in advance with the Treasury Department. Once your return is completed and e-filed including Form 8888 with your tax return the IRS will arrange for your U.S. savings bonds to be mailed to you.

ECONOMY

ICFPB Mortgage Report Finds Jumps in Closing Costs and Denials for Insufficient Income, Growing Proportion of Cash-Out Refinances

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its annual report on residential mortgage lending activity and trends.

Google’s Antitrust Showdown with US Could ‘Dramatically Change’ Competition

A landmark trial currently under way in Washington may well decide the future of the internet. In the dock is Google, the world’s largest search engine. The United States Department of Justice has accused the search giant of muscling its way to dominance by paying other companies like Apple to be the default search engine on their devices.

Got to Have It: The Dangers of Social Media Impulse Buying

Almost half of social media users (48%) made an impulse purchase of something they saw online, according to new survey from financial information site Bankrate. And 68% of them say they regret one of those buys later.  Those items are not necessarily minor, or cheap: The average impulse buyer forked out $754 on stuff purchased over the past year after spotting it on social media platforms.

Sales Tax Changes Jump as Governments Search for Funding

The first half of 2023 saw a flurry of state and local sales tax changes, with governments relying more heavily on indirect taxes to fund operations as borrowing becomes more expensive and the overall cost of providing government programs (infrastructure, roadways, etc.) increases.

Manufacturing Faces Potential Labor Shortage Due to Skills Gap

About 1.4 million manufacturing jobs were lost during the COVID-19 pandemic but the industry was already facing a potential labor crisis — a projected 2.1 million unfulfilled jobs by 2030 resulting from a lack of skilled labor, according to a study by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

GENERAL RESOURCES

We sincerely hope that you and your family are well and remain well. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here for you.

If you need help with your accounting, want to create a tax minimization plan, want to discuss your business growth plan or your finances, are concerned about retirement goals or need to be held accountable for your 90 day action plan, contact us for a complimentary discovery session or an appointment to just get started

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