Tax Returns

February 28th, 2014

By now everyone should have received their documents in order to do their tax returns.  Don’t put it off until April.  Scoop up all those documents and bring them over to us.  You can make an appointment to bring in your documents or you can just walk in and drop them off.  If you are missing something or if we have questions, we will call you.  It’s that simple.  Leave the work to us!

Call us today!

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Estate Planning – Children with Special Needs

February 27th, 2014

Parents love their children.  Parents, who have a child with special needs, often go above board caring for their child.  Many spend a significant percentage of their assets caring for their child.  Estate plans are highly recommended for these families, in order to prepare for the long term care of their child.

Planning of this sort should include the people who will be responsible for the special needs child, whether it be a sibling, other family member or friend.   It is best to discuss everything as thoroughly as you can to make the transition, if necessary, easier.

Have questions?  We can help you.

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Estate Planning – Multiple Marriages

February 25th, 2014

When two people, who have children from a previous marriage, marry, Estate Planning can become complicated.  Unfortunately, this causes people to try and avoid the issues, which can lead to an abundance of problems should one of the people in the marriage happen to pass away suddenly.

Often one person comes into the marriage with a greater financial power. This person may have legal advisers to help with the Estate Planning.  An attorney will be able to help you forsee any problems that you may run into when trying to do your Estate Plan.  An attorney can also advise you of various ways to draft your Estate Plan to best fit your wishes.

Before you head to your attorney, it is advisable to thoroughly discuss your wishes with your spouse. This may be the most time consuming part of the process.  If the two of you can come to an agreement of how the Estate Plan will be handled, there will be fewer problems when you actually go to the attorney for help.

You may also want to include your adult children in the conversation, but only after everything is settled between you and your spouse.  Adult children may bring up points that you hadn’t considered, which can be helpful. However, bringing children in before you and your spouse agree, can cause more problems and may divide the two of you.

So, when you’re ready to do your Estate Plan, talk with your spouse,  talk with your adult children and then see your attorney.  This way you are doing everything you can to help make life easier for your family, when they will be going through a difficult time.

We can help you with your Estate Plan.

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Estate Planning – Giving Fairly

February 20th, 2014

It may seem logical to say that most parents want to treat all of their children fairly.  However, everyone’s interpretation of the word “fairly” may be different.  Although many parents think they know what their children will consider fair, many times they are wrong.  Even fairness through the eyes of a spouse, may be different from your own.

I can suggest different ideas that you may use in your Estate Plan.  I can lay out for you the pros and cons of different strategies.  In the end, though, it is you who needs to choose the strategy that best fits your family.

We can help with your Estate Plan.

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Substitute Tax Return Prepared by the IRS- What happens next?

February 18th, 2014

When you do not file your tax return, the IRS will eventually notice and file a substitute tax return for you.  This return will not take into account any deductions or exemptions you are entitled to.

The substitute return will be followed by a tax bill, which you must pay.  If you ignore this bill, the collection process will start.  This means your wages and bank accounts can be levied or a federal tax lien can be filed.

If you continually do not file, you can get stuck with additional penalties and criminal prosecution.

Do not ignore your tax returns.  We can help you with past tax returns.  We can help you with your IRS letters.  We can counsel you to the correct routes to follow to clear up your problems.  Let us help and sleep better at night!

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Substitute Returns Done by the IRS

February 14th, 2014

When you don’t file your tax returns, eventually the IRS will catch up with you and may even file a substitute tax return for you.  This is usually a bare bones tax return, without deductions and exemptions.  Next, you will get a Notice of Deficiency CP3219N proposing a tax assessment.  You are then given 90 days to file your past tax return or file a petition in Tax Court.  You cannot request an extension once you receive this form.  If you choose not to respond, the proposed assessment will stand and you will be expected to pay.

All is not lost at this point.  Although it is easier and therefore better to complete the past due tax return before the 90 days are up, it would still be in your best interest to complete the past due tax return to take advantage of the exemptions, credits and deductions, which you should receive.  The IRS will usually adjust your past tax return to reflect the correct figures.  This  could save you some money.

It’s never good to ignore doing your tax returns.  We’re here to help.  If you have a problem with past tax returns or your current tax return, we can help alleviate your worries.

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Past Due Tax Returns

February 13th, 2014

Remember if you are thinking of buying or refinancing a home, applying for federal aid for education or getting a loan for a business, you must have your tax returns filed.  These institutions usually require you to present a copy of your tax returns.

I don’t think anyone who is behind in completing their tax returns, wants to even think about doing them.  However, you will need to do your past due tax returns eventually and it is easier to do them now, when you may not need them for the above reasons.  The IRS always catches up with those who have not filed their tax returns.

Need help completing your past or present tax returns.  Call us!

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Past Due Tax Returns – Protecting Your Social Security Benefits

February 12th, 2014

When you are self-employed and don’t file your federal income tax return, the self-employment income that you earned will not be reported to the Social Security Administration.  This means that you will not receive credit for this income which is credited toward Social Security retirement or disability benefits.

Need help cleaning up your past taxes.  Call us!

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Past Due Tax Returns

February 6th, 2014

While you are getting your information together to do your current year tax returns, take some time and collect documents for the tax returns that you did not file in previous years.  There is no time like the present to take care of these.

The IRS always catches up to those who have not filed their tax returns.  By filing these past due returns as soon as possible, you will stop the interest and penalty fees from accumulating.  If you can claim a credit or a refund on these returns, you must file your return to claim it within 3 years of the return due date.  If you have not filed your returns for a couple years and then file the current year’s return because you will receive a refund, you will not receive that refund until the past due returns are filed.

If you decide not to file a past return, the IRS will eventually file a substitute return for you, using their limited information about you.  You may not get credits, exemptions and deductions that you are entitled to receive. Penalties and interest will be included and a Notice of Deficiency will be sent to you.

Do yourself a favor, try to clean up your past due tax returns before the IRS steps in.  We can help.  Call us for an appointment.  We can help take that burden off your shoulders.

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Estate Planning- Conveying Your Wishes

January 30th, 2014

Traditional Estate Plans do not convey a way to communicate your wishes and the reasons for your actions to your beneficiaries.  Mistakes and misinterpretations made while you are alive can be rectified, but once you are gone this chance disappears.  The best of notes left to the beneficiaries oftentimes leaves questions unanswered.

Discussing your Estate Plan with your beneficiaries beforehand can establish a personal relationship between the giver and the receiver.  You can explain what you are thinking about and why you have chosen to do what you’re doing.

For those of you who feel comfortable discussing your Estate Plan with your beneficiaries, it can benefit them to understand the rationales behind your decisions.  If you don’t feel comfortable discussing all of your Estate Plan, you might consider discussing a portion that may be misunderstood.

Some people choose to go the traditional route and not discuss anything beforehand.

Whatever your decision, when you need to complete your Estate Plan, we can help.

Todd Courser 810-245-0813