Enjoy It While You Can

Every year or so, I write an article for these Briefs and tell you up front that it’s the most important article I’ll write all year. (You may not think that bar is especially high, but at least when I say it I mean it.) Well, it’s 2017 now, and I may as well bust it out early… so here it is, The Most Important Briefs You’ll Read All Year.

Right now is tax season, and if you’re like most TaxCoach members, that means Fat and Happy Season. (Cue the old Andy Williams chestnut, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”) Tax returns are rolling out, cash is rolling in, and you’re stockpiling nuts for the winter. It’s all good. Read more…

Putting Out Fires (S Corp Edition)

In a way, we’ve all been spoiled these last few years. Gridlock in Washington has meant little change in the tax code. Sure, we had a little action at the end of 2013, when the “fiscal cliff” threatened to upend us all in a sea of government red ink. And we’ve had new Obamacare taxes and reporting responsibilities, the 1094s and net investment income taxes that have added to our workload (and our clients’ tax bills). But most tax changes have been pretty marginal and often short-lived. (Anybody remember the “Making Work Pay” credit? We don’t either.) Read more…

Give ‘Til It Hurts

Americans are a generous lot. The National Philanthropic Trust reports that, for 2015, we gave a total of $373.25 billion to “charity,” broadly defined. That includes $268.28 billion from individuals, $57.19 billion from foundations, and $18.46 billion from corporations.

Individual donations averaged $2,974. That average covers a lot of variation, of course, from true philanthropists like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet who give literally billions, all the way down to families who don’t even itemize their tax deductions, yet still find room in their hearts and their pocketbooks to give. Read more…

Groundhog Day

I never understood why we make such a big deal about a furry rodent predicting the weather. Even my 11-year-old thinks the whole thing is lame. And how can a big furry rodent in a tiny Pennsylvania town keep up with the latest research and projections on global climate change?

Yet here we are, February 2, Groundhog Day, 2017. Apparently, the little quadruped called for six more weeks of winter this morning. Who’s to say if he’s right or not? Hey, if I could get paid to be wrong as often as a TV weatherman, I’d take that gig myself.

But when I hear the words “Groundhog Day,” I don’t think of the rodent burrowing under the Punxsutawney soil. I think of the classic movie where Bill Murray, playing a smug and self-centered weatherman, discovers he’s trapped in some sort of time loop, doomed to relive the same day over and over. Read more…