Now that fall has begun, it's time to start your year-end tax planning for 2015 — and to tie up loose ends that remain from the 2014 tax season. Here are some reminders that the IRS has sent out recently and related federal income tax-savings opportunities for individuals and businesses.
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There's no doubt about it ... college is expensive. At top-rated private universities, the annual cost can be $55,000 and up. Some public schools charge out-of-state students $40,000 and up. With any luck, however, your child or grandchild will qualify for financial aid. These days, a surprisingly high percentage of students do.
If you run your business operations through two or more corporations, the different entities may share some of the same employees. In that case, you can save payroll taxes by using a "common paymaster."
On June 29, the Trade Preference Extension Act of 2015 (TPE) was signed into law. The TPE mainly focuses on foreign competition and retraining domestic workers. But if you read the fine print, you'll see that it also includes important — but little-noticed — changes to the penalty regime for failing to file required information returns with the IRS and failing to furnish required statements to payees (recipients of payments).
The deadline is fast approaching for certain taxpayers to report accounts they hold in foreign banks and other financial institutions. You also may be required to report foreign accounts over which you have signature authority, such as an account that you maintain on behalf of a relative or employer.
The busiest time of year for external financial statement auditors generally runs from January to April each year. But CPAs usually start gearing up for audit season in November of the preceding year. Accountants meet with clients, assign staff and schedule fieldwork. Then, the team conducts preliminary financial analytics, observes physical inventory counts, assesses risk factors and customizes your audit plan.
Basics about Company-Provided Cars
How much money do you need to raise a child? According to an estimate from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it will cost a middle-income couple roughly $245,000 to raise a child born in 2013 to the age of 18. This is up 1.8 percent from the prior year. Plus, the estimated average cost is much higher in certain parts of the country. For example, high-income families living in the urban Northeast are projected to spend almost $455,000 to raise a child for 18 years.
The lull that follows the holiday season is a time for reflection and planning. If you're like most Americans, there are several administrative chores that remain on your 2014 to-do list. Tackling them at the start of the new year will set a healthy, proactive tone going forward. Here are five simple things you can do to eliminate headaches, cut the flab and otherwise bring discipline to your personal finances in 2015: