B.A. Harris Blog

Year-end Tax Planning

As the calendar is drawing to a close in 2012 it marks an unprecedented period of uncertainty for tax professionals and our clients. A host of reduced tax rates, credits, deductions, and other incentives (collectively called the "Bush-era" tax cuts) are scheduled to expire after December 31, 2012 and over 50 tax extenders are up for renewal, either having expired at the end of 2011 or scheduled to expire after 2012.


The Dreaded IRS Notice

In an attempt to close the $450 billion tax gap, which is the difference between what is collected and what would be collected if the tax system had 100% compliance, the IRS has initiated a number of different procedures.  Among these procedures is a drastic increase in the volume of IRS notices that it sends to taxpayers. In 2009, the IRS issued more than 201 million taxpayer notices, up from 30 million in 2001.


What If Your Employer Doesn’t Give You a W-2?

This isn’t a problem that arises often. When it does, it typically happens to your child. They may have had several jobs during the summer and perhaps the employer didn’t get an accurate address. The business may have failed, which is not unusual in our current difficult economic environment. It can also happen to adults for a variety of reasons. The IRS recently published a “tax tip” dealing with this issue and we thought it was relevant and timely enough to pass it on!


What would you like to know about Living Trusts?

Trusts often sound like something just for the wealthy but that is not true! Here are some useful facts about Living Trusts: A Living Trust is set up while you are still alive. It is a tool used to provide for an orderly transfer of your assets to your heirs with minimal fuss. A trust can save money. In Idaho, upon death, the county courts oversee the distribution of your assets to your heirs.


FAFSA and 2011 Tax Reporting

It’s that time of year again! Not only is it tax season but for those with college bound students it’s FAFSA reporting time! FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (www.fafsa.ed.gov). Colleges and Universities use the information submitted through FAFSA to determine your student’s eligibility for federal aid, including grants and some scholarships. Deadlines for priority consideration are as early as February 15th for some schools so there is an urgency to get the information necessary in order.


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