Millennials: Are you living within your means?

Millennials: Are you living within your means?

Here at N & Co. we have a number of “millennial” clients, business owners, children, and interns.  We enjoy their unique perspective on the world, and as accountants, we are especially interested in their ideas about money. The millennials we know are discerning consumers and are concerned about where their money is going. Miriam Cross, of Kiplinger’s Personal Finances magazine, suggests millennials really review all of their expenses (the needs and the wants), as well  as their savings, to ensure they are looking ahead at their financial future.

Cross suggests tracking all expenses for two or three months—without judgment—so that you have […] Read more

Considering a Roth IRA Conversion:  Why it could make sense to pay taxes on retirement savings sooner versus later

Considering a Roth IRA Conversion: Why it could make sense to pay taxes on retirement savings sooner versus later

Our clients are savvy consumers, and we encourage them to plan carefully for retirement.  That means we welcome the opportunity to help take a long view on tax planning and map out long-term tax saving strategies.

Roth conversions are one such strategy.  Rob Williams, a director of financial planning, retirement income and wealth management with Charles Schwab, offers the following tips: https://www.schwab.com/resource-center/insights/content/3-reasons-to-consider-roth-ira-conversion

 Our team at Nichols & Company is here to help you measure the benefit of IRA conversions. Feel free to call our office at 614-891-5423 to make an appointment to discuss your personal situation.

 

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Thinking ahead to tax season: Do you know what’s taxable?

Thinking ahead to tax season: Do you know what’s taxable?

The tax laws have changed. Take Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Quiz to find out if you know what IS and what IS NOT taxable. If your results show you need more help with determining what is taxable, please feel free to give our office a call. Your accountant will be happy to help you determine what you need to include on your 2018 tax return!

https://www.kiplinger.com/quiz/taxes/T055-S003-is-it-taxable/index.html

 

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529 Plans:  2018 Tax Law Changes

529 Plans: 2018 Tax Law Changes

For parents or grandparents, 529 plans can be a smart way to save for schooling.  Here are recent legislative changes:

Saving—
Annual contribution limits double in 2018 from $2,000 to $4,000 per beneficiary.

Paying for expenses—
Beginning in 2018, 529 funds can be used to pay not only for college and other post-secondary education and related expenses, but also for tuition connected with elementary or secondary public, private, or religious school. 
The earnings of 529 plan accounts are not subject to federal or state tax when used for qualified educational expenses.

Key points to remember when using a 529 to pay expenses:

N&Co can help you […] Read more

Storytelling: Why Some Business Ideas Catch On–And Others Don’t

Storytelling: Why Some Business Ideas Catch On–And Others Don’t

Sometimes the success of a business idea and gathering support for it is accomplished through great storytelling, says Carmine Gallo, author of The Storyteller’s Secret: From TED Speakers to Business Legends, Why Some Ideas Catch On and Others Don’t. According to Gallo, people connect to stories featuring heroes and villains, capturing struggles and failures, and ending, ultimately, with a triumphant victory. These stories don’t have to be fictional fairytales—they can be the narrative you use to garner support among your employees for a new idea or process. Gallo recalls how former Apple co-founder Steve Jobs used stories when launching a […] Read more

Lessons from Horses: Equines Inspire Business Leadership

Lessons from Horses: Equines Inspire Business Leadership

Neurosurgeon, professor and horseman Allan J. Hamilton elaborates in his new book, Lead With Your Heart: Lessons From a Life with Horses, on the leadership lessons he’s learned through his work with horses. Hamilton makes five important points:

Agendas hurt relationships: you can’t force something (like productivity) according to a timeline. Remember to consider the welfare and well-being of your employees first and you’ll create a loyal workforce.
Find the curve of compromise: If, as a leader, you find yourself creating a line of resistance, switch gears and think of alternatives that will allow the other party to be willing to flow […] Read more

Debt and taxes (and scams)

Debt and taxes (and scams)

Chances are you or someone you know has received a phone call from someone claiming to be with the IRS. If you haven’t first received an actual letter in the mail from the IRS, these calls are fraudulent and should be reported. (Taxpayers can register a complaint at the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Go to tigta.gov and click “Contact,” or call 1-800-366-4484).

According to Amanda Horowitz, in April 2017, the IRS did begin a new private collections program of certain overdue federal taxes. These outstanding debts were turned over to four collections agencies: the CBE Group, ConServe, Performant Recovery and […] Read more

Lean Six Sigma at Your Firm: Extra/Over-Processing

Lean Six Sigma at Your Firm: Extra/Over-Processing

According to Debbie Foster, a partner with Affinity Consulting Group in Tampa, businesses need to implement a policy of Continuous Improvement. This means periodically re-evaluating processes to ensure that they are not extraneous or outdated. Foster says value is anything a client is willing to pay for. Waste is the opposite. She cites the textbook definition of over-processing as doing more than necessary to get a job done. While it’s important to do everything needed to complete a job for a client, it’s important not to spend excessive time and resources on extraneous things that, in the long run, add […] Read more

First-Time Abatement: An IRS Hidden Treasure

First-Time Abatement: An IRS Hidden Treasure

Have you received a notice from the IRS, stating you owe money and/or have had penalties and interest applied? The IRS sends thousands of these letters to taxpayers every year. At Nichols & Company, we always recommend you send a copy of your notice to us and let us handle the matter on your behalf.

Occasionally, notices address issues such as failure to file, failure to pay, or failure to deposit. Any of these issues are eligible for resolution using a first-time abatement (FTA).  There are certain circumstances where an FTA will be honored, and we are well aware of what […] Read more

I moved — Are any of my expenses tax deductible?

I moved — Are any of my expenses tax deductible?

Good news! If your move was job-related, you could be looking at some tax deductions. Here are some helpful tips to determine what is relevant:

-The move must be within a year of your start date at the new job.

-Your new job must be at least 50 miles farther from your old home.

-You need to work full-time at your new job at least 39 weeks in the first year. (If self-employed, you must work full-time for at least 78 weeks during the first two years at the new location.)

Also, remember to keep track of all move-related items, such as receipts, bills, […] Read more