206 Pettit Avenue Bellmore, NY 11710

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Why is My Tax Refund Less Than My Friend’s?

This is a question that clients ask their CPA’s every year.  While it does seem unfair that your co-worker who says he earns the same as you and claims the same withholding status and exemptions as you, gets a bigger refund every year –there are many reasons why this happens.  When you look at all the pieces of information that go into a tax return, it is easier to see that no two situations are ever really the same.

Your salary and withholding tax are only two pieces of a much bigger puzzle.  Income, deductions, number of exemptions, tax credits, phase-out of exemptions, deductions and credits, as well as withholding and estimated tax payments, are all factors in determining the amount of your refund or (gasp!) the amount you owe the government at year end. 

First, your annual income tax calculation starts with ALL sources of taxable income for the year.  In addition to your weekly paycheck, this can include your spouse’s salary, interest, dividends, capital gains or losses, unemployment, retirement distributions, social security, rental income, small business income, cancelled debts, alimony, gambling winnings, and even bribes!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sandra G. Johnson, CPA accepted to 10,000 Small Businesses

For Immediate Release

Bellmore, NY – July 17, 2014 at 2:00 PM, Sandy Johnson has been selected from hundreds of applicants to participate in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses leadership program.  Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a $500 million national program designed to help small businesses in the United States create jobs and economic growth by providing entrepreneurs with a practical business education, access to capital and business support services.* Sandy and her contemporaries will attend classes at LaGuardia Community College in this extensive four month program. 

To date only 2,519 entrepreneurs in the US have been chosen to participate.  This nationwide program currently operates in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia and Salt Lake City.  In June 2014, it was announced that former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg will join Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Warren Buffett and Dr. Michael Porter as co-chair of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Advisory Council.*

Sandy is looking forward to the education and opportunities that will be afforded her as a result of participating in 10,000 Small Businesses.

*Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, http://www.goldmansachs.com/citizenship/10000-small-businesses/US/

Monday, May 5, 2014

Will I pay more taxes in 2014?

Every government program requires funding.  How does the government pay for these programs?  Taxes!  With the introduction of the Affordable Care Act came a series of tax law changes to pay for this program.  Following is a partial list of what to expect in 2014:

·         Additional Medicare Tax for certain high earners ($200,000 for single, $250,000 for MFJ)
·         Net investment income tax on interest income, dividends and other passive income for certain high earners ($200,000 for single, $250,000 for MFJ)
·         Increased threshold on medical expense deductions from 7.5% of AGI to 10% for most taxpayers
·         Phase out of personal exemptions deduction on taxpayers with AGI greater than $150,000
·         Phase out of itemized deductions on taxpayers with AGI greater than $150,000
·         Elimination of the deduction for state and local sales taxes
·         Elimination of the above-the-line deduction for qualified tuition expenses
·         Elimination of tax-free distributions from individual retirement plans for charitable purposes
·         Elimination of certain above-the-line educator expenses of elementary and secondary school teachers
·         Elimination of discharge of indebtedness on principal residence excluded from gross income
·         Penalty assessment for individuals without health insurance coverage
·         And more!

What can you do?  Contact your CPA to schedule an appointment for 2014 tax projections to see how you can prepare for this.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

New York City’s Paid Sick Leave Law

On April 1, 2014, New York City’s Paid Sick Leave Law went into effect.  If the law applies to your business you must be aware of three dates:

·         April 1, 2014:  Existing employees began accruing sick leave.  Employees accrue one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

·         May 1, 2014:  You must give existing employees the Notice of Employee Rights.

·         July 30, 2014:  Existing employees can begin using accrued sick leave.  New employees begin using accrued sick leave 120 days after their first day of employment. 

Employers Who Must Provide Sick Leave
Number of Employees 
Amount of Sick Leave per Calendar Year
Paid or Unpaid Sick Leave
Rate of Pay
5 or more

Must work 80+ hours a calendar year*
Up to 40 hours
Regular hourly rate but no less than $8 per hour (minimum wage)

Must work 80+ hours a calendar year
Up to 40 hours
Not Applicable
1 or more domestic workers

Must work 80+ hours per calendar year and have been employed by the same employer at least 1 year
2 days
Regular hourly rate but no less than $8 per hour (minimum wage)

Go to nyc.gov/PaidSickLeave for more information.  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Year End Tax Tips

·        Review your portfolio.  Consider taking a loss if you have substantial capital gains. 

·        Review tax refunds.  Are you loaning your money to the government tax free?

·        If you owe state income taxes, consider contributing to a 529 College Savings Plan for your grandchildren.  NY allows a deduction up to $5,000 (or $10,000 for married filing joint filers) for contributions made by an account owner to an account belonging to NY’s 529 plan.

·        Plan your itemized deductions.  If you are on the border for itemizing deductions focus on bundling.  Time deductible expenses to produce lean and fat years.  The goal is to surpass the standard deduction amount. Standard deduction rates for 2013 are $12,200 for married taxpayers filing joint and $6,100 for single taxpayers.  The additional standard deduction amount for the aged or blind is $1,200.