109 Bedford Avenue
Bellmore, New York 11710

Monday, December 1, 2014

Year-End Tax Tips

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

2.      Max out your retirement plan contributions.  2014 maximum IRA contribution is $5,500 (plus $1,000 if age 50 or over).  2014 maximum 401(k) contribution is $17,500 (plus $5,500 if age 50 or over).

3.      Consider contributing to a 529 Plan if you have children or grandchildren.  For example, New York 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 New York’s 529 College Savings Plan.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Deduction Series: Job Hunt Expenses

Are you considering a new job in your current line of work?  If so, the costs associated with your job hunt may reduce your income taxes!

In order to qualify, expenses must be incurred while searching for a job in the field in which you are currently employed.  You may deduct job search costs that are in excess of 2% of your adjusted gross income (AGI), and you must itemize your deductions when you file your income tax return.

Among the costs you can deduct are:

Resume Costs – Includes the cost of preparing, printing and mailing your resume.

Placement Agency Fees – Includes agency fees you pay while looking for a job in same occupation.
Travel and Transportation Expenses – Includes expenses for travelling to a new area to look for a job in your current field.  The trip must be for the primary purpose of looking for a job.  You should track your time and make sure that your time was primarily devoted to your job search to ensure the travel costs qualify.   If you use the standard mileage rate to compute your auto expenses, the 2014 rate is 56 cents per mile.

Honorine M. Campisi, CPA

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Back to School: Study These College Tax Breaks!

If you or your dependents are attending college this fall, you may be eligible for some help from the government in the form of a tax credit.  Discussed below are the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the more limited Lifetime Learning Credit which are available for qualifying taxpayers who pay tuition and other college expenses for themselves or their dependents.  Also ask your CPA about a deduction for student loan interest paid during the year.  In addition, many states (including New York) offer college tuition credits or deduction from income, as well as tax deductions for contributions to qualified 529 plans.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Selling Your Home?

Did you know that selling your home may have income tax implications?  Here are a few facts to keep in mind when you sell your home.  As always – remember to let your CPA know!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Having a Baby? Here Are Helpful Tax Tips!

Congratulations on your soon to be dependent!  Regardless of when your child’s birthday is, your child is considered to be your dependent for the whole year in which he or she is born or adopted.  Your new addition is bound to cost you a bundle over the years, but here are some tips for maximizing the tax savings available to you as a parent.  Make sure you file for your child’s Social Security Number immediately after their arrival!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Can I Deduct My Home Office?

If you've ever worked from home, you've probably asked your CPA this question.   Most clients think that they can take a deduction if they have ever worked from home.  The truth is, the IRS has very specific guidelines to determine who may qualify for a home office deduction.

The two basic requirements are:

1. Regular and Exclusive Use – Part of your home must be used solely for business on a regular basis.  If you use the space for both personal and business purpose then you cannot claim that space as your office.  For example, if you work from your kitchen table, that space will probably not qualify for exclusive use for business!

2. Principal Place of Business – Your home office will meet the principal place of business requirement if you regularly use it exclusively for administration or management of your business and you use no other fixed location for similar purposes.  Administrative activities can include billing, keeping books and records, ordering supplies, setting up appointments, placing orders.

Monday, August 11, 2014


Governor Cuomo has passed the New York Nonprofit Revitalization Act which takes effect as of July 1, 2014.  There are 10 key changes that all Nonprofits should know about!

  1. All nonprofit organizations with 20 or more employees and annual revenue of $1 million must adopt a whistleblower policy.
  2. All Nonprofits must have a conflict of interest policy.
  3. There are specific steps that must be taken before entering into a related party transaction.
  4.  Board of Directors cannot be influenced when making compensation decisions by those being compensated.
  5.  If your organization is required to file an independent audit report you must have an audit committee to oversee this process.
  6. The guidelines for when an audit report is required have changed.  Organizations with Gross Revenue greater than $500,000 now require an audit.  This is an increase from revenues of $250,000.   In 2017 it will increase again to $750,000 and in 2021 it will increase to $1 million.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer Weddings and Taxes

Summer is a popular season for weddings, and a wedding means changes in your tax situation.  So after the honeymoon, you should take some time to think about what your recent wedding means for your taxes.

Filing Status
Even if you are planning to wed on New Year’s Eve, if you are married on December 31, the IRS considers you married for the whole year!  That limits your filing choices to either married filing jointly or married filing separately.  Married couples who file separately lose out on many tax breaks.  Most of our clients have a lower tax bill if they file jointly.

Changing your Name?
If you plan to change your name after marriage, make sure Social Security knows about it!  Avoid problems when you file your tax return with your new name.  Complete and file Form SS-5 – Application for a Social Security Card with your new name.  Get the form from your local Social Security Office or go to www.SSA.gov to download it online.

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.