New Taxes in 2013: NIIT and the Additional Medicare Tax

In order to help fund the Affordable Care Act, Congress enacted two new taxes for 2013 that will affect roughly 3% of American taxpayers, the Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT) and the Additional Medicare Tax.  We offer a general outline of these taxes to help you understand how they might affect you.  For tax advice that is specific to you and your finances, always consult a professional.

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Can I Take the Home Office Deduction for 2013?

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If you use a portion of your Des Moines home for your business, you may be eligible to claim a federal income tax deduction for a portion of your home expenses, such as rent or mortgage, utilities, insurance, and maintenance that relate to the business use of your home.  Many small business owners can qualify for the home office deduction.  Read below to see if you fit the general guidelines.  For tax advice that is specific to you, always consult a qualified professional.

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Top Tax Tips for Your 2013 Return

Boelman Shaw Capital Partners in Des Moines offers this advice for preparing your 2013 taxes.

1.  Organize early.  The more organized your tax documents, the better able you are to report accurately and claim all of the tax advantages that are available to you.  Prepare early by sorting the documents you currently have on hand, such as documentation of deductible expenditures and receipts for items that qualify you for tax credits.  When the rest of your documents arrive around late January, you will be ready to get started.

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What You Should Know About Tax Return Preparers

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When looking for a Des Moines professional to prepare your tax return, you should understand that individual preparers vary widely in their experience, education, and licensure.  Although the IRS has attempted to put regulations in place for all paid tax preparers, a recent court decision has prevented them from implementing these new rules.  Unless and until the IRS wins an appeal of this decision, many “professional” tax return preparers will continue to offer their services without meeting any educational, practical, or knowledge-based requirements.  Understanding your preparer’s professional and educational background and applicable licensing requirements will allow you to choose a preparer who meets the level of competence your desire.

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Set up a 401(k) for Your Small Business

As a small business owner, you may believe that your company can’t afford a 401(k) plan.  You are not alone.  According to Forbes, although 99% of businesses with over 500 employees offer a 401(k) or comparable plan, only 24% of businesses with fewer than 50 employees do so.  The truth is, however, that even the smallest business, including a sole proprietorship with no employees, can implement a cost-effective 401(k).  For a business with employees, offering a 401(k) can help to attract and retain quality hires.  According to a study by MetLife, retirement benefits are the third most important factor driving employee loyalty to small companies. Below is some basic information about two of the most popular options available to meet the retirement plan needs of small business owners.  Others options are also available. Boelman Shaw Capital Partners can help you select the right 401(k) to suit the needs of your Des Moines small business.

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Financial Tips for Recent College Graduates

If you have recently graduated from college, you are probably finding that there is much to learn that was not included in your coursework.  Financial planning is one of those skill sets that most people have to acquire on their own.  If you already have your first post-college job, you are probably earning more than you have ever earned before.  In order to get the most out of that new paycheck, Boelman Shaw Capital Partners in Des Moines offers the following tips to guide you as you’re just starting out in your career.

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Financial Planning Begins with a Household Budget

Money is a leading source of household stress.  Feeling a lack of control over one’s finances can make the present seem chaotic and the future uncertain.  The first step in taking control of your financial situation is to create a household budget.  It clarifies what resources you have coming in, where they are going, and how you can better manage them.  The financial planning professionals at Boelman Shaw Capital Partners in Des Moines share the following tips to help you start the new year right by taking this first essential step toward a sound financial future.

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