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Toledo Tax Law Blog

Why thinking about your weaknesses can be important when starting a business

Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. While people may not like to think about their weaknesses, it can be important to do so. It can especially be so when starting a small business.

An entrepreneur’s strengths and weaknesses can have major implications on his or her startup’s likelihood of success. By identifying weaknesses that could potentially have negative impacts on their company, business owners can start to take efforts to strengthen these weaknesses. This could have benefits both for their business and for their overall professional goals. The earlier a person starts this process, the earlier he or she may be able to see such benefits.

A good will avoids fights later

The death of a parent or loved one can be a hard and deeply emotional experience. Moreover, it becomes more complicated if there is no will, or one that is poorly written. Experts always advise people to put some real thought into a will and work with an estate law attorney to address issues that go much further than dividing the furniture.

A well-considered will can make it easier on survivors because the important decisions (save those unforeseen issues that arise) are considered and addressed. This can avoid igniting long simmering emotions or highlighting schisms that sometimes form in families. Along with the following tips, an experienced attorney can help guide clients through the decision-making process and help spot potential areas of trouble.

Do I pay taxes if I collect Social Security?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) is a major overhaul of our tax system that affects nearly everyone, including individuals, families and companies. While the law was signed in 2017, income earned in 2018 is when its impact will first be made on those filing taxes. This even includes some of those who receive Social Security benefits. 

Taxes involving SSDI, SSI and workers comp

Government gets first conviction using FATCA

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) requires foreign financial institutions to indentify U.S. taxpayers and report information about their financial accounts. The primary aim was to prevent taxpayers from using foreign accounts to commit federal tax crimes.

The law was enacted in 2010, yet it has just now seen its first conviction. According to an announcement by the Department of Justice, former Chief Business Officer and former Chief Executive Officer of Loyal Bank Ltd pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States by failing to comply with FATCA. The offshore bank has offices in Hungary and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Doing business in Canada? Make sure you report it to the IRS

When it comes to business dealings with the country's neighbor to the north, borders often get blurred, especially here in Toledo, which is not that far from the border. If you conduct business in more than one country, you will need to account for the income you make from your domestic and foreign sources.

The IRS has specific reporting requirements when a U.S. citizen or permanent resident legally owns real estate, retirement assets or bank accounts in another country with an aggregate value of $10,000 or more.

Tim Conway’s family at odds over care of actor

Tim Conway is known for his goofy antics and oddball characters in films as well as on television shows, particularly as a member of the Carol Burnett Show cast. Sadly, the 84-year-old actor now suffers from an advanced form of dementia and lives elder care facility.

There is now a legal battle being waged over his care between his daughter, Kelly, and his second wife, Charlene, who is not Kelly’s mother. The issue is that the daughter claims that the wife wants to move the comedian to a different health care facility that does not have the same high standard of around-the-clock care by registered nurses as well as a full time aid and speech therapist for Conway. The comedian is currently unresponsive, unable care for himself at any level and needs the speech therapy for such basic functions as swallowing.

Sears and Kmart department stores repurposed

The long slow demise of Sears has been painful for those who used to love to look through the famous catalogs. These days the department store chain is perhaps remembered as a brick and mortar precursor to Amazon and other online shopping sites. However, as buying habits have changed, the stores for the budget conscious shopper fell on hard times.

A new beginning

Aretha Franklin left no will

The world mourned the loss of Aretha Franklin after her long battle with pancreatic cancer. Despite the fact that she was 76 years old and she knew she had cancer, Franklin left no will for her four children. 

According to media source, not only does this leave the estate worth an estimated $80 million in disarray as the children and lawyers take inventory, it also likely exposes the heirs to unnecessary estate taxes – 40 percent of the estate above the $11.18 million threshold will go to taxes, which is due nine months after her death. The estate will need to pay that bill.

Best to save that home equity for emergencies

Home equity can come in extremely handy for keeping you financially afloat during retirement or long-term illness. However, it should not be regarded as an ATM to be emptied whenever you feel like it.

According to the Associated Press, American homeowners are sitting on approximately $6 trillion of home value. Lenders are more than happy to access that capitol through home equity loans, home equity lines of credit or cash-out refinancing. However, homeowners need to be careful about such arrangements.

New tax laws may mean changes in withholdings

You may remember filing your first 1040-EZ as a teenager with a part-time job. A few easy questions and you were finished except for waiting for your nice refund to arrive. Things are very different now as your life and your employment have become more complicated. Additionally, it seems like every year the tax laws change.

If you are confused about the new tax laws, you are not alone. Like many, you may be planning to wait until next filing season to read about the changes and learn how they affect the way you will file your taxes. However, if you wait, it may be too late to make important changes that could cost you money.

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