Our network

Commentary

Commentary: Let’s Start a Community Discussion About Mental Illness

Commentary: Let’s Start a Community Discussion About Mental Illness

While we may not like to talk about it at the dinner table, mental illnesses are real and prevalent in our nation, and approximately half of us will have a mental health diagnosis at some point in our lives. And what better time to talk about it than during May, which is also known nationally as Mental Health Month.

It’s no secret that all Americans experience times of difficulty and stress in their lives, and you and I are not exempt from the problems of daily life. When our troubles begin to overtake our mental health, we should all feel comfortable in seeking help and support to manage these times in a compassionate, judgement-free way. 

Tax Tips to Help You Determine What Makes a Gift Taxable

Taxpayers who give money or property to others may wonder about the federal gift tax and if it applies. Most gifts are not subject to the gift tax.

Here are seven tax tips about the gift tax and giving:

1. Nontaxable Gifts. The general rule is that any gift is potentially taxable. However, there are exceptions to this rule. The following are nontaxable gifts:

Know these Helpful Tips about Employee Business Expenses

Taxpayers who pay work-related expenses out of their own pocket may be able to deduct them. Generally, employee business expenses are deductible if they are more than two percent of adjusted gross income. In most cases, they go on IRS Schedule A, Itemized Deductions.

Other key points about employee business expenses:

1. They must be Ordinary and Necessary. People can only deduct unreimbursed expenses that are ordinary and necessary to their work as an employee. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in the industry. A necessary expense is appropriate and helpful to a business.

2. Expense Examples. Some potentially deductible costs include:  

·         Required work clothes or uniforms not appropriate for everyday use.

Five Tax Tips on Making Estimated Tax Payments

Taxpayers usually will have taxes withheld from their pay if they are an employee. However, if a person doesn’t have taxes withheld, or they don’t have enough tax withheld, they may need to make estimated tax payments. Taxpayers that are self-employed normally have to pay their taxes this way.

Here are five tips about making estimated tax payments:

1.         When the tax applies. Taxpayers should pay estimated taxes if they expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax for 2017 after subtracting their withholding and refundable credits. Special rules apply to farmers and fishermen.

Last Minute IRS Tax Tips to Consider

The IRS urges taxpayers to avoid waiting until April 18 to file their taxes. For those who do wait, the IRS has easy-to-access online resources to help.

These eight tips from the IRS can help make filing less taxing:

Top IRS Tips to Know about the Home Office Deduction

 

Taxpayers who use their home for business may be able to deduct expenses for the business use of it. Qualified persons can claim the deduction whether they rent or own their home. Use the simplified method or the regular method to claim a deduction.

Here are six tips to keep in mind about the home office deduction:

1. Regular and Exclusive Use. Generally, taxpayers must use a part of their home regularly and exclusively for business purposes. The part of a home used for business must also be:

·         A principal place of business, or

·         A place where taxpayers meet clients or customers in the normal course of business, or

Debt Cancellation May be Taxable

If a lender cancels part or all of a debt, a taxpayer must generally consider this as income. However, the law allows an exclusion that may apply to homeowners who had their mortgage debt canceled in 2016.

Here are 10 tips about debt cancellation: