W-4 Update

 

2018 W-4 ChangesIRS has released a bulletin stating that they have completed the 2018 withholding tables based on the new tax law and that all employers must start using them no later than February 15, 2018. However they have not completed the new W-4’s or the calculator that can be used in order to determine how much you should have withheld. So in the next month you should see your federal withholding decrease resulting in you having a higher paycheck.

 
So what does this mean for you at this time? You currently do not have to do anything. When you come into the office for your appointment we will look at your situation for next year’s
taxes. If we feel the need, we will recheck your withholdings halfway through the year to make sure that you are comfortable with the amount you will owe or the amount that you have as a
refund.

 
Susan

 

2018 Tax Law Changes

 

2018 tax lawThere are many new changes to the tax law starting on January 1. 

 
Please download this 2018 Tax Letter for all the details.

 

Ten Year-End Tax Tips for 2017

 
Ten Year-End Tax Tips for 2017Here are 10 things to consider as you weigh potential tax moves between now and the end of the year.

 

1. Set aside time to plan

Effective planning requires that you have a good understanding of your current tax situation, as well as a reasonable estimate of how your circumstances might change next year. There’s a real opportunity for tax savings if you’ll be paying taxes at a lower rate in one year than in the other. However, the window for most tax-saving moves closes on December 31, so don’t procrastinate.

 

2. Defer income to next year

Consider opportunities to defer income to 2018, particularly if you think you may be in a lower tax bracket then. For example, you may be able to defer a year-end bonus or delay the collection of business debts, rents, and payments for services. Doing so may enable you to postpone payment of tax on the income until next year.
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How can families trim college costs?

 
How can families trim college costs?Trimming college costs up front can help families avoid excessive college borrowing and the burdensome student loan payments that come with it. Here are some ideas.

 
1. Pick a college with a lower net price. You can use a college’s net price calculator (available on every college’s website) to estimate what your net price (out-of-pocket cost) will be at individual colleges. A net price calculator does this by estimating how much grant aid a student is likely to receive based on a family’s financial and personal information. Colleges differ on their aid generosity, so after entering identical information in different calculators, you may find that College A’s net price is $35,000 per year while College B’s net price is $22,000. By establishing an ideal net price range, your child can target schools that hit your affordable zone.

 
2. Investigate in-state universities. Research in-state options and encourage your child to apply to at least one in-state school. In-state schools generally offer the lowest sticker price (though not necessarily the lowest netprice) and may offer scholarships to state residents.
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How much money should a family borrow for college?

 
How much money should a family borrow for college?There is no magic formula to determine how much you or your child should borrow to pay for college. But there is such a thing as borrowing too much. How much is too much? Well, one guideline for students is to borrow no more than their expected first-year starting salary after college, which, in turn, depends on a student’s particular major and job prospects.

 
But this guideline is simply that — a guideline. Just as many homeowners got burned by taking out larger mortgages than they could afford (even though lenders may have told them they were qualified for that amount), students can get burned by borrowing amounts that may have seemed reasonable at first glance but now, in reality, are not.
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