Our Blog

Record Retention: Post Tax-Season Cleanup

June 1, 2017

Cleaning out your desk after filing 2016 taxes and wondering if you should hold on to your sales receipts, income tax returns, credit card statements, medical bills etc.? There are various rules for individuals and businesses on how long specific documents should be kept, so be sure you’re aware of what you should be holding on to before you go ahead and throw things away.

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Turn Next Year’s Federal Income Tax Refund into Extra Cash Now

May 22, 2017

Each year, millions of taxpayers claim an income tax refund. Receiving a payment from the IRS for a few thousand dollars can be a pleasant influx of extra cash. But it means you were essentially giving the government an interest-free loan for close to a year, which isn’t the best use of your money.

Fortunately, there is a way to begin collecting your 2017 refund now: You can...

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Scams Targeting Taxpayers

May 12, 2017

IRS-Impersonation Telephone Scams

An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, using...

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Home Office Deduction Often Overlooked by Small Business Owners

Internal Revenue Service

May 6, 2017

Are you missing any home office deductions?

The Internal Revenue Service reminded small business owners who work from a home office that there are two options for claiming the Home Office Deduction. The Home Office Deduction is often overlooked by small business owners.

As part of National Small...

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Five Things to Know About the Child Tax Credit

March 2, 2017

The Child Tax Credit is a tax credit that may save taxpayers up to $1,000 for each eligible qualifying child. Taxpayers should make sure they qualify before they claim it. Here are five facts from the IRS on the Child Tax Credit:

1. Qualifications. For the Child Tax Credit, a qualifying child must pass several...

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Don’t Fall for Scam Calls and Emails Posing as IRS

February 28, 2017

Scams continue to use the IRS as a lure. These tax scams take many different forms. The most common scams are phone calls and emails from thieves who pretend to be from the IRS. Scammers use the IRS name, logo or a fake website to try and steal money from taxpayers. Identity theft can also happen with these scams.

Taxpayers need to be wary of phone calls or automated messages...

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Five Reasons to Choose Direct Deposit

IRS Tax Tip 2017-03

February 26, 2017

Easy, safe and fast — that’s direct deposit. It’s the best way to get a tax refund. Eighty percent of taxpayers choose it every year. The IRS knows taxpayers have a choice of how to receive their refunds.

IRS Direct Deposit:

1. Is Fast. The quickest way for taxpayers to get their refund is to electronically file their federal tax return and...

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Protecting Your Personal Information During Tax Season

February 23, 2017

As accountants, we understand that your identity is just as important as your financial well-being.  With tax season just around the corner, scammers will use this opportunity to get access to personal information.  Some common strategies include receiving calls from:

  • A self-proclaimed “Governmental Agency”
  • U.S. Treasury or...

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How New Identity Security Changes May Affect Taxpayers for 2016

Interanal Revenue Service

January 28, 2017

The Internal Revenue Service, the states and the tax industry have taken new steps for 2016 to protect you and help reduce the risk of identity theft affecting your tax returns this filing season.   

It’s no secret that identity theft of all kinds is persistent, time consuming and frustrating. When criminals steal your personal data (especially your name and...

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Important December Tax Due Dates

December 1, 2016

December 10


Employees - who work for tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during November, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.

December 15





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How long should you hang onto your records?

November 22, 2016

The length of time you need to keep these tax documents depends on the nature of the document. The key question is how long the IRS will have to challenge you on the figures that each document contains.

For most tax returns, the statute of limitations is three years from the due date of the return or the filing date,...

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Which Tax Documents Do I Need to Prepare My Taxes?

November 17, 2016

In general, the most important tax documents to keep are the ones that you used to justify the numbers on your final tax returns. The most common of those documents is your Form W-2, which shows your job income along with a record of taxes withheld from your paychecks. The W-2 is important because for most people, it has the bulk of their taxable income,...

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Important November 2016 Tax Due Dates

November 1, 2016

November 10

Employees - who work for tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during October, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.

Employers - Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income...

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Important October 2016 Tax Due Dates

October 6, 2016

October 11

Employees - who work for tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during September, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.

October 17

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Important September 2016 Tax Due Dates

September 1, 2016

September 12

Employees - who work for tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during August, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.

September 15

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Will your student loans affect your tax return?

August 23, 2016

If you have student loans to repay, you may be wondering how that debt will affect your tax return. While repayment of the principal portion of your debt is not tax deductible, you can take an above-the-line deduction for up to $2,500 of interest that you pay in a year, as long as you meet certain conditions such as an income limit. "Above-the-line" means the...

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Life changes call for a tax tune-up

August 19, 2016

Summer can be a time for life changes. Marriage, a school-break job or entrepreneurial venture, a move to a new home – all of these major events call for tax planning. The good news is a few simple steps will get you started, even if you feel your current circumstances limit the time you have to devote to your taxes.

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Do you need to file Form 5500-EZ?

August 16, 2016

If your business has a one-participant retirement plan such as a solo 401(k) - for example, if you own the entire business and the plan covers only you, or you and your spouse - you may be unaware that you can have tax filing responsibilities. Here are two situations when you may need to file Form 5500-EZ, Annual Return of One-Participant (Owners and Their...

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CPA Business Consulting – Building Your Financial Success

August 13, 2016

Every aspect of success, whether personal, societal or business, is hinged on finance. Building success is feasible only when the reality of financial availability is ensured. Anyone who seeks to be successful, at least monetarily, must first and foremost set our a long-term financial plan.

There are several steps that...

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Understand basis to save tax dollars

August 11, 2016

Basis is an important tax concept. The most recent reminder of the importance of getting basis right is the 2015 law that requires executors of some estates to report basis information for assets transferred to beneficiaries. Taxable estates that filed an estate return after July 31, 2015, must file a new form, which is due 30 days after the estate return is...

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FAFSA® Changes for 2017–18

August 10, 2016

On Sept. 14, 2015, President Obama announced significant changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) process that will impact millions of students. Starting with the 2017­–18 application cycle, the following changes will be put in place: 

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    Planning for a comfortabel retirement

    August 3, 2016

    Planning for a comfortable retirement involves coordinating many moving parts. But you can begin by setting up a broad outline and filling in the details once you've taken the first steps.

    The best place to start is to establish a retirement savings program as early as possible and contribute regularly. The longer and...

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    IRS Launches More Rigorous e-Authentication Process and Get Transcript Online

    IRS.GOV

    July 30, 2016

    WASHINGTON — With the assistance of top digital experts at U.S. Digital Service and other security authorities, the Internal Revenue Service today launched a more rigorous e-authentication process for taxpayers that will significantly increase protection against identity thieves impersonating taxpayers to access tax return information through the IRS Get...

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    Important August 2016 Tax Due Dates

    July 29, 2016

    August 1

    Employers - Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. File Form 941 for the second quarter of 2016. Deposit any undeposited tax. (If your tax liability is less than $2,500, you can pay it in full with a timely filed return.) If you deposited the tax for the...

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    Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Business Entities

    July 26, 2016

    Sole Proprietorship

    • A sole proprietorship may be one of the simplest ways to start a business. Essentially, the owner is the business.

    Advantages of a Sole Proprietorship:

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      Phone Scams Continue to be a Serious Threat, Remain on IRS “Dirty Dozen” List of Tax Scams for the 2016 Filing Season

      IRS.gov/newsroom

      July 23, 2016

      WASHINGTON — Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain a major threat to taxpayers, headlining the annual "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams for the 2016 filing season, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.

      The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams as scam...

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      How Long to Keep Tax Records before Tossing Them

      thallissey

      July 19, 2016

      Individual tax planning and preparation should be a yearlong endeavor rather than a rush job during tax season. But when paperwork piles up, you will be glad to know how long to keep tax records and financial documents.

      Income Tax Records: What to Keep and When to Keep It

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      How to Make a Budget for Living on Your Own

      July 17, 2016

      If you can’t wait to move out of your parents’ home and start living on your own, you’re not alone. Independence is amazing, but enjoying that newfound freedom can be more expensive than you might think. Fortunately, there are tons of helpful websites and mobile apps that can make managing your finances fun. And by incorporating these tools in...

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      Cut your taxes by sending the kids to summer camp

      July 14, 2016

      All that bug juice and capture the flag could pay off big time this summer.

      Working parents can save more than $2,000 on their taxes just by enrolling their kids in summer day camp, not to mention some other tax benefits of the season.

      That can go a long way toward...

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      3 top tax breaks for the average American

      USA Today

      July 12, 2016

      Taxes are a necessity, paying for many of the services we all benefit from including schools, military defense, police & firefighters, as well as critical infrastructure such as roads and bridges that are key to our freedom of movement and economic well-being as a society.

      While there's no questioning that the...

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      Your Guide to Summer Savings: Terrific Tips and Tax Breaks

      July 11, 2016

      For many people, summer is a time when spending is at its highest. With vacations, childcare and other seasonal expenses, it’s tough to find summer savings. But rather than cutting into your pleasure spending, take advantage of these terrific tips and tax breaks.

      5 Summer Savings...

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      Important July 2016 Tax Due Dates

      July 8, 2016

      July 11  

      Employees - who work for tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during June, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.

      July 15  


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      How a CPA Saves The Client Money

      July 6, 2016

      Successfully run businesses don’t reach that level of success just out of hard work and dedication. To achieve a successful business you need to have accurate and actionable information that is delivered on time. It is also achieved through understanding the message that your financial statements project.

      But...

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      Retiring this summer? Plan for estimated tax payments

      July 3, 2016

      Early retirement, delayed retirement, phased retirement - if you've decided this summer is your time to leave the workforce, you have decisions to make. One of them is whether you will need to pay estimated taxes. While you may expect your income to decrease when you're not working, remember that you might be withdrawing funds from your IRAs and other retirement...

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      Employee Business Expenses

      June 30, 2016

      If you pay for work-related expenses out of your own pocket, you may be able to deduct those costs. In most cases, you can claim allowable expenses if you itemize on IRS Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. You can deduct the amount that is more than two percent of your adjusted gross income. Here are five other facts you should know:

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      Your Guide to Summer Savings: Terrific Tips and Tax Breaks

      thallissey

      June 27, 2016

      For many people, summer is a time when spending is at its highest. With vacations, childcare and other seasonal expenses, it’s tough to find summer savings. But rather than cutting into your pleasure spending, take advantage of these terrific tips and tax breaks.

      5 Summer Savings...

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      Lost Your Job? There Could Be Tax Consequences

      June 24, 2016

      Given current economic conditions, you may be faced with tax questions surrounding a job loss and unemployment issues. Here are some answers:

      Q: What if I receive unemployment compensation in 2016?

      A: Unemployment compensation you receive under the...

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      Importance of Keeping Track of Your Expenses

      June 20, 2016

      There is a popular saying that “the easiest way of becoming bankrupt is by not paying attention to your expenses.” There is nothing that captures the importance of keeping track of your expenses better than that saying.

      The responsibility of taking care of our own finances doesn’t happen when you...

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      Tax To-Do List After Saying “I Do”

      June 16, 2016

      The popular spring and summer wedding season is upon us, and happy couples have a lot to tackle as they merge two lives into one. Beyond the financial basics like opening a joint bank account or setting a household budget, newlyweds also need to consider their tax situation. A change in marital status can impact tax status, so let’s take a look at some...

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      Tax Tips for the Self-Employed

      June 11, 2016

      If you are a self-employed, you normally carry on a trade or business. Sole proprietors and independent contractors are two types of self-employment. If this applies to you, there are a few basic things you should know about how your income affects your federal tax return. If you're self-employed, here are six important tax tips you should know...

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      Five Things you Should Know about the AMT

      June 5, 2016

       You may not know about the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) because you've never had to pay it before. However, your income may have changed and you may be required to pay it when you file your 2016 tax return next year. The AMT is an income tax imposed at nearly a flat rate on an adjusted amount of taxable income above a certain threshold. If you have a...

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      Protect your family elders from tax and financial scams

      May 31, 2016

      The "Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2016" was signed into law in April, and May is Older Americans Month, a national celebration of the many contributions of older Americans. Both events present a good opportunity to talk to your family elders about financial safety.


      One place to start: The top ten...

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      Affordable Health Care (ACA)

      May 26, 2016

      At Graffin we understand the confusion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) and how it will affect your tax return. On this page we will explain what we can. 

      If you are enrolled in a health plan through your employer, private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid:

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      Simplify your tax life by organizing your chart of accounts

      May 11, 2016

      If you haven't revised your business's chart of accounts since you initially set it up, you may be missing out on an easy way to simplify your life at tax time. That's because your chart of accounts is more than a basic bookkeeping tool. Your chart can also help you keep track of items that affect your tax return.


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      Filing Tips for Tax Returns

      April 1, 2016

      Filing Tips for Tax Returns

      Are you one of the millions of Americans who hasn't filed (or even started) your taxes yet? With the filing deadline quickly approaching, here is some last minute tax advice for you.

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      Our New Website!

      Graffin Associates, P.C. is excited to announce the recent launch of our firm’s new website. We’ve been working very hard to enhance our website and give our firm a fresh look. We’ve also continued to research and identify the latest and greatest technologies to improve the services we provide and ensure we continue to meet your...

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