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Back to school on a budget: 4 solid tips to save you money

August 19, 2019

Let’s face it. Kids aren’t cheap, so you have to save money where you can. Back-to-school shopping is a good place to start because costs can add up quickly—especially if you have more than one child. Consider these tips for sending your kids back to school without breaking the bank.

 

 

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$700 million is what Equifax will pay out as a result of its data breach. Make sure you get your share.

August 6, 2019

According to the commission's online claims process, those whose personal information was exposed can opt for 10 years of free credit monitoring, which breaks down as follows: Four years via the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) and six years specifically through Equifax.

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Deducting kid’s summer camp and daycare costs under the Child and Dependent Care Credit

August 1, 2019

With all the tax law changes this year, be sure that you are getting your just deductions in the coming tax season. That is, qualifying deductions that fall under the Child and Dependent Care Credit. According to tax giant and trusted resource Intuit, here’s the skinny…

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Traveling safe: Tips to keep you secure while on the road

July 15, 2019

These days, we seem to have endless articles on IT security while traveling, but far fewer on physical safety. Because summer can be big travel months for many businesses, we put together the following list of tips to help keep you safe while away from home. 

 

 

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Get up, get out and have some cost-effective fun this summer!

July 1, 2019

As your trusted advisor, we are always looking for ways to improve your financial health—and that doesn’t stop at business activity. We also want to support you with tips to help you save money in your personal life as well.

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June is National Safety Month! Tips for augmenting your marketing efforts.

June 17, 2019

June is national safety month, and it never hurts to remind your clients and community that safety always comes first. Our goal with this blog is to help you augment your marketing initiatives with a few ideas around safety. While we can’t cover every industry in a single post, we hope that you find the tips below useful and that they spark some innovative new marketing ideas!

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Tapping into a 529 plan for the first time? Tips for parents of college-bound grads…

June 3, 2019

It’s graduation season, and for many parents that means it’s almost time to start shelling out for college tuition. For those well-prepared parents with established 529 plans in place, the time has come to tap into that money pool. Of course, when it comes to tax-advantaged savings, trust that the IRS is keeping close watch, so it’s important to avoid making any rookie mistakes. It’s also important to keep saving as you move forward.

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Tips for building a company culture that supports remote workers

May 15, 2019

Having a remote workforce can be challenging, especially if you are trying to build a positive, collaborative work environment. So, how do you create a sense of comradery when you have staff in remote locations? These tips can help:

 

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Tax refund on the way? Use it to fortify your financial future.

May 1, 2019

If you are expecting a refund this year, you may be tempted to splurge on something not-so-practical. Before you do, take some time to think about ways to use your refund to bolster your financial health. We’ve put together a few ideas for you to consider:

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Take advantage of these Tax Day deals

April 15, 2019

Once your taxes have been filed, first, take a moment to breathe a big sigh of relief…and then enjoy some Tax Day (April 15, 2019) discounts. There’s nothing like a good deal to take the sting out of tax obligations. Below, we’ve compiled a short list of best food and drink deals, taken from offer.com.

 

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It’s spring! Reboot your enthusiasm with these tips…

April 1, 2019

The long stretch from the end of the winter holiday season until the next break in your routine can feel like eternity. If you feel the need to reboot your enthusiasm as the spring season arrives, try these tips:

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5 tips to dial down distractions

March 15, 2019

Our most precious commodity is time—and our attention is a close second. That’s why everyone can use some help on how to tune out daily distractions. We compiled the following helpful tips from copyblogger.com to get you started on dialing down distractions:

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4 reasons to file your return early

March 1, 2019

The April 15 filing deadline is rapidly approaching, so we encourage you to send us your tax documentation as soon as possible to expedite the filing process. Here are four important reasons why you should file your return sooner rather than later:

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A few key tax reform provisions every business owner should know about

February 15, 2019

This tax season is an important one for many business owners because it’s the first that will be impacted by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). How big of an impact is dependent on your unique situation. We’ve compiled this short list of provisions that may affect the business community:

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Ways to skinny down Super Bowl Sunday

February 1, 2019

According to Forbes.com, Super Bowl viewers traditionally load up on millions of pounds of less-than-healthy foods during the big game—including ribs, pulled pork, tortilla chips, nuts, popcorn and bacon—all washed down with beer (the Super Bowl beverage of choice). If you are trying to stick to your New Year’s resolution to eat better, consider a few healthy substitutes for the traditional Super Bowl eats:

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On your mark, get set…GO prepare for tax season

January 17, 2019

The combination of running a business and your life and preparing for tax time can drive some people into a slight panic. But no need to get stressed if you are prepared. Now is the time to start organizing all documents required to file your tax return.

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5 tips to mitigate paying taxes on Social Security benefits

January 2, 2019

Like the old paraphrased saying goes: In this world, two things are certain—death and taxes. The recent federal tax overhaul changed a lot of rules, so it’s as important as ever to understand your tax obligations, including those on Social Security benefits.

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New IRS warning: Email scams will surge this holiday season

December 10, 2018

Unfortunately, cyber scammers never take a vacation. In fact, the IRS has issued a warning of a surge in fraudulent emails that bait potential phishing victims with fake tax transcripts. Links within these emails lead recipients to documents containing the well-known malware, Emotet.

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Minimize the hustle and bustle and stay on budget this holiday season

December 3, 2018

The holidays can be overwhelming. You only have so many hours in a day, your gift list is long, and your budget may be tight. A bit of up-front planning and prioritizing can help save you time and money. Here are a few ideas to help you minimize the hustle and bustle, stay on budget, and find more peace this holiday season.

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Spreading the feeling of gratitude

November 19, 2018

Instilling a thankful frame of mind among your staff makes for a gratifying work place. Consider a few suggestions for developing an atmosphere of thankfulness to get into the spirit of the holiday season.

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Ramp up awareness to ‘shop small’ on Small Business Saturday this month

November 12, 2018

Black Friday and Cyber Monday need no introduction, but for small business owners it’s all about Small Business Saturday—an annual holiday shopping tradition that gets communities out in support of their local small businesses. Small Business Saturday falls on November 24 this year, so if you haven’t already…start getting the word out.

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Important Update: 1099 Reporting for 2018

November 1, 2018

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 requires Forms 1099-MISC reporting non-employee compensation (NEC) in box 7 to be filed by January 31.

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Bring in extra traffic with some trick-or-treat action

October 15, 2018

Small business owners in many communities offer downtown trick or treat events. Take advantage of this opportunity to build your business reputation. Involvement in local events goes a long way with both existing and prospective customers—indicating a vested interest in your community. Find creative ways to make your business stand out this trick-or-treat season. We hope the following suggestions will spark fun promotional ideas:

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Recognizing Women-Owned Small Businesses Everywhere!

October 1, 2018

October marks Women’s Small Business Month, and we are happy and proud to recognize women in business both locally and around the world. Successful business women of the past and present continue to forge new paths for female entrepreneurs. We celebrate all those who are breaking the glass ceiling and serving as role models and mentors to women everywhere.

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Take Advantage of the September Slowdown

September 17, 2018

For many business owners, September tends to bring a bit of a slowdown. The chaos of getting kids prepared for going back to school has passed, and a focus on saving money tends to kick in as people prepare for the coming holiday spend. Combined, this can often translate into a lull for business owners.

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Reminder: Q3 Tax Estimate is Due Soon!

September 4, 2018

This is a friendly reminder that the Q3 tax estimate payment deadline is coming up fast. Be sure to make your payment by September 15, 2018 to avoid penalties. Currently, penalties for late or no payment average about 4 percent. And wouldn’t you rather keep that money in your pocket?

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Dinner, Drinks and Deductions

August 21, 2018

According to new rules from the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, meals and entertainment tax-deductible expenses for businesses have undergone considerable reform. Because the explanations of new deduction guidelines can be confusing, we’ve created this brief outline for you. A visit with your accounting professional to ensure your Chart of Accounts is correct may also be beneficial.

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Back to School on a Budget

August 15, 2018

August is upon us once again. The collective “UGH!” is heard nationwide as families trudge toward the school supplies aisle in preparation for the upcoming academic year. Sadly, the “days-gone-by” supplies such as a box of crayons, spiral-ring notebooks and a pack of #2 pencils have evolved into a much longer list. But never fear, we’ve put together these useful tips to help you do “back to school” on the cheap.

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Healthy Summer Eating Made Easy – Part II

August 1, 2018

So popular was the topic of our last post, that we created Part II to create our eating-healthy-this-summer-themed blog series. Enjoy these added nutritional and time-saving tips for summer meal planning.

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5 Tips to Eat Healthy While on Vacation this Summer

July 16, 2018

If you are like most, summer is prime time for family and friend vacations. It’s a time to unwind and recharge…to see new places and try new things. For many, “new things” often means food. And if you are trying to maintain or lose weight, that can be a problem. So, for all you travelers trying to stay healthy this summer, here are 5 great tips to help you stay on a healthy eating plan and still enjoy your vacation!

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5 Tips to Get Kids Out of Technology and Into Nature this Summer

July 2, 2018

If you are like most families, summer means vacation. And if your kids are like most kids, they tend to be tethered to their technology. Whether planning to travel abroad or a long weekend at a local campground, summer is a time for exploration and simply paying attention to the beauty around us.

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Your Smartphone Preparedness Travel Guide

Jeff Robinson

June 11, 2018

For many of us, our smartphone is a vital travel tool. We rely on it for navigating unfamiliar places, taking photos, and identifying recreational activities. Michael Zhao, an editor for TheWirecutter.com, offers the following tips on what to pack in addition to your smartphone—so you won’t be stranded when traveling this summer...or any other time of the...

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5 tips to mitigate paying taxes on Social Security benefits

January 2, 2018

Like the old paraphrased saying goes: In this world, two things are certain—death and taxes. The recent federal tax overhaul changed a lot of rules, so it’s as important as ever to understand your tax obligations, including those on Social Security benefits.

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4th Quarter 2017 Client Alerts

Jeff Robinson

October 8, 2017

October is upon us and that means football, baseball playoffs and, of course, year-end planning!  As we enter this 4th quarter of the year, the team at RCG is highlighting 5 areas that we have identified for your new or renewed attention:

Virginia's Tax Amnesty Program for Taxpayers

The Commonwealth of Virginia recently announced a tax amnesty program for...

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Department of Labor New Overtime Regulations Announced

Jeff Robinson

May 20, 2016

New Overtime Regulations Announced

Background:
Under the Federal wage and hour law, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), non-exempt workers are required to be paid overtime pay – 1.5 times their regular rate – for all hours worked in excess of forty (40) in a week There are exemptions to this requirement. The most...

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Embezzlement – Are You Vulnerable?

Jeff Robinson

July 7, 2015

Considerations for for-profits and not-for-profits alike...

According to one online dictionary citing Webster’s, embezzlement is defined as “The act of fraudulently appropriating to one’s own use, the money or goods entrusted to one’s care and management.”  Embezzlement differs from certain other types of theft in that the person committing...

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UPDATE - IRS issues Tangible Property Regulations relief for small businesses

Jeff Robinson

February 13, 2015

The IRS published the following Press Release today on www.irs.gov - 

WASHINGTON —The Internal Revenue Service today made it easier for small business owners to comply with the final tangible property regulations.

Requested by many small businesses and tax professionals, the simplified procedure is...

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Affordable Care Act Impact on 2014 Individual Tax Returns

Steve Lessels

February 5, 2015

2014 will be the first year the Affordable Care Act has impacted individual tax returns. Starting in 2014, individuals must have qualifying health care coverage, qualify for a health coverage exemption, or make a shared responsibility payment.

Taxpayers should be aware of any 2014 forms they receive early in 2015 related to health care coverage. These forms include important...

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Tangible Property Regulations (TPR) – What are they and why should I care?

Jeff Robinson

February 2, 2015

Background

We first posted a blog about the TPRs in early 2014.These regulations are the result of at least a decade of work for the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service.  Portions of the TPRs have been released previously in temporary form and are...

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Starting a Business - Choosing the Type of Business Entity

Jeff Robinson

January 14, 2015

If you are considering the possibility of starting a new business, there will be many decisions to make along the way. One of the first decisions relates to the type of business entity you will establish for your business operations.

When choosing a business entity, it is important to understand that there is no one perfect entity. The goal is to make the best choice based on the...

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Deducting Business Gifts

Jeff Robinson

January 5, 2015

A corporation can deduct the cost of business gifts. However, total business gifts made (directly or indirectly) during a tax year to any one individual are limited to $25—anything above this amount is nondeductible. The deductible portion of gift expenses is reported the same as travel and entertainment.

$25 Limit

A gift to a business entity that is...

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Tax Planning for Individuals 2014 - Part 2

Jeff Robinson

December 1, 2014

This is the second installment of considerations for 2014 year-end tax planning for individuals. Below are additional issues taxpayers may wish to address in the days between now and December 31.

Medical Deductions

Aggregate medical expenses, if possible, into tax years when the total will exceed 10% of your Adjusted Gross Income (7.5% if 65 years of age or...

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Tax Planning for Businesses 2014

Jeff Robinson

November 24, 2014

As we approach the end of 2014, there are tax planning opportunities business taxpayers should consider. In addition, there may be year-end action by Congress to renew dozens of personal and business tax provisions for 2014, most of which expired at the end of the 2013 tax year. Possible “tax extenders” for businesses relate to bonus depreciation, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit,...

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Tax Planning for Individuals 2014 - Part 1

Jeff Robinson

November 17, 2014

As we approach the end of 2014, there are a number of tax planning opportunities individual taxpayers should consider. In addition, there may be year-end action by Congress to renew dozens of personal and business tax provisions for 2014, most of which expired at the end of the 2013 tax year. These possible “tax extenders” include the deduction for mortgage insurance premiums,...

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Estate Tax Exemption Relief Filing

February 22, 2014

Although the estate of a decedent dying in 2011, 2012 or 2013 may not have required the filing of an estate tax return on Form 706, it may have been appropriate to file in order to make the portability election for a surviving spouse.

The portability election allows the surviving spouse to keep and make use of any unused estate or gift tax exemption not used by their husband or wife...

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2014 Depreciation and Capitalization Policies

February 9, 2014

Business owners and company management have been challenged for as long as I have been practicing with questions related to what can be treated as a repair expense vs. what should be classified as a fixed asset and depreciated over its useful life. At long last, the IRS has issued guidance to assist in developing these policies and providing a De Minimis Safe Harbor Election to support your...

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QuickBooks User? Ever need help?

January 24, 2014

If you manage a small business or local non-profit organization, there is a good chance you use QuickBooks in some form or fashion. After all, QuickBooks is not the only player in this segment of software but they are dominant!

At Robinson Consulting Group, we use QuickBooks in our firm and many of our clients use this software as well. If...

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Home Office Deductions - 2013 Choices

February 16, 2013

New Safe Harbor for 2013 Home Office Deductions

The IRS recently released a Revenue Procedure outlining a safe-harbor method for claiming the home office deduction for calendar year 2013 and beyond.  This option does not eliminate the method that has been previously allowed but believing that the current method is too complex for many situations, the IRS has...

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Online Client Access

January 29, 2013

In today's world, we are exposed to technology's influence everyday and the accounting and tax profession, as conservative as we are, is not exempt from this influence.  Our firm has opted to adopt the benefits of these opportunities by working to offer our client's access to their important documents 24/7 by way of a secure, online "portal".  This access is similar to the...

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American Taxpayer Relief 2012 Part II

January 20, 2013

In Part I, we focused on the Act's impact on individual taxpayers.  Part II highlights the Act's impact on business taxpayers.

A number of popular business tax provisions were scheduled to expire at the end of 2012 such as small business expensing under Internal Revenue Code Section 179.  The Section 179 limits were increased retroactive to January 1, 2012...

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American Taxpayer Relief 2012 Part I

January 20, 2013

Although Congress averted many of the potential consequences of the tumble over the fiscal cliff, in Part I of this article, we are highlighting some key provisions of the law for individual taxpayers (Part II will discuss businesses):

A tax increase in 2013 for the highest income earners with a marginal rate of 39.6% in effect for taxpayers earning over $400,000...

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Virginia Tax Update

February 9, 2012

Gov. Bob McDonnell signed a bill today bringing certain Virginia tax rules into conformity with the updated federal tax regulations as of December 31, 2011 helping avoid the challenges of different rules for your federal and Virginia state returns.  This action is effectively

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Estate Planning for Non-Traditional Families

January 27, 2012

Having just attended a webinar hosted by NY Life, I realized how easy it may be to think you have your estate planning in good shape and not realize it still needs work.  The focus of this presentation was planning for the non-traditional family - this could include second or subsequent marriages, adopted children, same sex couples, unmarried couples and so on.  If you fall into...

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IRS Audits 2011

January 25, 2012

According to a recent Kiplinger Tax Letter, the rate of individual tax audits remained steady for 2011 at just over 1% of all individual returns audited by mail or in person - that is 1 return audited for every 90 filed.  If you reported over $1 million in income, you had a 1 in 8 chance of an exam - a little over 12% of these returns were audited.  The chance of audit declined with...

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IRS January Fact Sheet Info

January 13, 2012

Selected Info from the IRS January 2012 Fact Sheet

 Two Extra Days to File and Pay

Taxpayers across the nation will have until Tuesday, April 17, 2012, to file their 2011 income tax returns and pay any taxes due. Taxpayers have extra time because April 15 falls on Sunday, and Emancipation...

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Social Sponsorship

January 11, 2012

I am excited to announce that our firm is the sponsor of the Henrico Business Leaders social on Wednesday, January 18th, at the Westin Richmond from 4 pm to 6 pm - I hope that you can attend - there is no charge to attend and there will be special HBL refreshment

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IRS Mileage Rate for 2012

December 10, 2011

The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2012 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2012, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be: 55.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, 23 cents per mile driven...

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Our New Website!

December 1, 2011

We are excited to announce the recent launch of our firm’s new website! We’ve been working very hard to enhance our site and give our firm a major facelift. 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 needs.

Take a moment to look around our new website and review...

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