Recent Blog Posts

  • What To Do During Difficult Personal Financial Times
    The older I get the more I realize the sun doesn’t always shine and everyone, I mean everyone, at one point is going to face difficult financial times.  It’s not if they are going to come, it’s when.  Now, one of the best ways we can prepare for these challenges is to expect them and have a rainy day fund, keep our debt to a minimum and be wise in our financial commitments. However, often times these difficult times sneak up on us when we are trying to hold a business together, or blindsided by a divorce, embezzlement or a unforeseen change in our industry or market.  These situations can occur quickly and before we know it we are living week to week financially trying to hold it together. On a regular basis, I have consultations with clients focused on surviving in the economy and could care less about tax ... Read more
  • The Tax Strategy of being a Real Estate Professional
    Those that follow my lectures and writings know that I recommend Americans consider buying one rental property a year. It could be full or partial ownership investing with a partner. It could be a single family home, commercial property, VRBO short-term rental or even a group of mobile homes. Why do I say this? Five primary reasons. Steady appreciation over the long-term Tax Deferred growth and capital gain treatment Tax free cash flow Mortgage reduction through renter’s payments Tax write-offs through business expenses and depreciation Now I realize rental property is not a perfect fit for everyone.  There are a lot of variables…your financial strength, credit worthiness, your temperament and time you have to manage property, and of course, it also depends on the season of your life. I encourage all of you to ‘at least’ consider buying one rental this year (in or outside of your retirement account) and ... Read more
  • A New Bundle of Tax Strategies – BABY EDITION!
    I had a wonderful phone call last week with two very awesome clients of mine. We were getting ready to discuss some business strategies when they decided to share some “news” with me. I curiously asked what the news was since I good tell that it was good. “We’re pregnant with twins!” was the reply. This was not something that had come easily for this couple, so beyond just the normal excitement around the announcement, there was an extra bit of happiness that rang through to me. I wished that I could have been present in person, as I would have liked to give them both a big hug! After we talked a bit about the baby, they asked a familiar question—“Is there any tax planning that we should be thinking about for the babies?” I chuckled and asked if I could defer the answer for a week and write ... Read more
  • A New Bundle of Tax Strategies – BABY EDITION!
    I had a wonderful phone call last week with two very awesome clients of mine. We were getting ready to discuss some business strategies when they decided to share some “news” with me. I curiously asked what the news was since I good tell that it was good. “We’re pregnant with twins!” was the reply. This was not something that had come easily for this couple, so beyond just the normal excitement around the announcement, there was an extra bit of happiness that rang through to me. I wished that I could have been present in person, as I would have liked to give them both a big hug! After we talked a bit about the baby, they asked a familiar question—“Is there any tax planning that we should be thinking about for the babies?” I chuckled and asked if I could defer the answer for a week and write ... Read more
  • Tax Strategies for US Military Veterans
    Coming back into the general population after serving in the Military can be a very difficult transition. In fact, for many of us that never served in the military, we can’t imagine the stress and challenges. With that said, and after a heartfelt thanks for your tremendous service on our behalf, we wanted to offer a few potential tax strategies that might make your transition a little smoother…at least on your tax return. Strategy #1: Pension payments are typically taxable, disability benefits are not The first thing to know is that pension payments received after retirement from the military are taxable and should be reported on your tax returns. If you also receive disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, you do NOT need to report these disability benefits on your personal income tax returns. Disability benefits may include the following items: Disability compensation and pension payments for disabilities ... Read more
  • Tax Strategies for US Military Veterans
    Coming back into the general population after serving in the Military can be a very difficult transition. In fact, for many of us that never served in the military, we can’t imagine the stress and challenges. With that said, and after a heartfelt thanks for your tremendous service on our behalf, we wanted to offer a few potential tax strategies that might make your transition a little smoother…at least on your tax return. Strategy #1: Pension payments are typically taxable, disability benefits are not The first thing to know is that pension payments received after retirement from the military are taxable and should be reported on your tax returns. If you also receive disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, you do NOT need to report these disability benefits on your personal income tax returns. Disability benefits may include the following items: Disability compensation and pension payments for disabilities ... Read more
  • The 1031 Exchange – A Real Estate Investor’s Secret Weapon
    To 1031 or not to 1031…that is the question. Back in the real estate boom of 2005-2008 the 1031 exchange was an often used tax strategy by real estate investors looking to avoid the tax when selling highly appreciated properties. However, due to the “Great Recession” at the end of the boom, the 1031 strategy got put on the back burner of most taxpayers minds as worries of job security, declines in retirement accounts, and economic instability became the soup de jour. However, Americans are known for their resilience and now, almost a decade after that near-fatal collapse of the economy, the sun has come back out again. Property values are up and again investors are looking for creative ways to get around the state and capital gains tax. Bottom line, the 1031 exchange has proven to be one of the most effective ways to save tax dollars today! The ... Read more
  • The 1031 Exchange – A Real Estate Investor’s Secret Weapon
    To 1031 or not to 1031…that is the question. Back in the real estate boom of 2005-2008 the 1031 exchange was an often used tax strategy by real estate investors looking to avoid the tax when selling highly appreciated properties. However, due to the “Great Recession” at the end of the boom, the 1031 strategy got put on the back burner of most taxpayers minds as worries of job security, declines in retirement accounts, and economic instability became the soup de jour. However, Americans are known for their resilience and now, almost a decade after that near-fatal collapse of the economy, the sun has come back out again. Property values are up and again investors are looking for creative ways to get around the state and capital gains tax. Bottom line, the 1031 exchange has proven to be one of the most effective ways to save tax dollars today! The ... Read more
  • Tax Strategies for US Military Personnel- Active Duty
    At KKOS Lawyers and Kohler & Eyre CPA’s, we salute our brave men and women in uniform. THANK YOU for putting your life on the line to protect our great country. We honor and cherish your sacrifices that keep us safe. In turn, we try to give back where we can, personally, to you amazing service members.  As such we have summarized some important tax strategies for active duty military personnel. We work diligently to help our active-duty military clients as well as military veterans strategize and make the most of tax planning opportunities. Here are 5 tax strategy/opportunities to be aware of and discuss with your tax advisor each year. Strategy #1: Know what benefits/compensation are taxable and which ones are not! Like all U.S. citizens, members of the Armed Forces receive income that is taxable to them. This includes foreign source income (income earned overseas). Some foreign income ... Read more
  • Tax Strategies for US Military Personnel- Active Duty
    At KKOS Lawyers and Kohler & Eyre CPA’s, we salute our brave men and women in uniform. THANK YOU for putting your life on the line to protect our great country. We honor and cherish your sacrifices that keep us safe. In turn, we try to give back where we can, personally, to you amazing service members.  As such we have summarized some important tax strategies for active duty military personnel. We work diligently to help our active-duty military clients as well as military veterans strategize and make the most of tax planning opportunities. Here are 5 tax strategy/opportunities to be aware of and discuss with your tax advisor each year. Strategy #1: Know what benefits/compensation are taxable and which ones are not! Like all U.S. citizens, members of the Armed Forces receive income that is taxable to them. This includes foreign source income (income earned overseas). Some foreign income ... Read more
  • Rules for Foreigners investing in Rental Property in the U.S.
    Whether you are a foreigner investing in the U.S. or a real estate professional in the U.S. assisting  foreign persons’ acquiring real estate as a part-time residence, or for investment the tax law can certainly be confusing.  However, we can all agree on the benefits of investing in real estate and the importance of having real estate in our portfolios. With that said, the U.S. tax rules that apply to ownership and dispositions of U.S. real estate by foreign persons are different in some important respects from the rules that apply to U.S. persons.  Also, property managers are under special rules when managing property for foreign owners. Here are some basic rules and I highly recommend that any foreigner investing in the U.S. retain a U.S. Law and Accounting firm to structure their entity and file any necessary tax returns. Legal Structuring. In a nutshell, a foreigner really has 3 ... Read more
  • Choosing the Right Health Insurance Plan
    You thought it was the Holiday Season, but it’s actually “Health Insurance Season”. With the Obama Care Enrollment Period in full swing, it’s critical to discuss the issue and know our options. Here are some critical items to keep in mind while you bargain shop this season. The Penalty– Keep in mind that the penalty for not having valid health insurance in 2016 jumps to $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, and maxing out at $2,085 per family. The income-based penalty rises to 2.5% and is the greater of the two. Deadline– The deadline is January 31.  Make sure you have your application in and don’t delay.  The government won’t likely extend the deadline as they have in year’s past. 4 Precious Metals. Understand the “Metal” health insurance plans and the differences between each one. Essentially, you will have to choose between a Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze ... Read more
  • 7 Tax Tips for Year Ending Giving- Take a Deduction for your Generosity!
    This is certainly the season for giving and you shouldn’t be shy at taking a tax deduction if you can.  I hope that doesn’t offend any of you generous folks out there, but let’s face it…we all pay our fair share of taxes. Why can’t we get a little boost on our tax return for helping others in need during the year or even during the holidays?. First, some basic rules when giving: Use a Credit Card or Check- Contributions are deductible in the year made. Thus, donations charged to a credit card before the end of 2015 count for 2015. This is true even if the credit card bill isn’t paid until 2016. Also, checks count for 2015 as long as they are mailed in 2015. Make sure you itemize- For individuals, only taxpayers who itemize their deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A can claim deductions for charitable contributions. ... Read more
  • Why an S-Corporation may be a good move in 2016
    There are two major reasons why you may choose to form an S corp. First, shareholders and officers of an S corp are not personally liable for corporate debts and liabilities. Second, your share of the S corp’s net income will not be subject to self-employment tax. (SE tax is a combination of Social Security and Medicare taxes also referred to as FICA.). Many small-business owners already take advantage of the savings that an S corp offers in regards to the SE tax. However, some tax planners continue to advise business owners to stay away from the S corp because the strategy to save on SE tax is subject to abuse by some unscrupulous business owners and sometimes comes under fire by legislators. Please don’t listen to this advice without getting a second opinion. Bottom line, the S corp strategy works when used properly and is not abused. The majority of our ... Read more
  • Why an HSA May Be Your Best Strategy During the Enrollment Period
    One of the most under utilized tax strategies by small business owners is the use of a Health Savings Account (“HSA”).  It’s a fantastic tax savings strategy as well as a powerful tool to help pay for current and future health care costs.  Everyone should at least consider the HSA as an option when purchasing insurance during the Enrollment Period (November 1st to January 31st). Essentially, the HSA is much like an IRA and operates as a tax-favored savings account for health care.  The only requirement to qualify for one of these amazing accounts is that you have a qualifying high-deductible health insurance plan. Once a you have the proper insurance, the HSA contribution is a deduction on the front page of a taxpayer’s Form 1040, and account grows tax free, while distributions can begin immediately and are tax-free for health care expenses. If you don’t use the saved money for health care, you can use it like ... Read more