Author Archives: Eric Buechler

Uncle Sam Will Still Split The Dinner Check!

The tax status of a business meal with a client has been a perplexing problem for companies and their tax pros since last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act took effect. Deductible? Not allowed? Partially taxed? It’s been clear that businesses no longer can deduct 50 per cent of entertainment expenses bought for clients – tickets to events, golf outings, fishing trips, night clubs, hotel stays, etc. – even if they are business-related. But, in the words of the Internal Revenue Service, “the Act does not specifically address the deductibility of expenses for business meals.” Well, in October, the IRS … Continue reading

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Sales Tax Talk Just In Time For The Holidays!

’ Tis the year’s big selling season and those sales come with sales taxes. New business owner, seasoned proprietor with tax questions and bookkeepers in all industries can delve into the details of Minnesota’s state and local sales taxes without spending too much time on Dec. 6. The Minnesota Department of   Revenue is bringing its free Basic Sales and Use Tax class from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to the Heintz Center of Rochester Community and Technical College. The Center is at 1926 College View Road East. The course covers information about sales and local taxes, exceptions to them, and … Continue reading

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Find More Than Street Names On This Map!

Black Friday. Cyber Monday. The holiday shopping season is underway again! The Minnesota Department of Revenue can’t tell how much you’ll spend for gifts this year. But it has just drawn out a quick way to tell how much you can expect pay in state and local taxes. Holiday shoppers now can pull up a Minnesota map on their computers or smartphones and find out whether they will pay only the state’s 6.875 percent sales tax or more on their merry purchases this season. The interactive Sales Tax Rate Map shows counties and cities; it also can drill down to … Continue reading

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It’s A Humongous Change!

Amid the biggest tax code overhaul in 30 years comes this not-so-surprising warning:  The 2019 tax season might start later than normal. The Internal Revenue Service itself might not agree. But the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration is not convinced that the IRS will be accepting filings of 2018 tax returns on the normal schedule. That skepticism came in a Sept. 25 report.  See it at: https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/auditreports/2018reports/201824064fr.pdf Usually, taxpayers can count on the season starting by the last week of January. The TIGTA is skeptical because of the large number of code changes made by Congress in last … Continue reading

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How Did You Spend Your Summer, Tax-wise?

We’ve talked before (July) about checking withholding rates from paychecks because of changes made by last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. They take effect for 2018. A check-up still a good idea, even if it only affects the final four months of the year. The Internal Revenue Service figures more than 7 out of 10 taxpayers had too much money withheld from their pay in 2016. The IRS provides this calculator online as a quick way to figure whether you need a change: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/irs-withholding-calculator. Here are some IRS guidelines. Check withholding if you: Have a double-income family (on the … Continue reading

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A Refresher On Minnesota Employment Taxes at Rochester

Southeastern Minnesota small business operators, here is a close-by opportunity to hear the latest about state employment taxes and other worker-related rules. The Minnesota Business Tax Education Partnership is offering a free, half-day briefing on Aug. 16 at Rochester Community and Technical College. It’s scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to noon in Room HA102 in the Heintz Center at the college, 1926 College View Road East. There’s no charge, but advance registration is required. Reserve a seat online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/employer-seminar-state-tax-withholding-and-unemployment-insurance-8162018-rochester-registration-44772387416 Experts from the state Department of Revenue and the Unemployment Insurance Program will take on topics ranging from the nuts and … Continue reading

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How Now, W-4?

Your old W-4 form, which determines how much federal and state tax is withheld from your paycheck, might be yesterday’s news now. Federal tax reform is taking effect this year, and it promises to revamp tax returns with higher standard deductions, new tax brackets, boosts in Child Tax Credits and cuts in deductions, among other alterations. That could bring good or bad news for individual returns, depending on your circumstances. Clearly, some taxpayers will want to tweak their W-4s to avoid withholding too much – or, worse, too little – of their income for Uncle Sam before Tax Time. Do … Continue reading

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Wisconsin Shares The Wealth!

The Badger State is expecting a budget bonanza of almost $400 million, and the government now is returning a chunk of it to the state’s families! Taxpayers can claim a rebate of $100 for each dependent child, but they’ll have to act fast. Claims must be filed on or before July 2. The give-back, which is called the “Child Sales Tax Rebate,” is meant to offset state sales and use taxes on purchases made in 2017 for raising a child, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue announced. The child must be age 18 or younger on Dec. 31, 2017. Taxpayers just … Continue reading

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A Taxing Change For Some Road Warriors And Studious Workers

Employees who drive their own cars on the job for their companies no longer can expect Uncle Sam to pick up the tab for those miles. Their employers — maybe. But not the federal government. The new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act put the brakes on unreimbursed business mileage. Let’s be clear about this. The IRS still allows deductions for driving on business. In fact, the IRS raised the mileage rate for 2018 by a penny from last year; it’s now 54.5 cents a mile.  But, although employers and proprietors can claim mileage as a normal business expense, their employees … Continue reading

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Tax Deadline Can Be Extended – Automatically!

Has time slipped away too quickly this tax season? Are you still sorting receipts and furiously figuring out the numbers for your 2017 tax return? The Internal Revenue Service doesn’t accept “I’m too busy” as an excuse for procrastinating on a tax return. But the government does give taxpayers six more months to file the paperwork. An extension can be filed online or by mail. Better yet, it’s automatically approved. The IRS won’t ask you why you need it. BUT – and it can be a big “but” – the IRS still expects you to estimate income and pay any … Continue reading

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