Blog | The Tax Prep Team, Inc.

  • Like It or Not, Taxes are Constantly Changing

    Tax policy and rates have always been fluid, much more so than most people realize, as they only focus on it for short periods one time a year. You also don’t see many high school or college classes on the history of taxes and tax planning, unless you’re in accounting school. Like a distant relative you see at an occasional wedding, you forget most of the prior experiences and conversations and simply repeat them as an act of convenience. It’s the lack of personal taxation understanding and the continuous ebbs and flows that allow the tax authorities to keep things the same just long enough to let people form habits, then change the tax rules to penalize the habits created.

  • Accountants Should Change the Category Descriptions in Bookkeeping Systems After They Learn of Tax Changes. Most Don’t.

    There is nothing permanent except change!  Stated by a Greek philosopher over 2500 years ago and it still stands true, especially in the tax code. Sometimes there are big changes, like the one coming in 2025/2026 with the expiration of TCJA, and sometimes small changes, but it’s a good bet that every year something for business owners that was deductible is not and something that was not deductible now is. It is an accountant’s job of course to keep track of all that, but the proactive communication between the accountants of the world and their clients is often lacking. A good example of this is entertainment. For a very long time entertainment was deductible for business owners while prospecting with

  • Tax Planning Gem: Use a CRAT or CRUT to “Put Back” Your Stretch IRA Options for Non-spouse Beneficiaries!

    Current tax rules now require that the entire balance of a non-spousal participant’s inherited IRA account to be distributed or withdrawn within 10 years of the death of the original owner. The 10-year rule applies regardless of whether the participant dies before, on, or after the RMD (required minimum distribution) age at which they had to begin withdrawals. In other words, you must withdraw the inherited funds within 10 years and pay income taxes on the distributed amounts. Since the withdrawals are required, you won’t pay the 10% penalty if you’re under the age of 59½. But you must pay income taxes on the distributions, and you must eventually empty the account. Children of IRA holders, same sex partners in some

  • People Complain About Taxes, but Most Avoid Planning Better Outcomes!

    It’s human nature, of course. We complain about our weight while in the line at the ice-cream stand. We complain about being tired, then stay up late playing the latest game on our smart devices. Humans are funny and contradictory animals. Have you ever noticed that when you’re in a conversation, people are quick to complain about their taxes? Many people who complain about their tax bill are actually paying very little compared to most folks. However, some people pay a lot of unintended or surprise taxes. An example we see a great deal are self-employed folks. They will tell us “I pay too much in federal or state income taxes,” but on review of their 1040, they actually paid no

  • Tax Planning Light Bulb Moment

    Have you ever had a “light bulb” moment?  I have been driving for many years. I’ve driven at least a million miles and I own a few cars (I collect certain types), and when driving my spouse’s car or one from the collection that I haven’t driven in a while, inevitably it’s time to gas up. I pull up to a pump and get out and realize that the gas cap is on the other side, back up the car, turn it around with a sigh and fill it up. Then this year the “light bulb” moment. While trying to figure out the dashboard “iPhone” charger fuse location, I happened to be looking at the diagram of the fuel gauge in the manual from

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