Christina Villeneuve, CPA

Christina Villeneuve, CPA Tax Preparation and Tax Planning Services. Over 30 years experience!
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Paycheck Checkup - Did You Know?With the major tax law changes, the IRS has issued several press releases urging taxpaye...
09/07/2018

Paycheck Checkup - Did You Know?

With the major tax law changes, the IRS has issued several press releases urging taxpayers to use the IRS Withholding Calculator to double-check their tax withholding.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in December, 2017 made significant changes including:

- Increased standard deduction
- Eliminated personal exemptions
- Increased Child Tax Credit
- Limited or discontinued certain deductions
- Changed the tax rates and brackets

Checking your withholding amount can help protect against having too little tax withheld and getting unexpected tax bills and penalties at tax time next year. You may also prefer to have less tax withheld up front and receive more in your paychecks.

The IRS Withholding Calculator can be found at: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/irs-withholding-calculator.

Flexible Spending Accounts - Did You Know?Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are a way to pay for medical expenses and ge...
08/31/2018

Flexible Spending Accounts - Did You Know?

Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are a way to pay for medical expenses and get a tax break at the same time. You decide how much to contribute to the FSA before the start of the year and then that amount is deducted from each paycheck. The contributions are pre-tax and the reimbursements for the expenses come out tax-free.

FSAs are generally "use it or lose it", however. If you don't use all the money, it will be lost. Unused dollars cannot be carried over from year-to-year. Make sure you are on track to use all of the funds. If not, they can be used for a variety of expenses, such as eye glasses and other items. Be sure to review your FSA spending to make sure you don't lose this tax-free benefit.

Section 179 Deduction Limits - Did You Know?If you are a business owner, the new tax law not only retained the section 1...
08/22/2018

Section 179 Deduction Limits - Did You Know?

If you are a business owner, the new tax law not only retained the section 179 deduction for certain types of equipment and other business purchases, but the limit was also expanded to $1 million for 2018. This rule allows the amount of these purchases to be expensed right away versus depreciated over a number of years. This can be a significant tax benefit for a company.

In order to qualify, the equipment or software purchase must be used for business use more than 50% of the time.

Beneficiary Designations - Did You Know?It's a good idea to regularly review (for example, every five years or whenever ...
08/16/2018

Beneficiary Designations - Did You Know?

It's a good idea to regularly review (for example, every five years or whenever there is a major life change) beneficiary designations for retirement accounts, insurance policies, annuities, and estate planning documents.

Failure to do so can create serious problems, including unwanted tax liabilities or assets going to the wrong people.

Child/Dependent Care Credit - Did You Know?If you send your children to a summer day camp while you work or look for wor...
08/10/2018

Child/Dependent Care Credit - Did You Know?

If you send your children to a summer day camp while you work or look for work, save your paperwork as you may be eligible for the IRS Child and Dependent Tax Credit. You may also qualify if you paid for someone to care for a child, dependent or spouse during the year.

The qualifying person can be a child under the age of 13 or a spouse or dependent who lived with the taxpayer for more than half the year, or someone who is physically or mentally not capable of caring for themselves.

Hiring Your Kids - Did You Know?During summer and other times in the year, you may be able to claim tax savings from hir...
08/03/2018

Hiring Your Kids - Did You Know?

During summer and other times in the year, you may be able to claim tax savings from hiring your kids to work in your business.

The work performed must be ordinary and necessary to the operation of the business. They will also require a Form W-4 and I-9, the same as hiring a normal employee.

Your business may be able to deduct their wages as a business expense and, if they are under 18 and working for a sole-proprietorship, not have to withhold FICA from their salary. Kids with earned income can also begin to contribute to an IRA and enjoy the benefits of a longer investment period.

Summer Jobs - Did You Know?If you're currently working at a summer job or know a teen or student who is, here is a usefu...
07/25/2018

Summer Jobs - Did You Know?

If you're currently working at a summer job or know a teen or student who is, here is a useful tax-saving tip:

Students and teenage employees normally have taxes withheld from their paychecks by their employer after filling out a Form W-4.

However, if the job is regarded as self-employment, like baby-sitting or lawn care can be, they should keep good records of all expenses to help maximize potential deductions.

In the case of lawn care, potential deductible expenses may include: business cards, fliers, fuel, equipment rentals, chemicals, work mileage, etc.

Employer Life Insurance - Did You Know?If your employer provides you with life insurance and is paying the premiums for ...
07/19/2018

Employer Life Insurance - Did You Know?

If your employer provides you with life insurance and is paying the premiums for you there is no tax concern so long as the amount of coverage is $50,000 or less.

However, premiums paid by your employer in excess of $50,000 is a taxable benefit under an employer-provided group term life insurance program. As result, this is considered income that may be taxed and should be included in your filing.

Gift-Tax Exemptions - Did You Know?The annual gift tax exemption increased to $15,000 per recipient in 2018. However, yo...
07/12/2018

Gift-Tax Exemptions - Did You Know?

The annual gift tax exemption increased to $15,000 per recipient in 2018. However, you may be able pay the qualifying educational institution or medical care provider directly and be exempted from the gift tax entirely without affecting the $15,000 annual limit.

Tracking Tips - Did You know?For those that work in summer or other jobs that include tipping, the IRS recommends keepin...
07/05/2018

Tracking Tips - Did You know?

For those that work in summer or other jobs that include tipping, the IRS recommends keeping a tips diary so that tips can be accurately reported on your tax return, to your employer, and as proof of tip income.

The IRS provides a Form 4070A (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/f4070a--2005.pdf) that can be used as a tip diary, or you can use a notebook to note down for the record:

- Cash tips you get directly from customers or from other employees.

- Tips from credit and debit card charge customers that your employer pays you.

- The value of any noncash tips you get, such as tickets, passes, or other items of value.

- The amount of tips you paid out to other employees through tip pools or tip splitting, or other arrangements, and the names of the employees to whom you paid the tips.

Business Travel Weekends - Did You Know?If you travel away from home for business purposes and you schedule business act...
06/25/2018

Business Travel Weekends - Did You Know?

If you travel away from home for business purposes and you schedule business activities and meetings on Friday and then on Monday, you may be able to claim the weekend in-between as business time and your hotel and meal expenses are deductible as such.

However, if you only had business-related activites on Friday, and just went home on Monday, the weekend in between would not be counted as business days.

Overseas Tax Filing Deadline - ReminderIf you are a U.S Citizen or Green Card Holder living abroad or in active military...
06/11/2018

Overseas Tax Filing Deadline - Reminder

If you are a U.S Citizen or Green Card Holder living abroad or in active military service and have not filed your taxes yet, the deadline is coming up on Friday, June 15th, 2018.

The extension is for the date to file, not to pay. Any interest on the taxes owed will be calculated from the regular due date of the return, April 17th, 2018.

Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments - ReminderIf you are making quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS, the due date f...
06/04/2018

Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments - Reminder

If you are making quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS, the due date for the April 1 - May 31 quarter of the year is Friday, June 15th.

For payments made using IRS Direct Pay, you can make payments until 8PM EST, and for payments using a credit or debit card, payments can be made up to midnight on the due date.

If the due date for making an estimated tax payment falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the payment will be considered on time if you make it on the next day that's not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

Tiede Financial - Northwestern Mutual
06/03/2018
Tiede Financial - Northwestern Mutual

Tiede Financial - Northwestern Mutual

Do you know the difference between a will and a living trust? If not, this is a valuable quick read to get you started.

Military Tax Benefits - Did You Know?If you are a member of the military, you and your family may be eligible for certai...
05/30/2018

Military Tax Benefits - Did You Know?

If you are a member of the military, you and your family may be eligible for certain tax breaks.

Some military tax benefits may include:

- Combat Pay Exclusion: If you are serving in a combat zone, part or even all of the combat pay may be tax-free.
- Deadline Extensions: Under some circumstances, such as serving in a combat zone, you may be able to postpone most tax deadlines.
- Earned Income Tax Credit: If you get nontaxable combat pay, you may opt to include it under your taxable income to increase the amount of credit, which may lead to owing less tax or a larger refund.
- Signing Joint Returns: A joint return normally needs to be signed by both spouses, but if military service prevents you from signing, your spouse may be able to sign for you or get a power of attorney.

Virginia529
05/25/2018
Virginia529

Virginia529

Celebrate 529 Day with a $50 contribution to your new account from Virginia529!

Charitable Organizations - Did You Know?If you are thinking of making charitable donations this year, the IRS has releas...
05/24/2018

Charitable Organizations - Did You Know?

If you are thinking of making charitable donations this year, the IRS has released a new tool to make it easier to get information about charitable organizations. The new Tax Exempt Organization Search website offers additional information as well as a mobile-friendly interface.

The new tool can be found at: https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/tax-exempt-organization-search.

No Additional Cost Services - Did You Know?You may be able to exclude no additional cost services you receive from your ...
05/18/2018

No Additional Cost Services - Did You Know?

You may be able to exclude no additional cost services you receive from your employer from your income..

In order to qualify, this service must be the same service offered for sale to customers in the ordinary course of your line of work
and there can't be a substantial additional cost (including any sales revenue lost) to provide you with the service.

Some examples of this may include excess capacity services like airline, bus, or train tickets, hotel rooms, and telephone services.

Refund Amounts - Did You Know?If your refund amount is different than stated on the filed tax return, part or all of you...
05/12/2018

Refund Amounts - Did You Know?

If your refund amount is different than stated on the filed tax return, part or all of your refund may have been used to pay off (offset) past-due federal tax, student loans, state income tax or other past-due debts.

You'll receive a notice from the IRS if such an offset occurs that will show the original tax refund amount, the offset amount, as well as the name, address and telephone number of the agency receiving the payment.

This will be a game changer for sole proprietors and small businesses.
04/28/2018
Glass Jacobson Financial Group

This will be a game changer for sole proprietors and small businesses.

The most significant tax deduction taking effect in 2018 is the so-called “20 percent deduction." It will affect most business owners and should provide a substantial tax benefit to individuals with “qualified business income” from a partnership, S corporation, LLC, or sole proprietorship. In this post we attempt to make some sense of this new deduction and how it affects you.

https://www.glassjacobson.com/20-percent-deduction-pass-through-income/

Reduce Fees & Penalties - Did You Know?You should still file your taxes, even if you can't pay, as the failure-to-file p...
04/26/2018

Reduce Fees & Penalties - Did You Know?

You should still file your taxes, even if you can't pay, as the failure-to-file penalty may be 10 times more than the failure-to-pay penalty. If you are unable to pay in full, try to file your tax return and pay as much as you can.

Tax Deadline ExtensionThe IRS has provided an additional day to file returns due to system issues that happened on Tuesd...
04/18/2018

Tax Deadline Extension

The IRS has provided an additional day to file returns due to system issues that happened on Tuesday, April 17th. This one-day extension is automatic, and those who have not yet filed now have until midnight on Wednesday, April 18th to file and pay their taxes.

Tax Filing DeadlineThe deadline to file your taxes is on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018. It is also the deadline for paying a...
04/16/2018

Tax Filing Deadline

The deadline to file your taxes is on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018. It is also the deadline for paying any taxes owed as well as filing for an extension. Please note that you may be able to file for an extension until Oct 15th, 2018, but you must still pay any taxes due by the April 17th deadline.

If you are a US citizen or green card holder living overseas, or active military on duty outside the United States on the regular due date of the return, you may be able to get an automatic two month extension to file your return and pay any taxes due.

Tax Filing DeadlineThe deadline to file your taxes is on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018. It is also the deadline for paying a...
04/16/2018

Tax Filing Deadline

The deadline to file your taxes is on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018. It is also the deadline for paying any taxes owed as well as filing for an extension. Please note that you may be able to file for an extension until Oct 15th, 2018, but you must still pay any taxes due by the April 17th deadline.

If you are a US citizen or green card holder living overseas, or active military on duty outside the United States on the regular due date of the return, you may be able to get an automatic two month extension to file your return and pay any taxes due.

Tuition and Fees Deduction - Did You Know?Congress retroactively revived the tuition and fees deduction for the 2017 fil...
04/12/2018

Tuition and Fees Deduction - Did You Know?

Congress retroactively revived the tuition and fees deduction for the 2017 filing year with the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 that was passed on February 9th, 2018.

If you paid qualifying higher education related expenses, you may be able to deduct up to $4,000 of those costs without having to itemize the deduction.

This amount can be up to $4,000 for single filers with an adjusted gross income of $65,000 or less ($130,000 jointly) or $2,000 for single filers with an AGI of $80,000 or less ($160,000 jointly).

Unclaimed Refunds - Did You Know?The IRS has issued a reminder that time is running out for those that didn't file a 201...
04/09/2018

Unclaimed Refunds - Did You Know?

The IRS has issued a reminder that time is running out for those that didn't file a 2014 federal tax return. There are currently unclaimed refunds that total more than $1 billion, and the 2014 returns must be filed by April 17, 2018.

No penalty will be charged for filing a late return for those receiving refunds and there is a limited three year window to claim a refund. If unclaimed, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury.

Avoid Becoming a Scam VictimDid you receive a threatening call or notice from the "IRS"? Please remember, IRS employees ...
04/05/2018

Avoid Becoming a Scam Victim

Did you receive a threatening call or notice from the "IRS"? Please remember, IRS employees will NOT:

- Call demanding immediate payment. The IRS will not call a taxpayer if they owe tax without first sending a bill in the mail.
- Demand payment without allowing the taxpayer to question or appeal the amount owed.
- Require the taxpayer pay their taxes a certain way. For example, demand taxpayers use a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threaten to contact local police or similar agencies to arrest the taxpayer for non-payment of taxes.
- Threaten legal action such as a lawsuit.

Early Withdrawals - Did You Know?You may decide to take out money early from your Individual Retirement Accounts or reti...
04/03/2018

Early Withdrawals - Did You Know?

You may decide to take out money early from your Individual Retirement Accounts or retirement plan. An early withdrawal is defined as withdrawing before the age of 59 1/2. Income tax may be owed on the amount withdrawn plus a 10% early withdrawal penalty.

If you want to move assets from plan to plan, there is a 'rollover' period of 60 days to complete the transfer where it's tax free.

There are also exceptions depending on the rules of the specific retirement plan.

Refund Amounts - Did You Know?If your refund amount is different than stated on the filed tax return, part or all of you...
03/30/2018

Refund Amounts - Did You Know?

If your refund amount is different than stated on the filed tax return, part or all of your refund may have been used to pay off (offset) past-due federal tax, student loans, state income tax or other past-due debts.

You'll receive a notice from the IRS if such an offset occurs that will show the original tax refund amount, the offset amount, as well as the name, address and telephone number of the agency receiving the payment.

If you haven't received your refund yet, you may be able to check the status using the IRS' "Where's my Refund?" tool: https://www.irs.gov/refunds.

This is a whole new world...if you bought and sold Bitcoin, here's what you should know:
03/30/2018
Cryptocurrency Traders Owe Massive Taxes On Fat 2017 Gains

This is a whole new world...if you bought and sold Bitcoin, here's what you should know:

I confirmed what the media has been reporting: Coin traders made fortunes in 2017. Now that the 2017 tax-filing season is underway, these traders should gather online tax reports if available, use a coin trade accounting program, and review the latest guidance on tax treatment.

Medical Expenses - Did You Know?Under the new tax bill, if you itemize your deductions, you may be able to deduct qualif...
03/22/2018

Medical Expenses - Did You Know?

Under the new tax bill, if you itemize your deductions, you may be able to deduct qualifying medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) for tax years 2017 and 2018. After those years, the threshold will go back to 10%.

Federal Tax Extensions - Did You Know?If you file for an extension on your federal income tax return, you don't have to ...
03/20/2018

Federal Tax Extensions - Did You Know?

If you file for an extension on your federal income tax return, you don't have to file your taxes until Oct 15th, 2018 but you still have to pay any taxes due by April 17th, 2018 to avoid penalty and interest charges.

If you are a US citizen or green card holder living overseas, or active military on duty outside the United States on the regular due date of the return, you may be able to get an automatic two month extension to file your return and pay any taxes due.

Health Savings Account (HSA) - Did You Know?In 2018, the limit for an individual HSA contribution has been increased by ...
03/15/2018

Health Savings Account (HSA) - Did You Know?

In 2018, the limit for an individual HSA contribution has been increased by $50 to $3,450.

For family HSAs, the contribution limit for 2018 was originally set at $6,900, but was recently reduced by $50 to $6,850. This new limit is retroactive (effective January 1st, 2018), so please check if you have over-contributed.

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Leesburg, VA
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