:::: MENU ::::
Posts tagged with: CPA

Tax Time!

by

It’s that time of year again…TAX TIME!!!!

This year I’ll be responsible for getting the taxes done for two households:  my own and my father’s (side-note: my dad has frontotemporal dementia, as explained here). Last year at tax time, my brother physically went with my Dad to an H&R Block to have his taxes done, at his request. It worked out, but was a whole mess because then my Dad lost all of the tax paperwork after-the-fact and it’s been a huge pain as I am the person who handles all of his finances. I really could use those year-end statements!!!

This year, given another year of progression of his cognitive impairments, my dad no longer cares about his taxes so I can handle them entirely myself without needing to include him (this is always a tricky balance because he cannot be in charge of his own finances, but he still wants to have some oversight and say in how things are handled. It’s totally understandable, but presents a challenge since he doesn’t have the mental capacity to fully think through financial decisions, etc.).

For our own household, we’ve either done our taxes ourselves (in years past) or used H&R Block, too.

This year, I want to do better. I’ve never been a huge fan of the cheap drop-in type of tax places. I want to hire a CPA that we can have an ongoing relationship with. Someone who knows our finances and is knowledgable enough that they can make recommendations (e.g., donate $X or contribute $X to whatever tax-advantaged account, in order to save $x in taxes) and know all the little ins and outs of tax laws. I want to pay what we owe, but also to limit our liability in whatever (legal) ways are possible.

Also, there’s the whole issue that I live in Arizona and my dad lives in Texas. I’m flying back for a couple of days in March to handle some of my Dad’s affairs (I will be scheduling meetings with:  an estate attorney, a CPA, and a financial advisor). I’m assuming my Dad’s CPA needs to be someone physically in Texas, given that state-level tax laws are obviously different state-to-state.

Here’s my issue – I have NO IDEA how to find a reputable CPA. None. So I come to you all, as you are way more knowledgeable about this than I am. How do I find a really good CPA? Where would I even search? Google? Yelp? Help!

And as a side note….I’m pretty nervous about this year’s taxes. Gulp! The past couple years I’d been paying estimated quarterly payments so our tax liability in April was pretty minimal (usually about another $1500ish or so). This year, I haven’t done any estimated payments at all. UGH!!! We have made some hefty tax-credit approved donations so our state tax liability should hopefully be zero (knock on wood). And I’ve had taxes removed from my full-time paycheck so hopefully that will help offset the burden of what we would otherwise owe. But, we’ve had a lot of income that hasn’t had any taxes removed (both hubs’ business income and my part-time contract based job do NOT have taxes removed from checks). Sooooo, pretty sure we’ll end up owing a pretty penny.  I’d like to get our taxes all figured out by mid-March so we have March and April to try to gather up our funds and hopefully pay the IRS in full so we don’t end up having to pay interest and penalties, etc. Worst case scenario, we could pay by the mid-April deadline on a credit card, which would buy us one extra month to pay off everything in full (since purchases made in April wouldn’t be due until May. Note: I NEVER carry a balance on my credit card!! Any purchases made on the card are paid 100% in full by the next month’s due date). That would allow us THREE months to spread the IRS tax bill over. With how high our income is, we should be able to scrape up the funds. But it also depends on how high our tax debt is. NO FUN!!!

Have you done your taxes yet for 2016? Any tips on finding a great CPA?


Incomplete stories…

by

I know that I have so many unfinished topics and stories on the blog.  You all know from my first 5 months as the blogger that I don’t usually leave a story untold.  I write today to express my frustration about not being able to be a completely open book.  It is really a terrible feeling for me to experience.  I know none of my readers are angry because of the many unfinished stories but it is really tough for me.  My nature is to just be an open book so to hold back is very stressful for me.

All of that said, I am also smart enough to know that no one is going to protect me but me and I cannot disclose everything at this time.  Although it is a silent battle, I cannot forget that I am indeed in the middle of a battle with a man who I do not recognize and I cannot predict.

The tax issue was addressed this weekend and it isn’t pretty.  I got a single line,  typed letter from Steve saying he will pay the IRS directly.  That’s it.  That is all he said.  I have no idea what that means but will not concern myself with trying to decipher his code.  I called in a favor to a dear friend who is a CPA (and one I’ve helped several times through the years with free legal advice–and isn’t that another great life lesson?  Pay it forward people b/c it will come back to you tenfold.  I could have been charged thousands for what my friend had to dig through this weekend and I was not charged) and while I certainly don’t like what I learned, knowledge is power.  I know now what I am dealing with and will act accordingly.  Forgive me for not being able to share details but I will eventually.

Even with this heaviness, it was a great weekend.  Church was all about the fear we all have of “letting go.”  Sometimes from basic material things and also the big stuff that holds us back.  I was there in my marriage.  I was so afraid of losing what I thought I had, what I had created as my reality that I actually ignored reality!  The message is that letting go always leads to bigger and better blessings.

Happy Monday!