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Helpful Tax Guides & Checklists

It’s that time of year again, and you may start feeling overwhelmed when you think about getting your paperwork together and calculating your income tax payment or refund.  Tax season can cause anxiety for even the most relaxed people!  Steady your nerves with this checklist to help you prepare for filing your taxes and go into everybody’s least favorite season with an organized plan of attack

Tax To-Do Checklist

Tax To-Do Home Business Checklist

What Education Tax Credits can I Take on my Tax Return?

education tax creditsWondering what education tax credits you can take on your tax return?

If you, your spouse, or one of your dependents is enrolled in a higher education program, you have probably asked yourself, “What education credits can I take on my tax return?” Tuition costs are not cheap, so you want to take advantage of every tax break for which you are eligible.

There are two education tax credits available: the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit.

Both of these credits have different eligibility requirements. In addition, you can only take one of them per tax return even if you qualify for both. These are some of the basic differences between these two tax credits.
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What are the necessary steps required to open a business in Decatur Alabama?

open a business in decatur alabamaIf you want to provide goods or services to the good people of Decatur, you need to find out what necessary steps are required to open a business in Decatur Alabama.

Before you plan your grand opening and develop a marketing strategy for your business, you need to take care of the legal requirements. According to city regulations, you will need a business license if:

  • Your business will be located in Decatur
  • Your business will provide service, installation, or repair in Decatur
  • You will send sales representatives to Decatur
  • Company vehicles will be used to deliver merchandise to Decatur
  • Your company leases any merchandise to any business or individual in Decatur

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Should I Create an LLC?

should I create an llcYou don’t start your own business unless you are willing to take a few risks. You knew that there was a chance that your business could go belly-up before you got started, but you believed that your company could make it. But while a certain amount of risk is inevitable in this line of work, you can protect your personal assets by creating a Limited Liability Company or LLC. As a small business owner, you should ask yourself, “Should I create an LLC?”

An LLC keeps your personal and business assets separate. That way, if your business gets sued or gets behind on its bills, creditors can only come after the assets of the business itself. In a sole proprietorship, your house, car, and other personal assets could be at risk if your business experiences financial difficulties.

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Should I Start a Retirement Plan?

should i start a retirement planIf you’re asking yourself, “Should I start a retirement plan?” the answer is a resounding “yes!” if you actually mean “should I start saving for retirement?” There is no such thing as saving for retirement too soon. Time is your friend with retirement accounts, and the more time you have, the more your money will likely grow.

Ideally, you would have begun to save for retirement as soon as you started earning income. You would have put aside money every month to go into a 401k or an IRA account. That’s all the “planning” you need to do in your early twenties and into your mid-thirties.
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Am I Subject to the Net Investment Income tax?

subject to the net investment income taxEffective January 1, 2013, the Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT) imposes a 3.8% tax on certain net investment income of individuals, estates, and trusts that are above statuary threshold amounts. This statement may leave you wondering, “Am I subject to the Net Investment Income Tax?

As with any tax law, there are pages of rules, exceptions, and loopholes, so consult your tax accountant for more information.

However, in order to be subject to this tax, you must:

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