Blog - Helpful Hints

Keep up to date on the latest tax and accounting news and updates on the business.


Spring Cleaning - April 2020

I just recently sold my business of over 15 years and I am anxious to go through my files and get rid of years and years of files and documents I have been holding onto.  And, being that this is Tax month, I felt this would be a good time to do a little research and figure out what I need to keep and what I can toss or shred.  Spring time is a good time of year to get your house organized and with these helpful tips you can make the office clean up quickly and efficient.  If you’re like me and you have several years of file cabinets and boxes full of old files, I can help you sort through, organize and set up a new clean and efficient filing system in no time.  Please contact me and we can get started right away.  In the meantime, this handy guide from the book, "1001 Timely Tips for Clutter Control", by Frank Cawood and Associates, "will help you know how long you should keep certain personal documents - and when it's OK to toss them."  Happy Cleaning!

Keep Forever

September 2022

This month's newsletter recaps the details of the revamped electric vehicle tax credit and other energy credits in newly passed legislation.

Also included this month are some tips to review your recurring monthly bills that seem to automatically creep up. And there is a revealing article on a financial landmine that exists for EVERY car owner that has their vehicle deemed a total loss by an insurance company after an accident.

Plus a great set of ideas to protect your Social Security Number from prying eyes!

Please feel free to forward the information to someone who may be interested in a topic and call with any questions you may have.


New Electric Vehicle and Other Energy Credits

Electric Vehicle Other Tax Credits Get Extended imageTax incentives for purchasing clean (electric) vehicles and installing high efficiency home improvements are some of the featured provisions in the recently-passed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Here’s a closer look at some of the bill’s tax provisions regarding the new incentives.

Clean Vehicle Credit (formerly Plug-In Electric Vehicle Credit)

Here is a summary of the details surrounding the new Clean Vehicle Credit:

On the other hand, there are significantly more hurdles you’ll have to overcome to qualify for the new Clean Vehicle Credit:

MSRP hurdle

Income hurdle

Domestic production hurdle

What you can do

Other Tax-Related Provisions

What you can do

There will be more details on how to obtain these credits in the future. So stay alert and check before making any purchase decisions if you are expecting to take any of these new energy saving credits.

Under the Hood

The underbelly of replacing a totaled car

Underneath the still water of car insurance lies an unseen monster that comes up and attacks every car owner who has their car replaced after an insurance company declares the vehicle a total loss. Consider this true story:

Becoming a victim…twice

Under the Hood imageYour daughter is rear ended by a distracted driver while waiting to turn left. The insurance company of the person who hit her considers the car a total loss. To her surprise, the amount the insurance company offers for her vehicle is approximately 20% lower than the cost to replace her vehicle! Is this a mistake? As it turns out…no… it is a systemic occurrence of paying less than the Fair Market Value* by virtually all insurance companies.

So now your daughter is a victim of two tragedies. One, as an innocent victim of a car accident that totals her car and two, as a victim of the insurance company.

The fair market value fallacy

Unbeknownst to most of America, the valuation of vehicles deemed a total loss is determined by one company, CCC Intelligent Solutions. Per CCC, their services are used by 18 of the top 20 insurance companies and their valuation model does NOT use a Fair Market Value standard to replace your vehicle. Instead, their model determines a value that, when compared to valuation models found at Kelly Blue Book, Edmunds, and NADA is systemically low.

Variables become an opportunity to cost you money

Think about it...why does CCC Intelligent Solutions have a stranglehold on the car valuation business? Because it saves the insurance companies money. Here are three things they do to ensure insurance has the edge in payouts:

The reason all this works is because valuation is never one number but rather a range of values and the CCC model figures out how to stay low, but not so low that it cannot be defended in court.

What you can do

While hard to do, always drive towards fair market value and not some unbalanced valuation model driven by a single company as the only factor when valuing your totaled vehicle.

*Fair Market Value standard as defined by the Internal Revenue Service in determining the value of all tangible assets, including automobiles.

Tips to Protect Your Social Security Number

Tips to Protect Your Social Security Number imageVery few things in life can create a higher degree of stress than having your Social Security number (SSN) stolen. This is because, unlike other forms of identification, your SSN is virtually permanent. Here are some things that you can do to minimize the risk of having your number fall into the hands of the wrong people.

Replacing a stolen SSN is not only hard to do, it can create many problems. Your best defense is to stop the theft before it happens.

Taming Monthly Bill Creep

Paying bills is inevitable, but paying too much is not. Here are some tips to help you get a handle on your recurring monthly expenses.

It's easy for your bills to spiral out of control if you don't keep close tabs on them. Go through a review exercise every few months to ensure you aren't paying more than necessary.

Newsletter Archive

Please note: Some material may be time-sensitive and may no longer apply.
Please contact us with any questions.