Glenn Sandler, CPA, of G.I. Tax Service Talks Money-Saving Tax Tips for Parents

Glenn Sandler, CPA, of G.I. Tax Service Talks Money-Saving Tax Tips for Parents

For years, parents were able to claim their children as dependents on their tax returns, resulting in savings. However, beginning with 2018 tax returns, this dependent exemption has been removed.

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Navigating the intricacies of tax preparation can be daunting for individuals without the professional help of a tax preparer, as Glenn Sandler, CPA, knows all too well. That's why he founded G.I. Tax Service – home of the affordable $99 Tax Return and the stated motto, No Dime Left Behind®.

For years, parents were able to claim their children as dependents on their tax returns, resulting in savings. However, beginning with 2018 tax returns, this dependent exemption has been removed.

However, that doesn't mean that there are no tax credits that parents can take advantage of to help reduce their tax burden!

Below we present an overview of the tax credits available for a parent or parents with dependent children.

There are many criteria that must be met for a parent to qualify for the credit, which we don't go into in great detail, but most parents with kids find it advantageous to have a tax professional prepare their return to ensure that they receive all the tax credits they qualify for. We will also share tax deductions.

Income Tax Deduction vs. Tax Credit

Rather than a tax deduction, which reduces the amount of income on which you must pay tax, a credit comes right off the amount of tax you may owe.

Child Tax Credit

Parents can still claim a tax credit for each qualifying child they have. To qualify for the credit, the parent must earn no less than $2,500 or more than $200,000 (or $400,000 if parents are filing jointly.)

This tax credit is worth up to $2,000 per qualifying child.

〈 A qualifying child must be under 17 years old at the end of the tax year.

〈 The child must be related to the taxpayer –biological son or daughter, stepchild, foster child or adopted child; or grandchild meeting the same criteria.

〈 The child must have lived in the taxpayer's home during the tax year for more than six months

〈 The taxpayer must provide more than half of the child's support. (As opposed to a divorced spouse who pays less than half the child's support.)

Child and Dependent Care Credit

This care credit can be claimed regardless of one's income, as long as the taxpayer worked during the tax year. (The credit will become smaller as the income becomes larger, however.)

If children under the age of 13, and/or adult dependents of the taxpayer who are unable to care for themselves have been placed in daycare while the taxpayer and spouse work, the taxpayer is eligible for this credit.

Adoption Tax Credit

Someone who adopted a child in the tax year may qualify for this credit if their income meets the criteria. If the child has special needs, the amount of the credit is larger.

Earned Income Credit

The Earned Income Credit, or EIC, is available to people with low to moderate incomes who work. It is not necessary to have children to receive this credit, but since it's an often-misunderstood credit we thought we'd include it here.

Many taxpayers fail to apply for the EIC because they don't realize that the amount they can earn and still receive the credit changes every year. If they weren't eligible one year, they may be eligible the next.

That's why it's always important to check with your tax preparer to see if you qualify for this credit.

Deductions

Parents can take advantage of deductions as well.

Self-Employed Health Insurance Deduction

Individuals who are self-employed, and who are also parents who pay for health insurance for their children (up to the age of 27) can deduct the cost of the premiums paid – whether for medical, dental or long-term care.

The nice thing is that adult children, under the age of 27, don't have to be dependents for the parent to be able to use this deduction.

The caveat is that the taxpayer or his/her spouse must not be eligible for an employer-paid healthcare plan.

Don't leave a dime behind when it comes to claiming all the tax credits and tax deductions available to you. Contact G.I. Tax Service to help prepare your taxes today.

G. I. Tax Service was founded in Melbourne, Florida in 2013 by Glenn Sandler, CPA.

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Before You Hand Over Your DNA To 23AndMe, Learn What You're Really Signing Up For

Think before you spit.

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In the past 20 years, we have seen genetic testing go from a million dollar per person investment to a $99 direct-to-consumer kit. The relative accessibility of genetic testing comes with a price, and it is not the price we see at the time of check-out.

As with any medical testing, researchers and scientists in these industries are keen to utilize patient data for population analysis. Much of this work is for the betterment of society and to promote research and development efforts for drug-related clinical trials.

In a recent New York Times editorial, "Why You Should Be Careful About 23andMe's Health Test," the writer(s) make a clear point that disease risk analysis isn't dichotomous. The well-known genetic testing company has met "FDA approval" to roll-out their newest kit for gene-based health risks for diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, breast cancer, and several other medical conditions, however, this does not necessarily indicate "clinical utility." Insofar as the physician ordered diagnostic testing, it's actually more robust.

So what good is genetic testing, if there are significant issues, which may allude or delude a person into thinking that they have an increased or decreased risk for a disease which they have no control over, such as degenerative neurological conditions?

Consider also, there are frequent "reclassification" of genetic mutations, as scientific research constantly evolves to understand the vast landscape of the human genome. The implications of "reclassifying" genetic mutations translate to clinical misinformation, and overall inconsistencies between the creators of the kits to the patients, and the physician's, if they are involved in the equation. As it would seem, the results of a genetic test are understood to be the "truth," however, this is a common misunderstanding, which can cause grave medical implications downstream for patients.

Scary to think that a mutation considered to be benign may be considered malignant tomorrow.

How should this shape your view on genetic testing? Whether you have a known family history of a genetic condition or have an unknown carrier status, you should consider speaking to your primary care doctor to discuss the implications of physician-ordered testing kits and or direct-to-consumer kits. Moreover, there are less complicated diseases known as Mendelian conditions which are typically better known and understood, as they are controlled by a single locus in an inheritance pattern.

Additionally, there are board-certified genetic counselors who work alongside physicians, industry labs, and so forth who are trained to educate, inform, and empower patients in terms of their genetic predisposition. Their role in genetic testing is crucial, but as the typical doctor's visit is less than 10 minutes, this does not allow for comprehensive genetic counseling inclusive of all other necessary measures.

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Robb Misso, Award-winning CEO, Describes 7 Great Techniques Small Business Owners Use to Hire Top Talent

Discovering premiere talent is no easy task, but it's one of the best investments you can make for the future of your business.

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Hiring great employees is a difficult task, but hiring them for a small business or startup is far more difficult. Not only is your budget more limited, but you're also looking for a more specific kind of person. Working in a small business is inherently more difficult due to the flatter structure and greater responsibilities, so not only do you need someone skilled, you need people who can thrive under pressure. By focusing on these seven techniques detailed by Robb Misso, the CEO of DMS and a John C Maxwell Executive Council member, you can find the right people to hire for your company.

1. Focus on Brand Development from the Start

Attracting top talent for your small business is difficult because you have no branding at the start. Some people grow up thinking about working for global corporations because they have an expectation of how it would be to work for them, either due to a positive company culture, the impact they have on the world, or both. To get people to want to work for you, your business must have that same appeal. Develop a strong brand from the start and you'll make things easier for yourself.

2. Challenge Them

To get the best people, you have to offer the best projects. Top talent generally doesn't want to waste their time on something that bores them. Give them interesting projects, stimulate their minds and imagination, and they'll come in through the door.

3. Create a Small Business with Intent

Just making a small business to make money isn't enough, though it's a good start. You must have a greater goal in mind. You must have a vision. It's that vision that will drive people with passion to work for you. You must also learn how to present that vision and mission to people in the best possible way.

4. Go Out and Meet People Constantly

When you're looking to hire more people, the best thing to do is keep meeting new people. Go out to events and meet-ups and networking conferences and talk to people. Not only will you meet more potential employees, you'll also get to develop your brand and talk to potential partners and investors.

5. Look to Your Community

There's nothing like a consumer when it comes to criticism. No one is more critical than someone who bought your offering. Chances are, parts of your community are skilled workers. Why not hire them? They're already invested in your product, making them great potential hires. In some instances, such as positions for your sales force, their eagerness can make up for their lack of initial skill.

6. Look to Other Parts of the Globe

Your small business may have limited capital and reach, but the Internet has made it easier to find remote workers than ever before. While you won't have the comfort and intimacy of face-to-face interaction, they can give your small business skills you can't find locally. It can also end up being cheaper, especially if you just need them for specific tasks.

7. Create a Positive Workplace

A great workplace environment doesn't just help you keep employees, it'll help you get them. "When they first walk into your office for their interview, they should be met with smiling faces and people who are genuinely enjoying their work," stated Robb Misso. Nothing pushes away top talent like anger, frustration, and a general feeling of negativity. Developing a positive workplace is about having the right company culture, as well as having a comfortable physical space that people won't mind spending long hours in.

Hiring top talent for your small business is no easy task, but it's not impossible either. You just have to do it mindfully. You can't just send out fliers and expect great people to walk in. Develop your brand and your company culture from the start. Meet as many people as possible to expand your fishing waters. It's time-consuming, but consider it an investment in your small business's future.

About Robb Misso:

Robb Misso founded Dynamic Manufacturing Solutions in order to go about manufacturing differently. For 25 years, he has worked tirelessly to create a positive work culture and empower skilled workers both inside and outside the office. Robb Misso is also the recipient of Austin's "Recognize Good Award," which honors community-minded individuals for local charity work.

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