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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Deadlines Are Not Important

The Deadlines Of Life Do Not Mean As Much As You Think

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merew14
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Deadlines are not important; the deadlines for work, school, and things related to that, those are important. Life's deadlines are not important. Society tells us that we must be married, have the perfect job, and have children by a certain age. A lot of the times we end up believing that if we do not do certain things by a certain time, we have failed or we are not doing as good as everyone else. The truth is, society's and life's deadlines are crap. There is no specific time to be married by, no specific time to have your perfect job by, and no specific time to have children by. These things should not be accomplished until you are ready and capable to accomplish them; this means that if you are not 50 until you have your perfect job, you are not 30 until you are married and you are not 40 until you have children, that is okay. There is nothing wrong with waiting, experiencing life, growing in who you are, and doing what you need to do first. A lot of people do not have their perfect job until later in life because if we are all honest here, that is one of the hardest things to figure out and hardest decisions to make. People stress so much because they have not met these certain deadlines of life that they have been told their entire lives they need to meet by a certain time. So often, the important things like a job, a marriage, and children are rushed and people end up miserable. There is no sense in rushing if you are not ready for it yet. When it comes to finding the perfect job for you, look around, find your interests, and figure out what you can spend years of your life doing; take your time and be patient. When it comes to marriage and having children, do not rush it, it is one of the worst things to rush; do it in the time frame you want to and make sure it is what you want. Take a deep breathe and stop freaking out; you have plenty of time. Instead of going by society's and life's deadlines, go by your own and base that off of your capabilities and your wants.

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Victor Mitchell, CEO of Lead Funding, Reveals 5 Things that Increase Employee Satisfaction

Different things work for different people when it comes to having a productive work ethic.

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According to a Gallup poll conducted in 2013, around 63 percent of workers surveyed across countries all over the world claimed to be disengaged from their jobs. In other words, almost two-thirds of employees are unhappy in their current positions, although not necessarily enough to quit. Instead, they tend to push through each working day with little energy and enthusiasm, while a further 24 percent despised their jobs altogether.

The same study found that only 13 percent of workers felt actively engaged with their jobs, genuinely enjoying their typical working days and taking their responsibilities seriously. Unsurprisingly, these workers tend to be the most loyal and productive ones, since they have a genuine interest in the direction the companies they work for are heading.

Naturally, not all employees share a deep connection with their employer and company. However, Victor Mitchell, a life-long entrepreneur and successful businessman who has successfully founded, acquired, and/or turned around numerous diverse business ventures over the past 30 years, firmly believes in five elements conducive to greater employee satisfaction:

1. A Good Team

Studies have shown that by far the most common reason people like their jobs is that they like the people they work with. After all, it shouldn't come as any surprise that a workplace without a team-driven atmosphere can be an awkward and unpleasant working environment for everyone involved. It's difficult to have everyone get along at all times, but building a good team is undoubtedly crucial to success.

Morale in the workplace is heavily determined by the integrity of your team and how people work together to complete common goals. While no employer wants to sacrifice productivity, it is essential to adopt a work-hard-play-hard philosophy by allowing time for personal projects, encouraging teamwork through fun team-building activities, and recognizing both individual and group achievements.

2. Flexibility

Many organizations adopt an unyielding approach that feels like a soul-destroying chore to become a part of. Those office cubicle farms, fluorescent strip lighting, and grey carpets hardly make for pleasant places to work in. While building a comfortable, bright, and enjoyable workplace is essential for keeping your employees happy, it's also important to give people a reasonable degree of flexibility.

When employees have the freedom to work independently, make improvisations, and feel their actions and decisions are supported, they'll feel more responsible and more important. The risk of becoming disengaged with the job will be significantly less as well. Some ways to increase workplace flexibility include allowing employees to work at home on occasion or choose flexible working hours.

3. Productive Work Ethic

Having a good team and a pleasant physical environment to work in is essential, but those factors alone will not lead to a productive work ethic. After all, no employer wants their staff to be having fun during working hours if it comes at the expense of productivity. A productive working culture requires clear communication and trust above all else, as well as recognition of good work.

Different things work for different people when it comes to having a productive work ethic. Some work better when they prioritize persistence, while others need focus, and others work better when under a sense of urgency. By recognizing the strengths of individual employees, you'll be better equipped to help promote and encourage their skills to increase their productivity.

4. Variety

Some jobs are inherently dull. For example, not many people would claim anything is exciting about data entry, accounting, or telephone marketing. Nonetheless, with creative thinking, it is possible to break the tedious routines typically associated with such jobs by adding some variety. When each day is slightly different, and there's an opportunity to learn new things, people will be happier.

To help keep employees engaged, it is essential to offer the option to carry out other tasks as much as possible. However, this solution may not always be possible, in which case you'll need to take some steps to make boring jobs less so. Short but regular breaks by the water cooler can help a lot, but others might work better when multitasking or setting themselves some productivity goals.

5. Being Challenged

If an employee isn't being challenged at work, then their job is just a job and nothing more. They won't ever have that feeling of pride they would have if they have just completed a challenging task, and there won't be that important sense of accomplishment that helps push people to work harder and earn greater rewards. Challenge often marks the difference between a follower and a leader.

The average person spends almost 100,000 hours of their lifetimes working, so it stands to reason that they want to spend this time learning, developing, and bettering themselves, rather than wallowing in boredom and frustration. Pushing employees to their limits by giving them new responsibilities might sound harsh, but when combined with a highly motivational rewards-driven system, it will more than pay off.

Final Words

Everyone needs to earn a living, but money is not the only thing that influences job satisfaction. Employers often underestimate the importance of other factors, instead offering pay raises to keep people happy. However, about half of the employees who accept such offers still leave within the next two years. When it comes to longevity and loyalty to the company, employee satisfaction cannot merely be bought.

About Victor Mitchell:

Victor Mitchell, 52, of Castle Rock, Colorado is a successful businessman and life-long entrepreneur who has founded or turned around varied companies ranging from wireless to technology to real estate services to finance. Currently serving as CEO of Lead Funding, Mitchell is widely known for his innovative business strategy.

Mitchell previously founded several successful wireless communications companies and turned around several others. His innovative management strategies allowed numerous "mom-and-pop" wireless retailers to achieve financial success by aggregating their selling power to bargain successfully for favorable rights from national wireless service providers. In 2000, one of his companies was named "Colorado Small Business of the Year" by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. The Denver Business Journal placed Mr. Mitchell on its coveted "top 40 under 40" list of business executives, and Mitchell was also a finalist in Ernst and Young's nationally recognized "Entrepreneur of the Year" contest.

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