McCullough & Associates Blog

Feb 25, 2013

Buy This Not That: Dining Out

By Farnoosh Torabi | Yahoo! Finance – Tue, Dec 4, 2012 10:12 AM EST

Whether you prefer pizza, pad Thai, cheeseburgers or chicken curry, everyone loves to eat out. On average each of us spends a whopping $2,500 a year on meals away from home, according to the National Restaurant Association. But, it doesn’t need to be so expensive. Here’s what to…

Feb 22, 2013

Terry L. McCullough Named Top Financial Advisor by Cetera Financial Specialists

Springfield, Missouri– February 15, 2013 –Terry L. McCullough was recently named a 2012 Top Financial Advisor by Cetera Financial Specialists.

The designation of Top Financial Advisor places Mr. McCullough among the top of his industry peers and confirms his dedication to clients and client service. At his Springfield-based practice, Mr. McCullough delivers value-added wealth management…

Feb 21, 2013

IRS Reminds Taxpayers to Report 2010 Roth Conversions on 2012 Returns

The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers who converted amounts to a Roth IRA or designated Roth account in 2010 that in most cases they must report half of the resulting taxable income on their 2012 returns.

Normally, Roth conversions are taxable in the year the conversion occurs. For example, the taxable amount from a 2012 conversion must be included in full on a 2012 return. But…

Feb 19, 2013

Is Tip Income Taxable?

If your pay from your job includes tips, the IRS has a few important reminders about tip income:

  • Tips are taxable. Individuals must pay federal income tax on any tips they receive. The value of non-cash tips, such as tickets, passes or other items of value are also subject to income tax.
  • Include all tips on your return. You must include…

Feb 15, 2013

Safeguard Your Refund – Choose Direct Deposit

Direct deposit is the fast, easy and safe way to receive your tax refund. Whether you file electronically or on paper, direct deposit gives you access to your refund faster than a paper check.

Here are four reasons more than 80 million taxpayers chose direct deposit in 2012:

1. Security.  Every year the U.S. Postal Service returns thousands of paper checks to the…

Feb 13, 2013

IRS to Accept Tax Returns with Education Credit and Depreciation This Week

The Internal Revenue Service announced on Friday, February 8th that taxpayers will be able to start filing two major tax forms this week covering education credits and depreciation.

Starting Sunday, February 10th, the IRS will start processing tax returns that contain Form 4562 (Depreciation and Amortization). On Thursday, February 14th, the IRS plans to start processing Form 8863 (Education…

Feb 12, 2013

Taxable and Nontaxable Income

Most types of income are taxable, but some are not. Income can include money, property or services that you receive. Here are some examples of income that are usually not taxable:

  • Child support payments;
  • Gifts, bequests and inheritances;
  • Welfare benefits;
  • Damage awards for physical injury or sickness;
  • Cash rebates from a dealer or manufacturer…

Feb 11, 2013

Don’t Fall for Phony IRS Websites

The Internal Revenue Service is issuing a warning about a new tax scam that uses a website that mimics the IRS e-Services online registration page.

The actual IRS e-Services page offers web-based products for tax preparers, not the general public. The phony web page looks almost identical to the real one. The IRS gets many reports of fake websites like this. Criminals use these sites…

Feb 08, 2013

American Opportunity Tax Credit

The American Opportunity Tax Credit replaces the Hope Scholarship Credit for 2012.  The credit is 100% of the first $2,000 of qualifying higher education costs, plus 25% of the next $2,000 of such costs, for a maximum credit of $2,500.  The credit now covers the first four years of a student’s post-secondary education (increased from two years).  Eligible expenses have been expanded to include course…

Feb 06, 2013

Child and Dependent Care Credit

The child and dependent care tax credit was permanently extended for taxable years beginning in 2013. If you pay someone to take care of your dependent (defined as being under the age of 13 at the end of the tax year or incapable of self-care) in order to work or look for work, you may qualify for a credit of up to $1,050 or 35 percent of $3,000 of eligible expenses. For two or more qualifying…