McCullough & Associates Blog

Aug 18, 2015

Back-to-School Education Tax Credits

If you, your spouse or a dependent are heading off to college this fall, some of your costs may save you money at tax time. You may be able to claim a tax credit on your federal tax return. Here are some key tips that you should know about these tax credits:   

• American Opportunity Tax Credit.  The AOTC is worth up to $2,500 per year for an eligible student. You may claim…

Jul 30, 2015

IRS Tips About Vacation Home Rentals

If you rent a home to others, you usually must report the rental income on your tax return. However, you may not have to report the rent you get if the rental period is short and you also use the property as your home. In most cases, you can deduct your rental expenses. When you also use the rental as your home, your deduction may be limited. Here are some basic tax tips that you should know if…

Jun 23, 2015

The Lowdown on those Free Credit Scores

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003 provided individuals with valuable rights to the credit information companies keep on them, but did you know that the credit score provided to you may be different than the one provided to lenders?

The first thing you should know is that you have a right to see your credit report once annually without cost. To receive your free credit…

Jun 17, 2015

When Does Your Personal Car Become a Commercial Vehicle?

For small business owners, the line between the personal and their business can be a bit hazy at times. Yet, when it comes to a vehicle that may be used for personal and business-related reasons, it’s important to know how your auto insurer is expected to define what constitutes commercial use.

If you own a car and cover it under a personal auto insurance policy, an insurance company may…

Jun 11, 2015

IRS Phone Scam Alert

In recent days we have received calls from several clients informing us that they have received a call or message on their answering machine from someone claiming to be from the IRS.  The person says the call is a final warning and a substantial amount of money is owed.  They then give a call back number to receive a case file number so payment can be made.

Here are five things the…

Mar 11, 2015

Education Tax Credits: Two Benefits to Help You Pay for College

Did you pay for college expenses in 2014?  If so, you might qualify for additional tax savings on your federal tax return. There are two education credits that can help you with the cost of higher education. The credits may reduce the amount of tax you owe on your tax return. Here are some important facts you should know about education tax credits.

American Opportunity…

Mar 04, 2015

Key Points to Know About Early Retirement Distributions

Some people take an early withdrawal from their IRA or retirement plan. Doing so in many cases triggers an added penalty on top of the income tax you may have to pay. Here are some key points you should know about taking an early withdrawal:

1. Early Withdrawals.  An early withdrawal normally means taking the money out of your retirement plan or IRA before you…

Feb 24, 2015

Taxable or Not - What You Need to Know about Income

All income is taxable unless the law excludes it. Here are some basic rules you should know to make sure you file an accurate tax return:

Taxed income.  Taxable income includes money you earn, like wages and tips, income from self-employment, and from buying and selling things for a profit. It also includes bartering, an exchange of property…

Feb 23, 2015

Fundraising Event for Officer Aaron Pearson

Officer Aaron Pearson of the Springfield Police Department was shot in the head in the line of duty on January 26th.  We have received information about a community wide event  to support Officer Pearson and the Springfield Police Department. We wanted to share that information with you in case you wanted to be a part of this community event.

Fundraising Event…

Feb 18, 2015

Protecting Yourself from Fake Charities

Every year the IRS releases a list of their "Dirty Dozen" tax scams.  Fake charities almost always makes the list as it did again for 2015.  When making a donation, taxpayers should take a few minutes to ensure their hard-earned money goes to a legitimate and currently eligible charity.

Here are some basic tips when making a charitable donation:

  • Be wary of charities…