McCullough & Associates Blog

Dec 04, 2013

Holiday Spending

This holiday season, remember that careful budgeting can be a financial gift to you and those you love.

Sometimes, holiday costs get out of control and lead to money problems later. Generosity can encourage overspending; travel and food costs that aren’t factored into the holiday budget also inflate the credit card bill.

How do you rein in holiday spending? First, create a gift-giving…

Nov 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

The last Thursday in November is Thanksgiving – this year, the holiday falls on November 28th.

In addition to football, feasting and shopping, the Thanksgiving holiday and subsequent weekend offer us time to acknowledge the wonderful things in our lives, as well as the simple pleasures that we sometimes take for granted. That is what Thanksgiving really signifies.

We hope you and…

Nov 20, 2013

Reduce Your Taxes with Miscellaneous Deductions

If you itemize deductions on your tax return, you may be able to deduct certain miscellaneous expenses. You may benefit from this because a tax deduction normally reduces your federal income tax.

Here are some things you should know about miscellaneous deductions:

Deductions Subject to the Two Percent Limit.  You can deduct most miscellaneous expenses only…

Nov 13, 2013

Tax Tips for Individuals Selling Their Home

If you’re selling your main home this year, here are some helpful tips for you. Even if you make a profit from the sale of your home, you may not have to report it as income.

Here are 9 tips to keep in mind when selling your home.

1. If you sell your home at a gain, you may be able to exclude part or all of the profit from your income. This rule generally applies if you’ve owned…

Nov 06, 2013

Simplified Option for Home Office Deduction

Do you work from home? If so, you may be familiar with the home office deduction, available for taxpayers who use their home for business. Beginning this year, there is a new, simpler option to figure the business use of your home.

This simplified option does not change the rules for who may claim a home office deduction. It merely simplifies the calculation and recordkeeping requirements.…

Oct 30, 2013

Protecting Yourself While Shopping Online

Whether you shop online routinely or infrequently, the risk of identity theft rises as you offer more and more information about yourself online. With holiday shopping just around the corner here are some helpful tips to protect yourself while shopping online.

Don’t use a debit card, and use only one credit card. If your debit card gets hacked, the thieves may be able to…

Oct 23, 2013

Six Tips on Gambling Income and Loses

Whether you roll the dice, play cards or bet on the ponies, all your winnings are taxable. Here are six tax tips for the casual gambler.

1. Gambling income includes winnings from lotteries, raffles, horse races and casinos. It also includes cash and the fair market value of prizes you receive, such as cars and trips.

2. If you win, you may receive a Form W-2G from the payer.…

Oct 16, 2013

Cash Flow Management

You’ve probably heard the saying that “cash is king,” and whether you own a business or not, it is a truth that applies. Most discussions of business and personal “financial planning” involve tomorrow’s goals, but those goals may not be realized without attention to cash flow today. 

Management of available cash flow is a key in any kind of financial planning. Ignore it,…

Oct 09, 2013

Special Tax Benefits for Armed Forces Personnel

If you’re a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, the IRS wants you to know about the many tax benefits that may apply to you. Special tax rules apply to military members on active duty, including those serving in combat zones. These rules can help lower your federal taxes and make it easier to file your tax return. There are also a couple benefits for those in the ROTC…

Oct 02, 2013

How and When to Sign Up for Medicare

Medicare enrollment is automatic for some of us. If you are age 65 and eligible to receive Social Security benefits (or married to someone eligible to receive them), then you are also automatically eligible for Medicare Part A (free hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance for which you pay premiums), a.k.a. “original Medicare”.1

If this is the…