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Tax Briefing(s)

Have you been contributing enough to your 401(k) plan in 2017?


Your company’s “best customer” may or may not be as valuable as you think. There’s only one way to find out for sure: Analyze each customer’s contributions to your bottom line.


They’re out there and they may be legion. We’re referring to threats to your business operations. But, rest assured, your company can protect itself with the right plan in place.


Mortgage interest rates are still at low levels, but they likely will increase as the Fed continues to raise rates. So if you’ve been thinking about helping your child — or grandchild — buy a home, consider acting soon. There also are some favorable tax factors that will help. 


In continued celebration of our 20th anniversary, we would like to introduce you to another partner at Berger & O’Toole, CPAs, LLC; Stephen Jensen. Stephen joined the firm in August of 2010.


As we continue to look forward to our 20th anniversary this year, we want to take this opportunity to introduce you to our fourth partner, Joe Pritchard. Joe joined our team in October 2012 and he runs the Berger & O’Toole office in Spalding, NE.


Together with Bob Berger, Dennis O’Toole founded Berger & O’Toole, an accounting firm, in 1997.


To help us celebrate our 20th anniversary in 2017, we will be introducing you to the talented members of the Berger & O’Toole, CPAs team. We start with partner Robert Berger, who founded Berger & O’Toole, CPAs, LLC in 1997 with Dennis O’Toole. Prior to joining forces with Dennis he founded Freed and Berger, CPAs in 1987.


To help commemorate the 20th anniversary of Berger & O'Toole, we offer 20 reasons why you should work with an accountant.

As lawmakers return to work after their August recess, Hurricane Harvey has increased expectations on Congress to quickly pass disaster-relief tax breaks. September is also expected to bring Congressional hearings on tax reform and possibly the unveiling of tax reform legislation. At the same time, lawmakers must address the federal government’s budget, including the IRS.


Parents incur a variety of expenses associated with children. As a general rule, personal expenditures are not deductible. However, there are several deductions and credits that help defray some of the costs associated with raising children, including some costs related to education. Some of the most common deductions and credits related to minors are the dependency exemption, the child tax credit, and the dependent care credit. Also not to be overlooked are tax-sheltered savings plans used for education, such as the Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESAs).


Two recent court cases indicate that, although use of a conservation easement to gain a charitable deduction must continue to be arranged with care, some flexibility in determining ultimate deductibility may be beginning to be easier to come by. The IRS had been winning a string of cases that affirmed its strict interpretation of Internal Revenue Code Section 170 on conservation easement. The two latest judicial opinions, however, help give taxpayers some much-needed leeway in proving that the rules were followed, keeping in mind that Congress wanted to encourage conservation easements rather than have its rules interpreted so strictly that they thwart that purpose.


A partnership is created when persons join together with the intent to conduct unincorporated venture and share profits. Intent is determined from facts and circumstances, including the division of profits and losses, the ownership of capital, the conduct of parties, and whether a written agreement exists. Despite such nuances in the process, however, distinguishing the existence of a partnership from other joint investments or ventures is often critical in determining tax liability and reporting obligations.


Gross income is taxed to the individual who earns it or to owner of property that generates the income. Under the so-called “assignment of income doctrine,” a taxpayer may not avoid tax by assigning the right to income to another.


As an individual or business, it is your responsibility to be aware of and to meet your tax filing/reporting deadlines. This calendar summarizes important federal tax reporting and filing data for individuals, businesses and other taxpayers for the month of September 2017.


Charitable contributions traditionally peak at the end of the year-end. While tax savings may not be your prime motivator for making a gift to charity, your donation could help your tax bottom-line for 2015. As with many tax incentives, the rules for tax-deductible charitable contributions are complex, especially the rules for substantiating your donation. Also important to keep in mind are some enhanced charitable giving incentives scheduled to expire at the end of 2015.


Job-hunting expenses are generally deductible as long as you are not searching for a job in a new field. This tax benefit can be particularly useful in a tough job market. It does not matter whether your job hunt is successful, or whether you are employed or unemployed when you are looking.