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    Dear Clients and Friends:

    In an effort to follow the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines to protect our clients and our employees from the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have decided to keep our office closed to the public until further notice. We will continue to offer our services online asking you to get your documents to us via:

    • Email – directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
      • If you don’t have a scanner, please, download any app, such as Scanner Pro, on your phone and send the pdf to us.
      • Fax documents to 281-861-6311.
      • Use our drop-box slot on our office door inside the building.
    • Once we have your documents, we will draft an electronic copy of your return and schedule a phone conversation to address any questions or comments you may have.
    • We can also file an extension if you wish us to do so.

    The bottom line is that we remain acutely vigilant about this serious crisis. We will continue to do everything we can to protect our clients and our employees, and to remain ready to serve our clients in the most appropriate fashion. Thank you for understanding and cooperating with us as we all navigate through these times. Stay safe!

     

Avoiding Tax Troubles

Here are three tips for staying out of trouble:

Keep thorough records of your barters. When you opt to make a trade — either directly or through a third-party bartering group — keep accurate records. Note what you’re providing and its estimated market value, as well as what you’re receiving and its estimated value. Follow the IRS Tax Center’s advice about record-keeping for barter transactions.

Report exchanges in terms of income and expenses. The IRS expects all barter participants to pay tax on their gains, so calculate the estimated value of what you've received and report it when you file your annual income taxes. If the service or product you received wasn't work-related (a haircut or a piece of artwork, for example), it should be listed in the “other income” section on line 21 of Form 1040. If you traded for a new website, a head shot, or another business-related item, report the estimated value on your Schedule C of Form 1040. In most cases, you will also need to report the barter on Form 1099-B. You’re also able to claim business expenses related to the item or service you provided to the other party, so be sure to claim the estimated value as a tax deduction. Learn more about your tax responsibilities here.

When in doubt, work with a barter exchange group. If the tax laws related to bartering seem too complicated to follow, veto one-on-one trades in favor of formal exchanges that have been organized through a professional bartering group. Internet-based bartering clubs are generally up to speed on how to stay on the IRS’s good side and will enforce proper tax collection on both sides of the exchange.