Estate Planning 101-The Basics

  • The majority of American's die today with no will, trust or estate plan whatsoever.  The absence of a valid estate plan means the state will decide how to distribute your estate, and it may not be the desired result that you were intending. An estate plan is essentially a written plan for the disposition of your assets at death.  A well drafted plan can avoid the costs and delays of probate and minimize or eliminate estate taxes, thereby providing the…

    Helping Families with Special Needs

  • What is the best way to provide for a loved one with special needs after you are gone?  How do you plan for the long term care of a disabled child or elder adult? When considering your estate plan, it is important to avoid some of the costliest mistakes that many people make when drafting their estate plan. An estate plan that is properly drafted can ensure that your Special Needs Beneficiary (SNB) has sufficient assets to improve his or…

    New Trustees & Executors-Information We Will Need

  • The following is information that we will need from you to assist you with your trustee or executor administration duties. Due to the different types of trusts and variations in their complexity, not all areas listed will apply to you.  There will most likely be other items not listed that we will identify through the discovery process.  Please note: the facts and circumstances are different in every case. The first thing you should do, if you have not done so…

    Why You Should Hire a Professional In-Home Caregiver

  • Most long term care is provided in the home by family caregivers. Family members can make a difference in the quality of life for their aging parents, or other loved ones, if staying at home is an option. The problem for the family caregiver is that the high level of stress that results from being the primary caregiver often leads to illness and in many cases death. The caregiver, due to the high stress, often dies before the one they…

    Beware When Hiring In-Home Care Workers

  • Why would anyone take on the risks and liabilities involved in hiring an in-home care worker for a loved one, who is neither screened, licensed or bonded? The classifieds are filled with people looking for work as aides to the elderly. The question is: Should you hire on of them? Some of these advertisers may be well-qualified and honest, who will do a good job; and some not so reputable. If you are looking to hire someone, be sure you…

    Are You About to Get Audited?

  • Have you ever wondered why some tax returns are audited by the IRS while most are ignored? Well, there’s a whole host of reasons to this age-old question. The IRS doesn’t have enough personnel and resources to examine each and every tax return filed during a year, so they rely on a variety of systems to target the returns that they believe will generate the most revenue per hour of time for the auditor. Why Lower Incomes are Audited at…

    Beware of Tax Debt Relief Scams

  • Beware of telemarketers and advertisers on radio and television who make claims that sound too good to be true and who claim that they can settle IRS claims for “pennies on the dollar”. To avoid getting ripped-off in these scams, be sure to use local tax professionals whenever you have IRS problems.  Check the company’s website to verify that actual tax resolution professionals are employed, such as Enrolled Agents, CPAs, or tax attorneys in their firms.  Most of the scam…

    Building a Business Relationship with Your Tax Advisor

  • You will receive much more benefit each year, if you have your taxes prepared by a licensed tax professional (an EA or CPA), instead of one of the giant chain tax preparation offices. The giant chains, such as H&R Block, Jackson-Hewitt, Liberty Tax and others, hire unlicensed, low-skilled, seasonal preparers to provide tax preparation services each year.  Then, as soon as Tax Season is over, they lay off over 90% of their tax preparers. For about the same tax preparation…

    Do I Really Need a Tax Professional?

  • Yes.  A qualified tax professional with all of the facts at his or her disposal can determine the appropriateness of the application of any tax law to your given situation. Every year there are numerous changes to the tax laws and the tax code.  IRS Code sections now number from 1 to over 9,800 and encompass more than 11,000 pages.  Frequently, provisions are added while others expire.  Some are indexed for inflation, so they change as well.  Still others are…

    IRS Ramping-up Audits of Small Business Entities

  • Audits of businesses are much more extensive and intrusive than those for individuals.  Should your business be audited, you can expect that every bank and checking account that you have in your household will be taken into consideration.  The auditor will be looking for “unreported income”. The IRS believes that most small businesses do not report all of their earnings.  In addition to the audit of your records, they have developed another type of audit that has nothing to do…

    The Ugly Truth about the Tax Preparation Chains

  • It is amazing to us that a very large number of people have their tax returns prepared by H&R Block, Jackson-Hewitt, Liberty Tax and other large chain tax preparation offices.  Most of the preparers in these offices are unlicensed, seasonal preparers who possess a minimum level of tax knowledge.  These big chain tax preparation offices even charge about the same amount for a return as we do here at Incompass. Why settle for drive-through fast food style tax preparation, when…

    Being There for You—When Things Change

  • We believe in developing long-term relationships with our clients.  We not only work to find that deduction or credit that is often missed by others, but we want to be there at each phase of your life.  Whether you are beginning a career or a business, getting married, having children, or getting divorced; it is important that you have an advisor to help you through the complexities of these events.  By building that relationship, we are already there when a…

    IRS Appeals Process

  • When we cannot agree with an IRS auditor, or come to a satisfactory conclusion in an audit, and have exhausted all hearings at the group manager level; then we will refuse to settle and will inform the auditor of our intent to appeal the case.  We will then move the audit to the Office of Appeals. The appeals process is often needed because many IRS audits cannot be resolved with the auditor.  Often the IRS auditor is newly trained and…

    Integrating Your Estate Plan to the Larger Perspective

  • Estate planning will help you pass more of your assets to your loved ones rather than to the government and the legal system, thereby helping ease the strain on your family with as few legal hurdles as possible. Your family can avoid the time and costs associated with the probate process A well drafted estate plan can minimize or eliminate estate taxes and will keep the cost of transferring property to beneficiaries as low as possible.  It can insure that…

    Trust and Estate Tax Returns

  • Tax Returns Even When You Die?  As Executor or Successor Trustee you may be responsible for filing tax returns for the decedent and the estate or trust. Income Tax Returns Often a final 1040 personal income tax return, and a State version, is required to report income and expenses up to the date of death. A 1041 Fiduciary Income Tax Return, along with the State version, is filed to report income and expenses from after the date of death until…

    Advisory Services to Trustees and Executors

  • Have you been named a Successor Trustee or Executor for a loved one who has recently passed on?  If so, it is important that you understand your role and the responsibilities that you have. California law requires you, as successor trustee or executor, to take specific legal steps in carrying out your fiduciary duties.  If the estate contains items of substantial value, such as a home, stocks and bonds, or other investments, it is worthwhile to hire an experienced administrative…

    DEATH OF A LOVED ONE-What to Do

  • THINGS TO DO AFTER THE DEATH OF A LOVED ONE If you have been named as a successor trustee or executor, the following is list of the many things you may be required to do in order to fulfill your fiduciary duties under the law.  All items may not apply, however, this is meant to be a helpful list at a time of loss. WITHIN FIRST 24 HOURS OR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE Safeguard decedent’s property, such as a motor…

    What to Look for in a Professional In-Home Caregiver Company

  • When the time is right to hire a professional caregiver, look for a company who provides quality personnel who are more than mere sitters or health personnel. The best caregivers provide mental stimulation to the senior by transforming daily routine into interactive activities. This type of interaction by the caregiver helps to increase the senior’s health and sense of wellbeing. Mental exercise should be an integral part of the senior’s daily care through conversation, reminiscing, story telling, reading, playing games…

    Veterans Aid and Attendance

  • If you are a war-time veteran or widow of a war-time veteran, you may qualify for a tax-free benefit to help you pay for the cost of long term care, such as the cost of independent, assisted living or in-home care. The benefit is the VA Non-Service Connected Aid & Attendance Pension, established in 1954 under section 38 USC to assist qualified veterans (and their surviving spouse). BASIC ELIGILITY CRITERIA The veteran must: Be discharged under other than dishonorable conditions…

    Geriatric Care Management

  • Often we are working with seniors regarding tax or estate issues when their health begins to decline. At that point it is important to bring in a geriatric care manager to do an assessment and develop a short-range plan, as well as, a long-range plan to help our senior clients remain in their home longer, if that is an option. The short range plan may be to oversee construction changes to the home to make it safer, have better access,…

    Understanding the Aging Process

  • We understand the unique needs of seniors and the issues associated with aging.   Our diverse team of advisors can be a resource and offer solutions for the extended family and the Care¬giver Community regarding the ever-changing rules affecting seniors, their assets and their quality of life.  We are an advocate for our senior clients, providing information to help them cope with the aging process and to protect them from pitfalls, scams and financial abuse. We try to understand the senior’s…

    Understanding the Aging Process

  • We understand the unique needs of seniors and the issues associated with aging.   Our diverse team of advisors can be a resource and offer solutions for the extended family and the Care¬giver Community regarding the ever-changing rules affecting seniors, their assets and their quality of life.  We are an advocate for our senior clients, providing information to help them cope with the aging process and to protect them from pitfalls, scams and financial abuse. We try to understand the senior’s…

    IRS Appeals Process

  • When we cannot agree with an IRS auditor, or come to a satisfactory conclusion in an audit, and have exhausted all hearings at the group manager level; then we will refuse to settle and will inform the auditor of our intent to appeal the case.  We will then move the audit to the Office of Appeals. The appeals process is often needed because many IRS audits cannot be resolved with the auditor.  Often the IRS auditor is newly trained and…

    Offer In Compromise

  • Did you know that you may be able to settle your debt with the IRS for a fraction of what you owe?  The IRS Offer in Compromise program allows taxpayers to settle with the IRS on tax debt that has been incorrectly assessed or for liabilities they cannot afford to pay. The IRS Code states: "We will accept an Offer in Compromise when it is unlikely that we can collect the full amount owed and the amount you offer reasonably…

    IRS Liens, Levies and Seizures

  • Liens Federal Tax Liens can really make your life miserable! When your taxes are not paid the IRS establishes a lien against all of your assets (especially real estate). This gives the IRS the legal right to collect taxes from the sale of your assets, which includes just about everything you own. The lien can be against you, your spouse, or your company. A lien against your company would seize your accounts receivables. At this point everything you own would…

    What to Do if You Get an IRS Audit Letter?

  • As soon as you receive an IRS audit letter, you should contact us to arrange a meeting.  We will explain what you should expect during the IRS audit process; from you receiving the Notice, all the way through the audit process, and to appeals, if needed. First we will need a copy of the audit notice to see what the issues are.  Then we will need to prepare an IRS Power of Attorney Form and get you to sign it,…

    Which Tax & Regulatory Laws Did You Unknowingly Violate Today?

  • The problem today is that most small business owners are violating dozens of tax and business laws that they don't even know exist.  Business owners already struggle to make a living while trying to comply with the very complex Tax Code.  They generally don't have the time or resources in meeting all of the regulatory requirements that our government has placed before them, or even to find out exactly which regulations apply to them and which don't. Business owners find…

    Employee Issues

  • If you have hired employees or are considering it, even if your employees are family members, you need to talk to us. Learn how to be in compliance with the Department of Labor and the various agencies that regulate some portion of the complex employment laws, and how you may benefit from pre-tax owner or employee benefits. Let us educate you on the various labor laws and how to comply with them.  We will help you comply with the Department…

    Corporate or LLC Compliance and Annual Meeting Plan

  • Many business owners form an LLC or a corporation with the misunderstanding that their business structure will protect them from lawsuits or creditors. However it is rare that these same owners operate their business in a manner consistent with their chosen entity structure, as required by law. Therefore, they often find out that they have no protection. The courts consistently rule that if you are not acting like a corporation or LLC, then you are not one.  If you do…

    Shielding Your Assets

  • To properly shield your assets requires planning and restructuring as to the way you hold and control those assets.  Asset protection planning is the method of preparing for the possibility of future lawsuits by rearranging the ownership of assets so that they are beyond the reach of potential creditors. Taking action to protect your assets must take place before any event has occurred that could result in a claim against you.  If you have already committed an act that could…

    Protecting Your Business

  • How can you, as a business owner, protect your assets when you start a business? If you begin a business without incorporating it or forming it as some type of limited liability entity, then all of your personal and business assets are at risk for all debts and claims against your business. If you run your business as a sole proprietorship or a general partnership, then you have no asset protection—all of your business assets are exposed to both, business…

    Tax Schemes & Scams

  • Don't fall victim to tax scams. Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Watch out for schemes that promise to reduce or eliminate taxes.  Involvement with tax schemes can lead to imprisonment and fines. The IRS pursues and shuts down promoters of these and numerous other scams. Anyone pulled into these schemes can also face repayment of taxes plus interest and penalties. The IRS urges people to avoid these common schemes: Misclassifying worker status. …

    Tips for Choosing a Tax Preparer

  • So, what should you be looking for in a tax preparer?  The IRS and many consumer watchdog organizations give advice on how to choose a tax preparer.  The following is a summary of some of their points.  Take note that the large chain firms do not meet this criterion Tips for Choosing a Tax Preparer Check the Preparer’s credentials Is the preparer licensed?  Very few preparers in the large tax preparation offices are licensed.  The only individuals that are licensed…

    Trust and Estate Tax Returns

  • Tax Returns Even When You Die?  As Executor or Successor Trustee you may be responsible for filing tax returns for the decedent and the estate or trust. Income Tax Returns Often a final 1040 personal income tax return, and a State version, is required to report income and expenses up to the date of death. A 1041 Fiduciary Income Tax Return, along with the State version, is filed to report income and expenses from after the date of death until…

    Business Tax Plans

  • The amount of taxes that you or your business must pay will vary greatly depending on the way that your business is structured and which planning concepts are put into action.  We can reduce your taxes, as a business owner, through the implementation of our formal tax planning services. Our Tax Plans are designed to take advantage of the current tax laws and regulations.  A good Plan will be built on a tax-friendlier foundation and allow for the proper timing…

    Keep More of Your Tax Money

  • What Are You Going to Buy with Your Tax Savings? We do more than just preparing tax returns.  We can actually help you keep more of your hard-earned dollars—money that could have been lost forever to taxes that you did not need to owe.  That is money you could buy something with.  What are you planning to do with this new-found money? How Are We Able to Reduce Your Taxes? Congress is constantly tinkering with the Tax Code each year,…

    Ready to Get Your Money Back From the IRS?

    Bring us up to 3 years of past taxes and we’ll find ways to save you money, when we do we’ll help you file to get your money back from the IRS.

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