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Visitation terms for couple’s dogs enforceable as written

The terms of a visitation agreement for a divorcing couple’s dogs was enforceable as written, even if the husband did a poor job caring for the pets, a state supreme court recently ruled. Before Diane and Paul Giarrusso divorced in 2017, they entered a marital settlement giving ownership and control of their greyhound and their chihuahua to Diane but giving Paul the right to have them every week from Tuesday morning to Thursday morning. The agreement

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Mom gets years of unpaid support for 52-year-old daughter

States have gotten increasingly strict in enforcing child-support obligations. If you’re a deadbeat dad (or mom) and think you can outrun your child-support debt by simply waiting until your kids are independent adults, think again. If you spent years struggling to support a now-grown child without your ex’s much-needed support payments and you think it’s now too late to do anything about it, think again as well. As a California case shows, while diamonds may not

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Divorce agreements vague about college costs create risks later on

One of the most contentious issues in a divorce can be kids’ college education. For example, what percentage must each parent contribute? How will the college plan be funded? Will the parents be responsible for just tuition, or for room, board and expenses, too? How much say will each parent have on the choice of school? What if one parent’s financial circumstances change for the better or worse? Divorce clearly can have a significant impact on

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Can you divide retirement accounts in divorce without suffering tax penalties?

There is a common perception that divorcing spouses must liquidate retirement accounts for the purpose of splitting up property, and consequently accept the tax consequences for early withdrawal, which robs account owners of the tax advantages that make things like individual retirement account (IRAs), 401(k)s and other accounts popular vehicles for retirement savings in the first place. But don’t assume this is the case. Talk to a family lawyer. Because of the penalties, as well as

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You NEED These Documents to File Your Taxes!

It’s easy to get inundated with documents during tax season. You can receive documents from many different organizations, including employers, financial institutions and others. Many documents are now also being sent via e-mail, which increases the likelihood it could get lost in your inbox. As tax season is quickly approaching, here are some of the documents to be on the lookout for: W-2s While W-2s are the most widespread and well-known tax form, it can be

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Setting up Your Business Accounting System

You’ve done the hard work. You have a new business idea or you’ve found an existing business to purchase. Want to help ensure your business success? Pay attention to correctly setting up your business’ accounting system. Here’s how: Consider business entity. Choosing the right legal and tax entity for your business is important. Consult experts to discuss your options. On the tax side, sole proprietors use a Form 1040 Schedule C to report their activity, while

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New W-4 Creates Questions for Human Resources

With the major Form W-4 overhaul for 2020, you may field questions from your employees. While it’s not your responsibility to provide tax advice to your employees, it’s good to be prepared to help answer common questions about the new IRS form. Here is a summary of the W-4 changes and answers to some common questions you might encounter: The change Form W-4 was changed by the IRS in an attempt to make payroll withholdings more

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New Rules Mean Saving More for Retirement

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, also known as the SECURE Act, was passed by Congress in late December 2019. Here are some of the features in the new legislation that will help you save more for retirement: Money can continue to grow tax deferred If you turn 70½ in 2020 or later, you can keep money in a tax-deferred IRA or 401(k) for another 18 months to help the account continue growing

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Finding the Balance of Income vs. Spending

The IRS primer every voter should know Every year the IRS publishes instructions to prepare your Form 1040, individual tax return. The publication for 2019 is a whopping 108 pages! On page 103 of the IRS booklet is a summary of collections (income) and spending (outlays) by the federal government. Given the election year, here is a summary of this recap and some general observations.* 2018 Federal Income and Outlays 41% Personal income taxes 28% Social

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February 2020

This month: February 14 – Valentine’s Day February 17 – Presidents’ Day Reminders – Collect all tax forms (W-2s, 1099s, others) – Set up tax appointment – Rebalance investment portfolios   The 2019 tax filing season is in full swing. If you have not already done so, now is the time to collect your tax forms, organize your records and set a schedule to get your tax return completed. Deep in the Form 1040 instructions is

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