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March 2019

Tax season is in full swing. Early reports from the IRS indicate that, on average, refund amounts are down compared to last year. If this is you, the first article lays out some reasons for the change. This issue also includes a warning to business owners to file their taxes on time, tips to keep your monthly bills in check, and some exciting board games to try.

Call if you would like to discuss how any of this information relates to you. If you know someone that can benefit from this newsletter, feel free to send it to them.

Contents

Oh No! Your Tax Refund is Now a Bill

If you are anticipating a nice refund this year, it may be a good idea to prepare yourself for a possible letdown. Many taxpayers will receive a smaller-than-expected refund and might even owe taxes to be paid by April 15. If this happens to you, here are some of the likely reasons:

Couple shocked by tax refund

With the uncertainty regarding whether you will receive a refund, hold off on major purchases and plans until your tax return is finalized. If possible, create a cash cushion to lessen the financial burden on you and your family. This is especially true if your withholdings are lower than last year.


Hints to Eliminate Monthly Bill Creep

Paying bills is inevitable, but paying too much is not. Are you aware of all the services you are paying for every month? Here are some tips to help you get a handle on your recurring monthly expenses:

It's easy for your bills to spiral out of control if you don't keep close tabs on them. Go through a review exercise every few months to ensure you aren't paying more than necessary.


Businesses: File on Time or Pay the Price!

March 15 is the tax-filing due date for calendar year S-corporations and partnerships. While this filing deadline does not require making a tax payment, missing the due date could cost you a hefty penalty.

The penalty

The penalty is calculated based on each partial month the tax return is late multiplied by each shareholder or partner. So a tax return filed 17 days late with no tax due could cost a married couple who jointly own a small S-corporation $800 in penalties!*

Take action

Here are some ideas to help you avoid penalties:

Red pin on 15th day on calendar

If you haven't filed your S-corporation or partnership return for 2018, there's still time to get it done or file an extension. Please call if you need assistance.

* The penalty calculation for 2018 S-corporations is $200 ($210 for partnerships) per calendar month late, multiplied by the number of shareholders. So a S-corporation or partnership return filed on April 1 is considered two months late!


Candyland Getting Stale? Try These Board Games

Board games offer a great way to unplug and spend time with family and friends. Thanks to a rise in popularity over the last few years, the options available to you are endless. If you are looking to branch out from the classic games like Monopoly or Clue, here are some excellent games to try:

Board game pieces
  1. Ticket to Ride. Imagine you're a railroad tycoon in the early 20th century with a map and plans to build your railroad empire across the country. You battle against other players to claim routes and connect cities based on your specific destination cards. The original game uses a map of the United States, but many other maps are available — each with their own twist.
  2. Dixit. If you love telling stories, this game is for you. Each player has a set of cards and makes up a story based on the picture that is on one of the cards. It's up to everyone else to guess which card the storyteller is talking about. The goal of the storyteller is to be abstract enough that it fools at least one player, but not so obscure that no one knows what you are talking about.
  3. Catan. Picture yourself and your friends as early settlers that discover an island with multiple terrains and bountiful resources. The race is on to gather, build and barter your way to take control of the island. To keep the game engaging, the board is made up of tiles that can be shuffled around so the island looks different each time you play.
  4. Pandemic. This game is different from the others in that you work with the other players to defeat the game. You are tasked with the assignment of stopping the spread of four diseases that are capable of wiping out all of humanity. Each player has a different role and abilities to use while you strategize together as a team. If you cure all four diseases, you all win!
  5. King of Tokyo. Who doesn't wish they could be 300 feet tall and strong enough to smash skyscrapers? Well even if you don't, the King of Tokyo is a lot of fun. Each player picks a city-destructing monster and works to gain power and destroy each of the other characters to be the sole King of Tokyo.

The time it takes to complete each of these games can be anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours (depending on your level of investment in the game) and are recommended for ages 8 and older. In addition, each of these games has expansion packs or additional versions, so if you really like a game you can continually change the experience.



Newsletter Archive

Please note: Some material may be time-sensitive and may no longer apply.
Please contact us with any questions.
  1. Posted on: 2019-08-06
  2. Posted on: 2019-07-02
  3. Posted on: 2019-06-04
  4. Posted on: 2019-04-30
  5. Posted on: 2019-04-02
  6. Posted on: 2019-02-05
  7. Posted on: 2019-01-01
  8. Posted on: 2018-12-04
  9. Posted on: 2018-11-06
  10. Posted on: 2018-10-02
  11. Posted on: 2018-09-04