Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I was standing in-line waiting to order my green tea at the PBA/Cosmoprof this past weekend, when I ran across Ginger Glomstead. We had originally met in Chicago at a Marshall’s convention I was speaking at. Ginger has something unique to offer the salon/spa industry. I suggest you check her website out:


Monday, July 26, 2010


"Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment and learn again to exercise his will = -- his personal responsibility."
--Albert Schweitzer,
German philosopher, musician, theologian and physician

Friday, July 23, 2010


Supporters and opponents of restoring the estate tax are calling on Congress to make a decision before the August recess. The estate tax stands at 0% but will rocket to 55% in 2011 for anyone with assets of more than $1 million. Estate-tax supporters, who say the revenue produced could help close the deficit and help state and local governments, want a bill that would return the tax to 2009 levels but on a more progressive scale -- estates would pay either nothing, 45%, 50% or 55% depending on their assets. Estate-tax opponents support a compromise bill that would set the tax rate at 35% with exemptions for anyone with less than $5 million in assets. The Hill


It is always very rewarding to get positive comments on the service we provide. I was especially pleased that Julie Shepperly, a leading educator with Milady, made reference to us in her blog. Thank you Julie.

Her blog is attached. http://www.miladyteam.blogspot.com/

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


You've probably heard George Steinbrenner, the controversial owner of the the New York Yankees, died last week. Good tax planning on his part. As we all know, the estate tax itself "expired" this year. Under current law, it roars back on January 2011 with a $1 million tax-free "unified credit" and 55% top rate. Steinbrenner is estimated to have been worth $1.1 billion, which suggests that his estate will avoid $600 million in tax.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I have been talking about this since the Health Care Act was passed. Finally it is getting some press.

(Omaha World-Herald) — Omaha.com reports that Nebraska "farmers, ranchers and small business owners could have a pile of new tax paperwork" due to Sect. 9006 of the new health care law. The provision mandates businesses use 1099 forms "to report to the Internal Revenue Service any time they purchase more than $600 worth of goods in a year from one vendor." The World-Herald story quotes Mike McFarlin, an Omaha certified public accountant, as saying: "This will be an administrative nightmare for small businesses to implement." The article notes that "Bob Dudley of Norfolk said his family business, Appeara, an industrial laundry and uniform supplier, has about 550 vendors supplying him with cleaning products, garments, hangers and other materials. He said he anticipates that most of those vendors would be covered by the new rules." The article also mentions that Nebraska's U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns "is pushing for a repeal of Section 9006" by offering new legislation, and "Nebraska’s three House members — Reps. Lee Terry, Jeff Fortenberry and Adrian Smith — are co-sponsors of a House bill that would repeal the new requirements." Sen. Ben Nelson is "calling on the IRS to look for ways to reduce the burden of the new requirements, possibly by consolidating existing forms," but he "also defended the (health care law's) underlying goal of closing the tax gap."

Monday, July 19, 2010


(Wall Street Journal) -- A summary of the financial overhaul bill is posted at WSJ.com. See it by clicking:



"The block of granite which was an obstacle in the path of the weak, becomes a steppingstone in the path of the strong."
--Thomas Carlyle,
Scottish satirical writer


I'm excited to tell you that I have chosen to serve as an MDA Jailbird and am being Locked-Up...that's right, I'm going behind bars to help Jerry's Kids©. In order to be released on good behavior, I need your help to raise my “bail.”

My bail has been set at $1,600.00 and if everyone I know makes a tax-deductible donation, I’ll reach my goal quickly!

Just click here to make a secure, online donation before 08/17/10. This is a fun event benefiting individuals and families served by MDA who are affected by neuromuscular disease. I am honored to partner with MDA, and help this important cause.

Don't hesitate to call or e-mail me with any questions.

Thanks in advance for your help. Together we'll make a difference!


P.S. I'm counting on you, click here to donate.

Friday, July 16, 2010


I don't know about you but I am a real fan of track and field. I am amazed at the speed of Usain Bolt, the Jamacain who is the worlds fastest man. Now it seems that tax policy may keep him out of the 2012 Olympics that will be held in Great Britian.

It seems that the fastest man in the world has finally found the one thing that will slow him down: Britain’s tax laws.

According to the BBC, Bolt may not compete in the UK until the 2012 Olympics. He told a news audience, “I am definitely not going to run [in London].”

Like the US, the UK attempts to tax on worldwide income. However, unlike the US, the UK prorates the amount of tax based on the number of events that the athlete competes in; the Telegraph points out that this is a departure from the old rules which calculated tax according to the number of days of competition in the UK, not appearances. This is in addition to a 50% tax rate on appearance fees.

As you can imagine, this doesn’t sit well with many athletes. Spanish golfer Sergio “El Nino” Garcia has admitted limiting appearances in the UK because of the country’s tax laws. Event promoters worry that other athletes will follow suit. There is one saving grace: in order to ensure that athletes actually show up for the 2012 Olympics, the British taxing authorities have agreed to a limited exemption to the rule.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


The Health Care Reform Act has a provision that requires 1099s for goods, not just services, starting in 2012.

Beginning in 2012, self-employed individuals, small businesses and charities will be required to provide 1099 forms to every vendor from which they buy more than $600 in goods, under a provision in the new health care reform law. The Internal Revenue Service is considering exempting some small-business purchases made with credit or debit cards, as the IRS will already receive a record of those transactions from financial institutions, starting in 2011. "We're looking at ways to try to minimize the burden on businesses as much as possible," said IRS spokesman Terry Lemons. USA TODAY


An important part of the the health care bill was that it relied on the IRS to do enforcement and monitoring of the program. If you have been following my emails I was leery of the ability of the IRS to take on this new challenge. The IRS has enough on its plate already without this additional burden. Now in an article in The Hill it appears that Washington is starting to realize the problem.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Did you see this? According to the following article in the Washington Times our debt increased in one day more than the entire 2007 debt.

(Washington Times) -- WashingtonTimes.com reports that the nation's debt leapt $166 billion in a single day last week, the third-largest increase in U.S. history, and it comes at a time when Congress is balking over higher spending and debt has become a key policy battleground. "The one-day increase for June 30 totaled $165,931,038,264.30 -- bigger than the entire annual deficit for fiscal year 2007 and larger than the $140 billion in savings the new health care bill will produce over its first 10 years." Adds the Times, "The figure works out to nearly $1,500 for every US household, or more than 10 times the median daily household income."

Monday, July 12, 2010


"America's future will be determined by the home and the school. The child becomes largely what he is taught; hence we must watch what we teach, and how we live."
--Jane Addams


I'm excited to tell you that I have chosen to serve as an MDA Jailbird and am being Locked-Up...that's right, I'm going behind bars to help Jerry's Kids©. In order to be released on good behavior, I need your help to raise my “bail.”

My bail has been set at $1,600.00 and if everyone I know makes a tax-deductible donation, I’ll reach my goal quickly!

Just click here to make a secure, online donation before 08/17/10. This is a fun event benefiting individuals and families served by MDA who are affected by neuromuscular disease. I am honored to partner with MDA, and help this important cause.

Don't hesitate to call or e-mail me with any questions.

Thanks in advance for your help. Together we'll make a difference!


P.S. I'm counting on you, click here to donate.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Only six months to go until we see some of the largest tax hikes in history. See the following article: http://www.atr.org/sixmonths.html?content=5171

Thursday, July 8, 2010


The following is a summary of the most important tax developments that have occurred in the past three months that may affect you, your family, your investments, and your livelihood. We have covered most of these in prior emails but this is a good summary.

Email if you would like more information about any of these developments and what steps you should implement to take advantage of favorable developments and to minimize the impact of those that are unfavorable.

Deadline extended for closing home purchase to qualify for homebuyer credit.

Relief has been provided to taxpayers who couldn't meet a key June 30, 2010, closing date for qualifying for the homebuyer credit. In general, both the regular first-time homebuyer credit of $8,000 and the reduced credit of $6,500 for long-term residents expired for homes purchased after Apr. 30, 2010. However, if a written binding contract to purchase a principal residence was entered into before May 1, 2010, the credit could be claimed if the purchase closed before July 1, 2010. Under the relief measure, if a written binding contract to purchase a principal residence was entered into before May 1, 2010, the credit may be claimed if the purchase is closed before Oct. 1, 2010. Thus, this extension allows homebuyers who signed a contract no later than the April 30th deadline to complete their closing by the end of September.

Guidance addresses tax breaks for hiring new employees.
Employers are exempted from paying the employer 6.2% share of Social Security (i.e., OASDI) employment taxes on wages paid in 2010 to newly hired qualified individuals. These are workers who: (1) begin employment with the employer after Feb. 3, 2010 and before Jan. 1, 2011, (2) certify by signed affidavit, under penalties of perjury, that they haven't been employed for more than 40 hours during the 60-day period ending on the date the individual begins employment with the qualified employer; (3) do not replace other employees of the employer (unless those employees left voluntarily or for cause), and (4) aren't related to the employer under special definitions. The payroll tax relief applies only for wages paid from Mar. 19, 2010 through Dec. 31, 2010.

Employers may qualify for an up-to-$1,000 tax credit for retaining qualified individuals. The workers must be employed by the employer for a period of not less than 52 consecutive weeks, and their wages for such employment during the last 26 weeks of the period must equal at least 80% of the wages for the first 26 weeks of the period.

The IRS has issued guidance on these tax breaks in the form of frequently asked questions. They carry valuable information on subjects such as the scope of the exemption, how it interacts with other tax breaks, and when an employer must receive the employee's certification of former unemployment status. For example, the IRS explains that the exemption and credit can be claimed for a new employee replacing a downsized employee.

Detailed guidance released on new small business health care credit.
The IRS has issued detailed guidance on the small employer health insurance credit created by the recently-enacted health reform legislation. Under the new law, effective for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2009, an eligible small employer (ESE) may claim a tax credit for nonelective contributions to purchase health insurance for its employees. An ESE is an employer with no more than 25 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) employed during its tax year, and whose employees have annual full-time equivalent wages that average no more than $50,000. However, the full credit is available only to an employer with 10 or fewer FTEs and whose employees have average annual full-time equivalent wages from the employer of not more than $25,000. The new guidance adopts a liberal approach to the new law's requirements, including three alternative methods for figuring total hours of service (important for determining how may FTEs an employer has), and also explains how small employers claim the credit if their State provides a credit or subsidy for employee health coverage. The IRS has released a state-by-state table of average health insurance premiums for the small group market for the 2010 tax year. The table is needed to calculate the credit for this year.

Guidance issued on new under-age-27 rule for health coverage of children.
The IRS has issued guidance on the tax treatment of health coverage for children under age 27 under the new health reform law. The new under-age-27 rule, which went into effect March 30, 2010, applies broadly to employer-provided coverage or reimbursements, cafeteria plans, flexible spending arrangements (FSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), voluntary employees' beneficiary associations (VEBAs), and the above-the-line deduction for a self-employed individual's medical care insurance costs.

Availability of FICA exception for medical residents to be resolved.
The Supreme Court has agreed to review a 2009 decision of the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which upheld the validity of regulations that generally prevent medical residents from qualifying for the FICA student exception. Under these regulations, an employee includes a medical resident who works 40 hours or more for a school, college or university is not eligible for the student exception. The Supreme Court will now decide their validity. Its decision will have important ramifications for the many teaching hospitals and their residents.

Deadline extended for retirement plans in federally declared disaster areas in eight States.
The IRS has administratively extended to July 30, 2010, the April 30, 2010, deadline for restating affected pre-approved defined contribution plans and, if applicable, for submitting determination letters to the IRS, and the Code Sec. 401(b) remedial amendment period for these retirement plans. The relief applies to sponsors of defined contribution plans that were affected by the storms and other severe weather in counties in Alabama, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Tennessee and West Virginia that were federally declared disaster areas in the period from March 1 through May 31, 2010.

Temporary regulations fill in statutory gaps on new indoor tanning tax.
The IRS has issued temporary regulations on the health reform's legislation's new 10% excise tax on indoor tanning services provided on or after July 1, 2010. The regs address practical considerations that may not have been contemplated when the law was drafted. For example, they addresses prepayments for tanning services and services provided as part of a gym membership.


Below is a reminder from the IRS that summer camps for your children may qualify for a tax credit. If you have any questions about child care credit let me know.

Larry Kopsa CPA

Did you know that your summer day care expenses may qualify for an income tax credit? Many parents who work or are looking for work must arrange for care of their children under 13 years of age during the school vacation. Those expenses may help you get a credit on next year’s tax return.

Here are five facts the IRS wants you to know about a tax credit available for child care expenses. The Child and Dependent Care Credit is available for expenses incurred during the lazy hazy days of summer and throughout the rest of the year.

1. The cost of day camp may count as an expense towards the child and dependent care credit.
2. Expenses for overnight camps do not qualify.
3. If your childcare provider is a sitter at your home or a daycare facility outside the home, you'll get some tax benefit if you qualify for the credit.
4. The actual credit can be up to 35 percent of your qualifying expenses, depending upon your income.
5. You may use up to $3,000 of the unreimbursed expenses paid in a year for one qualifying individual or $6,000 for two or more qualifying individuals to figure the credit.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Nothing really new here but a summary of the new tax that went into effect on 7/01/2010.

Starting July 1, 2010, many businesses offering tanning services must collect a 10 percent excise tax on the tanning services they provide. This excise tax requirement is part of the Affordable Care Act that was enacted in March 2010.

Here are nine tips on the tanning excise tax that providers must collect.

1. Businesses providing ultraviolet tanning services must collect the 10 percent excise tax at the time the customer pays for the tanning services.
2. If the customer fails to pay the excise tax, the tanning service provider is liable for the tax.
3. The tax does not apply to phototherapy services performed by a licensed medical professional on his or her premises.
4. The tax does not apply to spray-on tanning services.
5. If a payment covers charges for tanning services along with other goods and services, the other goods and services may be excluded from the tax if they are separately stated and the charges do not exceed the fair market value for those other goods and services.
6. If the customer purchases bundled services and the charges are not separately stated, the tax applies to the portion of the payment that can be reasonably attributed to the indoor tanning services.
7. The tax does not have to be paid on membership fees for certain qualified physical fitness facilities that offer indoor tanning services as an incidental service to members without a separately identifiable fee.
8. Tanning service providers must report and pay the excise tax on a quarterly basis.
9. To pay the tax, businesses must file IRS Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return using an Employer Identification Number assigned by the IRS. Businesses that don’t already have one can apply for an EIN online at IRS.gov.
Find more information about the excise tax on tanning services, IRS Form 720 and other tax provisions of the Affordable Care Act at IRS.gov.

• IR-2010-73, IRS Issues Regulations on 10-Percent Tax on Tanning Services Effective July 1
• Excise Tax on Indoor Tanning Services Frequently Asked Questions
• Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions

YouTube Video:
Tanning Services Excise Tax: English ASL

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


"I've often thought that the process of aging could be slowed down if it had to go through Congress."
George Bush

Saturday, July 3, 2010


As usual, you can’t trust the dates the government gives you. As you know, if you signed papers to purchase a house by April 30th and you closed by June 30th there was a tax credit available. But wait… on July 2nd the IRS announced that they were going to give you until September 30th to close. And these are the people that will be running health care.

See more at: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=225079,00.html