Online Advisor
Timothy W. Tuttle & Associates
 


Volume 18 Edition 12          Please email comments to newsletter@tuttlefirm.com                  Dec 2021


Major Events This Month:

Upcoming dates:

Nov 28 - Dec 6  - Hanukkah

December 25  - Christmas Day

December 26  - Kwanzaa begins

January 18  - 4th Quarter Estimated Payments Due

Take final year-end actions

 - Deductible gifts

 - Capital gains/losses

 - Charitable giving

 - Dividend income

To help celebrate this holiday season and momentarily forget about potential supply shortage frustrations you may encounter while shopping, this month’s newsletter features a fun quiz about toy crazes from the past. This fun trip down memory lane is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Also read about recent tax court cases that have great tax messages for all of us, five great money tips, and ideas to help your business prepare for surprise expenses.

Please call if you would like to discuss how this information could impact your situation. If you know someone who could benefit from this newsletter, feel free to send it to them.

Court Is In Session - Notable Tax Court Cases

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, political unrest and severe weather events, the Tax Court has continued to churn out decisions affecting individual and business taxpayers. Here’s a brief sampling of several cases that may be of particular interest.

Please call if you have any questions about these tax court cases or any other circumstances that you think apply to your tax situation.

Holiday Quiz: These Hot Toys Created Shortages

How well do you know the holiday shortages of yesterday?

With all the talk around ports being clogged and transportation backups causing product shortages, why not take a look back at famous holiday shortages caused by the demand for the toy EVERYONE just had to have! So grab your family and friends, put away the cell phones, take out a piece of paper, and see who knows more about these true, historic shortages.

  1. In 1983, this toy came with its own certificate of adoption, but only if you could find one.

  2. This hand-held gadget created a bond that if broken could be fatal. At its peak they were selling 15 of them every minute!

  3. In 2014, this supplier limited purchases of this toy to two dozen per person, but it sold out months before the holidays, with some selling on eBay for as much as $1,000. Fortunately, the company making the toy was able to solve the supply problem in time for the holidays. Can you name it?

  4. For three years in a row, from 2005 thru 2007, game consoles were all the rage. Give yourself a point if you can name all three.

  5. Red and popular, this toy was as scarce as ice in a campfire during 1996. But every small child just had to have one.

  6. This hand-held puzzle was all the rage in 1981. Can you name it?

  7. In 1998 these small creatures could be trained to speak English…that is if you could get one.

  8. Often a TV program inspires scarcities in the toys it creates. This colorful group was tough to find in 1993. Never fear, the supplier geared up for the next season only be out of stock once again in 1994. What is the name of this group of toys?

  9. These little furballs were cute, cuddly and hard as ever to find in 2009. This $9 toy often fetched up to $60 each. Can you name them?

  10. And last, but not least, this extremely popular toy in the 1950s may have started the holiday toy craze…mainly because it was advertised on television. But the toy required a food product from your pantry to make it come to life. What was it?


Answers:1. Cabbage Patch Kids, 2. Tamagotchi, 3. Elsa doll from Disney’s Frozen movie, 4. Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii, 5. Tickle Me Elmo, 6. Rubik’s Cube, 7. Furby, 8. Mighty Power Rangers, 9. ZhuZhu Pets, and 10. Mr. Potato Head

So how did you do?

0 – 2 right…No worries. Shortages don’t seem to bother you.

3 – 5 correct…You probably have asked for a couple of these.

6 – 8 correct…You are a cultural icon! Pat yourself on the back.

9 – 10 correct…You are a monster shopper.

 

Five Great Money Tips

Creating a sound financial foundation for you and your family is anything but easy. With low interest rates as an incentive to borrow more and even lower interest rates on savings accounts is it any wonder that it's tough to retain the discipline to save? Here are five thoughts that may help.

  1. Pay yourself first. Treat saving money with the same care you pay your bills. Take a percentage of everything you earn and save it. Using this technique can help build an emergency fund and keep you from living paycheck to paycheck.
  2. Know and use the Rule of 72. You can roughly calculate the number of years compound interest will take to double your money using the Rule of 72. Do this by dividing 72 by your rate of return to estimate how long it takes to double your money. For example, 10% interest will double an investment in 7.2 years; investments with an 8% return will double in nine years. Use this concept to understand the power of saving and investment.
  3. Use savings versus debt for purchases. Unpaid debt is like compound interest but in reverse. For instance, using a 12% interest credit card to pay $1,500 for home appliances costs over $2,000 if paid back over 5 years. The result is that you have to work harder and earn more to pay for the items you purchase. A better idea may be to save and then buy your dream item.
  4. Understand amortization. When a bank loans you money, it gives you a specific interest rate and a set number of years to pay it back. Each payment you make contains interest as well as a reduction of the amount owed, called principal. Most of the interest payments are front-loaded, while the last few payments are virtually all principal. Making additional principal payments at the beginning of the loan’s term will decrease the amount of interest you pay to the bank and help you pay off the loan more quickly.
  5. Taxes are complex and require help. Tax laws are complicated. They are made even more complex when the rules change, often late in the year. Even worse, the IRS is not in the job of telling you when you forget to take a deduction. The best way to stay out of the IRS spotlight AND minimize your taxes is to ask for help.

 

Surprise Bills: Prepare Your Business for the Unexpected

Getting a bill for an unexpected expense can put a significant dent in your business’s cash flow. Here are some tips your business can use to deal with a surprise bill.

 

Make Payroll Taxes Easy in 2022

Handling employment taxes can be complicated, especially when you’re required to file important tax documents throughout the year. Here’s a quick recap of the most vital payroll tax forms and what you can do to make your payroll life easier heading into 2022.

Important Payroll Tax Forms

Make payroll easier

 

JUST THE FACTS: Borrowed Money Must Be Paid Back

In the back of every Form 1040 instruction booklet there’s a section that shows where our federal government gets its money and where it is spent. As taxpayers, it makes sense to know this information. Here is the data for the government's fiscal year ending September 30, 2019, as reported by the IRS in the 2020 instruction booklet for Form 1040. Please note that this spending is prior to COVID-19 relief bills.

FY Ending 2019

Inflow:

$3.464 trillion

Outflow:

$4.448 trillion

Deficit:

$984 billion

 

TOTAL INFLOWS

39%

Personal Income Taxes

28%

Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Taxes

22%

Borrowing to Cover Deficit

6%

Excise, Customs, Estate, Gift and Misc Taxes

5%

Corporate Income Taxes

 

SPENDING BREAKDOWN

42%

Social Security, Medicare, & other retirement. These programs provide income support for the retired and disabled and medical care for the elderly.

21%

National defense, veterans, and foreign affairs. About 15% of outlays were to equip, modernize, and pay our armed forces and to fund national defense activities; about 4% were for veterans benefits and services; and about 1% were for international activities.

21%

Social programs. About 15% of total outlays were for Medicaid, SNAP (formerly food stamps), TANF, SSI; and 6% for health research and public health programs unemployment compensation, assisted housing, and social services.

8%

Net interest on the national debt (at historically low interest rates).

6%

Physical, human, and community development. These outlays were for agriculture and environment; transportation; aid for education and college assistance; job training; deposit insurance, commerce and housing credit; and space, energy, and general science programs.

2%

Law enforcement and general government.

SOURCE: IRS publication i1040gi, P.110, 2020 Tax Year

 

What You Need To Know

 

As always, should you have any questions or concerns regarding your tax situation please feel free to call.


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Timothy W. Tuttle & Associates
www.tuttlefirm.com