LB – This 2021 tax season- Main page

 

FRAN SISCO LETTER ABOUT 2021 TAX SEASON – DATED 12/6/21

 

XOXO   Happy Holidays to you and your family!      XOXO

If you are my client, I will be sending you a personalized letter very soon.

If you are not yet my client, I would love to talk with you about becoming one, for me to prepare your 2021 tax returns, to plan for 2022 and possibly guide you on other financial matters.

The reason I think I can do a great job for you is because of my very varied and deep expertise and experience from being a –

  1. CPA for over 40 years
  2. Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) and Accredited Estate Planner (AEP) and Investment strategist for decades
  3. business owner over the years of a variety of businesses
  4. advisor to literally thousands of clients over the years from many walks of life
  5. a transgender female, living full-time as a female since 1/1/11, which has enabled me to develop a keener understanding of people, and of myself, and has greatly expanded my creativity

If you decide to use me to do your taxes, my fees are quite reasonable (basically the number of hours X $140 per hour) and often lower than your current fees because of certain very efficient ways I’ve developed about gathering and reporting key info and because of the 5 factors above. Especially if you have a small business or are a professional and sole proprietor, I’m confident my work would be faster and less expensive, yet accurate and timely.

Please feel free to call my cell (914.589.1013) or send me an email at FrancisSisco@aol.com, and we can set up a no-cost initial conversation by phone, or Zoom or in-person. Also, my website at http://www.TransFranSisco.com has a wealth of financial information, mostly at sections that begin with LB (for Left-Brain). The sections marked with a RB (for Right Brain) primarily relate to my creative endeavors (e.g. filmmaker, playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, entertainer (comedy, singing), author, poet, advocate)

My home office is large, comfortable and with its own entrance in my home that is conveniently located in the north end of New Rochelle, NY at 30 Mill Road, and only 32 minutes from Manhattan by car or train, about 25 minutes from the George Washington Bridge (NJ) or Mario Cuomo Bridge, (Nyack) about 25 minutes from Greenwich Connecticut. You will spot my house by several of my original sculptures on my front lawn, including the two shown above.

Best regards,

Fran Sisco

cell 914.589.1013

http://www.TransFranSisco.com

facebook – Francis Sisco

12/6/21

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VARIOUS TAX AND FINANCIAL TIPS 

Below are some quick tips that hopefully can help you. Please feel free to call me about them.

A. Taxes –

  1. Year-end strategies – Several steps could be taken before 12/31/21. A few quick examples include: (1) defer income and accelerate expenses (2) take investment losses, including switching investments yet avoiding “wash sale” rules (3) issue bonuses including to yourself (4) For S Corporation owners, make sure you put yourself on salary or you can lose the ability to show earned income necessary for IRA contributions , or can be challenged by the IRS (5) if you have a business loss, pull money from your IRAs and retirement plans to the extent of zeroing out taxable income and thus zero tax (6) set up SEP IRA plans
  2. Decide on your accountant (if you are changing) to avoid time jams later.
  3. Review how to streamline your recordkeeping especially for small businesses. Often, QuickBooks is not the solution.
  4. File any back returns, settle outstanding unresolved matters and set up an installment payment plan, often getting penalties waived due to “reasonable cause.
  5. Consider amending prior returns to claim refunds.
  6. Review your dependent exemptions. Claim as a dependent an elderly parent or relative if you provide most of the support. Emancipating a child could cause lower taxes for the family.
  7. Use child tax credits if pertinent to your situation.
  8. Set up sideline businesses prior to 12/31/21 to get business expenses to be deductible.
  9. Contribute to IRAs and retirement plans if your cash flow is sufficient.
  10. Obtain credit lines to build up flexibility in case of another recession or lock-down.
  11. Strategize deductions that have been eliminated or reduced – e.g. miscellaneous itemized deductions. For highly paid actors and creatives who lost the deductibility of business expenses on Schedule A as miscellaneous itemized deductions, by setting up “loan out corporations” could be a viable strategy.
  12. Be creative yet honest in documenting the cost of property sold in order to reduce the taxable gain.
  13. Use Section 179 to get large deductions on equipment purchases.
  14. If you are older and have a very profitable company, consider a defined-benefit plan that increases allowable deductible contributions significantly.
  15. Tackle new rules dealing with at-home work.
  16. Take the loss in 2021 for worthless securities, with certain proof.                                                   B. Income and cash flow –

1.For professions hard-hit by Covid-19 (e.g. artists, musicians, restaurants, apply for grants that are often offered by many organizations and governmental entities.)

  1. For recipients of SBA grants and loans, ensure compliance with filings
  2. Analyze options for careers and businesses. Don’t stay in dead-end ventures.
  3. Invest in your own skills and creativity (and with proprietary protection) in order to establish additional and alternative income sources.
  4. Complete open projects (e.g. inventions, books, plays, films, albums, screenplays) and try to sell options on them. Consider creating NFTs of your own work. Enhance protection via copyrights, patents, trademarks, website domains.
  5. Consider other forms of entity – LLC, S Corp, C Corp, Partnership, Trust, Schedule C.
  6. Reduce taxes through appropriate investment choices – tax-free, tax-deferred and tax-advantaged.

C. Investments –

  1. Review your risk tolerance and investment allocation and possibly reduce risks by shifting some funds to lower-risk investments, or confining risk to a smaller portion and for that portion possibly increase risk for higher reward.
  2. If moving funds from equity mutual funds and stocks, consider higher-growth industries and trends like Meta, NFTs, Crypto, Virtual Reality, ESG etc.
  3. Consider quarterly automatic rebalancing which has shown to be an effective tool to sell high and buy low, over time.

 

D. Insurance –

  1. Get inexpensive term insurance with long-guarantee periods. Sometimes, you can even trade up to less expensive policies from existing ones.
  2. If you don’t have long-term care protection and don’t like the traditional LTC policies or think they are too expensive, investigate alternatives such as the universal life policies with LTC riders.
  3. Be wary of alternatives to Medicare combined with top-rated supplemental policies (e.g. United Healthcare in NY)
  4. Investigate homeowner or business insurance riders if you are located in problem areas (e.g. flood, fire, hurricane)        E. Estate planning –
  5. 1. Update estate planning documents including will, trust, durable power of attorney, health care proxy, living will, final wishes memo. Think creatively. Avoid family squabbles by being more open.
  6. Report gifts over $15,000 made to a donee on Form 709, even though tax does not usually apply.
  7. For the very wealthy (over $5 million) consider large gifts to use up the lifetime gift and estate allowance which will likely be reduced by legislation over the foreseeable future.

 

Note – In December 2017, I issued a comprehensive Financial Flyer that has many additional points, several of which are still quite valid as we approach 2022. The link to it on my website is at:

https://transfransisco.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=677&action=edit

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OLD and SUPERSEDED AT 12/6/21

 

PLEASE REVIEW EACH OF #1, #2, #3 (click on #3 to open it up) BELOW, PREFERABLY BEFORE YOU GIVE ME YOUR TAX PACKAGE OF INFO AND BEFORE WE START:

#1 – My summary note from Fran Sisco – (revised 3/26/21 from original on 2/1/21)

(A) – Overall – My goal is to work with you in preparing your taxes in such a way, not only to do them efficient, on time and correctly, but also for me to identify ways for you to possibly save taxes for 2020 or the future.  That can depend on how we interact in comprehensive discussions, the info you give me including the way you fill out these forms, and the way and timing of providing key information. Please call me to discuss my preparing your taxes for 2020, and planning for 2021 due to the major continuing changes in the 2017 Tax Act, the CARES ACT and the HEROES ACT, and the many issues due to the Pandemic.  In the meantime, click the links below to get the tax info you want:,  Timeliness is very important.

(B) FEES – Regarding my fees, I consider them to not only be reasonable but lower than most other CPAs and tax preparers, perhaps for these reasons:

(1) My experience as CPA for over 35 years saves time on understanding key issues, updating research and providing solutions.

(2) Very efficient systems for gathering info, compiling it and preparing returns. 

(3) Use of the highly-rate Drake Software for several years.

(4) Low overhead with a large office at home, conveniently located next to the Hutchinson River Parkway.

(5) Unique way of assembling supporting files to enable easy access to info, and using page referencing as a way to minimize mistakes of entering incorrect info.

(6) Good system of setting fees. it is based on an estimate of how many hours X $100 hourly rate for tax preparation. Tax planning is at $150 hourly rate and Financial planning is at $200 hour rate.  Generally fees are paid 1/3 upfront in December, 1/3 when the info is presented to me (if after 3/1/21, an extension will be filed with postponement of work until after the 4/15 due date, and 1/3 (plus adjustments up or down) upon completion. Early payment of fees often yield discounts.

(C) Summary of steps – Except for the initial year, these are the main steps each year –

  1. Detailed discussion with Fran, of past, present and expectations
  2. Discuss changes since last year, especially those affecting taxes.
  3. Client reviews tax matters outlined in memos of ideas below and at other links:
  4. Client snail-mails supporting documents (originals) keeping her or his own copies. (For new clients, provide copies of 2 prior year returns, along with copies of drivers licenses – front and back) and also the completed 12 page organizer form
  5. Fran prepares a draft and calls/emails client with questions and comments.
  6. Final returns are prepared as well as estimated for next year.  (Fran sends pdfs of tax returns and not hard copies, allowing for Fran’s lower fees). 

(D) Please be sure that I have from you (in addition to the usual W-2s, Form 1099, Form 1098, lists of business expenses etc. –

  1. Your (and spouse) most recent front and back of drivers license (needed by states to prevent internet theft).  If I did your return in 2019 and your license did not expire in 2010, I don’t need it.
  2. Any stimulus you may have received – #1 – $1,200, #2 – $600, (not until 2021 is #3 – $1,400).  If #1 and #2, they have to be reported so that the software calculates any tax due or tax credit.
  3. Any proceeds from an SBA loan or grant (e.g. EIDL grant, EIDL loan, PPP loan, forgiven amount?)
  4. Any tax notices from IRS or from states about any discrepancies or questions regarding your tax returns.
  5. Any notice from Social Security administration.
  6. Closing statement of any real estate you sold in 2020.
  7. Any expected major event in 2021 that may impact your paying estimated taxes, otherwise I will use the 2020 returns to do the estimates.
  8. Any debt that was cancelled, and if you received a 1099-COD which may trigger income.

#2 -You should do a quick read of my Year-end planning memo below in case it triggers ideas or questions for you.

2020_December2020_TaxAnFinancialPlanningMemo_Page_1

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2020_December2020_TaxAnFinancialPlanningMemo_Page_2

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#3 – LB – 2020 Tax Season – Organizer forms, DEDUCTION CHECKLISTS, etc.
#4 – LB-2020 – Quickfinder Handbook summary info for Individuals
#5 – LB-2020 – Quickfinder Handbook summary info for Small Business

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Click on the below links to get info that may be older or stale 

LB-Fran Sisco’s Financial Flyer for Saving Money and Taxes-December 2017 – Vol.2 No.1

LB – The New Tax Act and how you can save taxes.