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  • Roth vs Traditional IRA

    Roth vs Traditional IRA Which One Is Right For You In our last article, Year-End Tax Planning Strategies , we briefly discussed the potential benefits of a Roth IRA over a Traditional IRA. This article will dive deeper into the differences between these two retirement planning options and provide some guidance on when one makes more sense than the other. Contribution Limits You can make 2019 contributions to a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA until April 15 of 2020. The maximum amount you can contribute in 2019 is $6,000. If you are over the age of 50 then you can contribute an additional $1,000 to either one. Additional limitations apply differently to Roth and Traditional accounts based on your income level and whether or not you are covered by a retirement plan through your employer. These additional limitations are complicated so we won't get into them now. If you want more information on these limitations you can read "Income Limitations" at the end of the article. ​ Which Account Is Right For You? The primary distinction between a Traditional and Roth IRA is when you pay taxes on the money in the account. With a Traditional IRA you deduct your contributions from your taxable income and do not pay any tax on that money until you withdraw it in the future. With a Roth IRA you pay the tax now but can withdraw the funds tax-free in retirement. One clear advantage the Roth has over the Traditional IRA is the earnings of the account can be withdrawn tax-free after age 59 1/2. With the Traditional IRA you pay taxes on the earning as well as your original contributions when you withdraw them. ​ So what is the advantage of the Traditional IRA if it requires you to pay taxes on your earnings? In the past, the argument in favor of Traditional IRAs was that you were likely to be in a lower tax bracket when you retire so it made more sense to defer taxes today so that you could pay them later at a lower rate. However, with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act we are currently in one of the lowest tax environments our country has seen in decades. And with the national debt growing at an accelerating pace there is an increasing chance of significant tax hikes in the future. If tax rates rise significantly in the future you could find yourself in a higher tax bracket in retirement, even if your income decreases. With that possibility, deferring taxes now to pay them in retirement may not be the best decision. ​ Summary The decision between a Traditional or Roth IRA comes down to your expectations for your tax bracket in retirement compared to your tax bracket today and the length of time before you retire. If retirement is still 20 or 30 years away, you may be better off investing in a Roth IRA to take advantage of tax-free growth for all of those years. If you are planning to retire in the near future, the benefit of a tax deduction today may outweigh the potential increase in taxes a few years from now, if your income drops significantly when you retire. ​ For a deeper discussion on which account makes more sense for your personal situation, please reach out to us. Income Limitations Roth IRA: To contribute the full amount to a Roth IRA in 2019 your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) needs to be less than $122,000 if you file single or head of household and it must be less than $193,000 if you file a joint return with your spouse. If your MAGI is between $122,000 and $137,000 ($193,000 and $203,000 if filing a joint return) then you can make a partial contribution. Once your MAGI exceeds $137,000 ($203,000 if filing a joint return) then you are no longer eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA. ​ Traditional IRA: If neither you nor your spouse are covered by a retirement plan at work then there is no income limit to your Traditional IRA contributions. ​ If you are covered by a retirement plan at work and file single or head of household, your Traditional IRA contribution begins to be reduced once your MAGI reaches $64,000 and is eliminated once your MAGI reaches $74,000. ​ The rules become even more complicated if you file a joint return and either spouse is covered by a retirement plan at work. If you are covered by a retirement plan at work, your contribution begins to be reduced once your MAGI reaches $103,000 and is eliminated once your MAGI reaches $123,000. If you are not covered by a retirement plan but your spouse is then your contribution begins to be reduced once your MAGI reaches $193,000 and is eliminated once your MAGI reaches $203,000. Failing to order your affairs to minimize your tax burden could cost you significant money - so don't wait to take action. If you have additional questions or need some planning help, please reach out to us.

  • Privacy Policy | Monotelo Advisors

    Monotelo Advisors Privacy Policy Introduction At Monotelo Advisors, we respect your privacy and are committed to protecting your personal information. This Privacy Policy outlines our practices regarding the collection and use of your data. Information Collection We may collect personal information from you in various ways, including when you visit our website, subscribe to our newsletter, fill out a form, or interact with our services. The types of personal information we collect may include: - Contact information (name, email address, phone number) - Demographic information (age, gender, location) Use of Information We use the information we collect for various purposes, including: - To provide and improve our services - To communicate with you, including sending newsletters and updates - To personalize your experience on our website - To analyze and understand how our services are used No Sale of Personal Data At Monotelo Advisors, we prioritize the confidentiality and security of your personal information. We want to assure you that we do not sell or share your personal data to any third parties. Your trust is of utmost importance to us, and we are committed to protecting your privacy. Data Security We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you enter, submit, or access your personal information. ​ We do not share personal data (phone numbers) with third parties, affiliates or partners ​ Your Rights Depending on your location, you may have certain rights regarding your personal information, including: - The right to access your personal data - The right to correct any inaccuracies - The right to request deletion of your data - The right to restrict processing of your data - The right to data portability - The right to object to the processing of your data If you wish to exercise any of these rights, please contact us using the information provided below. Changes to This Policy We may update our Privacy Policy from time to time. We will notify you of any changes by posting the new policy on our website. You are advised to review this policy periodically for any changes.v

  • Asset Location and Creating Tax-Free Retirement Income

    Asset Location and Creating Tax-Free Retirement Income

  • JSZ | Monotelo Advisors

    WHITE PAPER INTRODUCTION Realtor Sam, while a real person, is not the actual name of this real estate agent. We have changed the name to protect the innocent! The Realtor Sam case is a case we examined in 2015, which had similarities to cases that had come across our desk in the past. Realtor Sam had been in the real estate business for nearly twenty years. He was not only selling real estate, he also owned several residential properties that were generating significant cash flow and taxable income. Realtor Sam had incorporated his commission-based business as a C-Corp ten years prior to our interaction with him. Apart from a bad year in 2013, his gross commissions were generally around ninety-five thousand dollars per year and his commission-based business was generating around forty-thousand per year in free cash flow after all his expenses were paid. What made Realtor Sam’s case unique was the fact that his investment properties were generating significantly more income than his commission-based business. THE CHALLENGE By incorporating his commission-based business, Realtor Sam had taken the first step towards a tax-efficient business structure. However, there were additional steps he should have taken when he first set up his business ten years earlier. Because of the way Realtor Sam had structured his compensation from his C-Corporation for his commission-based income, he was regularly generating losses on his corporate tax returns. Worse, because he was set up as a C-Corporation, those losses could not be used to offset the income he was generating from his rental properties. These issues were causing Realtor Sam to significantly overpay on his tax returns every year. THE SOLUTION Fortunately, we were able to put a plan together for Realtor Sam to help get him back on track. Our first goal was to take advantage of the accumulated losses on his corporate tax return. To accomplish this, we made some adjustments to how he was compensating himself through the business. Our second goal was to help him efficiently pull profits out of his business by taking advantage of some provisions in the Internal Revenue Code that were available to him as an officer of a corporation. These changes reduced his tax bill in the first year by $9,000 and by $5,500 in each of the subsequent years. These results were beyond what we had expected, and beyond what we generally see for someone with Realtor Sam’s taxable income, but they do demonstrate what can happen when we apply a deep understanding of the tax code as it relates to real-estate centered businesses. At Monotelo our focus is more than tax preparation, it is to make a difference with actionable and meaningful financial solutions that positively impact our clients’ lives. Save as PDF More White Papers ​ WLW: Win One, Lose One, Win One CWS: Could-A-Would-A-Should-A SOO: Starting Over, And Over

  • Unlocking The Missed Deductions of a Home Office | Monotelo Advisors

    UNLOCKING the Missed Deductions of a Home Office Small-business owners should not miss the benefit of a home office deduction out of fear of a tax audit. Going to an office is no longer a requirement of conducting business in the age of the internet, cell phones, Skype and GoTo meetings. This means an increasing number of small-business owners are working from home, and eligible to claim a home office deduction. When Properly implemented, this deduction can make a significant difference in your tax liability.​ ​ WHAT CONSTITUTES A HOME OFFICE? In order to claim a deduction for a home office the IRS requires that a designated space be used exclusively and regularly for business. Going to an office is no longer a requirement of conducting business in the age of the internet, cell phones, Skype and GoTo meetings. Exclusively used for business means it cannot ever be used for personal reasons during the tax year, this includes any type of storage for personal items. Although the office is to be used only for business, the tax code does not mandate that it be a separate room, it can be part of a room - walls are not a requirement. The office must also be used on a regular basis for business. ​ HOW TO DEDUCT EXPENSES FOR THE HOME OFFICE There are two different methods you can use to claim a home office deduction, the actual expense method and the simplified method. ACTUAL EXPENSE METHOD The actual expense method allows you to deduct all direct expenses and a portion of any indirect expenses. Direct expenses are any expenses incurred specifically for the home office, such as painting the office or putting in new carpet. Indirect expenses include any expenses incurred for the home such as mortgage interest, property taxes and utilities. To claim these indirect expenses you need to determine the portion of the expenses that relate to the home office. This can be calculated by dividing the square footage of the office by the square footage of the house. You can also claim depreciation or a rent deduction for the part of the home used for business purposes. On the downside, when you sell the home any depreciation taken needs to be recaptured. This can be an unpleasant surprise come tax time. When using the actual expense method, detailed records and supporting documentation must be kept for all expenses. SIMPLIFIED METHOD If you prefer not to maintain records of these expenses, you can still take a home office deduction using the simplified method. The simplified method is calculated by simply multiplying the square footage of the office by $5 per square foot (up to 300 sq. ft.). The advantage to this method is the IRS does not require you to keep any records that are required by the actual expense method. The main drawback of the simplified method is that you will not be able to deduct your actual expenses if they exceed the allowance of the simplified method. ​ The best solution is to keep track of all of your expenses and then determine at the end of the year which method will provide the greater deduction. ​ ​ MILEAGE Regular commuting to and from work is not a deductible expense, however travel between your primary office located in your home to your second office is classified as business miles that are deductible. This does not mean that you can set up a "home office" to deduct your regular commuting miles. It means that if your home office is where you conduct the majority of your business, you can deduct any mileage to a secondary location. Setting up a home office can potentially create several thousands of dollars in deductible mileage each year. TAKE AWAY Even the smallest home office can unlock significant deductions if the expenses are properly accounted for using either the actual or simplified method. It is very important that the space be used exclusively for business purposes.

  • July-2016 | Monotelo Advisors

    JULY 2016 MONOTELO QUARTERLY ARE YOU PROTECTING YOURSELF From Your Corporate Income? ​ While there are potential tax savings with a corporate structure in place, it is critical that the corporation be the entity that actually earned the income. ​ WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? A fundamental principle of tax law is that income is taxed to the entity who earns it; and any attempts to divert the income away from its true earner are not recognized by the IRS. AND WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? It means the corporation (not the business owner) must be the entity that contracts for the services that it will have you (the business owner) provide. It means the corporation needs to be the entity that gets paid (not the business owner) for the services provided. It means the corporation must have control over the income it receives. Once it receives the income, it can then direct it to the business owner via payroll or a shareholder distribution. ​ WHAT ARE THE MAIN TAKEAWAYS HERE? If you have self-employment income, you should consider the potential tax benefits of a corporation At Monotelo, we believe that clients who have self-employment income should consider the potential benefits of structuring their business as a corporation. That is because a corporation can provide asset protection and potential tax benefits that are not available to the self-employed individual who files a Schedule C with their tax return. 1. Have your clients or customers write their check directly to the business. Do not accept checks written to you personally. A check made out to you and signed over to the business puts the business owner at risk of double taxation and penalties. ​ 2. Have the corporation pay you a salary for the services you are providing to the corporation. ​ 3. Make sure that all contracts and agreements with clients are between the client and the corporation, not between the client and the business owner. Save as PDF October 2016

  • SCHEDULE MEETING | Monotelo Advisors

    Schedule Meeting Choose Your Meeting Type Below Tax Preparation Meeting - Elgin Office Book Meeting Tax Preparation Meeting - St. Charles Office Book Meeting Tax Preparation Meeting - Virtual or Phone Book Meeting Tax Planning Meeting Book Meeting Integrated Wealth Management Discovery Call Book Meeting

  • Maximizing Your Deductions in Light of Tax Reform

    Save as PDF Read more articles Share 1 2 HOW TO SAVE Summary One of the goals of the tax reform was to simplify the filing process. While this goal may have been achieved for some taxpayers, maximizing your tax deductions in 2018 requires more creativity and critical planning than ever before. With the increased standard deduction and the additional restrictions on itemized deductions, the actual tax benefit of many expenses has been greatly reduced. By implementing some of the strategies discussed in this article you can continue to realize meaningful tax savings from these expenses. MAXIMIZING YOUR DEDUCTIONS IN LIGHT OF TAX REFORM The Tax Cuts and Jobs act of 2017 signaled the largest tax reform in decades. The law includes numerous changes to both personal and corporate taxes. We discussed the most important changes relevant to you a few months ago in Five Changes to Be Aware of Under the 2018 Tax Reform . One of the most promoted aspects of this plan was the doubling of the standard deduction to $24,000 for joint filers and $12,000 for single filers. While this may provide additional tax savings and simplify filing for some taxpayers, it also reduces the potential tax savings provided by certain expenses such as medical expenses, charitable donations, or home mortgage interest. As a result of these changes, certain tax strategies are more valuable than ever to make the most of your expenses. ​ Health Savings Accounts Medical expenses have always had a high threshold to meet before they will provide a tax benefit. Generally, medical expenses can only be deducted when they exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income(this was temporarily reduced to 7.5% for 2017 and 2018), and even then only the portion that exceeds that threshold can be deducted. This means that if you earn $100,000 and you have $12,000 in medical expenses you will only be able to deduct $2,000. With the increased standard deduction, you will have a harder time taking advantage of your medical expenses even when you manage to exceed the 10% threshold. The best way to bypass these heavy requirements for medical expenses is to set up a Health Savings Account. An HSA allows you to save up to $7,000 per year for medical expenses and deduct the full amount, without worrying about the 10% threshold or itemizing deductions. For more information on HSAs you can read Avoiding the 10% Threshold for Medical Expenses . Charitable Contributions If you make significant charitable contributions each year you may want to consider setting up a donor-advised fund to maximize your tax benefits. A donor-advised fund is a separate account that you make contributions to and then distribute those funds to the charity of your choice. How does this help you with your taxes? With a donor-advised fund you receive the tax deduction when you contribute to the fund, not when you make distributions to charitable organizations. This allows you to maximize your deduction by contributing a large amount to the fund in one year and spreading the distributions over 2 or more years. By properly staggering your contributions to the fund you can avoid the limitations on your deduction created by the increased standard deduction. For more information on how a donor-advised fund could reduce your taxes please contact us. ​ Home Office Deduction If you run your own business or if you own rental property then you may be eligible to take a deduction for a home office. This will allow you to deduct a portion of your mortgage interest, real estate taxes, utilities and home-owners insurance. While this deduction is not new for 2018, the potential benefits it provides are greater than ever due to the increased standard deduction likely limiting the benefits of itemizing your mortgage interest and real estate taxes as a personal deduction. For more information on the home office deduction you can read Unlocking the Missed Deductions of a Home Office . Read more articles Share Failing to order your affairs to minimize your tax burden could cost you significant money - so don't wait to take action. If you have additional questions or need some planning help, please reach out to us.

  • Resource Center | Monotelo Advisors

    Contact us Phone: 800-961-0298 Fax: 847-929-9134 Email: ​ Give us a call Schedule an appointment Find an office Schedule an Appointment Client Portal resources Need help with the portal? Click below to get help. View Resources Tax tools & tax tips Refund Tracker W-4 Withholding Calculator Documents checklist Tax Bracket Calculator File Upload Our Team Stay up to date with the latest tax information, and market analysis. Subscribe to receive our weekly market and tax analysis. Close Recent posts & news New FINCEN Requirement: What Business Owners Need to Know The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) has introduced new regulations that will impact business owners across the United... Prepare for More IRS Audits! The IRS is significantly enhancing its audit capabilities thanks to an infusion of $60 billion over the next ten years. This funding,... 9 Vital Financial Questions for People Over 40 As families transition from their 30’s to their 40’s and their 50’s to their 60’s, the role of financial planning shifts. Older couples... Penalty and Interest Considerations for the Upcoming Tax Season The deadline for taxpayers to file their 2023 individual tax returns or request an extension is Monday, April 15, 2024. Keep in mind that... "WE KNOW BETTER!" (Vanguard blocks Bitcoin) In a surprising turn of events, Vanguard, Northwestern Mutual, and Edward Jones have all decided that they must protect clients from... 9 Key Provisions of the Paid Leave for All Workers Act The Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act, effective January 1, 2024, guarantees nearly all workers in the state up to one week of paid... View More Stay up to date with the latest tax and market analysis. Subscribe to receive our weekly market and tax analysis. Site Title

  • Bundles | Monotelo Advisors

    Find the Best Package for Your Needs Pa Package offering Monthly Accounting Services Allocation of business transactions to correct accounts ​ Reconciliation of bank statements ​ Preparation of monthly Profit & Loss statement ​ Preparation of monthly Balance Sheet statement ​ Annual Corporate Tax Return preparation (Partnership or Corp) ​ Annual Report preparation and submission to Secretary of State ​ Officer Compensation Analysis ​ Quarterly estimated tax payments ​ Monthly Payroll ​ Federal 941 Quarterly Payroll Filing ​ State Quarterly Payroll Filing ​ Year-End 940 Payroll Filing ​ W-2 Issuance to Employees ​ 1099 Issuance to Independent Contractors ​ Client Portal Access ​ Determination of federal and state tax notices ​ Quarterly Conference Call ​ Estimated and Revised Annual P&L ​ Adjustments to Officer Compensation ​ Misc. Business and Accounting Issues ​ Personal 1040 Return Preparation ​ Financial Planning Services ​ Values & Vision ​ Family Strategic Plan ​ Cash Flow & Budget Planning ​ Distribution Planning ​ Employee Benefits Planning ​ Key Employee Compensation Planning ​ Personal Financial Statements ​ Social Security Claiming Strategy ​ Lifetime Tax Minimization Planning ​ Tax Projections Bookkeeping Bronze Gold Platinum Platinum Plus PRICE Starting At $125 Starting At $175 Starting At $275 Starting At $375 Starting At $475 Schedule a Meeting

  • How We Work with Clients

    How We Work with Clients Continue to article

  • Deducting Business Vehicle Expenses

    July 2019 SMALL BUSINESS TIPS Quarterly: Oct 17 Deducting the Business Use of Your Vehicle If you operate a small business and you drive regularly for that business you have two choices: you can either drive your personal vehicle and reimburse yourself for the business portion of the associated costs, or you can transfer the vehicle to the business and pay all of the associated costs directly from the business. Which of these options you choose depends on the vehicle and how you use it within the business. There are no inherent tax benefits to titling your vehicle into your business, in fact doing so limits your options in how you deduct the cost of that vehicle. However, when your vehicle is 100% business use then titling it to your company can simplify your record-keeping requirements and allow you to pay for your vehicle costs directly out of your business account. ​ The first step to decide where you should place ownership of your vehicle is to determine which vehicle cost deduction method is more beneficial in your situation. ​ Standard Mileage Rate vs Actual Expenses There are two primary methods for deducting the cost of using a vehicle for business purposes: The standard mileage rate method and the actual costs method. Standard Mileage With the standard mileage rate you can deduct a specific dollar amount for each business mile you drive during the year (for 2022 the standard rate is 58.5 cents per mile). The standard mileage rate is used more often since it only requires you to keep track of the miles you drive throughout the year and does not require records of any other expenses. However, the standard mileage rate can only be used for a vehicle that is in your personal name. If your vehicle is titled to your business, you are required to use the actual expense method.. Actual Expense With the actual expense method you can deduct your out of pocket costs for fuel, insurance, repairs, etc. You can also deduct the cost of the vehicle by depreciating it over its asset life (typically 5 years). The actual expense method requires much more thorough record-keeping. You need to keep track of each vehicle related expense throughout the year, and if you use the vehicle for both personal and business use then you also need to keep track of the total business and total personal miles for the year Choosing the Right Method If your vehicle title is in the name of your business you are required to use the actual expense method. However, if the title is in your personal name you can choose which method to use in the first year. You can switch methods in the following years, but there are additional restrictions to do so. It is in your best interest to take the time in the first year to determine which method will be more beneficial. ​ The standard mileage rate method is intended to simplify record-keeping requirements while still providing for an accurate deduction for the cost of using your vehicle in your business. To that end, in many cases the standard mileage rate method should provide the same or greater tax benefits as the actual expense method. However, there are specific factors that can make the actual expense method more beneficial: ​ Price of Car: Since you can deduct the cost of a car over several years with the actual expense method, a more expensive car increases the probability that the actual expense method will be more beneficial Fuel Efficiency: With the standard mileage rate you get the same deduction no matter how many miles you get per gallon, so a less efficient vehicle will eat away at a greater portion of your allowed deduction. Highway vs City: If you are driving primarily in a large city you are likely putting much fewer miles on your vehicle while still spending the same amount on car payments, insurance, etc. ​ If any of these factors apply to your situation then you may receive a greater benefit through the actual expense method. It is also worth noting that under the actual expense method you will receive a greater tax benefit in the first few years while you are depreciating the cost of the vehicle. Once the vehicle is fully depreciated your deduction will drop significantly. Under the standard mileage method your deduction will be relatively consistent subject only to small changes in the standard rate each year. ​ Summary If 100% of the use of your vehicle is for your business and you have large vehicle costs either from buying a newer car or driving mostly in the city, putting your vehicle title into your business can simplify your record-keeping requirements without sacrificing the benefits of the standard mileage rate method. If you use your vehicle for both personal and business needs or you drive an older vehicle with a low market value, you may want to keep it in your personal name to preserve the option to use the standard mileage rate. Previous Article Next Article

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