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The Bean Counter with Ann M Irons, CPA


Tax Year 2018  Corporate/Individual Tax Returns

Should You Hire a CPA to Prepare Your 2014 Taxes?

Posted by Ann Irons, CPA

Dec 29, 2014 11:12:00 AM

There is plenty of debate concerning the pros and cons of doing your taxes by yourself. In some ways, it could help you save the money that you would otherwise pay a professional.

Yet, the truth is that it could prove more costly and time-consuming if you make any mistakes while filing your taxes.

To help you better understand the debate, and get the most out of your tax return, we examine a few of the top reasons to hire a CPA to do your taxes for you. 

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Topics: Individual Income Taxes

Common Mistakes When Filing Your Taxes

Posted by Ann Irons, CPA

Dec 22, 2014 4:45:00 PM

To help people save time and return their taxes by the April deadline, there are several options that help guide you through filing your own taxes quicker and more conveniently.

Unfortunately, quick doesn’t always equate to accurate, and a quick guide cannot adequately teach you the many laws, codes, standards, and deductions that you should know before filing.

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Topics: Individual Income Taxes

Tax Planning Advice for Real Estate Lawyers

Posted by Ann Irons, CPA

Nov 13, 2014 5:06:00 PM

Like any business owner, a real estate lawyer who practices independently may be eligible for certain deductions when filing a tax return.

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Topics: Individual Income Taxes

International Tax Tips: Filing as an Immigrant

Posted by Ann Irons, CPA

Oct 20, 2014 10:22:00 AM

If you are a resident or non-resident alien earning income in the United States, you can expect to pay taxes to the IRS.

Depending on your status, you may not be able to use the same requirements and forms as someone who is a US citizen.

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Topics: Individual Income Taxes, International Tax

International Tax Tips: Foreign Tax Credit Compliance

Posted by Ann Irons, CPA

Sep 30, 2014 3:55:00 PM

The Foreign Tax Credit can be used to reduce tax paid on income that is taxed both by the United States and a foreign country. Claiming the credit can save you thousands of dollars, but only if you can provide adequate documentation. For this reason, it’s advisable to work closely with an international tax preparer in Bellingham, MA, says Ann Irons.

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Topics: Individual Income Taxes, International Tax

Talking Taxes: Foreign Income for Expats (Part 2 of 2)

Posted by Ann Irons, CPA

Sep 18, 2014 12:50:00 PM

In our last post, Ann Irons, CPA shared two essential tax breaks for expatriates filing international taxes in Bellingham, MA: the Foreign Tax Credit and the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. Today, we’ll look at foreign currency gain and reducing the value-added tax.

Foreign Currency Gain

Even the relative value of the USD and your new home country may be subject to taxation. For example, suppose you’re a US citizen residing in Japan, and while there you’ve purchased stock valued at $1,000. Over the next few years, the value of your stock neither increases nor decreases, but the value of the US dollars decreases while the value of the yen increases dramatically. You decide to sell the stock, but you end up with more USD than you paid for the original purchase. This profit must be documented on your income tax forms.

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Topics: Individual Income Taxes, International Tax

Talking Taxes: Foreign Income for Expats (Part 1 of 2)

Posted by Ann Irons, CPA

Sep 16, 2014 12:48:00 PM

Relocating is a stressful and complicated process even if you’re only moving a few blocks away. For someone who opts to live abroad, these concerns are compounded by international tax requirements. Whether you’re considering a job-related move or a (very) extended vacation, you’ll need international tax planning in Bellingham, MA. Ann Irons, a Massachusetts CPA, shares a two-part guide to navigating tax planning for expatriates.

An Eye-Opening Requirement

Believe it or not, just because you live outside of the United States doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be required to continue paying your taxes to the IRS. If you earn foreign income, this rule applies—even if you’re also paying taxes to the country or countries in which you’re staying. As far as the IRS is concerned, residents and citizens alike can be taxed on their worldwide income, not just income earned within the United States. Your host country may or may not require worldwide income reporting. For example, Canada does not have a similar requirement for its citizens.

Fortunately, multiple tax breaks are available from the IRS, reducing the amount of long-distance taxes you can expect to pay.

Foreign Tax Credit

After a prolonged amount of time (six months for most countries), you will be expected to pay taxes to the country in which you’ve taken residence. This means you’ll also be paying the US; this is called double taxation, and our tax code permits a foreign tax credit. First, you’ll look at the tax rates for the US and your country of residence. Subtract the lower rate from the higher rate, and pay the amount of the higher tax rate, divided evenly among the US and the other country.

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

As an expatriate, you may be eligible to claim the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. Effective 2013 and on, you may exclude as much as $97,600 of your foreign-earned income. However, you must first be able to prove that you have lived in your country of residence outside the US for a minimum of 330 days. These 330 days must fall within a consecutive 12-month period. Irons adds that you cannot claim this inclusion if you are living on the high seas, or if you are living somewhere with no government, such as the continent Antarctica.

Questions about filing taxes as an expatriate? To learn more about international taxes, or to schedule a consultation with Ann Irons, CPA, LLC, contact us at (508) 966-0700. We welcome businesses, individuals, and law practices based in and around Bellingham, Woonsocket, Medway, Milford, and the surrounding areas.

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Topics: Individual Income Taxes, International Tax

Tuition and Tax Tips for College Students and Parents

Posted by Ann Irons, CPA

Aug 4, 2014 12:02:00 PM

As local universities gear up for the start of the fall semester, college students and their parents are making preparations, too. College isn't just an adjustment to your way of life; it's also the start of a major financial obligation -- one that, if poorly managed, could find you paying student loan debt for decades to come. Ann Irons, a CPA who prepares tax returns for students in Bellingham, MA, shares tax tips for the coming school year.

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Topics: Individual Income Taxes

Fido, the Financial Windfall: Tax Breaks for Animal Lovers

Posted by Ann Irons, CPA

Jun 18, 2014 10:52:00 AM

They may not sit down at the dinner table with us or send letters from summer camp, but most pet owners consider their animals to be part of the family. This raises an interesting question. If we can claim expenses for raising children and providing care to other eligible dependents, can we also deduct expenses related to the care and maintenance of our pets? Absolutely, under certain circumstances, says Ann Irons, CPA. Irons, who provides financial planning and preparation of income taxes in Bellingham, MA.

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Topics: Individual Income Taxes, Personal Finance

Number Crunching for Contractors: A Freelancer’s Guide to Taxes from a Boston CPA

Posted by Ann Irons, CPA

Jun 16, 2014 10:49:00 AM

Pursue your passion. Set your own hours. Come and go (mostly) as you please. What’s not to love about working as an independent contractor?

Despite its advantages, freelancing also comes with a unique set of challenges. In exchange for the flexibility and autonomy of contracting,

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Topics: Individual Income Taxes, International Tax

About Ann M. Irons, CPA LLC

ann_irons_head_shotAnn spent over 25 years in the financial service industry, gaining knowledge and experience that allows her to provide an array of tax, bookkeeping, and accounting services for her clients. Relying on a stringent code of ethics and a dedication to maintaining the highest industry standards, Ann works hard to ensure her clients receive the quality service they’ve come to expect. A member of AICPA and MSCPA, Ann has also had an article featured in the renowned publication, Banker and Tradesman. 

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