No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined. – Harry Emerson Fosdick

It’s pretty crazy that we’re already nearing the end of July! Is it just me, or is time really flying by? More than halfway through 2009…

Well, I often try to avoid discussing taxes with you in these personal notes. I find that too many tax professionals and accountants are so full of tax jargon, that the regular family just ends up buried in a blizzard of gobbledy-gook.

I hope you can already tell that I take a different approach :). And, of course, it’s our JOB (and our true pleasure at my firm) to take care of most of that stuff on your behalf in the first place!

But I did want to make some suggestions this week for how you can plan ahead NOW to avoid getting nailed next tax season.

That’s my subject for this week’s Personal Strategy Note…read on, and leave your feedback or questions!

“Real World” Personal Strategy

Tax Cutting Tips For The Summer

Here are just a few summertime tax-saving ideas to consider:

* If spring cleaning left you with outgrown clothing and household items you no longer use, donate them to charity. Items in good used condition qualify for a tax deduction.

* If you and your spouse work, consider sending your children to a summer day camp. The cost may qualify for the dependent care tax credit.

* If you operate an unincorporated business, consider hiring your children to work for you this summer. You can deduct reasonable wages paid to them for the work they perform, and there’s no social security tax on their wages if they are under age 18.

* Summer is great for entertaining customers or clients. Keep records of the cost, the date, who was entertained, and what the business purpose was. However, your tax deduction is limited to 50% of your cost.

* Combine business with your summer travel, and you may be able to take a tax deduction for the business portion of your costs.

Need To Make Some Home Improvements?

Make energy efficiency changes and you might be able to cut your 2009 tax bill at the same time.

The 2009 tax law signed in February expanded energy tax credits in order to encourage homeowners to make improvements that will make their homes more energy-efficient and save money over the long run.

Qualifying improvements – such as adding insulation, energy-efficient exterior windows, and energy-efficient heating and air conditioning systems – could cut your taxes. Previously the credit for energy improvements was 10% of the cost, with a $500 lifetime limit. The new law increases the credit to 30%, with a $1,500 limit.

The new law also eliminates the cap on the 30% tax credit for alternative energy equipment, such as solar water heaters and geothermal heat pumps installed in homes.

For details and guidance in maximizing the enhanced energy credits for your home improvement projects, give us a call. We’re here to help you benefit from every available tax break!

Hope this helps!

To a LOW tax bill for you!911 Mysteries Part 1: Demolitions hd