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Tax Tips

Jan 31, 2014|

A discussion with Gilbert Gleason, a tax pro with H&R Block, about what you can do to make your tax-paying experience easier and to save yourself some money in the long run. www.hrblock.com

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

-- in an interest of the series of interviews with people of interest in northwest Oregon and southwest Washington I'm your host and Douglas. Well here we are into the new year bid -- it is getting closer and closer to the dreaded. Tax time did you get a closer April 15 we're going to have. Our stuff well. We either have to do as turning our taxes or at least a the extension or -- or -- -- about his taxes as you know. Are increasingly. More and more and more complicated soda can help. Kind of navigate through those murky waters. I went and got us a tax professional I have with the big Gilbert Gleason from H&R block how -- -- Gilbert. Fantastic thanks for coming on the show today. I would to get things kicked off lets give our listeners a little bit of background on yourself and how you came to be age are. -- Action would happen if I had a rather complicated tax return and I started struggling through a commonly known them. And so somebody is in the opposite one that you just take a class to learn how to do that sort -- the classroom. Realized how great I enjoyed it -- nice. So excited about doing tax your sister dread that time of the year for some. And I know people around -- Told all year long just waiting for taxis sycamore also think it is an -- there. -- there it is so probably just a giant math nerd at heart. -- -- -- -- Gonna talk about fourteen years and just have. Have learned to do it just really see the the need and the support we can have in terms of helping people through this whole maze of what we call it tax system. Vincent doesn't get any easier when you're on the inside kind of look at the the grand picture and then can see where things go and how it all fits together. These guys which you just learn the complexity up and how just how difficult it is something that's. That -- you would think could could be very simple because -- complex. -- -- Yeah -- -- I've tried to do my own taxes over the years and I was like I'm very confident this I got to do this just fine and then two years ago -- going to a tax professional and realized that I didn't know what the hell I was doing. Part of what we look at attorney getting help promote it from a professional. Is just not how long it takes us just how much of your time that we simply do -- for you because. If you sit down and go through all the books and all that type of thing you can take hours to do something that we can do in a relatively short amount of time. Well and also as I've found you know the areas where I can save little money or get a little more money money back where I don't you know I I answer the questions of the that this my ability that I don't know all of the rules as you do. That's -- and so sometimes we have to understand the questions that some decision what does that mean and and were able to understand that's what helps us to see. The types of things that are out there in terms of credits in terms of deductions and that type of thing that's that are helpful. So as we know when we look at the tax forms every year there's always sees little miniscule changes and over time those really add up there's. There's a lot of changes that happen year after year to the tax code one form or another. So going into this year preparing taxes is there anything different that really impacts everyone. Actually this year -- unique because there are very. They're really dark any significant changes the tax -- this year. So normally there are but this year there there are many of those. And so the the major angel's chief differently between this year and last cure are polite changes happening in your life had a personal life. So they -- America or stay out of a home purchase sir I'm headed to trial older it's a child. Went over the age of tax credits to those kind of things -- also the changes that really impacting your return this year. So no that you're looking at that if you had a one of those major life changes. Because I know -- -- my wife and I have had two two kids over the last five years. And that helped a lot to kiss this certainly does -- those very very nice. But then I also recently. In the last like three or four years started doing some freelance work outside of radio doing some writing work and stuff like that and kind of you know start my own business and are now open up a whole new can of worms and had a little different. Complexity for that is enough. Yeah and that's why -- go into professional grows like hey I think I'm missing some stuff here that I could be. Taking advantage of now we're we're past 2013 so all the money has been made this can be made in that years so is it to -- really for the average taxpayer to do anything to impact that situation. Thirteen things you can do wanted to make sure that you get all the information and all your receipts and everything so that when you recorded your recording -- -- -- leaky -- Take all the deductions and -- thinks that's one thing is just. To go back and be alert us to accumulate those records because the pirates really likes a paper trail collects those -- to complete so that's a big thing. And the other thing you can do is because they allow us to do individual retirement account or -- contributions up until April 15. That impact of last year's taxes so those -- be two big things you can do other than that what's done is done there is a delay in the in the firing. This year until January 31. And that's certainly that's a delayed Lendale -- he filed or electronically filed returns were actually doing returns right now. And when we get -- done now they get and they get a line in the first on line just. To get a refund so there's a delay in here and Pioline in the electronically filing when they accepted it. So there's a little bit of delay in getting in the reconstruction the first three -- will come out. I'm about the middle of February. And and so and so people really get their taxes done that's when they'll show up. The other part of it is certainly what you didn't give -- some -- in terms when you can file but they're not on the other -- right and that is the deadline is still April 15. So does that affect anyone in particular -- need to be watching out for that is it's just up and everybody needs to be aware of. It's something everybody needs to be aware of and it had -- -- a group of people who were the first ones in -- are those that are getting refunds and sometimes significant response -- used to having those. Usually were able to start. So January and they're getting their checks a person February and -- -- put in those people off a little bit put -- position so delayed that the world -- a little. And you said January 31 is putting -- prospective. Yes that's right and finally know -- right now just goes into Q and we wait just. Till they open the door and then and then an historic twelve and they go rendered cured him if you filed already then your personal and to get those reforms. Andrew we're we're we're recording this during the week but this this is airing on Sunday so we're already past that date so as of this point. You can go ahead and file. I try to undergoing and yes but if you saw a little bit of delay that's why -- trying to catch -- so old. Paperwork what do we need to get started. -- the first thing to look forest that is when when you get your mail normally those. Items that are specially -- really it will have on the front of the war for the envelope be important tax documents and those who think that you need to make sure you bring him. So there W two's 10992 different sorts 1098. Had all the things that have to do with the investments and mortgage interest and those kinds of things so that he can command. And then if you have a life changes I've I've had times where. Were up a family didn't forget they had a baby but they forgot to tell me they had. As you've just as you said that that's a significant Singh is ownership that there's a death in the family. We need to do oppose them. Another big one is when your when your children go to college. People forget that that has a major tax benefit -- and oftentimes is a major tax credit winner can go to college so those those kind of things look for sort of the tax documents and the receipts they have to do business ownership Percy it's regarding things like triple donations or taxes -- They care expenses those kinds of things. Their release specifically the taxes. Yeah -- part of would really help me if -- -- -- a tax professional and they get to be just joining us you listening to match your scope a series of interviews with people of interest to northwest organ in southwest Washington. I mean us Ted Douglas are speaking to a tax professional from HR -- name's Gilbert Gleason or kind of navigating some of the murky waters of the tax code and you -- ourselves prepared here during this taxis and the one of the things I noticed when I started you know carry myself as a as a business was I was very very ensure and it's the language in the tax code is very murky. About what you can. To -- as far as like home expenses. And the home office and all that stuff and it was quite terrifying to me. And that's actually what led me to go to a tax professional and go. I don't want to make this decision can you make this decision for me and -- very very helpful and figure out exactly what I could deducting couldn't deduct just. It seems like you to be like hello this is my opposition real deduct all -- -- now -- -- -- -- And that's right in the home office is what it is and some people say it's a red flag of people put all my office and there. It's more the chance to be nodded to one of the things they've done this year and this is for sure they've done it. Is the they have quotes of what's called safe harbor home office. And so rather than keeping track so I hope all you utilities for your home office and all your. Home mortgage interest in your rent and all that type that think they just give you sit -- took her home offices a certain amount you multiply that. And then they come out what is what facility and it'll it'll do with a lot of misuse of the home office I think a lot of pockets without. Let's -- great -- -- keep an eye out for that this year. Is that that that has been such a source of confusion from Miami you literally have to go and measure out the office and figure out what percentage of the home it is an annual percentage of the utilities and yet. I'm just keeping track of all those expenses. There are simple find that doesn't you can make it to a third choice to head as to whether keeping track of -- because you better or whether it's better to take it as a -- safe harbor -- Well and that's what I found an Indian of the business I have as I mentioned is just doing some but some writings and copyright work and -- like that. -- what I found was -- it's actually not. -- to do that deductions because my overhead is so very low. -- see her in a fight if I can charge them for my brain no bigger. -- so well what else should people be looking up for when they're -- and -- attacks broke. To what other paperwork should they have with them other than just -- beauty you know that didn't the tax documents -- in the mail. The best thing to remember is if you think we might need at its best to bring an end. It's easy for me to go through the papers that are there and saying no we don't need this we don't -- this -- not -- history is what we have to and it is for you to come and sit in front -- me and then. Halfway through the discussion -- -- or needed this cheese there Wallace had -- -- -- my my desk it's easier just to bring it in and then I can sort through it because I recognized. What the different papers -- easy for a protest -- go through and say this is useful this as a and so it's it's that's helpful the other thing we're finding. Is that there's so much it's there's so much more information on line that we can do. So you can -- mortgage statements online for example for your mortgage interest and and you can get from. Salute this familiar form from your program lined up at the pixel -- of more of those shirts are available online. But that's if you if you think we might need to bring in -- -- LP source true. He's a friend of mine that I work with that and old job who was CPA and Tenet did that on the side during tax season ahead she would always amuse us with fees. Stories of the piles of things people would bring him into -- sewed she would get stuck in my second garbage bag or what have your. Don't really give us a story. Can you give -- a good story over. Well or I have one I still haven't quite finished I've got about three boxes from him that we've we've sort of true we're trying to. Clean it all up and he's he's he has found. Still dispute with terrorists -- of years or trying to clean up and get taken care of -- While yeah it means is she regency yet people just literally come in with you know -- -- shoe boxes and garbage bags and things -- had just consider that snow. -- she makes sense that should tell. This. Fun stuff. So. Let's see here Lou we're going to. But. The. So mean that we're here in the first part of the year what does away or what is something that everyone can do right now to impact their taxes. And the things that attacks planner can help you protect professionals often times we look at last year. And help you sort out which are taxes -- I'm sure which -- getting back channel that. Apple wanted to thank the good tax professional can do for you this a look at this coming year and we often spent significant time amount of time Spanish speaker. Give -- small business like to do Ted we'll talk about. Who -- how much you play any non. I'm making this year do you see it going up and down do you see -- the same as last year. If you're gonna be made a lot more money we need to talk about things like -- estimated taxes which means. Starting to pay this year recorder next year's tax bill. So we can work through those kinds of things. We can also work through. If -- hit some indeed it's the season that you're gonna get some type of local lump sum up hurled some type I want my clients -- -- Go to them a -- settlement. Legal settlements settlement of sweet talked troop. How old -- oceans can get -- was a better to do one lump sum -- could could cheat. Would -- -- for texas' spurted out over a couple of years yeah that's a major part of what we can do. We also a lot of people home they do at W for once in their lifetime and that's when you -- on your first. Hard pressed to -- they -- you do before you tellem. How many people your your family and how many kids you have and they go through a cup I think they. From formula on how to. I don't play and how much taxes big cheers for the before. Is tells your employer how much tax to withhold -- in the year to pay for publishers taxes. So that next year when you -- taxes back. You're not getting too much or too little -- you hold don't know too much a lot of people don't even think about that but we can help you work through that and we can help you work through. Picture did you know a large refund. Maybe it's better to get some of that money during the year so that you can pay your bills on on -- -- basis rather than waiting for our large -- to come out -- middle of February. Or we can help people work through if -- from. If you see if you see that -- gonna hope we can help you think true -- portal we need to do. Even a poor person like yourself who has a small business. And we -- if you if we've politically manipulated W four. We can help to say okay -- gonna make this a certain amount of money in the small business rather than to an estimated taxes. He you have beards. You're current employer just -- little bit more money right has sold you glad to do this -- taxes you don't audience that you're support that we can work through. And help you think through the whole process of I hope I can we do tax planning and how can we make it's so there's not a sticker shock come when you come in the future taxes don't make sure those are some things that we can help can do. -- the first year that I started doing is ready business I had a fairly good year and at the end of the year I didn't realize. So much Texas -- it -- oh and it was a it was a terrifying amount and I you know certainly with the kids and stuff who was. Also a little bit by the amount we would have gotten back otherwise. But I you know -- you know many thousands of dollars and had -- get my my payments set out over the year and knew they were very go to work and with three over it but it really taught me a lesson so the last couple years I have been doing estimated payments going NN. Boy that's sure helps us. And when people have their own business what they're and you being your bureau Boston have your business is a wonderful thing and that's a very it's a good thing. But what people don't work recognizes and his comments so political self employment income. And nobody in the communal just pay federal income tax sustaining compact which -- -- self employment tax which is 50%. Right off the top and so. You have to if you do if you don't plan that in your process and you come back and like you said and you get you get the shock of all my word. You know how much of this that I made goes and attacks is also so that's quite helpful to -- thinking it has -- look you know what we're gonna do and and -- we can help people through their process. Fantastic so they did talk about the kind of work you do and again if you just joining us you listening to -- go a series of interviews with people of interest in northwest organ and southwest Washington I'm your host Ted Douglas and my guest today is HR block tax probe. Gilbert Gleason in Gilbert police and put that name I think he should be a superhero. You've got one of those illiterate names. Yeah or maybe this insurance tax superhero you can make. I -- so well a lot of people that are listen isn't sure have not used a tax professional themselves have to have done this on their own. If there is looking to go into that world that's kind of -- just some expectations. Of what they're looking that. As far as the type of charge they should -- tomorrow. Like what's a rip off what's a good deal -- -- -- To do that to do a simple returns. Just at 1040. Can be hit and that's at 1040 -- -- is a -- years has about eighty dollars to do that -- time to do that federal and state. And then they go from that and usually depends on the complexity of the return the price depends on the complex or return him to ask me to return this kind of like -- mechanic when you take your. You don't get it makes a funny noise how much is gonna cost communicative -- right and then you'd and they say well I kind of have to look at myself and do all this all that type of things look pretty hard to do an estimated. Sure I used to work in sales and great news to say was a -- would come in and ask you know how much was at the for the stuff we sold. We used to say there was like asking how big is a dog. That's right yes that's right so we recognize that we provide a service. That doesn't and the -- that goes with fit. Step more than compensates for the cost. -- because we recognize that have been a professional group Karen Keyes their work who knows what they're doing who's available year round and who's responsible for what they put on their return. He is important and worth the price and often times we can -- people more money in helping them. And making that keeping from what they -- taxes. And what it costs for -- to get -- right so sometimes people look at a price and they'll say oh my word. And you put it like to see Cuba five times that amount of money. And sold. Or even if it's -- into being a washed and it's still so much less stress for yourself. That's right it's less stress and -- more Packard and you void and there's nothing worse -- get in a letter permanent Peres saying you know here's what we found. And so we try to. To help to offset those and then if they do have a have a different with us we go to bat. To help you work through that difference and so that's the benefit of the tech professionals hoping to work through all of that group -- think that. Preferred determined that an individual does need to realize is you know tax professional help you through the whole system and we have guarantees we stand behind to work and that's the -- professional wanna -- course from a legal stand behind their work. But even even in addition to and that the tax free is legally responsible for the information on their return. Canceling the -- come back and says why is this in your return you can't take. What a professional put it on there you say OK this is what I told a professional put on -- and so that -- were responsibly individuals responsible for what is on the return. Right so let's talk about and another area that's little murky little -- for people. Is charitable giving and what can claim we can't claim. The biggest thing -- charitable giving is you need to be that person has -- or church or all of perturbed organization. So the money you give even took some time soon something will happen and they'll say okay there's. Fund certain setup or go to local bank turned toward certain individual giving to that does is not a terrible donation. Given the people on the corner -- -- -- does not that your -- donation and has to be a church hurt or qualified charitable organizations. And yet to be substantiate. What you gave him so different over 250 dollars that. First single gift that -- he has to give -- -- and contribution are written notice. If it's less of that you have to have receipts or canceled checks or something to substantiate a soul. It's it's so wonderful. Opportunity yes and it's a wonderful tax break -- you have to be will substantiate any of the given that you did. And so if something I've always wondered about if there's that never use these raising but. You take something back to goodwill and they give you a little slip that day you know he's -- put a price on that estimates how much you gave you say that they do you need to do over 250 dollars and one gift so. How does that work. So what know what that is is security gift to write him a check up well for 300 dollars. They're required to give your receipt. Indicated publish that check was and for what purpose or was hacked and that she didn't give me your personal benefit from it. If you going to goodwill and you give them 500 dollars worth of stuff. They don't have to give your receipt. Signifying how much that is. What they have available some of these places have actually on the web sites they held full listing of estimated value of different articles that you give. So you can wonder -- upside and then if you just take that sheet. And you specify repeat these -- that this is what I gave him summit. I've seen people just -- and hand right -- I've seen people actually. Do spreadsheets just say this is what they gave in this sort of value and that type of thing it does help to list the kind of -- she gave and put them in just even in -- General value on those because -- -- and audit the values they just won -- -- How much do you give them as they're really reasonable to take a 300 dollar deduction. I mean if you gave me you know creep. -- is -- quality they're saying now just because you got a receipt of the -- 300 dollars so that's where they want to have a decreased -- substantiate what you gave. I say I say. Because I had at night and we can move in the last year and then we actually had a lot of baby clothes and things like that we gave them. Basically moves and we've told the -- -- my truck was docked into your goodwill so I imagine that's worth itemize and. And that adds up to edit the credibility yeah those type of things. All right and we're coming appear on the end of our time but I wanted to cover one last thing before we go but what is one deduction that you don't see a lot of people taken advantage of that they could and should be. One of them is job search expenses. -- people begin looking for work chemical and we've we have people that are just really into you know they have to have a job and -- in this economy they're out there -- doing. And so little more -- places some -- using. Professional placement services to -- herald are putting money Derosa made development. Those kinds of expenses can be itemized. And there's a limit on kind of the bottom end of depth but a -- if they've become significant. -- on demand usually people don't don't take advantage of. Right so I could then that's actually and you know given to giving the situation we're in here with the jobs I'm sure there are a lot of people that could take advantage of that. Yes that's right because there are a lot of people. Scored who were out there and candor and they're spending a significant amount of time which can't deduct. Put a simple and sometimes significant. Number expenses to go along with that. Yeah well yes you have to do everything you can -- stand out in front of the next. You sure do it's hard -- -- coupled part of the person may really need to hire. That's right well thank you so much for joining us on the -- take over. -- if anybody would like you to look into using a tax professional and certainly H&R block has been around for ever and and has a real good work you couldn't. Find out more about them at HR block dot com bring Gilbert works Gilbert police indeed do you wanna say which location Europe. I met the main location on sandy boulevard and 27 avenue. So were so many -- you like -- -- was saying go get him up and particularly given some business this tax season. And best luck to everybody with all of that hit it it can be simple it can be a nightmare who knows where you are close to be taken to a tax professional they know. Just how to weave through all of this craziness all these tax goes. Luckily -- like there's not a whole lot of change from last year but you never know what you may have been missing to save yourself a little money. Thanks again so much Cooper for joining -- that I. All right that'll do it for this edition of nature scope and Entercom communications public affairs program I'd -- in your host Ted Douglas. If given nonprofit or public affairs organization they would like to let others know about please email me at metro scope and intercom dot com and intercom starts -- an. And please put microscope in the subject line so it doesn't get snagged by my spam filter. Or go directly to the station's website click on the community Lincoln to make your information there. Also be like to hear this program again he can visit our podcast page of mattress co PX dot com where you'll find this in the last couple months for the episodes. And please feel free to post -- your FaceBook you MySpace your blog Twitter your Google+ whatever you got. Was trying get this information out to his many people as possible we'll break you again Gilbert thank you all so much for listening. This is then met your scope.