Firm Happenings and Financial News

Nov 30

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11/30/2015 4:44 PM  RssIcon

Thankful for Another Year

All of us here at Falco Sult hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. We are thankful for you -- our friends, family, co-workers, and clients.

For us, this time of year also means it's time for year-end tax planning. Something you could end up being very thankful you did since tax planning can minimize the impact of taxes on your personal finances. Please contact us if you have questions about how tax planning may benefit you. If we have done planning for you in years past, we'll be contacting you very soon to see if we can help again this year.

It is also time to start assembling information for year-end Form 1099 reporting, if necessary. Now would be a good time for you to request an updated Form W-9 from your vendors so that you have current information for completing these forms in January.

IRS Tax Tips for Deducting Gifts to Charity

The holiday season often prompts people to give money or property to charity. If you plan to give and want to claim a tax deduction, there are a few tips you should know before you give.

  1. Give to qualified charities. You can only deduct gifts you give to a qualified charity. Use the IRS Select Check tool to see if the group you give to is qualified. You can deduct gifts to churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and government agencies. This is true even if Select Check does not list them in its database.
  2. Keep a record of all cash gifts. Gifts of money include those made in cash or by check, electronic funds transfer, credit card and payroll deduction. You must have a bank record or a written statement from the charity to deduct any gift of money on your tax return. This is true regardless of the amount of the gift. The statement must show the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution. Bank records include canceled checks or bank, credit union and credit card statements. If you give by payroll deductions, you should retain a pay stub, a Form W-2 wage statement or other document from your employer. It must show the total amount withheld for charity, along with the pledge card showing the name of the charity.
  3. Household goods must be in good condition. Household items include furniture, furnishings, electronics, appliances and linens. These items must be in at least good-used condition to claim on your taxes. A deduction claimed of over $500 does not have to meet this standard if you include a qualified appraisal of the item with your tax return.
  4. Additional records required. You must get an acknowledgment from a charity for each deductible donation (either money or property) of $250 or more. Additional rules apply to the statement for gifts of that amount. This statement is in addition to the records required for deducting cash gifts. However, one statement with all of the required information may meet both requirements.
  5. Year-end gifts. Deduct contributions in the year you make them. If you charge your gift to a credit card before the end of the year it will count for 2015. This is true even if you don't pay the credit card bill until 2016. Also, a check will count for 2015 as long as you mail it in 2015.
  6. Special rules. Special rules apply if you give a car, boat or airplane to charity. If you claim a deduction of more than $500 for a noncash contribution, you will need to file another form with your tax return. Use Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions, to report these gifts. For more on these rules, visit Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on

Source: IRS Special Edition Tax Tip 2015-20

New Faces and New Roles at Falco Sult

Please help us welcome Todd, Elizabeth, Chris and Angad to the Falco Sult team! They bring a variety of expertise and experience that we look forward to passing along to our clients. We are excited to be working with them.

We'd also like to congratulate Lindsey McDowell and Megan Moes on their new positions within the firm.

Lindsey McDowell, CPA, MAFF, will now be serving as Prinicpal within the firm. She has been with Falco Sult since 2006. In addition to tax and financial reporting services,she provides Part-Time CFO services and has a strong focus in accounting, auditing and forensic accounting, recently having acquired her MAFF credential (Master Analyst in Financial Forensics).

Megan Moes is now a Senior Accountant. She joined Falco Sult in June of 2014 as a Staff Accountant and provides the firm's business and individual clients with tax and financial reporting services.

We know you will enjoy working with both Lindsey and Megan in their new capacities, as well as the services that Todd, Elizabeth, Chris, and Angad will be providing for you.

Tax Identity Theft Victims Can Now Get Copies of the Fake Returns Filed

Victims of tax identity theft can now ask for redacted copies of fake returns filed using their Social Security numbers. Don't expect a quick response though, especially if your identity theft case hasn't been resolved at the time of your request. IRS says it could take 90 days before you get the return, or a request for more information. Download a copy of the full instructions here.

This program is only available for individual returns, the 1040 series. Businesses aren't able to get copies of false returns filed under their tax ID numbers.

Business tax identity theft is a growing problem for the Revenue Service. Increasingly, fraudsters are filing bogus corporate, payroll and excise tax returns, among others, using stolen tax identification numbers and claiming false refunds.

According to a report by Treasury inspectors, the IRS can do more to detect and prevent fraud. For instance, information sharing agreements with states should be expanded to cover suspicious business returns, additional outreach to tax advisers and the business community is needed to promote awareness, and the IRS could make better use of a database of suspicious employer tax ID numbers.

Source: The Kiplinger Tax Letter, Nov. 20, 2015

Visit our Hopelink Giving Tree: Help Make a Child's Holiday Brighter

What is a Giving Tree? A giving tree is an opportunity for community members to help nearly 6,000 local children who receive gifts through Hopelink's Giving Rooms.

Please come by our office to pick a tag for the gift you want to donate, and then drop that gift off to us, unwrapped, by 5pm on Friday, December 11th. We'll be delivering all of the gifts to Hopelink the morning of December 14th.

And don't worry! If you can't make it to our office, you can still help via our "virtual" tree! Go here for a list of suggested gifts. Feel free to order something online and have it shipped to our office (16150 NE 85th Street, Suite 203, Redmond, WA 98052). As long as it arrives by December 11th, we'll make sure everything is delivered to Hopelink on time!

Thank you for your support and we hope you all have a happy and blessed holiday season.


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Falco Sult   |   16150 NE 85th St Ste 203, Redmond, WA 98052   |   425-883-3111   |   Login