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November 14 2017 | Posted in General

Let me look into my crystal ball....

Please come in and sit down. The all powerful Ricardo the Magnificent will tell you your future. May I have your first question please?

All Mighty Ricardo, will the tax laws be different in 2018? I see compromise after compromise and no real change for the better in the years to come. This information comes less from my crystal ball and more from my knowledge of Washington.

Your All Knowingness, will my kids get scholarships so I don’t have to save for college? My crystal ball shows me average grades with no sports talent. Time to get your 529 plans going for both of them. If you end up borrowing to put them thru college, the interest may not be deductible.

Oh Fountain of Knowledge, will I have enough money saved for a comfortable retirement? What is this I see? You are sharing the basement at your son’s house and have the night shift at the local QFC. Not funding your 401k to the maximum will leave you short in the retirement department.

Everything sounds so bleak Lord of Light, please offer me hope in the future. By meeting with your CPA on a regular basis and paying his fees timely and with appreciation, I see smooth tax seas ahead for you.

One more question Guardian of the Truth: Will the Mariners ever win the World Series? A very good question in deed. I have good news and bad news for you. The Mariners will win the world series in 2022—the bad news is you will be watching it in that basement I mentioned before.

Thanks for listening and I will talk at you again.

August 10 2017 | Posted in General

Tax laws—Tax laws, where art thou tax laws??

Is this the craziest first year of a new president that you have ever seen? I am amazed each time I listen to the radio or watch the news.

I keep thinking at some point congress and the president will focus on important issues that can help this country but instead it is all “Russia this and Russia that—Obama Care this and Obama Care that”.

My clients continue to ask me for advise on tax issues and my crystal ball is as cloudy as our smoke filled skies. I know what the Trump plan is. The problem is when will it be enacted (if it is ever enacted) and how much compromise will occur.

We just have to continue with the laws that are in place and hope that no retroactive application of the law is part of the bill. If that is the case, we can move forward knowing what the law is and plan accordingly.

Just recently, I met with a client who’s attorney put his assets in a trust and moved title out of his name. All of this in anticipation of laws that have not passed.

Should estate laws pass that could hurt my client, the attorney will look like a hero. However, should the estate tax be eliminated, all this work and all the fees will have been wasted.

The laws that are in place currently should be reasonably safe until the end of the year, but I thought that about my first marriage.

Thanks for listening and I will talk at you again.

June 7 2017 | Posted in General

Mariner baseball and changes to the tax laws!

As tax season fades and the baseball season is a third in the books, we start to invest in both.

We as sure that the Mariners are going to finish last since they started out losing most of their first 10 games. Then, we are more optimistic when they get back to playing 500 baseball.

Doesn’t take long until our four best pitchers are injured and fall back 10 games only to later go on to win 9 of our last 10 games.

The same can be said of the various tax laws that have been floated by the president and congress. We tell our corporate clients, hang in there and when those rates on corporate profits drop, you will want to be a corporation.

However, with all the noise going on in Washington DC, I’m unclear if any significant tax laws will be passed. Certainly not in the near future so what is the strategy for my clients—both individuals and entities?

Rely on the laws we currently have for decisions in the next year or two and then we might have a better idea. Will Capital gains go down—will the estate tax go away—will rates fall on all types of returns? The Trump plan has all of these things happening.

Just like Mariner Baseball. We want them to win—we root for them to win—and we believe they will win. The question is always WHEN?

To use some of the old George Bush lines that Dana Carvey did so well, my advice is to:

“Stay the course”

Significant changes “Wouldn’t be prudent at this juncture”

It’s kind of hard without the hand gestures!!

Thanks for listening and I will talk at you again.

February 18 2017 | Posted in General

Sometimes you only think you’re the boss!

Anew year, a new address and a new logo. Tax season is upon us and my staff is working hard to get all the return in and out as fast and as accurate as possible.

They are a very smart and likeable group of accountants and I feel a little guilty when I take credit for all their hard work. Remember, I said a little guilty.

Every once in a while I get a little to full of myself. Just recently, one of the CPA’s who works here came to me and said; “The painters what to know which end of the office to start doing the touch up work on?”.

Well I immediately came out of my office and told her; “I’m not sure why they are asking you these questions, let me talk to them and you can get back to what you were doing”!.

She walked me down the hall and up to the painter and as she started back to her office she said to the man “el jefe”.

I know enough Spanish to realize she told the man that I’m the boss. And, I believe there was just a little bit of “what are you going to do now” in her voice.

My response was to talk loud when I told him what I needed him to do because that certainly works when you’re not fluent in a language. It didn’t take long before I asked for help from my bilingual accountant who handled the whole thing with minimal input from me.

Duly noted—I was not really in charge of that situation. However, I was pleased to know that we have now added Spanish to the Chinese, Korean, Russian, and French that staff here at the office are fluent in.

Please come visit us at our new offices—1407 116th Avenue NE #222. If you are on the corner of 12th and 116th, you will see our signs on the building. We love to have visitors, even during tax season.

Remember our phone number and emails will not change!!!

Thanks for listening and I will talk at you again.

Blog written by:
Rick Walter, CPA

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