Richard A. Lindsey, CPA

Lindsey & Waldo, LLC – Certified Public Accountants

  • Aug 19

    Between the time I write this and you read it 2011 SEC Media Days will have come and gone. And you know what that means don’t you… the unofficial start of college football season is just around the corner.

    You know how good coaches are usually famous for making adjustments during halftime of big games? Well, here I am… acting as your financial coach in tax related matters and we’ve just hit halftime for 2011.

    You have six months of financial information to use for some quick math (I know, I know, it’s a four letter word, but bear with me) about your year as a whole, and to prepare for a pleasant upcoming tax season.

    To begin, all you have to do is take your income for the first half of the year and multiply by two. Add up your wages, retirement, dividends, interest, business and rental income, and then – if this represents your best guess about what you’re expecting for the second half – double it.

    Once you have your estimated 2011 income, give us a call (or send an email) and we’ll help you determine the appropriate tax rate and deductions to apply. Because once you’re armed with this info, we can help you determine the amount of taxes you might expect to owe for 2011.

    After comparing this against your projected withholding or estimates, you can adjust them for the remainder of the year, and ensure you have a happy visit to our office next year.

    This can also be a good time to organize your financial records and/or get started with some financial software such as Quicken or Microsoft Money. Getting organized now can make gathering a report of all those deductions a breeze come tax time!

     

  • Aug 5

    The Internal Revenue Service recently announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rates for the second half of 2011. You may use the optional mileage rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating a vehicle for business or other purposes. 

    The rate will increase to 55.5 cents a mile for all business miles driven from July 1, 2011, through December 31, 2011. This is an increase of 4.5 cents from the 51 cents in effect for the first six months of 2011.

    In recognition of recent gasoline price increases, the IRS made this special adjustment for the final months of 2011. The IRS normally updates the mileage rates once a year in the fall for the next calendar year.

    “This year’s increased gas prices are having a major impact on individual Americans. The IRS is adjusting the standard mileage rates to better reflect the recent increase in gas prices,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “We are taking this step so the reimbursement rate will be fair to taxpayers.”

    While gasoline is a significant factor in the mileage figure, other items enter into the calculation of mileage rates, such as depreciation and insurance and other fixed and variable costs.

    The optional business standard mileage rate is used to compute the deductible costs of operating an automobile or light truck for business use in lieu of tracking actual costs. This rate is also used as a benchmark by the federal government and many businesses to reimburse their employees for mileage.

    The new six month rate for computing deductible medical or moving expenses will also increase by 4.5 cents to 23.5 cents per mile, up from 19 cents for the first half of 2011. 

     

    Mileage Rate Changes  
    Purpose Rates 1/1 through 6/30/11 Rates 7/1 through 12/31/11
    Business 51 55.5
    Medical/Moving 19 23.5
    Charitable 14 14

     

    You always have the option of calculating the actual costs of operating your vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.