Four Common IT Questions with Stan Kirby (4/08)
In today’s video we share some answers and insights to common IT Questions we receive.
1. What is layered security and why is it important?
2. What is threat monitoring software?
3. Why is it important to restart my computer?
4. What are your thoughts on Windows 11?
Watch this video for answers from Stan, and insight on how these questions might affect you.
March Tax Season Update - with Jon Sluis (3/25)
We had no idea how widely our videos were watched, but as you can see from today’s video, our viewers are all over! (Grab your popcorn, and make sure you watch to the end!)
Jon’s update today is full of helpful pieces of information you don’t want to miss.
Thank you so much for your patience during this compressed tax season. This is one of the hardest weeks for us. Many of you have your returns already, but we are still working through a lot of them, and most of you have your information in.
• It took a little longer to get statements from banks, investment accounts or other institutions, and without an extended tax deadline it makes for a lot of compression!
• We are running about 3 weeks out.
• If we haven’t reached out or communicated with you in the next week or so, please give us a call to check in. Many of you are still rounding up information.
• Many banks and schools are not sending hard copies of documents, and they are expecting you to retrieve them online. So, if you had something last year, you probably do this year, and it may be online.
• The biggest thing is to plan for how much you may owe or a decreased refund. We are seeing this in two ways:
– The advanced payment on the Child Tax Credit is just a prepayment on your amount due at the end of the year.
– Many businesses did well in 2021. That impacts 2022. This means increased taxes for this year and estimates in 2022 are probably going to be bigger. Make sure you plan and budget for this.
• Reminder: HSAs, IRAs and year-end items must go in by April 18th. Give yourself and your financial advisors time to get those in for you.
• If you don’t have your information in to us yet, there is a good chance that we’ll need to file an extension for you. Keep in mind that an extension on the return is not an extension to pay, but an extension to file. So, if you’re going to owe you’re going to have to pay that in April when we file the extension. We will run through some generic numbers with you to make sure you have that amount paid, otherwise you will be subject to penalties and interest.
What Is RMM & Why Do We Need It? (3/03)
At InSolutions, our tech team, Insight Digital, stays busy keeping our computers safe. In today’s video Stan Kirby will be explaining RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management), what it does, and why we need it.
RMM services are provided by several MSPs (Managed Service Providers) around the area.
We find that working with an MSP, using RMM helps keep our business running smoothly.
The purpose of this video is to explain what RMM does and why we use it so that our clients can determine if RMM (and working with an MSP) might be beneficial.
Whether you work with Insight Digital or another MSP, we hope you find the information helpful.
Be on the lookout for future videos from Stan explaining security monitoring software, phishing and other IT topics.
February Tax Season Update - with Jon Sluis (2/25)
Tax season is in full swing, and today Jon gives us an update now that February is almost over.
- • Sales and Use Tax Deadline (February 28)
- • It is normal for documents to still trickling in from government agencies and various reporting agencies.
- • Don’t be afraid to drop documents off once you have most of your items pulled together even if you don’t have everything.
- • Business tax return filing deadline is March 15 (multi-member LLCs, S-Corps…) Make sure you get your information to us with enough time before the deadline!
- • The individual return filing deadline is April 18th. We enjoy this time of year since this is when we get to see everyone!
Our office is open – you may drop documents off, or use the portal or secure file sharing links. We enjoy this time of year since this is when we get to see everyone! Our office is open – you may drop documents off, or use the portal or secure file sharing links (link to both here!) Watch the whole (short) video below to get the full scoop!
Business Spotlight: Grocer's Daughter Chocolate (2/18)
A few times a year we like to share a business spotlight to encourage and inspire other business owners and showcase small businesses in our area. We hope this brings fresh ideas, a sense of community, and a way to grow and learn from each other.
We are happy to share with you our interview with Jody Hayden of Grocer’s Daughter in Empire. Jody and her husband, DC purchased Grocer’s Daughter in 2013, and Jody shares the story of their store, along with a behind-the-scenes look at their specialty chocolate with valuable business wisdom along the way.
Click here to watch other videos in our Business Spotlight series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJ21xKNJxWg&list=PLoO8k2ia7E8TPbPlnHPDP-V0tLY7XL-UB
Network & Computer Security - How to Protect Yourself (2/4)
We live in a highly digital world. Even in our firm we use mostly digital documents, email, portals and online services.
We want to give you some good practices in order to stay safe and not fall prey to bad actors out to get your private information.
Our very own Stan Kirby goes over:
• keeping your computer patched and up-to-date
• backing up frequently
• educating yourself on phishing attacks
• having good anti-virus / anti-malware software
• using good password habits
Check out this video and be on the lookout for future videos where we break down these pieces even further! Stay safe out there!
Intrust CPA - January 2022 Update (1/28)
In today’s video we go over some items to remember as you get your paperwork together for tax season, including:
• Be sure to keep Letter 6419, Advance Child Tax Credit Reconciliation
• Don’t forget to look online for your electronic statements (1099s from brokerage accounts or retirement draws, HSA statements, tuition statements…)
• Tax planning thoughts within the volatile market
• State of Michigan thoughts
• Tax considerations in light of current inflation
Deadlines Approaching Soon (1/13)
Today we’re discussing important dates to remember for the beginning of 2022.
The IRS has set the tax filing start date as January 24th. We are already gearing up on our end! You should have received your tax planner in the mail or your portal if you are opted in. If you have not, just give us a call and we will get you squared away.
The filing date for 1099s is January 31st, so if you paid anyone over $600 for services or rents, a 1099 needs to be filed.
If you are an employer, the deadline for sending W-2 forms to employees is also January 31st.
And lastly, if you are a registered business owner in the state of Michigan, don’t forget your business registration has to be renewed every year with the state. That filing deadline is coming up on February 15th.
As always, please contact us if you have any additional questions!
Good Financial Habits for 2022 (1/10)
These are the days for setting goals and establishing habits. So we thought we would give you some ideas for a few financial habits that will set you up for a successful year! Let us know which ones you are incorporating!
1. Create a spending and saving plan.
2. Commit to updating your financial records at least once a month.
3. Track expenses and mileage.
4. Saving for retirement / college/ capital expenditure / taxes on a monthly basis.
5. Discuss your tax planning strategy with your accountant.
End of Year Tax Planning: Cryptocurrency (12/16)
It’s safe to say that most people have heard the buzz around cryptocurrency. It can sound make-believe, complicated, intriguing, or scary depending on what you know or don’t know about it. Some won’t even consider utilizing cryptocurrency, others have launched headlong into using it.
We aren’t here to debate the merits of cryptocurrency or which particular coin is better than another. However, there are a few tax implications that are important for you to understand before jumping in.
In this video Jon talks about tax planning items related to cryptocurrency that should be considered before the end of the year:
• the difference between cryptocurrency and a physical currency
• tracking of cryptocurrency transactions
• foreign disclosure requirements
To read Jon’s article in the Traverse City Business News on cryptocurrency and its tax implications, click here!
Time-Sensitive Year-End Tax Planning Reminders (12/9)
2021 is winding down, and if you haven’t wrapped up some of these tax planning items, it’s important to do that soon!
Many of these things have to be done before the end of the calendar year, and with Christmas and New Year’s coming, you want to give yourself enough time.
These items include :
- • Contributions to a SIMPLE IRA or 401k
- • Using FSA and Dependent Care accounts
- • Converting IRAs
- • Charitable contributions
- • Required Minimum Distributions
- • Harvesting losses or capital gains
- • and more
FYI: Advance Child Tax Credit (11/18)
We wanted to send a reminder about the Advance Child Tax Credit that many of you are receiving. This advance payment is an advance on a credit that you have probably gotten in the past based on the Child Tax Credit.
You don’t need to DO anything at this point, but we want you to know that if you are used to getting a big refund, some of that refund came to you each month so you should not expect as large of a refund. If you are used to paying in, chances are you will have to pay more in because you got an advance during the year.
The credit did go up, so it’s not dollar for dollar, but make sure you think through this, do some tax planning, and give us a call if you would like to discuss your particular situation.
Charitable Giving: Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy (11/8)
We continue our discussion on charitable giving with a conversation with Laura Rigan – Farmland Program Manager for the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy.
Partnering with the Land Conservancy through the creation of a land easement allows individuals to protect land and natural resources while also providing tax-saving benefits to the landowner.
Charitable Giving: Community Foundation (10/29)
In this video Jon sits down with Alison Metiva, Vice President, Donor Engagement and Operations for the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation.
Jon and Alison discuss
- what the Community Foundation does,
- the advantages of donor-advised funds from a tax standpoint,
- how your donation through the Foundation can impact generations.
Donating through your local community foundation not only decreases your tax burden, but is also a great way to make a difference in your area.
For information about Donor Advised Funds: Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation – Donor Advised Funds PDF
Charitable Donations and Tax Considerations (10/22)
In the coming weeks we will be talking about several ways to give charitably, and what tax benefits come along with that. Today, Jon covers:
- Cash donations (including something special for 2021 that you’ll want to know about!)
- Donating appreciated stock Tune in to hear which is Jon’s favorite!
As always, let’s talk about any questions that come up after watching this week’s video!
Minimize Taxes in Your Small Business (10/14)
No one likes paying taxes, so when you are starting a new business a logical question is, “How do I minimize taxes?”
In this week’s video, Jon discusses mindsets and strategies new business owners can employ in order to minimize taxes, including:
- – entity structure
- – banking setup
- – record keeping
- – and more
P.S. We know not everyone loves tax planning as much as we do, but we tried to make it entertaining! See if you can identify the movie clips we used!
Tax Planning in Retirement (10/7)
This week we are discussing tax planning in retirement. A lot of tax planning we do is based on active income, but as you approach retirement and during the retirement years we need to tax plan using strategies that come into play specifically when you don’t have earned income. The two main points Jon talks about are:
• Having consistent income
• The shift of ownership but not control
The key is planning, so make sure you are having conversations with us to make plans for these important retirement years. Tune in to this short video to hear more details.
Tax Planning for a High Profit Year (9/23)
In an unexpected high-profit year, business owners may have exhausted the usual tax planning strategies.
This week Jon discusses other options business owners may not have considered:
• retirement contributions through the business
• change in entity structure
• or maybe just… paying the tax?
Tune in to hear more about these and other strategies.
Deadline for SIMPLE IRA Setup Coming! (9/17)
The deadline to create a SIMPLE IRA is coming up on October 1st! It has important tax implications, so if you’ve discussed setting one up, this is a reminder for you! Jon explains a little more in this short video.
For a short explanation of SIMPLE IRAs, check out this video: https://youtu.be/tjZMk1TbPK0
An Update on Proposed Tax Law Changes (9/10)
Earlier this summer we talked about potential tax law changes, and we wanted to give you an update as we head into the fall. In this video Jon gives some valuable insight into where the proposed changes stand.
The document from Northern Trust can be found here: https://cdn.northerntrust.com/pws/nt/documents/wealth-management/navigating-possible-tax-policy-changes.pdf
Quarterly Tax Estimates Due September 15 (9/2)
It’s hard to believe summer is coming to a close and Labor Day is upon us! This means 3rd quarter estimates are coming as well – due on September 15th. Watch this week’s video for a quick message about these quarterly estimates.
We wish you a relaxing Labor Day weekend!
Everyday Millionaires Part 3: Final Thoughts & Takeaways (8/26)
We are wrapping up our summer book club with a discussion on the myths many people believe about wealthy people! How many of these have you believed and how can you shift your mindset to make room for growing wealth?
Thanks again to Exit Realty Paramount for allowing us to film in their office space!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this summer book club. Here’s to continued learning this fall!
More information on compound interest and charts:
Everyday Millionaires Part 2: Perspectives from a Financial Advisor (8/19)
This week our guest is financial advisor and author, Debbie Craig of Craig Wealth Advisors. She and Jon have a packed discussion about Debbie’s book, Piece by Piece – a practical approach to generating retirement income, her perspective on planning for retirement, and how it relates to the strategy in Everyday Millionaires.
We love this down-to-earth exchange that is full of valuable takeaways!
You can learn more about Debbie Craig and Craig Wealth Advisors at https://craigwealthadvisors.com/
Or by phone at 231-943-2920.
Everyday Millionaires: Introduction (8/12)
This week we continue in our Intrust CPA Summer Book Club with August’s selection: Everyday Millionaires by Chris Hogan. Packed with real-life stories of everyday people who have made smart choices that pay off in the long haul, Everyday Millionaires is not only inspiring but also an actual outline of a strategy that works.
We invite you to read with us this month!
Thanks to Exit Realty Paramount for allowing us to film in their beautiful office overlooking West Bay in Traverse City!
Planning for Tax Changes: Estate Tax (8/5)
This video is the third in a series of conversations between Jon and Jeff regarding tax changes and how they may affect you.
Today Jon and Jeff tackle Estate tax, and the possible changes coming soon. They show us how the proposed changes to the Estate Tax, now being debated in Congress, would cause the Estate Tax to affect a much wider group of people than it currently does and what to do about that.
Get Your Life Back Part 3: Practical Steps with Shannon DeBruyn (7/29)
Shannon DeBruyn joins us in this week’s video as we talk about practical steps to take after reading Get Your Life Back by John Eldredge. Shannon gives helpful insights from the professional world into how to put some of these elements into place.
Shannon DeBruyn is an attorney, facilitator, and consultant, and as part of the business she and her husband own, Advance Resources and Consulting, she has consulted with Fortune 100 companies. She can be reached at 231-360-3407 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Get Your Life Back Part 2: Coaching with Shea Petaja (7/22)
This week we sit down with Shea Petaja to pull out four strategies from the book Get Your Life Back by John Eldredge. We unpack the buzz word, “self care,” talk about healthy habits to adopt and a few things in between. You don’t want to miss this valuable conversation.
Shea Petaja, CXO & Radio Show Co-host of Prout Financial Design is also a certified Life Coach with a thriving private practice. You can find her online at www.sheapetaja.com.
Get Your Life Back: Introduction (7/15)
This week we continue in our Intrust CPA Summer Book Club with July’s selection: Get Your Life Back by John Eldredge. We are digging into why this book is perfect for this time in our world – coming out of the pandemic and a hard year in general. Even those of us who consider ourselves resilient may be surprised at how we can benefit from intentional soul-care, and how that can positively influence our work and personal life.
Top 7: Fun 4th of July Facts (7/2)
We are keeping things light this fourth of July weekend! How many of these fun facts do you know?
From the food Americans love to consume on the 4th to details of the historic signing of the Declaration of Independence, these might surprise you!
Share with your friends and family this weekend, and of course have a safe and happy 4th of July!
Dare to Serve Part 3: Final Thoughts & Takeaways (6/24)
The Intrust CPA Summer Book Club is in full swing! In the month of June we are reading Dare to Serve by Cheryl Bachelder. Dare to Serve follows Cheryl’s journey as the CEO of Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen. She and her leadership team turned the company around in 8 short years using servant leadership principles as their guide.
In this video, Jon and Lauren give six takeaways from the book and how you can put some of the principles to work – even if you haven’t read the book.
This is the third and final video in the Dare to Serve series.
For additional book resources, click here: https://www.cherylbachelder.com/resources/
** We want to hear from you! What were YOUR biggest takeaways from this book? Share with us in the comments! **
Dare to Serve Part 2: Interview with Jason VanBrocklin (6/17)
Today we welcome Jason VanBrocklin, President of Nealis Engineering. Jason’s name came to the top as we thought about the themes of Dare to Serve, and his discussion with Jon is filled with golden nuggets.
This interview serves as a case study and proof that these concepts really work!
We talk about:
– what makes a good and bad leader
– how having a purpose in your business and a clear destination makes all the difference
– learning from mistakes and much more
You are going to go away from this video with concrete examples of how to lead in a way that will empower your team, allow individuals in your team to operate in their strengths, and ultimately reach the goals you have set forth.
For more information on Nealis Engineering, you may visit their website at: https://nealisengineering.com or call 231-933-0510.
Dare to Serve Part 1: Why Dare to Serve? (6/10)
Welcome to the Intrust CPA Summer Book Club! In the month of June we are reading Dare to Serve by Cheryl Bachelder. Dare to Serve follows Cheryl’s journey as the CEO of Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen. She and her leadership team turned the company around in 8 short years using servant leadership principles as their guide.
In this video, Jon and Lauren share why you want to read this practical and inspiring book whether your leadership role is in the home, in a non-profit or in a workplace.
This is the first of three videos in the series.
Planning for Tax Changes: Capital Gains (6/3)
Today’s video is the second in a series of conversations between Jon and Jeff regarding tax changes and how they may affect you.
In this video, Jon and Jeff discuss how the proposed tax laws may affect capital gains. From selling a business to selling a property, proposed changes in the tax law could mean a significant increase in taxable income. These discussions are only preliminary, and some say the proposed changes won’t happen, however, it is worth considering as they could put some individuals into a tax bracket they may not have anticipated.
In upcoming conversations, we’ll delve deeper into the topics, how you may be impacted and some of the planning you may be able to do now in anticipation of what is to come, so please stay tuned for those.