Kyle Nagy’s Parents’ Guide For Telling Their Family’s Financial Story

Kyle Nagy’s Parents’ Guide For Telling Their Family’s Financial Story

How we are raised around financial matters can impact us for a lifetime.

When a close friend or family member loses their home, or their job (or both), it can be frightening on several levels. You begin to wonder if the same could happen to you. And, as you’re probably aware, this fear of economic uncertainty causes anxiety in many children, too.

While it is impossible to shield kids from all that goes on around them, I happen to believe money worries are one of those things we shouldn’t share with kids. There are a number of ways to do that — some very specific, and some more subtle.

I’ll begin with this: When it comes to transferring anxiety over money to your children, there is no faster way than to fight over it with your partner. Asking Kansas City couples not to argue over money at all is a little unrealistic, so when differences arise, at least try to do it in private and out of earshot of your kids.

Spenders and savers are bound to clash, but when they fight in front of kids they give kids something to worry about beyond Mom and Dad fighting. Will we run out of money? Is Dad losing his job? Will we have to move? Will we have money for food?

Even if parents are unsure about the answers themselves, they owe it to their kids to exude confidence when it comes to money. If things really do get bad, emphasize that no matter what, you’ll all be together and that home is where you make it — wherever that may be.

You see, as quickly as children seem to “grow up” in this digitally-connected world, they still really are in need of being brought into the wider world with care.

And I have more thoughts…

Kyle Nagy’s Parents’ Guide For Telling Their Family’s Financial Story

“A map is the greatest of all epic poems. Its lines and colors show the realization of great dreams.” -Gilbert H. Grosvenor

When kids ask to buy things, and money is tight, try to rationalize with them instead of simply saying, “we can’t afford it.” Tell kids that instead of spending money on toys this week, you need to focus on buying some basic things like food and gasoline for the car. Ask them to come along to the grocery store to help pick out a few favorites. If you simply say you can’t afford something, kids will begin to wonder what else you can’t afford, and that’s a psychological slippery slope for young minds.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say this: Don’t allow anyone in your house to use the word “poor” when describing your economic situation — even when times are pretty lean in the household. Families might be broke– but that doesn’t mean they’re poor! It’s more than semantics. The word “poor” seems to connote inferiority, or having some unfortunate circumstance. We don’t have to accept that paradigm. Sometimes, families simply spend more money than they earned and have to live on far less to turn things around. They may have been foolish, but they don’t have to be poor!

Now, let’s shift away from things not to do around kids, and focus on some positive things to teach kids to help them with their own financial futures.

Don’t Be Afraid To Teach

When I was growing up, money was taboo. Many Kansas City parents would no more talk about money with their children than they would their love life. While this is still true to an extent, I think most of us have recognized that kids need to eventually become more aware about the potential financial pitfalls out there than we were in my generation.

Start giving kids an allowance to budget their savings, spending and giving. Help them open a savings account and begin to teach the mechanics of a bank account — completing deposit slips, balancing their accounts and explaining how compound interest works. As kids get older, introduce them to increasingly more complicated topics like investing, borrowing money, insurance, etc. By the time they are teenagers they should have a good grasp on Personal Finance 101 topics to better prepare them for life.

Save More; Spend Less — For Kids

As adults, we know it is prudent to put back a sizable emergency fund of several months (I actually recommend a full year) of basic, household expenses. Because kids are not responsible for everyday expenses, it can be hard to get this message across to them. Instead of focusing on saving money for emergencies, teach kids to save money for opportunities.

Raising Young Entrepreneurs

My parents and grandparents were probably a lot like yours — they worked 40-50 hours a week, punched a clock and recharged over the weekends. After doing this for several decades they were given a cheap retirement gift, maybe a small pension, and a retirement send-off.

Well, times have changed.

The global economy, and the hyper-connected marketplace have underscored the importance of developing an entrepreneurial streak at a young age. Chances are very slim that your child will graduate college, pick one job and stay there for 40 years. More likely, there will be many jobs with many employers, and many periods of being “between jobs” in their lifetime. Wouldn’t it be great if they developed a “side hustle” to get them through those periods of unemployment, or to supplement their full-time income all along?

Perhaps you enjoy building things and have turned your one-time hobby into a side hustle building decks and fences on the weekends. Get your kids involved in the process as they grow older, and perhaps you can pass along a valuable trade. Even if they become accountants or fire fighters, having the knowledge and experience of a trade to fall back on could be incredibly valuable to them over a lifetime.

The point is not to stifle your kids’ ideas by forcing them into some ideal career path you have selected for them. Allow them to cultivate their own ideas. Over the next few decades, personal branding, and the branding of individual ideas will likely be hotter than any particular industry. Think about it — an iPhone app may be the next lemonade stand.

In a way, social media, and other new media, have greatly expanded the opportunities for kids to create new products, explore new ideas and push new content into the mainstream. There’s never been a better time to have an entrepreneurial mindset, and fostering that in your children at an early age is invaluable.

And for all of it, we’ll be in your corner, cheering you on.

Warmly,

 

Kyle Nagy

(816) 272-8151

Kyle P Nagy, CPA

Four Ways the IRS Reform Bill Helps Kansas City Taxpayers Like You (and Me)

Four Ways the IRS Reform Bill Helps Kansas City Taxpayers Like You (and Me)

Believe it or not, 2019 is almost halfway over (!). We’re through the summer solstice, the days get shorter from here on out, and here at Team Kyle P Nagy, CPA we begin to turn our eyes more directly at 2020.

We’re pretty thrilled by the opportunity, because it means we get that much more time to take advantage of all the juicy tax-saving opportunities on behalf of our clients.

But those really are only available to those who communicate and meet with us … so don’t let this year pass without doing so: (816) 272-8151 (or shoot me back an email using the email button at the top of our site).

Moving on … there is an IRS reform bill (The TaxPayer First Act) that passed through Congress in the last couple of weeks that marks some encouraging progress towards the ability of the IRS to be more responsive to regular taxpayers (like you and me). There has been a small amount of controversy about it, so I thought I’d pipe in with some thoughts about why this might be a GOOD thing for you and me.

Four Ways the IRS Reform Bill Helps Kansas City Taxpayers Like You (and Me)

“Sometimes the only answer people are looking for when they ask for help is that they won’t have to face the problem alone.” -Mark Amend

On June 13th, the Taxpayer First Act (TFA) passed through the Senate. As of this writing, it still awaits the President’s signature, but it looks as if it will be signed and confirmed.

If this doesn’t seem like much of a big deal, here’s a brief but powerful fact:

The TFA is the first significant piece of legislation addressing the workings of the IRS since the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act signed in 1998.

Twenty years later and it’s time for a change.

But if you’re in the dark as to what changes are heading your way, allow me to provide four ways this bill can help you in the months and years to come.

Customer Service

When thinking about the IRS, the term “customer service” isn’t exactly what first comes to mind (at least, not in a good way).

But one goal of the TFA is to tip the customer service scale in a more favorable direction. At the top of that list? The IRS is now required to devise a “customer service strategy” which they can then instill in each employee.

Simply put, more focused training in this area for IRS employees will only benefit Kansas City taxpayers like you should any interaction arise. This component of the law will be a great way to take an unfortunate stigma and turn it around for taxpayers for years down the line.

Independent Appeals

In the event you have to appeal an IRS decision, the TFA changes will also benefit your case. There is a newly-appointed independent appeals office that would be available, which would allow for greater access for taxpayers to view the case against them.

This adds a new level of transparency and communication to the whole tax dispute resolution process.

Change for the Private Collection Agency (PCA)

In 2017, PCAs were formed to collect unpaid tax bills. Under the TFA, PCAs can no longer specifically target low-income taxpayers who are behind on their tax bills. In other words, PCAs can no longer pressure them into payments they can’t afford.

Specifically, PCAs will not be able to collect from any taxpayer with a gross income of 200 percent below the poverty level.

Theft Prevention

The TFA follows suit with a nationwide, technological pursuit of greater identity protection.

Under the new provision, taxpayers who have had their identity stolen can request an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN). The IP PIN is a preventative measure to stop criminals from accessing items like taxpayer Social Security Numbers.

In turn, the IRS will assign a worker to the individuals with IP PINs so that their case can be filed unto completion.

These are just a few improvements that Kansas City taxpayers like you can expect to see under the TFA.

But if you have any question moving forward, please let me know. I would love to sit down and discuss other ways the TFA might affect your filing. For now, take heart in these promising changes, and know there are people trying to make filing easier for you.

I would love to help do the same.

Warmly,

 

Kyle Nagy

(816) 272-8151

Kyle P Nagy, CPA

Tax-Smart Ways to Run a Savvy Kansas City Side Hustle

Tax-Smart Ways to Run a Savvy Kansas City Side Hustle

I’m so old, I still remember the days when “hashtags” were only about a particular button on your phone.

Yep, the world has shifted massively underfoot. You know it; we all know it.

And one of the developments we’ve all seen is the proliferation of news feed gurus, ready and willing to help you start your new business — for the low, low price of three payments of $5,997.

What once was a sanctuary of grandkid photos and food pictures, has now become another marketplace for more barkers to shout their wares at you.

But it’s all for good reason … because lest I come across as TOO much of a cynic, the proliferation of onramps for (truly) ANYONE to start a business is a net positive for our culture, in my opinion.

There are so many great tax reasons to have a real business, even if it’s just a “side hustle” like the kids say.

And today I want to clear some of the fog around this topic, especially for your wallet — and your taxes.

Tax-Smart Ways to Run a Savvy Kansas City Side Hustle

“The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow. Don’t give up.” -Robert Tew

Despite having full-time employment, many Americans need some sort of work on the side to supplement month-to-month living expenses. In fact, a recent MarketWatch survey says one-third (!) of Americans depend on a side hustle.

Do you fall into that category? If so, I’m here to help you figure out the (multiple) tax ramifications for self-employment. Whether it’s you or someone you know, I love to come alongside any endeavor that helps pay the bills. There’s no reason that tax questions should hinder all that hustling.

Here are a few tax tips, whether you’re in the middle of a Kansas City side hustle or thinking about starting one, that will help keep your taxes in order.

Research and Report

There are a few basic differences between W2 and 1099 employees. And if you’re doing some freelance work for another Kansas City business, they’re not required by the IRS to send you a 1099 unless they’ve paid you $600 or more. HOWEVER, even if you earned less than that, with no documentation required, your money is still taxable income.

I can’t overstate this enough: if you are earning money on the side, you are still responsible for keeping track of and reporting all earnings.

By Tax Day, you’ll need to report all earnings, with or without a 1099, to the IRS.

Many freelancers end up filing Schedule C as sole proprietors. You and I can tackle this document together, but it’s imperative your numbers are accurate for filling out each box.

Pay Up

A side hustle is just that: a hustle.

But these gigs aren’t as simple as a childhood lemonade stand. That ice-cold cash is (sadly) not all yours. Unfortunately, this is taxable income we’re talking about and it’s vital to pay those estimated taxes…

…four times a year (April 15, June 15, Sept. 15 and Jan. 15). That’s right, things like self-employment taxes are required from all the strenuous (but fun!) work you complete throughout the year.

But don’t get discouraged! This is another part of the hustle, yet it has to be accurate for continued success. Just one more reason I’m in your corner all year round.

Stay Healthy. Stay Hungry.

The IRS also wants to help the self-employed in regard to health insurance and retirement benefits. Those contributions can be deducted, but are filed on your personal tax return as an adjustment to personal income.

Now, I can help you with any of the aforementioned items. I know the tax side of self-employment can seem like a lot, but there are many benefits of self-employment if you can make it through tasks like filing your taxes.

Please reach out so we can get our first meeting on the books. No one should have to hustle alone, for it can quickly lead to burnout.

You need a team around you, and I’d love to join.

Warmly,

 

Kyle Nagy

(816) 272-8151

Kyle P Nagy, CPA

Key Tips For Kansas City Newlyweds On Marriage and Taxes

Key Tips For Kansas City Newlyweds On Marriage and Taxes

Do you know what the number one month is for weddings? Check today’s date and there it is: June.

With that fact in mind, I’m not sure where you currently fall on the wedding spectrum…

Are many of your friends getting married? Are your friends’ kids getting married? And if you or someone close to you is getting married soon, congratulations! Weddings are a huge deal (for obvious reasons) and, as a bonus, can often act as mini “family reunions” to gather with loved ones.

But, once the dust has settled…

And the honeymoon is over and the boxes are unpacked and the thank you’s have all been written, there are some tax implications for the newlyweds in your life. Marriage and taxes may not be the most exciting topic, but messing up your taxes is not fun either.So whether the following tips are useful for you personally, or something you can forward to others, there’s no reason these tax changes should damper anyone’s newlywed bliss.

Key Tips For Kansas City Newlyweds On Marriage and Taxes

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” -Mignon McLaughlin

Perhaps the most obvious change after the big day is a new surname for one or both parties. If that’s the case, then it’s imperative the person changing their last name reports it to the Social Security Administration.

This is key because, during filing season, the IRS will look to the SSA for your personal data, and if the new surname is not accounted for, your tax refund will be delayed.

A change in marital status will also directly affect your filing status with your Kansas City employer. Make sure you connect with HR at work to adjust your workplace withholding. Failing to do so may result in inaccurate payments from each paycheck, which may mean an unexpected tax bill come filing time.

New Home. New Status.

Upon marriage, there is usually at least one party who has a change of address. In addition to notifying the post office of the change, it’s important the IRS knows the address change occurred as well. The reason being, so that they can mail any important documents to the right address moving forward.

As married couples think about the tax year ahead, it’s their marital status on December 31st which will determine how they file — jointly or separately.

This is where I step in to help many newlyweds determine which is the right filing status for them. Figuring out marital tax implications is tricky enough as it is, so I don’t recommend doing it all alone.

Health Benefits

Reassessing healthcare options is another key change that accompanies newlywed tax status. The move requires a proactive attitude, as it’s not necessarily fun stuff to change. But it will make a difference when one least expects it.

Although I’m no marriage expert, I know marriage usually comes with plenty of unexpected twists and turns.

If you’re insured through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you might qualify for the premium tax credit. And if that’s the case, a change in marital status will affect the credit you receive.

Again, reconfiguring healthcare, and the tax implications as a result, is one more (tricky) area I’d love to help you or someone you know navigate in the future.

With all that being said … marriage is a joyous occasion (with many logistics to follow). Many couples out there don’t see the tax ramifications as a fun new change, but there are some, like me, who love to explore how to maximize its benefits.

Even though June is great for weddings, we all know April is when things really heat up.

Let’s start planning for that dance ASAP.

Warmly,

 

Kyle Nagy

(816) 272-8151

Kyle P Nagy, CPA

Kyle P Nagy, CPA Sheds Light on Some of the Highest State Sales Tax Rates

Kyle P Nagy, CPA Sheds Light on Some of the Highest State Sales Tax Rates

No, the IRS is not shutting down their operations — there is still (and probably ever will be) a federal income tax.

But states are a different story…

This being travel season, and the season during which some of our clients turn their eyes towards making a move, I thought I’d give you some info on how state and local Kansas City taxes might affect your decisions.

Oh, but back to federal taxes (and state) — consider this your quick reminder that estimated taxes for the second quarter are due June 15th.

This one always feels as if it came a little quick (two months since last payment instead of the normal three), so if this applies to you, you’ll want to make sure you have that all set up in time.

Secondly (and relatedly), I think I’m still in denial that we’re already into June. Our busiest season is behind us, and I always seem to expect that everything will slow down in a massive way afterwards … but this year has seen so much energy and growth around our practice that I still find myself in the midst of some very full days.

This, of course, is a very good thing. We are so grateful to be able to play such a meaningful role in the lives of our clients in Kansas City and beyond. We continue to work with some clients who are on extension and we’re helping clients who are (wisely) already making changes to their financial lives in order to proactively save on taxes. It’s all fun, because we really do love what we do around here.

So, speaking of proactive planning, if you’re considering travel or a move, keep this stuff in mind…

Kyle P Nagy, CPA Sheds Light on Some of the Highest State Sales Tax Rates

“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” -Vince Lombardi

WARNING: What I’m about to share might make you salty.

The topic is state and local taxes (SALT … ba dum, ching), and if there’s any condolence … it’s that nobody is exempt from paying their part.

But where exactly do your SALT dollars go?

With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), answering that question got a little trickier this year. In short, SALT includes income taxes from taxing jurisdictions as well as real estate and personal property taxes. Where the TCJA altered things was its limiting of the amount which is potentially deductible from federal tax returns.

Let’s take a look at some more SALT ramifications. (Other than high blood pressure, that is. 🙂 Okay, I’ll quit the salt puns now. Maybe.)

Higher Price to Purchase

Paying sales tax has become so woven into our economic fabric that we hardly recognize it on a day-to-day basis.

But states depend heavily on sales tax to make it through the year (see list below of which states truly rely on sales tax). The revenue generated plays a foundational role in the maintenance of cities, counties, schools and other initiatives within our state.

Do you like the state you live in? I hope so. Most every purchase you make goes toward its cause(s).

The Few and the Proud

HOWEVER, if you live in one of the five states that doesn’t apply a statewide sales tax — Alaska, New Hampshire, Montana, Delaware, Oregon — there are some other laws that apply to you.

In Montana, tourist-heavy populations can add up to 3% in state sales tax on their goods sold. Delaware (yes Delaware) is often called a “tax shelter” because of its individual tax laws, but businesses do pay more via gross receipts tax. New Hampshire will add a 9% state sales tax to hotel rooms, rental cars and restaurant meals, but is otherwise (mostly) sales tax-free so that you can “Live Free or Die”. Neither Alaska nor Oregon collect state sales tax either, but all is subject to change through the vote.

Top Ten Taxed for Sales

The list below is the percentage, in state revenue, comprised of total sales tax collections by state. Although Washington doesn’t collect corporate or individual income tax, they lead this sales tax charge with 46.4% of state revenue coming from sales tax.

Also, note the more “touristy” locations — Vegas, Mardi Gras, Nashville, Maui — embedded into this list. Going on vacation to any of these locations soon? Be on the lookout for extra pennies (and dollars) to pay.

  1. Washington 46.4 percent
  2. Tennessee 41.5 percent
  3. Louisiana 41 percent
  4. South Dakota 39.6 percent
  5. Nevada 39.4 percent
  6. Arizona 38.7 percent
  7. New Mexico 37.8 percent
  8. Arkansas 37.5 percent
  9. Hawaii 37.2 percent
  10. Texas 35.4 percent

It’s a Catch 22, right? Do you want to pay extra for a better place to live, or pay less for the things only you need?

And if you’d like to schedule a meeting for us in Hawaii, go ahead and buy us some plane tickets. I’d be quite happy to cover the sales tax. 🙂

Warmly,

 

Kyle Nagy

(816) 272-8151

Kyle P Nagy, CPA

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