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Financial Questions and Answers

Q: What’s your top tip for end-of-year business tax planning?

A: Wow, that’s an expansive question in a year with so many federal tax changes. You can cover all your bases by making an appointment to see your tax pro and going in as prepared as possible, bringing with you the documents needed to accurately complete your tax return. Include receipts for equipment you expense, taxes paid and business auto costs, and let them know whether you used the standard or actual mileage expense formula. Don’t forget to include business travel receipts with the dates and business purposes of the travel.

Q: My wife died earlier this year and I’m not sure if I’m responsible for paying taxes on her income for 2018. What should I do?

A: We’re sorry for your loss. Work with your tax professional and your wife’s personal representative, if she had one, to identify and file a tax return that includes any earned or unearned income of your wife during the year. And yes, you or the estate is responsible for paying her taxes. You can file a joint tax return during the year of her death and for two years afterward if you have a dependent child. Don’t forget to notify the Social Security Administration of her death, or have the funeral director do it for you.

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