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Archive for February, 2015

Six Reasons Why You Should File a Tax Return

February 26th, 2015



Most people are required to file an income tax return. But even if you are not required to file an income tax return, here are six (6) reasons why you still may want to file a federal income tax return:
1. Your income exceeds the threshold. For instance, if you are single, not a dependent, and made more than $10,150 in 2014, you are required to file an income tax return.
2. Premium Tax Credit. If you bought health insurance in 2014 through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may be eligible for the Premium Tax Credit.
3. Paycheck Withholdings. You had money withheld from your paychecks.
4. EITC. You qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit.
5. Additional Child Tax Credit. You have at least one child that qualifies for the child tax credit.
6. Education Credits. You went to college or other post-secondary education and you may qualify for an education credit.

If you would like to talk to someone about your tax options you can get ahold of our office by calling 816-524-4949 or by visiting our website at

8 Tax Mistakes to Avoid

February 25th, 2015

Here are a few tax mistakes you should try and avoid this tax season:

  1. Grammatical errors – Make sure your name is spelled correctly and that you used the correct Social Security Number.
  2. Taking the Wrong Education Write-off – Always consider whether an education credit or the tuition and fees deduction would be more beneficial for you.
  3. Investments – Double and triple check your cost basis in investments when reporting a gain or a loss.
  4. IRA Contributions – Do not forget to report your contributions to a traditional IRA.
  5. Home Office – If you have a home office, you may be able to deduct some of those expenses using the home office deduction.
  6. Overlooking Donations – Try to remember every place that you donated money to, especially since some charities are now emailing receipts instead of printing them out.
  7. Deductions for Items in Front of You – Don’t forget to deduct any tax preparation fees, financial advisor fees, and safety deposit box fees.

If you need assistance with your tax situation, contact our law office at

816-524-4949 or

Steps to Financial Freedom

February 24th, 2015

financial freedom

Here are some tips for getting your financial life back on track:

  1. Assess your Situation – Take a good look at your income, your expenses, your assets, and your debts. This may include checking your credit score.
  2. Make Goals – It is hard to strive for something if you do not know what you are working towards.
  3. Know When to Push Yourself – Save a lot when you are younger. Chances are you do not kids, cars, a mortgage, and student loans yet, so sock that money away while you still can.
  4. Build Up Your Savings – Put any free money away that you can. Take advantage of any employer matched retirement accounts.
  5. Track Your Spending – Consider what you need and what you want, and don’t forget to bargain hunt.
  6. Be Informed – If you are going to invest in a certain fund, stock, or asset, do your homework and make sure you know what you are getting yourself and your money into.
  7. Be Healthy – Being healthy can mean less health care expenses.

If you or someone you know is having financial difficulty and you want to discuss your options, contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or

Be Careful of Flat-Fee Divorces

February 20th, 2015

There have been articles and stories about people who hire divorce attorneys and are charged a flat fee, meaning one price no matter the case. In few instances, a flat-fee divorce is a good option for a client. However, most of the time, it is not a good decision. Divorces can be complicated, with their outcomes dependent on the spouses involved.
If you are involved in a divorce, you may not want to hire an attorney on a flat-fee. For instance, if you and your future ex-spouse have worked out all of the issues necessary in order to get a divorce, and you pay an attorney a flat-fee of $5,000 for your divorce, you may have overpaid. On the other hand, if you and your future ex-spouse fight like cats and dogs and take months or years to work out your divorce, then a flat-fee of $1,000 would not be enough to effectively represent you.
The best thing to know about divorces and attorney fees is that you need to hire an attorney that you are comfortable with and that you will get what you pay for, not overpay, and not get bargain-basement representation. If you would like to talk to an Attorney feel free to give us a call at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at

Your Attorney Can Force You to Settle

February 19th, 2015

In a recent Missouri case, an attorney accepted a settlement on behalf of his client when the attorney was not given permission from the client to do so.  The client then tried to get out of the settlement, but the court stated that the attorney had already bound the client to the settlement because the attorney, as the client’s representative, spoke for and on behalf of the client.  If you are battling someone in court, be careful of who you choose as your attorney and what they say on your behalf.  If you are looking for an attorney who will look out for your interests, feel free to contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or

Top 10 Mistakes for New Business Owners

February 17th, 2015

business for blog

  1. Not having a business plan
  2. Not having a marketing plan
  3. Being impatient
  4. Underpricing your goods or services
  5. Overspending
  6. Not being able to delegate
  7. Failing to have contracts with other owners or partners
  8. No insurance
  9. Forming the incorrect business entity
  10. Not having a good attorney to assist you If you are a new business owner who could use some assistance with your business, feel free to contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or

Tax Rules regarding Tips

February 13th, 2015


Tax Rules regarding Tips

There are a few things you should know regarding your income tax return if you receive tips in your employment or job.

  1. Report all of your tips on your income tax return.
  2. All of your tips are taxable, including the tips you received from credit card transactions and tips you received from other co-workers under a tip-splitting arrangement.
  3. Report your tips to your employer. If you receive $20 or more in tips in any one month, you must report your tips to your employer so that your employer can withhold taxes on the reported tips.
  4. Keep a daily log of your tips. This will help you remember the amount of all of your tips when reporting the tips on your income tax return.

If you would like some help preparing your tax return, feel free to contact us at 816-524-4949 or

Tax Benefits for Parents

February 10th, 2015

IRS 1040 Tax Form Being Filled Out

While the 2014 income tax season has already begun, be sure to keep these tax breaks in mind if you are a parent:

  1. Dependents – You may be able to claim your child as a dependent, earning you a $3,950 deduction for each person you can claim as a dependent.
  2. Child Tax Credit – If you have a child that is under the age of 17, you may be able to claim up to $1,000 per child under the child tax credit.  If you are unable to maximize the credit at $1,000, you may be able to claim the additional child tax credit.
  3. Child and Dependent Care Credit – If you paid someone to care for your child while you worked or looked for work, such as daycare, you may be able to claim a credit for those expenses.
  4. Earned Income Tax Credit – If you meet certain household and income guidelines, you may be able get a larger tax refund by claiming the earned income tax credit.
  5. Adoption Credit – If you adopted a child, you may be able to deduct some of those costs.
  6. Education Tax Credit – If you or your dependent attended school and incurred expenses because of that education, you may be able to deduct some of the costs of the education.
  7. Student Loan Interest – If you or your dependent had a student loan and you paid interest on those loans, you may be able to deduct a portion of the interest paid.
  8. Self-Employed Health Insurance Deduction – If you were self-employed and paid for your own health insurance, you may be able to deduct a portion of the premiums you paid.

Late-Breaking Tax Update

February 6th, 2015

tax mistake

On December 16, 2014, the Senate passed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 and the President is expected to sign this bill into law.  The effect of the new law would be to extend some tax deductions to allow taxpayers to:

  1. Deduct state and local income taxes or general sales taxes as itemized deductions; and
  2. Deduct qualified education expenses paid by eligible students through the tuition and fees deduction; and
  3. Depreciate the cost of property placed in service during the year using the Section 179 expense.

If you have no idea what any of this means and it seems too complicated or overwhelming for you, don’t worry.  Our office is always here to help you with your tax matters. If you would like some tax assistance, feel free to contact our office at 816-524-4949.

Terminating Parental Rights of Native Americans

February 4th, 2015

Kansas law requires that when a parent of a Native American child is having their parental rights terminated, the child’s potential tribe must be notified of the hearing regarding the termination of the parental rights.  If you are a parent and facing a termination of your parental rights, contact our law office at 816-524-4949.