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Solar Eclipse

The vast majority of tax questions that we get from NASE members come to us in March and April, and then another set maybe in early October for the truly gifted procrastinators. That probably sounds reasonable since most people try their best NOT to think about taxes unless they are actually sitting down to do the annual tax return.

The aversion to Tax Talk is no more evident than in the summer months when it is much more fun to talk about water skiing and boating, sitting by the pool, and cooking out on the grill. Even you have filed an extension on last year’s tax return and won’t think about that again until October, the summer is no time for taxes. You might even hear some small business owners say, “I promise to think about taxes when the sun is dark at noon time.”

Well…This is your year. You have probably already heard that the continental United States will experience a total eclipse of the sun from the west coast all the way to the east coast on August 21st . What you may not have heard is that the moon’s shadow representing the effects of the eclipse will cross from coast to coast in about one hour and forty minutes. Today, I am asking you to spend that same amount of time this summer, only about one hour and forty minutes, any time you choose, thinking about taxes.

Take out last year’s tax return and compare those numbers to how your year is going so far. Is your income higher? Or is you income lower? Are your deductible expenses about the same? Up? Down? Do a little bit of math and take some stock of how your tax position may be affected for 2017. Make sure you are setting enough aside for Uncle Sam so that next April will more easily lead to May flowers.

More importantly, take some time to think about new tax savings ideas. Consider finally hiring your child to help in the business. Check out for more detail and help in evaluating your situation. If you expect to have significant medical bills this year consider your options for utilizing a Health Reimbursement Arrangement or HRA 105 Plan. Think about investing in your future by considering a retirement plan contribution, not only putting aside money for Uncle Sam but also setting aside money for yourself.

Remember that most tax saving opportunities end with the New Year’s Eve party. If you only think about taxes during March and April while actually completing your tax return, it will be too late to be creative. Spend some time this summer thinking about taxes and reading about new and creative opportunities and maybe, just maybe, the sun will be even brighter after the eclipse.

As always, don’t forget that you are not alone. Bookmark our website at as well as the IRS website at you will always be able to find the help you need.

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