Ten Considerations When Selecting Your Lender and Loan Officer

By Guest writer Bob Cahill – Leader Bank????

  1. Research the lender and loan officer to ensure they are a good fit for you.
  2. What is their knowledge, experience, and commitment to service?
  3. Are they local and respected by the realtor community?
  4. Will your lender be willing to meet in person, if that is important to you?
  5. Will they help you with budgeting, credit cleanup, and other information to customize a financing plan that is best for you?
  6. Will they be available to you, your realtor, listing agent, and attorney to help win your offer and throughout the loan process?
  7. Will they be available in the evening and during weekends when you might be submitting an offer or have questions?
  8. Will they have the best loan programs for which you qualify?
  9. Do they offer rates and programs from many banks to help with more program flexibility and better rates?
  10. Will the loan officer be accessible post-closing to answer any questions you may have? Will they provide periodic mortgage check-ups and help with possible refinancing, home equity lines of credit, or other loans in the future?

Leader Bank offers a complete suite of banking services for individuals and businesses.? Leader Bank is the largest home purchase lender among banks in Massachusetts.? NMLS#: 449250

Bob Cahill is a Senior Mortgage Banker, Broker & Planner with over 16 years of residential lending?experience in 29 states including all of New England, FL, DC, MD, NC, NJ, PA, SC, & VA.? Contact Bob any time at (781) 589-8756 or rcahill@leaderbank.com for a free, no obligation planning consultation or rate quote.? NMLS#:? 485042

2019 Fast Tax Facts

  • Starting in 2018, personal exemptions are no longer deductible.?
  • The?maximum earnings subject to?social security taxes is $132,900 for 2019,?up from $128,400 in 2018.
  • The?standard mileage rate?is $.58 per business mile?as of January 1, 2019, up from $.545 for 2018.
  • The?maximum annual salary deferral?into a?401(k) plan?or a?403(b) plan?is $19,000 in 2019, up from $18,500 in 2018.? And if you’ll be 50 or older by December 31st, you can contribute an extra $6,000 into your 401(k) or 403(b) account this year.
  • The?maximum annual contribution?to your?IRA?is $6,000 in 2019, up from $5,500 for 2015 through 2018.? And if you turn 50 by December 31st, you can contribute an extra $1,000 that year.? You have until April 15, 2020 to make your 2019 IRA contributions.

IRS Warns That the “Dirty Dozen” Represents the Worst of Tax Scams

Compiled annually, the “Dirty Dozen” lists a variety of common scams that taxpayers may encounter anytime but many of these schemes peak during filing season as people prepare their returns or hire someone to help with their taxes. Don’t fall prey.

IRS concludes “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams for 2019: Agency encourages taxpayers to remain vigilant year-round – See?IR-2019-49.

For a detailed description of each scam, please refer to the list below:

  • Abusive tax shelters, trusts, and conservation easements – See IR-2019-47
  • Frivolous tax arguments? – See IR-2019-45
  • Failure to report offshore funds remains a crime – See IR-2019-43
  • Improper claims for business credits – See IR-2019-42
  • Scams involving disasters and charitable causes? – See IR-2019-39
  • Inflated deductions and credits – See?IR-2019-36
  • Falsification of income and the creation of bogus documents – See IR-2019-35
  • Promises of inflated tax refunds? – See IR-2019-33
  • Tax return preparer fraud – See IR-2019-32
  • Identity theft – See IR-2019-30
  • Phone scams -? See IR-2019-28
  • Pervasive phishing schemes -?See IR-2019-26

Tips for Kids with a Summer Job

Will your child be working at a summer job? If so, here are a few items to consider:

  • How to complete Form W-4. When you child begins their summer job and will be paid as a W-2 employee, their new employer will require them to complete a Form W-4, instructing the employer how to withhold income taxes from your child?s paycheck. While completing the form, be aware that IRS will allow a taxpayer to claim an exemption from federal tax withholdings if:
  1. Last year the taxpayer had a right to a refund of all federal income tax withheld because the taxpayer had no tax liability, and
  2. This year the taxpayer expects a refund of all federal income tax withheld because the taxpayer expects to have no tax liability.

Thus, if your child expects a small amount of wage income to be earned this summer and did not owe taxes the prior year, your child can write ?Exempt? on line 7 of the Form W-4 and no federal income taxes will be withheld from his or her pay.? With the new tax rules, most likely if your child has no investment income and his or her wages earned will be less than $12,200 for the year, then there will be no federal tax liability for your child for 2019.? (Although there will be no federal income taxes withheld from the paycheck your child will still be subject to social security and Medicare taxes being withheld from his or her paycheck.)? ?Additionally, if no federal income taxes are withheld, your child?s wages are below $12,200 for the year, and there is no other income received by your child then no federal tax return will be required to be filed by your child.

  • Consider making a Roth IRA contribution. If your child has earned income from a summer job, he or she will be eligible to make a contribution to an IRA under their name, even if no tax return is required to be filed by your child.? The maximum IRA contribution amount will be limited to the lesser of the child?s earned income or $6,000.? In most cases, the income earned by your child will be free from income taxes, assuming total income for your child will be less than the new standard deduction of $12,200; thus, in this situation there would be no tax benefit to contributing to a traditional IRA.? Your child will want to make the IRA contribution into a Roth IRA.? The earnings in the Roth IRA grow tax free over your child?s lifetime.? Additionally, the Roth IRA contribution can be funded by the parents as a gift to the child, but must be funded into an IRA under the child?s name.?
  • E-file your child?s federal income tax return for free. If your child?s employer does withhold income taxes from your child?s pay, your child can easily file a tax return early the following year in order to get the withheld taxes refunded back by accessing the IRS website.? The IRS allows a taxpayer to e-file their tax return for free via the IRS website if the taxpayer?s income is below $66,000.? The IRS link to this free e-filing option is https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free.

Andrew Schwartz to Speak on How to Build a Successful Niche Accounting Practice

Please join Andrew Schwartz CPA in Toronto on Monday September 9th where he will be speaking at the Accounting and Finance Show being held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.? More info about this conference is available at: https://www.terrapinn.com/exhibition/accounting-finance-show-toronto/index.stm.

The session is called: Turbo Charge the Niche Focus Within Your Practice.

The business world becomes more complicated every year. Yet most CPAs and other professionals continue to operate as generalists and serve a handful of clients in a wide range of industries.? That being said:

  • Why would a prospect go to a generalist when they can work with a specialist for a similar value?
  • Why would a professional choose to operate as a generalist when there are enough potential clients in their area of interest to keep busy by being a specialist?
  • And why wouldn’t a professional want to build a much deeper knowledge base within a niche to be able to work more effectively and give their clients better information and advice?

Andrew Schwartz, C.P.A., has built a niche CPA practice that has grown organically, consistently, and predictably each and every year since 1994. His specialty firm continues to grow exponentially due to its strong and recognized brand for providing tax and accounting services to healthcare professionals and their practices.

Andrew hopes to see you in Toronto on September 9th. Eh?

NEW MA Family & Medical Leave

In 2018, Massachusetts signed into law a statute that provides paid family and medical leave (PFML) benefits to workers. Employers and employees must begin making contributions in July of 2019 to a new state fund which will administer and distribute the benefits beginning in 2021.

We held a special webinar to discuss the program and how to be compliant:

pig watch recording button

We’ve got additional resources for you as well:

For more info, please visit the department’s website at https://www.mass.gov/orgs/department-of-family-and-medical-leave