Personal Property Tax Q&A

In December, Michigan passed major reforms in the tax that businesses pay on personal property like equipment, furniture and tools. Public Acts 397-404 and 406-408 of 2012 are expected to eventually reduce Michigan's $1.2 billion personal property tax, or PPT, by an estimated $577...

Identity Theft: From a detective’s point of view

REGION - Imagine going to your bank for a business loan only to discover that somewhere along the line, someone had gotten their hands on one of your business accounts that you rarely use (and rarely check). The result? Potentially significant financial damage and a...

Tax Considerations for the Self Employed

Many taxpayers in northern Michigan are self-employed. Whether you own your own business, are an independent contractor or just periodically provide freelance services in addition to another job, you must pay self employment or "SE" tax to the federal government in addition to any other...

What to do if you receive a letter from a taxing authority

Because tax returns are randomly reviewed, you might receive a notice by mail this year from a taxing authority about your return. If you do, know that many different items can trigger these inquiries. Here are some survival tips:- Don't assume they are correct; they...

Is your portfolio ready for higher taxes and inflation?

The days of robbing Peter to pay Paul have come home to roost. For the first time in our history, the U.S. credit rating was downgraded last summer. Today our debt stands at over $15 trillion. Add the pressure of huge, underfunded programs like Medicare...

Can I Deduct That? Answers to your pressing tax questions

Tax time for individuals brings up questions about what can and can't be deducted. Here are general answers to some common and not-so-common questions about deductions for individuals. Remember, everybody's situation is different, so consult with your tax advisor regarding any deduction.I lost money in...

Special Considerations for Second/Vacation Homes

How do you insure a vacation home?You'll want to insure your vacation home against damage and loss. Your homeowners policy will provide liability coverage for you at your vacation home. However, most homeowners insurance policies provide only limited coverage for personal property at an additional...

Gifting to Avoid Estate and Gift Taxes

U.S. taxpayers are experiencing a "perfect storm" of opportunity to make tax-free transfers (gifts) of assets such as family businesses, real estate and other wealth from one generation to the next. The gift tax was first enacted in 1932 by the federal government after the...

Tax Changes You Need to Know About

Although there aren't a lot of changes that affect 2011, there are a few important items to note: 2012 will bring many changes for state tax returns that will require more planning than many of us are used to.There are changes being implemented by...