January 2015 Newsletter

January 2015 Newsletter

Time For Taxes!!!!

tax time

Our 2014 Tax Organizers and Engagement Letters were recently sent to our individual clients.  Please review the Organizer and enter relevant information where applicable.  In addition to the information you provide in the Organizer, please provide any of the following documents that may apply to your tax situation: Original Form(s) W-2; Schedule(s) K-1; Form(s) 1099 or statements reporting dividend, interest, retirement or other income; Broker statements providing details of capital gains transactions; Form(s) 1098 and copies of real estate tax bills; Legal documents pertaining to the sale or purchase of real property; Voided check (if you would like your refund directly deposited to your checking account).  The Engagement Letter is used to assure we’re in agreement about the nature of the work we will be providing you.  Please review and sign the Engagement Letter and send it along with your Tax Organizer and supporting documents, or bring all of the information with you if you schedule an appointment with one of our tax professionals.  We are looking forward to hearing from you or seeing you soon!

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Tax Deadline…..Please be aware that we must receive all of your tax information by March 27th in order for your personal returns to be completed by the April 15th filing deadline.  If your return data is not received in full by March 27th, it may be necessary to file an extension of time to finalize your tax returns.  If it is necessary to file an extension, we will work with you to make sure that your returns are accurately completed after the deadline passes.  It’s important to note that the extension is an extension of time to prepare and file your tax return; it’s not an extension of time to pay the tax.  If you owe additional tax with the filing of your 2014 tax returns, the tax must be paid in full by April 15th.  Any tax that remains unpaid after April 15th will be subject to penalties and interest.

 

Affordable Care Act & Your Taxes…

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The 2014 tax year is the first year individuals are required to report whether they satisfied the Individual Shared Responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act.  As part of the Affordable Care Act individuals are required to have qualifying health care coverage for each month of the year or qualify for a coverage exemption.  If your health insurance coverage is not disclosed on your 2014 tax return, the IRS will assess penalties. 

We recently mailed a Health Insurance Coverage Questionnaire to our individual clients. Please be sure to complete and return this form with your tax return dataWe will not be able to complete your 2014 individual tax return without this information. If you would like more information, please contact us today!

Foreign Asset Disclosure…

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In addition to the Health Insurance Coverage Questionnaire, a letter regarding ownership of foreign assets was sent out to our individual clients.  The IRS requires disclosure of ownership interests in foreign financial assets with your federal income tax return. If you answered YES to any of the questions on the letter, please complete the Foreign Asset Disclosure form on the backside of the letter and return with your tax return data.  If you answered NO, then no further action is required.

 

Check Out Our New Website!

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Franty & Company is excited to launch our new website. Thank you to Julie Weyers for the great design and hard work!

www.franty.com

Now you can access commonly used forms and templates from our site and we also have tax insights and business tips at the click of a button!

Client Portal….

We are in the process of implementing a state of the art Portal to facilitate the secure transmission of electronic files between our office and your computer.  The Portal is a web-based application that allows for the encrypted, bi-directional transmission and storage of electronic data.  It will give you quick and easy access to your financial documents and you will have the ability to send files to us.  Please call the office if you would like to take advantage of this opportunity and have a portal created for your use (free of charge).  Please have the full names and current, active email addresses for any people that you would like to have access to your portal when you call.

New Faces at Franty & Company!

J&C

Please join us in welcoming Janine Rider and Carrie Trager to the Franty team!

Janine is our new Administrative Assistant and brings 27 years of experience with a Pittsburgh regional firm. She resides in South Park with her husband, George and their two children, Luke and Alyssa.

Carrie is a CPA and spent 2 years with a national firm in Pittsburgh. The majority of her experience is working with high-net worth individuals, trusts, investment partnerships and gift tax. Carrie, a North Hills native, crossed the rivers and went through the tunnels to move to Venetia with her husband, Rob and their dog, Izzy.

How are you staying healthy this winter?

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Our resident Certified Health Coach Ellen Franty offers some tips to help you stick to your New Year’s Resolution and to keep you healthy!

8 Ways to Stay Healthy this Winter:

  1. Eat fruits and vegetables. Aim for 6-8 servings a day. These contain the necessary antioxidants and phytonutrients needed to boost       immunity and energy.
  2. Stay Hydrated! We are often less thirsty in cold weather but drinking 64 oz. of water per day is
  3. Move more! Several studies have shown that folks who engage in regular physical activity are less likely to get colds.
  4. Wash your hands! Researchers at the Naval Health Center saw a decrease in respiratory illness of 45% from the previous year when recruits washed their hands at least 5 times a day.
  5. Keep Stress to a minimum. Stress can lower your resistance to nasty bugs by depressing your immune system. Chronic stress exposes your body to a steady stream of stress hormones that suppress your immune system.
  6. Sleep! While everyone has individual sleep needs, quality sleep is essential to restore and repair the body. Lack of sleep leads to illness, weight  gain, poor concentration and mood.
  7. Eliminate added sugar! White blood cells fight illness. Sugar impacts your white blood cells by competing for space in those cells with vitamin C (which destroys the bad bugs).
  8. Stay connected with friends. Studies have shown that people who feel connected have stronger immunity. Laughing curbs stress hormones & boosts a type of white blood cell.

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Check out Ellen’s blog and health coaching services at www.ellenfranty.com. Here’s a delicious recipe from her blog:

Carrot Cake Cookies (Gluten Free)

Ingredients:

1 cup almond flour

1 cup gluten free rolled oats

1 tbsp. ground flax meal

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. sea salt

⅓ cup chopped walnuts or pecans

⅓ cup unsweetened coconut

1 cup shredded carrots

⅓ cup raisins

½ cup coconut oil

1 egg

4 tbsp. real maple syrup

¼ tsp. ground ginger

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl combine the almond flour, oats, flax, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  • Add nuts, coconut, carrots and raisins to the dry ingredients. Mix well.
  • In a small saucepan, heat coconut oil until just melted.
  • Wisk egg, maple syrup and ground ginger to the coconut oil.
  • Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring until well combined.
  • Drop by 1-2 tablespoon size onto baking sheets, bake for 10-12 minutes.
  • Let cool completely.
  • If dairy isn’t an issue, try icing the cooled cookies with cream cheese icing.
February 3, 2015|Management Tips|