A Fresh Start

  • Don't you just love a fresh start? A clean slate? A new beginning? I think that we all do at various times in our life.


    For some things we do get a really fresh start. Some of us get a new set of sick and vacation days on January 1st. If you're in school you're probably starting a new semester. There are many more that escape me just now, but you get the idea.


    But there are some things that we have to take the past with us. I have 30 pounds I wish I could have left in 2017! I'm sure that some of you have debts that you wish you could leave behind.


    Even if we have to take those things with us, we do have an opportunity to have a fresh start towards overcoming whatever the challenge might be. I can try to start creating some healthier eating habits and maybe a bit more exercise.


    We'd like to think that we can help you in a number of different 'fresh starts'.

    Or do a search on the website for your particular goal for the new year.


    I'd also like to take a minute to share a concern. For obvious reasons everyone has an interest in the tax bill that just passed. There's more than a little controversy as to who will pay more or less in taxes.


    Mrs. Dollar Stretcher told me something that I found very interesting and concerning. (btw, she's been a CPA for 40 years so she should know what she's talking about. She tested out some of the tools that are available online to tell you what your new tax bill would be like.


    It failed to ask key questions that would/could have a big impact on your federal taxes.


    Here's some advice. First, it's important to know how much to withhold on your taxes. So getting that right is important. You don't want to make an error.


    Second, don't count on any widget you find online now. They're much too simple to give you a good answer. And may contain the bias of the site that offers the widget. CPA's will use software that's being written now to calculate your 2018 tax bill a year from now. Good ones will offer to use your 2017 earnings to give you an estimate of how your taxes will change. But they won't be able to do that until the software is available in their office.


    Third, don't trust what you read in the paper, see on TV or read online that talks in generalities. This law has a lot of detail to it. Everyone is a little different. There's no way that they can make blanket statements about everyone benefitting or being victimized without knowing your particulars. So if that's where they go, you should change channels.


    Finally, if you draw a paycheck expect your withholding to change soon to reflect the new tax rates. Your payroll department will use tables prepared for them that should be accurate. So if your withholding goes down and your take home pay goes up you can be pretty sure that you benefit from the new tax law. If your withholding goes up, you'll be paying more in taxes in 2018.


    Here's to a healthy and happy 2018!


    Keep on Stretching those 2018 Dollars!



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