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New Year, New Numbers


Happy New Year! We would like to highlight some figures that will be helpful in your financial and retirement planning for this coming year.

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Bitcoin—Finance’s Wild New Craze

January 12, 2018

It’s almost impossible nowadays to open a newspaper or spend any significant time online without stumbling onto an article or blog about the latest trend in finance—Bitcoin.

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Keywords: bitcoin

2018 tax reform changes: At a glance

January 7, 2018

Congress has passed tax reform that will take effect in 2018, ushering in some of the most significant tax changes in three decades. Here are some major items in the new bill that impact individual taxpayers.

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Keywords: reform, tax

Standard mileage rate increase for 2018

January 7, 2018

It's time to revise the standard mileage rate you use to calculate deductible vehicle expenses during 2018 for business, medical and moving mileage. Take a look at what changed.

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Keywords: mileage rates

The best way to avoid an audit: Preparation

January 7, 2018

Getting audited by the IRS is no fun. Some taxpayers are selected for random audits every year, but the chances of that happening to you are very small. You are much more likely to fall under the IRS’s gaze if you make one of several common mistakes.

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Keywords: audit, tax

December 2017 Market Insight

January 1, 2018

2017 Year in Review & 2018 Outlook

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Keywords: market insight

The best way to avoid an audit: Preparation

December 26, 2017

Getting audited by the IRS is no fun. Some taxpayers are selected for random audits every year, but the chances of that happening to you are very small. You are much more likely to fall under the IRS’s gaze if you make one of several common mistakes.

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Keywords: audit, irs, tax

Mileage rates for 2018

December 26, 2017

The IRS recently announced mileage rates to be used for travel in 2018. The standard business mileage rate increased by 1 cent to 54.5 cents per mile. The medical and moving mileage rates also increased by 1 cent, to 18 cents per mile. Charitable mileage rates remained unchanged at 14 cents per mile.

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Keywords: mileage rates

Looking ahead: Tax reform in 2018

December 26, 2017

Congress has passed tax reform that will take effect in 2018, ushering in some of the most significant tax changes in three decades. Here are some major items in the new bill that impact individual taxpayers.

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Keywords: reform, tax

2017 TAX REFORM: Checkpoint Special Study on Individual Tax Changes in the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act"

December 26, 2017

The recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a sweeping tax package that will take effect in 2018. Here is a detailed article provided by our tax service of the significant changes impacting individuals and businesses.

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Keywords: reform, tax

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Summary

December 22, 2017

The recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) is a sweeping tax package. Here's a look at some of the more important elements of the new law that have an impact on individuals.

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Business owners: Ready for 1099 reporting?

December 7, 2017

There are more than a dozen variations of the information return known as Form 1099. Most are specific to certain industries. But nearly every company, large or small, has to issue Form 1099-MISC.

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Keywords: tax

Save on your 2017 tax bill with these last-minute moves

December 7, 2017

You still have time to put yourself in the best tax position possible before the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve. Follow these five tips and you won't be sorry when tax season rolls around.

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Keywords: tax

November 2017 Market Insight

December 1, 2017

We hope the Thanksgiving holiday was a wonderful time for you and your loved ones. There’s usually plenty of food, football, and shopping. While Americans love to snatch up deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, did you know there’s another shopping event that is larger than these two days combined?

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Keywords: market insight

Get ready to save more in 2018

November 21, 2017

You can save more for retirement next year using tax-advantaged accounts, thanks to a boost in the maximum 401(k) contribution rate by the IRS. The maximum rate increases by $500 to $18,500, which is the first increase in three years.

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Keywords: tax planning, taxes

IRS and SSA release 2018 tax numbers

November 3, 2017

The IRS and the Social Security Administration published some inflation-adjusted numbers for retirement contributions and gifts for 2018. You can use this information as you begin your tax and financial planning for the coming year.

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Keywords: retirement, tax

Maximize your charitable gift deduction

November 3, 2017

Taxpayers often overlook and underreport charitable contributions on their tax returns.

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Keywords: charity

October 2017 Market Insight

November 1, 2017

This October, we experienced more of the same with the market ticking upward and achieving new all-time highs. In this environment, it’s important to remember that we haven’t seen some typical market moves in quite some time—namely a correction.

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Keywords: market insight

The Equifax breach and you: be proactive

October 20, 2017

Earlier this year, hackers were able to breach the security of Equifax, one of the three national credit reporting agencies. More than 143 million Americans – nearly half the entire country – were exposed to the attack, and may have had their personal information stolen (including names and birthdates, and Social Security and driver’s license numbers). Equifax is still determining exactly whose data has been exposed. While you wait to find out, it’s worth taking a few proactive steps to make sure your info isn’t misused by hackers.

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Keywords: security

Year-end tax checklist

October 20, 2017

As the year draws to a close, there are several tax-saving ideas you should consider. Use this checklist to make sure you don’t miss an opportunity before the year is out.

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Keywords: tax

6 must-dos when you donate to charity

October 20, 2017

Donations are a great way to give to a deserving charity, and they also give back in the form of a tax deduction. Unfortunately, charitable donations are under scrutiny by the IRS, and many donations without adequate documentation are being rejected.

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Keywords: charity

Teri Yoder Passes CPA Exam

October 14, 2017

Congratulations to Teri Yoder, Whitcomb & Hess Accounting Associate, for passing the Uniform CPA Examination in September!

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Welcome Tim Hilterman and Jake Buckwalter!

October 13, 2017

In August, we were pleased to welcome two new Investment Advisors, Tim Hilterman, CFP®, and Jake Buckwalter, to our Investment Advisory Team at Whitcomb & Hess.

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2% Cost of Living Adjustment Just Announced by Social Security for 2018


Social Security recipients will receive a 2% increase in their benefit in 2018.

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Keywords: social security

Equifax Cybersecurity Incident

By Tammy Higgins, Client Service Specialist   |  October 12, 2017

On September 7, 2017, the credit monitoring company Equifax announced a “cybersecurity incident” involving unauthorized access to consumer information affecting up to 143 million customers.

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Keywords: security

2017 Retirement Plan Contribution Limits


As we ease into fall, let’s review the maximum contribution limits for Retirement Plans for 2017.

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Keywords: retirement

Investment Update


What is usually a quieter summer period was rudely interrupted by more geo-political drama and extreme weather events. Nevertheless, overall good news in economic data from Europe, UK, Japan, and Brazil helped markets continue to creep up. At the time of this publication, US Stocks are rallying to all-time highs. The S&P 500 Index (large US companies) is up 14.24% YTD while international holdings are up 19.17% according to the MSCI World ex-USA index.

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Keywords: investment

Don't fall for fake charity scams

October 6, 2017

After disaster strikes, people often want to help those in need. Unfortunately, this is also when fake charities pop up. The IRS recently reported an uptick in emerging charity scams since hurricanes Harvey, Irma and others made landfall.

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Keywords: charity, scam, security

How to avoid 3 big tax mistakes

October 6, 2017

Every year taxpayers are hit with tax surprises that could be avoided if they just knew the rules. Here are three big ones that are easy to avoid with some simple planning.

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Keywords: tax, tax errors, taxes

September 2017 Market Insight

October 2, 2017

As September comes to a close, it’s interesting to look at a few market proverbs compared with how markets have been performing. “Sell in May and go away” refers to the strategy of booking profits at the end of May each year and waiting out a traditionally down time in the market. If you subscribed to this strategy in 2017, you would have missed out on the S&P 500 rising more than 4% over the summer (June 1 – Sept 29).

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Keywords: market insight