What Makes a Boss Truly Great?

How do you feel about your boss? If you’re a boss, how do your employees feel about you? In reality, the term boss doesn’t have the greatest connotation. That being said, some people still have great “bosses.” But what makes a boss, or a leader, great? 

Great companies offer their employees a lot of great benefits and perks. But what truly makes a company a great place to work is the people who run them. If you have a great boss, then you enjoy going to work. If you’re boss is awful then you’d rather be somewhere else. 

Great bosses share several common traits. Here are just a few of the most important ones. Great bosses have a lot of passion. They love what they do and they give 100 percent to everything they do. Great bosses also sacrifice their own interests for their employees. At times, they even take the fall for them and clean up their employees’ mistakes. 

Great bosses don’t pretend to be different people in different situations. What you see is what you get, all of the time. They have integrity and you count on them to be true to who they are no matter the situation. 

Great bosses are not afraid to admit when they’re wrong. They’re human like everyone else and they aren’t afraid to ask for help and learn from others. They’re open to working with others and they find the greatest joy when the whole team succeeds together. 

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Tax Filing Issues Have Jumped Greatly in 2019

Much of the news this tax-filing season has been about the changes in tax law, as well as the average refund amount. But there are other tax filing issues making news. In fact, that’s the exact problem. The 2019 tax season has been full of issues. 

According to statistics from the IRS National Taxpayer Advocate, taxpayers are making way more mistakes on their returns than last year. In fact, common mistakes are up by 200 percent compared to 2018. 

The good news is most of these mistakes are simple clerical issues. However, the bad news is the IRS still has to notify every taxpayer. And every taxpayer has to resolve each issue. That creates more work for the IRS, which creates a backlog of problems they have to resolve. 

Although there are clerical mistakes to deal with every year, with a 200 percent increase this year, plus a delayed tax season due to the government shutdown, the increased issues in 2019 prevent the agency from processing tax returns faster. 

If you have a refund coming, you’ll still get it. But if takes a little longer it just might be because IRS employees are extra busy correcting clerical errors. 

Contact GROCO if you want to avoid clerical errors and other issues on your tax return. Leave it to the pros to get your return filed correctly the first time. 

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Most Americans Not Aware of Important Tax Changes – Are You?

Do you like change? If you answered yes, then chances are you’ll enjoy this tax season. However, not everyone enjoys change and for some this tax season will be an even bigger headache than normal. 

But ready or not, tax changes are here and it’s up to you to be aware of how they will affect your tax return. According to a recent survey from GOBankingRates, an estimated 77 percent of taxpayers are not aware of all the new changes to the tax law this year. That could make for some scary times this tax season. So what about you? Do you know what’s changed this year, and are you ready for it? 

Here are just a few of the big changes you need to know. We’ve been sharing this information for several months, but given the numbers from the GoBankingRates survey, this information is worth repeating. 

For starters, itemizing deductions might be a thing of the past, at least for most taxpayers. Because the standard deductions have increased to $12,000 and $24,000 respectively, most people’s itemized deductions will not be more than the standard deductions. 

Refunds are likely going to be smaller this year for most taxpayers. That’s because less money was being withheld from your paychecks throughout the year. You’ve already been receiving that extra money from your refund the entire year. So be prepared for a smaller refund. 

Even if you’ve never hired professional help to do your taxes in the past, this year, you might need it. The tax code has changed significantly. And even though it was supposed to be less complicated, that isn’t the case. So contact GROCO to be sure you get your taxes done right. 

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Will This Tax Season Cause Even More Stress Than Normal?

Life is full of stress. And tax season can be one of the most stressful times of the year. Plus, with the new tax changes this year, things could get even more complicated for many taxpayers. It’s enough to blow your mind and send you spiraling out of control. Well, hopefully it’s not that bad. 

But if you’re feeling the extra stress of the tax season, here are some tips to remember that should help you find some Zen. Tax stress doesn’t have to overcome you. Start by breathing. Now that you’ve caught your breath, it’s time to be proactive.  

Your first step is to gather all your tax papers: W2s, 1099s, etc. Look for any receipts and other important paperwork you might need. Once you’ve gathered everything, it’s time to start filing. If you still feel overwhelmed, then get some professional help.  

This tax season is different than any other tax season before it, because of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. So this might be a good time to have a tax pro or accountant file your taxes for you. At GROCO, we take care of everything so you don’t have to worry. We make sure your taxes are done right and you get every possible deduction and credit. 

As a high net worth individual, you stand to gain a lot this tax season by having the pros do your taxes for you. So contact us for more help and leave the stress behind. 

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Don’t Expect to Find These Deductions When You File This Year

A lot has been made of the all the tax changes this year, thanks to the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. Many of the laws have been altered and some have been completely eliminated. Certain credits have been cut, while others have been increased. The same is true for deductions. Many of the usual deductions are still available, while others have been reduced. And some have been completely cut. 

So which deductions are gone that you need to be aware of? If you haven’t been paying attention, then you might be in for some unpleasant surprises. For starters, the personal exemption no longer exists. The Standard deductions were raised to make up for this, but for larger families, that might not help. 

Additionally, the state and local tax deductions have been capped at $10,000. Before the new law, the deduction amount was unlimited. This will have a big affect on people who live in high tax states. 

Furthermore, you can no longer claim interest from home equity loans unless you use the money to improve the primary residence for which the loan was secured. 

There are several other miscellaneous deductions that have also been eliminated, including unreimbursed work-related expenses. Moving expenses are also gone unless you’re in the military and you’re required to move. And don’t expect to deduct any expenses for tax preparation, either. That deduction is no longer available. 

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Many Taxpayers Surprised by Smaller Refunds

Sticker shock in the retail industry is not uncommon. But many taxpayers, this year, have been getting somewhat of a sticker shock when it comes to their tax refunds. That’s because so far this tax season, refunds have been down. Way down.  

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act came with promises of a nice tax break for the middle class. So why have so many refunds been reduced? The reason is the new laws changed withholding amounts. That means taxpayers have been getting more income with each paycheck. Because less money was being withheld all year, people are getting less back in their tax refunds

The problem is most taxpayers haven’t seen a huge difference from paycheck to paycheck. So they haven’t noticed the cumulative affect. The IRS warned taxpayers all year to check their W-4s to ensure the proper amount was being withheld. However, in many cases, taxpayers didn’t heed the warnings. 

Now that tax season is here, most taxpayers are expecting their usual refunds. But that’s just not happening, which is leaving numerous taxpayers upset. However, the truth is, you don’t want to have a large refund because that money belongs to you all year. The new tax laws make it so you get it up front, instead of waiting until the following tax season. 

But it might take some time for taxpayers to get used to the changes. 

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How Much Will Amazon Pay in Taxes on $11.2 Billion in Profit?

Editorial Credit: Shutterstock.com

You might think a company that makes more than $11 billion in profit would have a huge tax bill. After all, that makes complete sense. However, in the case of Amazon, the online retail giant, their tax bill is quite small. In fact, according to recent reports, the company will be paying a whopping $0 in taxes on their 2018 profit of $11.2 billion. 

How is that possible? It’s difficult to know exactly all the measures Amazon takes to avoid paying any tax on $11.2 billion. However, it all starts with the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. Thanks to the TCJA, the company’s tax liability dropped from 35 percent to 21 percent last year. 

The company also uses every available tax break to further reduce its tax bill, including exemptions, credits and tax loopholes. This isn’t the first time the company has paid zero tax. They did the same in 2017, on $5.6 billion in profit. 

However, the company claims that it pays all the taxes it’s required to pay in the U.S. and every other country in the world in which they operate. The news comes despite President Trump’s promises to make companies like Amazon pay their fair share of taxes. However, it remains clear that the many open loopholes still allow massive corporations to avoid paying tax. 

Florida Man Tries to Keep Huge Tax Refund That Was A Mistake

Just about every taxpayer eagerly waits for his or her tax refund this time of year. No matter what they plan to do with it, taxpayers can’t wait for that fat check from the IRS. But what if you somehow got a huge refund that was way larger than expected? What would you do with it? 

That happened in 2017 to one man in Florida, who decided he was going to try to keep it. The man only had about $3,500 in total wages. However, he somehow ended up with a refund of nearly $1 million. All he did was file his taxes. The 29-year-old man received a W2 from a company, which indicated he had earned $17,098 in wages in 2016. 

However, the W2 also indicated that $1 million of federal income had been withheld. According to reports, the company actually paid him $2,098 and no tax was withheld. The man decided to fill out his Form 1040 according to the info on his W2 and the IRS issued a refund of $980,000. 

The man must have thought he had gotten away with it because he kept the money. But that didn’t last. The IRS discovered its mistake and now it wants the money back. The man has not been charged in federal court at this point, but the case is pending. The next hearing has yet to be scheduled. 

If you ever get a refund larger than you should, your best bet is to notify the IRS. Eventually, they almost always catch these kinds of tax refund mistakes

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Why You Shouldn’t Be Planning on a Big Refund

Most people love tax time for one thing: a big refund. Of course, there’s not much else to love about it. But things are a little different this year. Those big tax refunds people are used to getting are not showing up. So far, the average refund is down by 8 percent this tax season. So why the change? 

The reality is most taxpayers have been receiving more income all year long, via larger paychecks. But many people haven’t really noticed. The truth is whether the money comes all in one chunk or little by little most taxpayers have seen their tax bill go down this year. 

However, even if you do still get a large refund, the fact is you’re doing it wrong. In most cases, getting a large refund means you’ve overpaid the government all year and they’ve been using your money.  

Ideally, it’s better to get a small refund, or no refund at all. That means you’ve had access to your money all year long.  

It’s still early in the tax season and bigger refunds could still be coming. But if the early signs are any indication, many taxpayers will be disappointed at the size of their refunds. But remember, a small refund is not necessarily a bad thing. 

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Add These Leadership Moves to Your To-Do List for 2019

Are you looking to grow or enhance your leadership skills this year? If you are, then you need to have a plan. You can’t expect to become a better leader just by showing up every day. There are some things you should be focused on if you want to become a better leader in 2019. These leadership tips are what some of the top leaders are already doing. 

Start by evaluating your leadership skills. You can do this by assessing your leadership behavior. What type of leader are you? Do you dominate those you lead, or do you try to influence? Do you lead with compassion or do you ignore others’ problems and concerns. Do you boss people, or do you give clear direction and positive reinforcement? 

Another thing to evaluate as you start this New Year is your willpower. How much do you have? Have you formed good habits that have a positive influence on your life? Or, are your daily habits the result of a weak mind? 

Speaking of habits, decide to get rid of a bad habit that isn’t serving you. At the same time, choose new habits you want to develop and work on them. In addition, it pays to identify your role models for the coming year and then do what you can to mimic them. 

Choose a strength you already have and make it stronger. Pinpoint a weakness you want to improve on and work at it. Lastly, choose a leadership skill you can share with those you lead and then teach them how to develop this skill. 

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