Client Feature: Dick Powell of Powell Petroleum

A look into the past, present, and future of a successful and dedicated entrepreneur  A Look into the Past  One decision can change everything, and for Dick Powell, it did.  Dick grew up in an entrepreneurial household with a father who worked full-time as a farmer and operated a trucking company as a second business. Dick graduated from Iowa State University with a BS degree in Agriculture. Upon graduation, he accepted a job with Amoco Oil in the fertilizer manufacturing business. While at Amoco, Dick served as the bridge between Amoco and the petroleum marketers who re-sold Amoco petroleum products.  Dick thought he was going to be with Amoco for the remainder of his work career. But, his future changed suddenly when he was asked to transfer to Philadelphia. For family reasons and his love of Wisconsin, he decided to leave Amoco without another job lined up. During the 20 years that he worked for Amoco, his interest in being a Jobber, or wholesaler, grew. This interest led him to a small Jobber in Wisconsin (Fletcher Oil Company, a petroleum marketer for Shell petroleum products) that was looking to sell some assets. These included several convenience stores, car repair stations, a bulk motor oil business, HVAC, and bulk distribution to farmers, commercial customers, and dealers. The purchase of assets from Fletcher Oil Company, which he renamed to Wisconsin Petroleum Inc (WPI), was long and challenging. Dick struggled to find a banker to help finance his new business; he went through three rejected proposals before finding a banker who was willing to take the risk with him. The final agreement...

I Can’t Afford My Tax Bill, What Now?

When tax time rolls around, you may be wondering, “what happens if I can’t afford my tax bill?” Perhaps you file on time but know you won’t be able to pay your bill in full. Or, maybe you weren’t expecting a tax bill at all and don’t have enough money saved to pay. If you can’t afford your tax bill, don’t panic. More than half of millennials don’t have $500 set aside for a tax bill, so you’re not alone. There’s a handful of options available to help you. The most important thing you can do if you can’t afford your bill is to be proactive. Avoid waiting for the IRS to call, as the penalties and limitations may be much harsher. The IRS may be more likely to accommodate if you create a record of honest, dedicated communication. How do I pay my tax bill off? The due date for paying your 2019 taxes is the due date of your return, April 15, 2020. Even if you file for an extension, the IRS expects you to estimate the amount of tax due and pay your tax bill by April 15. If you file on time but do not pay timely, the IRS will charge you interest, currently a 5% annual rate (subject to change each quarter) on unpaid tax bills. In addition, you may be charged a 0.5% per month “failure to pay tax” penalty (maximum of 25%). If you plan to pay the amount due in a few months, plan to file your return by the due date, figure out what you can afford to pay monthly...

A Guide to Tax Deductions & 3 Common Deductions to Take

When tax time rolls around and your bill starts adding up, tax deductions can be a big money saver. As long as you know what they are and how to take advantage of them. Here’s a quick guide to tax deductions and the three most common deductions to take. What is a Tax Deduction? Tax deductions lower a person’s tax liability by decreasing his or her taxable income. Deductions are typically expenses that the taxpayer incurs during the year that can be subtracted from his or her adjusted gross income to figure out how much tax is owed. The government uses tax deductions as a way to entice taxpayers to participate in community service programs for the betterment of society. This means taxpayers who are aware of state and federal deductions can benefit greatly from tax deductions while also supporting and giving back to their communities throughout the year. There are two ways to claim tax deductions: take the standard deduction or itemize deductions. Keep in mind that you cannot do both. Standard Deduction vs Itemized Deductions The standard deduction is a non-taxable portion of income that can be used to reduce your bill. As mentioned above, you can only take the standard deduction if you choose to not itemize your deductions. The standard deduction amount is calculated based on your filing status, age, whether you’re disabled, or are claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return. For 2019 taxes filed in April 2020, the standard deductions are: $12,200 for single taxpayers $12,200 for married taxpayers filing separately $18,350 for heads of households $24,400 for married taxpayers filing...

End-of-Year Tax Tips for Businesses

December is known for its celebrations, reflections, and planning. If you’re a business owner, you’re likely setting revenue goals for next year, buying holiday gifts, and planning out any big purchases or investments. As you close out your books for the calendar year, below are some valuable (non-retirement plan) end-of-year tax tips to keep in mind. Review your reports with your accountant What can you do to make sure your business ends the calendar year with a healthy financial status? If you’re a DMA monthly or quarterly business client, start by reviewing your most recent financial statements. If you have questions, concerns, or corrections, please contact our office to discuss with your tax advisor. If you are a DMA business tax client but are not a monthly or quarterly business client, start by reviewing your profit/loss statements from your computer software or manual system. You can also complete your Tax Organizer which will remind you of previous year deductions. You will be receiving it in the mail in mid-December – contact us if you don’t receive it! If you’re not a DMA client, consider consulting with a tax planning expert. These professionals have experience with businesses of all sizes, across multiple industries. After reviewing your expenses, billing, and costs, they will offer advice and strategy planning based on your unique situation. No matter who you visit, make sure that you have your records accurate, complete, and as up to date as possible at the time of the meeting. It is difficult for a professional to provide good advice when the information provided is not up-to-date, complete, and accurate. Defer...

Tax Tips for Major Life Changes

Generally, it’s rare for people to think about their taxes when major life changes occur, and understandably so. Paperwork is the farthest thing from the minds of those who just got married, had a baby, or bought their first home. Though your tax filing status or the amount of money to withhold on your paychecks aren’t your top priorities when these changes occur, it’s important to round back to your taxes once the dust begins to settle. This month, we’ll review the top three major life changes that require updates to your tax filing and outline the most important steps you should take before tax season. Getting Married 1. Update your last name with the Social Security Administration (SSA). Once you’ve unpacked the wedding presents and sent off your thank-you cards, be sure to let the SSA know if you decided to change your last name to match your spouse’s. The name on your tax return must match your name on file with the SSA. If it doesn’t, your tax return may get rejected – delaying your return until the confusion is rectified. If the tax deadline is nearly here and you’re concerned the name change may not be updated in time, simply file a joint return under the original name that the SSA has recorded. Then, update your name with the SSA after your tax return (or bill) arrives. 2. Update your paycheck withholding. Sit down with your new spouse, your budget, and a W-4. Determine which tax withholding allowances you qualify for, and who will claim which ones.  If you are uncertain where to start, it would...