Timely tax tips taught in Midway

See what business folks and neighbors learned when a tax expert came by to share information that can reduce your total tax bill …

Tax consultant Elaine Elsea tells people at the Midway Business Association how to legally pay lower taxes this year.

Story and photo by David F. Ashton
Folks who come to the Midway Business Association do more than network – they get timely information that helps them run their business more efficiently.

Members at Midway are also involved with their community. President Donna Dionne told the group how a city grant is helping them fund boundary signs that define the group’s service area ‚Äì and the neighborhoods it serves.

Tax tips provided
January’s guest speaker was Elaine Elsea, of Portland Rose Accounting and Tax Service. “There are new things going on this year with taxes,” she began.

One can deposit up to $4,000 in an IRA savings account this year, she said. If one is over 50, they can deposit an additional $1,000. It applies to ROTH IRAs as well.

“Be sure to check for all eligible deductions,” Elsea continued. “Tuition, sales tax (if paid in another state), educator expenses (teachers) deduction ‚Äì these all add up.”

Be sure to ask your tax preparer about the way leasehold improvements are depreciated, she said. “They’ll stay 15 years. These were about to sunset; the President signed a bill to restore the deduction.”

Energy credits are back. If one insulates — puts in new storm windows or doors — they can take a 10% credit. The credit, she said, also applies to improvements such as a new energy-efficient furnace.

Work Opportunity and Welfare-to-Work credits have been restored.

Medical savings plans have also been extended. Also, one can make a one-time roll-over from IRA into a health savings account without paying income tax and a penalty.

In 2007, if you are required to have mortgage insurance, it will now be deductible as mortgage interest.

Thinking of buying a new car? “There are nice credits for hybrid vehicles available; but only for the original buyer of a new vehicle. These credits can be has high as $3,000 ‚Äì and it’s not a deduction but a credit,” Elsea explained.

These are just some of the wide variety of tips offered at the meeting.

Come by on February 13
If you have a business in the southern portion of outer East Portland, consider joining the Midway Business Association. You’ll get to know your business neighbors, join in a cooperative marketing effort, help our local community and schools, get more clout at City Hall, and promote and improve Outer Southeast Portland.

Join them for lunch on Tuesday, February 13 11:45 a.m. at Pizza Baron, 2604 SE 122nd Ave. (just south of Division St.).

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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