Kelly Whisenant

Have you ever received a tax document that has bold print that reads "CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISOR"? Bring it to us!

The reason for those disclaimers is because of the potential liability associated with providing tax advice. Providing tax advice is what we do.
But please remember that when you are with your agent working on the current tax returns, if you have tax questions about the future, try to hold those until the end of the interview. Once your agent has gathered all of your information and keyed it into our computer system, he will have an updated snapshot picture of your tax and financial situation on his computer screens and will be better equipped to answer questions about the future.

2016 Federal Income Tax Brackets

We must determine your filing status before we can determine whether you are eligible to claim certain deductions and credits. In general, your filing status depends on whether you are considered unmarried or married. Simple right?
You can choose married filing jointly as your filing status if you are considered married and both you and your spouse agree to file a joint return. If you are divorced under a final decree by the last day of the year, you are considered unmarried for the whole year and you cannot choose married filing jointly as your filing status.

You are considered unmarried for the whole year if, on the last day of your tax year, you are unmarried or legally separated from your spouse under a divorce or separate maintenance decree. State law governs whether you are married or legally separated under a divorce or separate maintenance decree.

You are Head of Household if you are unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year, you paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the tax year and a qualifying person lived with you in the home for more than half the year (except for temporary absences such as college).

You can choose married filing separately as your filing status if you are married. This filing status may benefit you if you want to be responsible only for your own tax or if it results in less tax than filing a joint return. If you file married filing separately as your filing status, special rules apply.

Married Filing Jointly
  • 10% - $0 - 18,550
  • 15% - $18,551 - 75,300
  • 25% - $75,301 - 151,900
  • 28% - $151,901 - 231,450
  • 33% - $231,451 - 413,350
  • 35% - $413,351 - 466,950
  • 39.6% - over $466,950
  • 10% - $0 - 9,275
  • 15% - $9,276 - 37,650
  • 25% - $37,651 - 91,150
  • 28% - $91,151 - 190,150
  • 33% - $190,151 - 413,350
  • 35% - $413,351 - 415,050
  • 39.6% - over $415,050
Head Of Household
  • 10% - $0 - 13,250
  • 15% - $13,251 - 50,400
  • 25% - $50,401 - 130,150
  • 28% - $130,151 - 210,800
  • 33% - $210,801 - 413,350
  • 35% - $413,351 - 441,000
  • 39.6% - over $441,000
Married Filing Separately
  • 10% - $0 - 9,275
  • 15% - $9,276 - 37,650
  • 25% - $37,651 - 75,950
  • 28% - $75,951 - 115,725
  • 33% - $115,726 - 206,675
  • 35% - $206,676 - 233,475
  • 39.6% - over $233,475


"What Other People Do On Their Tax Returns"
The best and easiest way to avoid over-paying taxes is to hire a tax professional; EA, CPA or attorney.
Many people will reason away the thought, thinking that the fee involved with hiring a tax professional will outweigh any tax savings. That is a possibility, but I can say that in the last thirty years I've seen that be the case very few times. I'm going to share just a couple of examples where I met new clients not long ago (no names or details of course).

New Client #1 - This gentleman had been retired for approximately ten years and had been reporting his retirement income to the State of Alabama and paying state income tax on it, roughly $800 per year. His retirement came from a Defined Benefit Plan which is not taxable by the state. We were able to go back and re-file his state returns and get $1,600 in refunds, plus we saved him $800 per year from now on. Unfortunately the statute of limitations prevented us from recovering approximately $6,400 he paid in previous years.

New Client #2 -This fellow had a letter from the IRS that said he owed $36,000. He was in shock when he came in. It turned out that he had done some "day trading" of stocks a couple of years ago, lost money on every trade and thought he didn't have to report it. The IRS was attempting to tax him on the gross sales proceeds of all those transactions. When we corrected his return and claimed his cost basis in the stocks that he had bought and sold, the IRS gave him a $750 refund and paid him interest to boot.

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