tax preparation Redwood City, CA

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New U.S. Income Tax Increase Can Be Avoided With Proper Tax Planning

New U.S. Income Tax Increase Can Be Avoided With Proper Tax Planning

Now is the time to review your tax situation and start your tax planning, because the 3.8% Medicare surtax is at hand this year.  Get Tax Planning at http://www.diazconsulting.comTax planning moves you make now can limit your exposure to it or prevent you from being ensnared in its tentacles.  We’ll take a look at some strategies that you can use. 

The surtax applies to net investment income of single filers with modified adjusted gross incomes above $200,000 and of joint filers over $250,000.  Marrieds filing separately have a $125,000 threshold.  Modified AGI is AGI plus tax free foreign earned income.  The tax is due on the smaller of net investment income or the excess of modified AGI over the thresholds. Investment income includes interest, dividends, capital gains, annuities, royalties and passive rental income. But interest on municipal bonds and payouts from 401(k)s, IRAs and pension plans aren’t covered. 

If your gains will be subject to the surtax, consider an installment sale, especially if your AGI without including the gain will be below the thresholds.  Or think about a like-kind tax-deferred exchange of investment realty in lieu of a taxable sale. The like-kind swap rules are very broad, allowing swaps of raw land for rental real estate and exchanges of nonresidential rental property for residential rental realty. And if you rent out a house you acquired via a swap for a couple of years, you can then convert the property to a personal residence without triggering an income tax bill on the gain that you previously deferred. And remember to take capital losses. They offset gains hit by the surtax.  Most gain on the sale of a primary home is exempted from the surtax.  Only profit in excess of the $250,000 principal residence exclusion for singles or $500,000 for couples can be hit. But the levy can apply to all gain on a second home. 

Filers with passive rental activities get a onetime chance to regroup them to blunt the impact of the surtax. This will help taxpayers with several businesses whose level of involvement in each doesn’t rise to the level of material participation, so the income is passive and subject to the surtax. Regrouping them as one activity makes it easier to satisfy the material participation tests and avoid the surtax. 

Another tactic is to take steps to keep your income below the thresholds.  Converting taxable compensation into tax free fringes is one way to do it.  You can enter into a nonqualified deferred-pay arrangement with your employer.  Or negotiate to receive incentive stock options in place of some of your salary.  When you exercise an ISO, you don’t have income for purposes of the regular tax or the surtax, although you do have income for alternative minimum tax purposes. 

Donating an IRA to charity works particularly well to beat the surtax.  Folks age 70½ or older can do a direct distribution of up to $100,000 this year from an IRA to charity. Couples can give up to $100,000 each from their separate IRAs.  This allows donors to avoid including required minimum distributions in income, which also lowers their AGI for purposes of determining if they owe the surtax.  If you miss out on tax planning, make certain you get a professional tax return preparer to do your taxes.

So, remember to start your tax planning now so that you have time to work your way around these rules and save taxes.  Visit Us for assistance at

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Prime Buyer's Report names Peter B Diaz CPA & Associates as Top 10 Tax Return Preparation Services in San Mateo County

By Lauren Bongard Schwarz, Associate Editor, The Prime Buyer's Report

Smart consumers have found they can save thousands of dollars at tax time by working with a professional accountant to plan ahead throughout the entire year, well before April. In fact, the right CPA (Certified Public Accountant) can help you get larger returns when you finally file your taxes, and make smarter financial decisions all year long.

A Proactive Approach to Saving You Money
Did you know that discount tax preparers or software programs can actually cost more than hiring a CPA? Peter B. Diaz, a CPA based in Redwood City CA, says they can—and the proof is in the savings. "Since not all tax return services offer the same result, what looks like a cheaper option can end up being a lot more expensive," he says. "Tax law isn't black and white, and there might be different options for the same set of facts. You can't judge the value of tax return services on their upfront cost. Instead, you should consider the tax savings."
Experience counts for a lot in the tax return business. But many employees at those tax chain outlets have only done a few seasons of tax filing, or less. Even at large accounting firms, tax preparation is often done by only junior accountants. That means you could be missing out on major deductions because junior accountants haven't learned yet all the ways to save clients money. And if you're doing your taxes at home with one-size-fits-all tax software, you could be losing even more money.
When you work with Peter Diaz, you benefit from his professional know-how. "I have over 25 years of experience doing taxes, and I handle every return for every one of my clients from start to finish," he says.
A San Mateo County client named Alan said Peter Diaz was skilled enough to prepare complicated tax returns. "And best of all, he knows how to save you lots of money," says Alan. "And that is what I want, someone who knows how to get me the biggest tax savings."

Your Own Financial Adviser
What is the biggest perk of working with a CPA? "My clients get the benefit of a relationship. When they work with me, they get their own financial adviser," says Peter Diaz. "And that's something you'll never get from a tax software program or a tax filing-only company. Those services are enough for some people, but other clients expect more. That's why I focus on consulting, planning and that client-professional relationship."
Peter Diaz in Redwood City CA has been Renate's personal and business accountant for more than 15 years. During a research phone call, Renate said she continues to work with Peter because of his business skills and reliable year-round consulting help. "Peter is thoroughly experienced and remembers everything. It's extraordinary. He is exact and straightforward. We always know what we can expect from him."
Tax filing centers are only open for a few weeks around tax time, leaving you without an advocate for most of the year. The same holds true for do-it-yourself software. If there is a problem with your numbers, there is no one to call for help.
And it's not uncommon for tax filers to get letters from the IRS. Peter Diaz says that can send some people into panic mode. "That is when most people realize they need an educated professional who can tell them what that notice means and how to respond to it," he says.
Even if you never need to respond to an IRS notice, chances are you'll have financial questions throughout the year. "My clients often use me as a sounding board for financial consulting matters," says Peter. "And with my background in business, I am able to help them with a lot of questions that don't have to do with taxes."
Peter says this open line of communication helps his clients make financial decisions that save them money all year long. "I encourage my clients to communicate with me," he says. "Any time they have a financial question, I want them to call and run it by me. By making smart financial decisions throughout the year, most clients can save a couple of thousand dollars even before they factor in tax savings."
Peter Diaz grew up in the Bay Area. His wife, Lana Diaz, is a financial analyst for a local biotech company. The couple and their four-year-old Golden Retriever, Harley, live in Redwood City CA, just three miles from both his parents and her mother. Peter says living close to their parents helps them keep a strong emphasis on family.
The Diazes say they're fortunate to live in San Mateo County because of all of the outdoor activities the Bay Area has to offer. They are both certified sailors and members of a local sailing club. On weekends they take their sail boats, which are up to 49-feet long, out on the San Francisco Bay. The couple also enjoys kayaking and riding motorcycles. "In fact, Lana is taking a class so she can get her motorcycle license," says Peter. "She wants to ride her own motorcycle, instead of always being on the back of my bike."

Walking in His Clients' Shoes
Peter Diaz first worked as a CPA for 10 years and then became tax director for two large publicly traded companies before starting his own business. "During my 10 years as a tax director, I worked with CPA firms who served me as their client," says Peter. "So I have been in my clients' shoes. I know what I liked about the firms that served me, and I know what I didn't like. I've incorporated those experiences into my services, and I know how to show clients they are important."
Peter's clients get one-on-one attention from him every time they call or visit. "I work with my clients over the long term," he says. "So I establish good working relationships with strong back-and-forth communication. That is the big reward for me—interacting with my clients and being a source of knowledge for them."
Peter Diaz's clients say they like the personal attention he gives them. During a research phone call, a client named Susan said Peter has handled her family's taxes for years. "He is incredible. He does his job thoroughly, and he is timely and easy to work with."
Customers who work with Peter Diaz feel comfortable talking about the details of their finances. "When clients know me and trust me, they feel safe sharing information that helps me save them money," says Peter Diaz. "If a client holds back financial details, it can cut into their tax savings, so feeling comfortable makes all the difference."
Money-savvy consumers know that hiring a personal accountant well before the tax season saves them money on their taxes when it comes time to file. So don't wait until tax time to find an accountant. Instead, choose a tax specialist like CPA Peter B. Diaz in Redwood City who has the experience and the know-how to deliver savings during tax time and throughout the year.
Lauren Bongard Schwarz
Associate Editor
ThePrime Buyer's Report

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Corporate Home Office Deductions

If you have been claiming a home office deduction as a sole proprietor and are considering incorporating you business, be aware that you could lose the benefits of your home office deductions.  The IRS rules limit the home office deduction for shareholders of a corporation even if you rent the office to your corporation.

As an employee of the corporation, if the office is maintained for the convenience of the employer and is a requirement of employment because the corporation provides no office, then generally the home office deductions are claimed on Schedule A as a Miscellaneous Itemized Deduction subject to the 2% floor on Adjusted Gross Income.  For example, if your adjusted gross income is $200,000 and your home office deductions total $5,000 you would only be able to claim a $1,000 deduction for the amount that exceeds 2% of $200,000.  Even worse, if you are subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax, you would get no benefit since Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions are not allowed for purposes of the Alternative Minimum Tax.

As a planning technique, you can have the corporation adopt what is called an “Accountable Reimbursement Plan” that meets certain IRS qualifications.  Basically, it requires employees to submit expense reports and get reimbursed by the corporation on a dollar for dollar basis for IRS deductible business expenses, including home office deductions that meet the IRS requirements of a home office.  When an accountable plan is used, the employee does not have to pick up the reimbursements as income on their W-2 wage statements, and the employer gets to deduct the expenses as if they were the expenses of the employer.  Accordingly, the expenses are moved from the personal tax return to the corporation tax return as reimbursed employee business expenses rather than expenses of a corporate office rented from the shareholder.

So far this technique has not been challenged by the IRS and I recently successfully defended it on an IRS audit.  This is good news when it comes time for your tax return preparationIf you have concerns about losing the benefits of your home office, please contact me for a consultation at 650-400-2539 or email me at for more information.  Visit

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Press Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Peter B. Diaz, CPA


Redwood City, CA

Peter B. Diaz, CPA – Tax Consulting & Financial Planning announced today it has been designated as a TOP 10 business by The Prime Buyer’s Report and so is officially designated “Prime Buyer’s Certified – TOP 10”.

The determination of Peter B. Diaz, CPA as a TOP 10 business was made based on a ten-point research process conducted by the independent publishers of The Prime Buyer’s Report. The process involved a thorough interview with Peter B. Diaz, CPA and phone calls to previous customers of Peter B. Diaz, CPA to determine their satisfaction. It also included Peter B. Diaz, CPA’s pledge to maintain the highest ethical standards regarding it’s pricing, customer communications, hiring practices, and more.

“I am proud to be recognized this way for the high quality of service and ethical business practices that have been the hallmark of my company since it was founded”, said Peter B. Diaz.
Peter B. Diaz, CPA is a full service Tax Consulting and Financial Consulting company assisting taxpayers and small businesses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

For full details on all research steps passed by Peter B. Diaz, CPA, and the ten-point “Best Business Practices Promise” it has pledged to maintain, visit

Peter B. Diaz, CPA’s own website is at . Those interested in services can call (650) 400-2539 anytime 9am-5pm Monday-Friday.

# # #

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Peter B. Diaz, CPA Receives Best of Redwood City Award

Press Release
Peter B. Diaz, CPA Receives Best of Redwood City Award
U.S. Local Business Association’s Award Plaque Honors the Achievement
WASHINGTON D.C., -- Peter B. Diaz, CPA has been selected for the Best of Redwood City Award in the Tax Return Preparation & Filing category by the U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA).
The USLBA "Best of Local Business" Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USLBA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2008 USLBA Award Program focused on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USLBA and data provided by third parties.
About U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA)
U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA) is a Washington D.C. based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USLBA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.
The USLBA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.
SOURCE: U.S. Local Business AssociationCONTACT:U.S. Local Business AssociationEmail: PublicRelations@USLBA.netURL: ###

visit to learn more about Peter B. Diaz, CPA

Friday, July 27, 2007

Kids Can Save You Taxes

(By Peter B. Diaz, CPA)

One often-overlooked tax benefit for business owners is putting their kids to work in their business.

If you are self-employed you can take advantage of this by paying your kids $4,000 each for performing services in your business. The business gets a tax deduction for the compensation and that saves taxes on the parent's tax return. Also, there is no Social Security or Medicare Taxes due on the wages you pay to your child.

The next step is to open a Roth IRA for the child and contribute the $4000 to the IRA. The child may not withdraw this money until age 59 1/2. The earnings and the amounts contributed grow tax-free and are generally never subject to tax when withdrawn. On the child’s tax return, the child gets no tax deduction for the IRA but the child may not pay tax on the $4000 if he or she is at a low enough level of income.

If you do this for 10 years, from age 8 to 18, and the IRA earns an 8% return each year, your child should have around $1.5 million at age 60 and that should grow to over $2 million by age 64.

If you plan to do this, consult with a professional tax advisor first and be sure your children are actually performing services for your business. Also, check that the work is not violating any child labor laws.

Peter Diaz is a Tax Advisor in Redwood City and has been practicing tax consulting for 23 Years. He can be reached at 650-400-2539 or through email at Visit his web site at .

The information contained herein is not intended as tax advice. To comply with requirements imposed by the IRS, any information contained in this communication cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code.