CPAs, unlike providers of personal financial services, who are required by law to inform their clients of their policies regarding privacy of client information, have been and continue to be bound by professional standards of confidentiality that are even more stringent than those required by law. At Smoker, Smith & Associates, we have always protected our client’s right to privacy and will continue to use our best efforts to do so in the future. We have adopted a privacy notice similar to that as required by financial services to inform you of our practices with regard to your personal financial information.

Types of Nonpublic Personal Information We Collect

We collect non-public personal information about you that is directly provided to us by you or obtained by us only following your direct written authorization. No other or additional non-public personal information will be collected by Smoker, Smith & Associates absent your written direction or approval.

Parties to Whom we Disclose Information.

For a current and former client we do not disclose non-public personal information obtained in the course of our services for you except as may be required and permitted by law without your written direction. Thus, we may disclose confidential information made in response to a valid Order of Court or authorized agency of the government and always work to establish a legal means to limit such disclosure to only that segment of personal financial information which must be legally required to be disclosed.

We also may disclose information to our employees and in very limited situations and to unrelated third parties who need to know the information for the purpose of assisting us in providing professional services to you. To the extent reasonably possible, we will notify you in advance and disclose to you any non-public personal information provided to any third parties for such purposes. In all such situations, and at all times, we stress the confidential nature of the information being shared to both employees and third parties.

All disclosure of information to persons other than employees or consultants to Smoker, Smith & Associates is performed by the method of transmission as requested by the client. If facsimile is requested, such is sent only after the fax number is verified to be correct and the fax machine is in secure information with appropriate disclosures regarding IRS Circular 230. If transmission is by mail, normally certified mail or nationally recognized delivery service will be utilized requiring a signature from the receiving party. If information is desired to be transmitted electronically, various and appropriate security devices and practice to prevent improper obtainment or interception of information.

Protecting the Confidentiality and Security of Current and Former Clients’ Information

We retain records relating to professional services that we provide so that we are better able to assist you with your professional needs and, in some cases, to comply with professional guidelines. Such records are retained, however, for so long as necessary to fulfill the stated purposes of our engagement and thereafter either destroyed or returned to the client as directed. In order to guard your nonpublic personal information, we maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards that comply with our professional standards.



WE DO NOT DISCLOSE ANY NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU TO ANYONE FOR ANY PURPOSE THAT IS NOT SPECIFICALLY PERMITTED BY LAW OR SPECIFICALLY DIRECTED BY YOU. 




Smoker, Smith & Associates retains the right and obligation to update this privacy policy at any time without advance notice. If you have any questions regarding this privacy policy, our professional ethics and/or the ability to provide you with quality financial services, please contact us immediately. 

2021 Standard Mileage Rates

  • 56 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 16 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

2020 Standard Mileage Rates

  • 57 1/2 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

Check It Out!

Check out the article in the Central Penn Business Journal, Women Who Lead, March 2019 article featuring our partner Jori Culp

http://www.cpbj.com/article/20190306/CPBJ01/303069999/women-who-lead-jori-m-culp-cpa?fbclid=IwAR1QS3LqoY_P5jEkST4y0QOhRYFYvqzr3UunTpTTFF5PKLUqEfT3JSxd-Tw

Tax-Related Identity Theft

The IRS combats tax-related identity theft with aggressive strategies of prevention, detection and victim assistance. To find out more about tax-related identity theft call our office or visit https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams/identity-protection for information and guidance.

Remember that the IRS will never contact you by electronic means. This includes emails, phone calls, text messages, or social media channels. If you are ever in doubt whether contact by someone claiming to be from the IRS is legitimate, call our office first for verification.

 

As we approach the holidays and the end of the year, many people may want to make gifts of cash or stock to their loved ones. By properly using the annual exclusion, gifts to family members and loved ones can reduce the size of your taxable estate, within generous limits, without triggering any estate or gift tax. The exclusion amount for 2021 is $15,000.

The exclusion covers gifts you make to each recipient each year. Therefore, a taxpayer with three children can transfer $45,000 to the children every year free of federal gift taxes. If the only gifts made during a year are excluded in this fashion, there’s no need to file a federal gift tax return. If annual gifts exceed $15,000, the exclusion covers the first $15,000 per recipient, and only the excess is taxable. In addition, even taxable gifts may result in no gift tax liability thanks to the unified credit (discussed below).

Note: This discussion isn’t relevant to gifts made to a spouse because these gifts are free of gift tax under separate marital deduction rules.

Gift-splitting by married taxpayers

If you’re married, a gift made during a year can be treated as split between you and your spouse, even if the cash or gift property is actually given by only one of you. Thus, by gift-splitting, up to $30,000 a year can be transferred to each recipient by a married couple because of their two annual exclusions. For example, a married couple with three married children can transfer a total of $180,000 each year to their children and to the children’s spouses ($30,000 for each of six recipients).

If gift-splitting is involved, both spouses must consent to it. Consent should be indicated on the gift tax return (or returns) that the spouses file. The IRS prefers that both spouses indicate their consent on each return filed. Because more than $15,000 is being transferred by a spouse, a gift tax return (or returns) will have to be filed, even if the $30,000 exclusion covers total gifts. We can prepare a gift tax return (or returns) for you, if more than $15,000 is being given to a single individual in any year.)

“Unified” credit for taxable gifts

Even gifts that aren’t covered by the exclusion, and that are thus taxable, may not result in a tax liability. This is because a tax credit wipes out the federal gift tax liability on the first taxable gifts that you make in your lifetime, up to $11.7 million for 2021. However, to the extent you use this credit against a gift tax liability, it reduces (or eliminates) the credit available for use against the federal estate tax at your death.

Be aware that gifts made directly to a financial institution to pay for tuition or to a health care provider to pay for medical expenses on behalf of someone else do not count towards the exclusion. For example, you can pay $20,000 to your grandson’s college for his tuition this year, plus still give him up to $15,000 as a gift.

Annual gifts help reduce the taxable value of your estate. There have been proposals in Washington to reduce the estate and gift tax exemption amount, as well as make other changes to the estate tax laws. Making large tax-free gifts may be one way to recognize and address this potential threat. It could help insulate you against any later reduction in the unified federal estate and gift tax exemption.

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339 West Governor Road, Suite 202, Hershey, PA 17033
Phone: (717) 533-5154  •  Toll-Free (888) 277-1040