Category Archives: Taxes

7 Tips on How To Use Your Tax Refund

7 Tips on How To Use Your Tax Refund

While I completely disagree with giving the government an interest free loan, many Americans receive a big tax refund check each year. In fact, the average refund check in 2016 was about $3000. Now, this check isn’t a bonus from the taxman, rather it was your money all along.

Having said that, if you are receiving a big refund this year be sure and treat it just like you would any other money coming in. Make sure you have a purpose for it! We’ve outlined 7 ways you can use your tax refund for your financial benefit.

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How Will Trump Affect The US

(Photo by Steve Sands/FilmMagic)
President Trump (Photo by Steve Sands/FilmMagic)

There are a lot of issues that Mr. Trump will need to address during his presidency.  The key is to understand how will Trump effect the US.

How will Trump and Congress get along?

Republicans have control of the White House, the Senate and the House, but that doesn’t mean he will have an easy time on Capitol Hill. The GOP was badly fractured throughout the primary and general election season, as Trump insulted his way through 17 Republican opponents.

Several big names in the party, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Arizona Sen. John McCain and 2012 nominee Mitt Romney refused to support Trump, and House Speaker Paul Ryan would not campaign with him. Trump will have to build support with his former opponents to push his populist agenda into law.

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Promises and Price Tags


Promises and Price Tags” is a comprehensive fiscal analysis of the policies put forward by presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The full report is available as a printer-friendly PDF (57 pp.), and the Chartbook can be viewed here.

Executive Summary

The next president will enter office with the national debt at post-World War II record high levels.  Debt held by the public currently totals over $14 trillion.  This is nearly 77 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  The debt is projected to grow as a share of the economy to almost 86 percent by 2026 and about 150 percent by 2050.  Our growing national debt threatens to slow economic growth and is ultimately unsustainable. Yet neither presidential candidate has a plan to address it.

This growing debt is largely the result of rising entitlement spending and growing interest costs. Social Security, federal health spending, and interest costs are projected to be responsible for over four-fifths of spending growth over the next decade.  Keep in mind that the interest being the fastest growing area of the budget.

Ever-rising levels of debt are unsustainable. Which means that at some point policymakers will need to slow spending growth, increase revenue, or do both. The national discussion surrounding and the political promises made during the 2016 election can lay the foundation for necessary changes in fiscal policy.

Encouragingly, both of the major parties’ presumptive presidential nominees have highlighted the need for fiscal responsibility on the campaign trail. Unfortunately, to date neither former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton nor businessman Donald Trump has put forward a plan to address the national debt.

To see the entire guide follow this link:

Interactive Tools

Our most popular tool lets you make the tough choices to solve our country’s debt problem. See if you can come up with a solution to reduce the debt to 60 percent of GDP by 2021

Think you could secure the future of Social Security? This tool allows you to select revenue and benefit changes to stabilize Social Security and make it sustainable for the next generation.

To see all the interactive tools to fix the debt for our country follow this link:

Social Security Status And Possible Fixes

Social Security Status
Social Security Status


Not much has changed in the financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds since last year, according to today’s release of the annual report on the status of the funds by the Social Security Board of Trustees.

The combined asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2034, the same as projected last year, with 79 percent of benefits payable at that time.

The DI Trust Fund will become depleted in 2023, extended from last year’s estimate of 2016, with 89 percent of benefits still payable.

In the 2016 Annual Report to Congress, the Trustees also announced:

·        The asset reserves of the combined OASDI Trust Funds increased by $23 billion in 2015 to a total of $2.81 trillion.

·         The combined trust fund reserves are still growing and will continue to do so through 2019.

·         Beginning in 2020, the total cost of the program is projected to exceed income.

·         The year when the combined trust fund reserves are projected to become depleted, if Congress does not act before then, is 2034 – the same as projected last year. At that time, there will be sufficient income coming in to pay 79 percent of scheduled benefits.

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Escrow or Not To Escrow

Escrow AccountEscrow Accounts

Homebuyers typically pay extra money into escrow accounts every month, along with their home loan payments. It’s kind of like having your mom or dad hold on to your money when you were a kid while you went and played.  Escrow accounts can take the pain of losing your money or not being prepared to pay a large annual bill.

How do Escrow Accounts work?

When you put money in escrow it is held by a neutral third party (called an escrow agent) who works for both the lender and the borrower. The agent’s role is to carry out the instructions agreed upon by both parties. The money is released when all the terms of the agreement are met. Escrow can be involved in anything from multimillion-dollar building projects to purchases made on online auction sites.

Audio File: Escrow or Not To Escrow

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Identity Theft Refund Fraud

identity theft irs

Identity Theft

There have been lots of stories over the past few months on identity theft and how the information can be used against you. You may have heard something about stolen identity tax fraud. You may even have been a victim of it. It’s the biggest tax scam around now.

We used to watch movies see people meeting up with Guido to get someones identity, or maybe people entering into the witness protection program and a new identity being created for them. Maybe you watched Matt Daman, aka Jason Bourne/ CIA Agent, in the Bourne Film Series where he had identities all around the world.

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Identity Theft: Stolen Identity Refund Fraud

identity theft irs

Identity Theft is no fun to have to go through and having your identity stolen is unfortunately becoming common place these days.

In the movies we would watch a person meeting Guido in the back alley or the characters in the movies were placed in the witness protection program with a new identity.  Maybe you were intrigued with Matt Damon aka Jason Bourne, CIA Agent, in the Bourne Film Series who has a ton of identities hidden all over the world.

Now every day people are having their identities stolen by an ever growing world of  identity stealing thieves.  For the victim it is a very pain staking process to clean up your claim of you are who you say you are to the world of creditors.

Doug and Tammie disucss their situation of where someone tried to file their taxes for them which sounds nice BUT it wasn’t a CPA!

Below are the IRS links for you to go to to clean things up with the IRS:

  • Complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, if your efiled return rejects because of a duplicate filing under your SSN or you are instructed to do so. Use a fillable form at, print, then attach the form to your return and mail according to instructions.


Commercial Real Estate with Greg Schowe

Greg Schowe show cardBorn and raised on the family farm in east central Missouri, Greg knew at an early age the definition of hard work and an honest living. After high school Greg applied the traits learned on the farm and enlisted in the U.S. Navy for 6 ½ years. After military life Greg decided to pursue the mortgage and real estate industries. Since 2003, he has been licensed to sell real estate. His emphasis started out in the apartment industry and later bridged over to include retail, office and gas stations, and businesses. His attention to detail and his honesty are just a few of the traits his clients have boasted about Greg. He also believes real estate is a relational business proven in that many of Greg’s clients have relied on him in multiple transactions and call him on a regular basis to get his feedback and in depth knowledge about current trends and analysis of the commercial real estate market. Greg’s clients include banks, corporations and individual investors. Recent awards include 2013 St. Charles County Association of REALTORS Commercial Member of the Year and 2014 National Association of REALTORS Commercial Recognition Award. Greg also has become the 1031 Exchange expert in the Midwest and has taught the subject to attorneys, CPA’s and real estate professionals since 2004. Greg’s passion of helping veterans continues as he currently serves as President of God Cares, a privately funded nonprofit group that provides financial aid and resources to veterans who are unemployed or homeless. Greg currently lives in O’Fallon, MO with his wife, Melanie; daughter, Nora, and dog, Chauncey. Greg’s hobbies include golf, baseball and spending time on the family farm.

Call Greg today!


Greg Schowe Segment 1

Greg Schowe Segment 2



1031 Tax Deferred Exchange with Greg Schowe

Greg Schowe show cardGreg Schowe  with United Country Real Estate- Commercial  joins Doug and Tammie in the studio to help shed some light on the 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange opportunity for investors.

The payment of income or capital gain tax on the sale of property can be voluntary thanks to Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code which is one of the most underutilized sections of the tax code.  Maybe for the laymen better understood as a 1031 Rollover.  Basically the gain is rolled over to a new property. There are an unlimited number of times an individual can successfully rollover gain and postpone tax. The ultimate goal is to make this tax disappear by one of two ways:

1. Sellers may successfully rollover gain and ultimately move into one of their investment properties and declare it to be their primary residence. Provided they are married and have held the property for five years, reside in the property for a minimum of two years, they can exempt $500,000.00 in taxes upon the ultimate sale.

2. Capital gains taxes are eliminated upon the death of the property owner. Heirs receive a step up in basis on the date of death.

Below are some simple points to master to have a clear understanding of the rules pertaining to 1031 exchanges.

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John Niemann, CPA / Niemann & Company

john neimannJOHN NIEMANN   is the founder of Niemann & Company and a leading expert on solving individual and small business IRS tax problems. As a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist (CTRS) and a CPA, he has represented hundreds of taxpayers who owe the IRS, but simply cannot afford to pay.

John has over 35 years experience as a CPA in the tax arena, with the last 15 years dedicated to helping individuals and businesses solve their IRS collection-related problems. He is consistently quoted in the media as leading expert in his field. John has been an expert contributor to the Doug Haldeman Show on FMNewsTalk 97.1 in Saint Louis.

He is a licensed CPA in the state of Missouri. He is also a member of the American Society of Tax Problem Solvers, a non-profit organization whose members are subject to rigorous standards of ethics and professional conduct.