To Be or Not to Be in the Tax Preparation Saga: Advice from 30 years of experience from Linda Osborne, Howell Board Member

Linda Osborne, CPA
Not to be an additional source of stress - especially after our Stress Management and Health Seminar last week – but the yearly dread of preparing and turning in our taxes is just around the corner. April 15th is just 15 days away. Have you done your taxes already? 

If not, our own Linda Osborne, CPA and Board Member of the Doris A. Howell Foundation has very valuable advice: find a tax preparer. We might seem a little biased as we have such a wonderful resource with us. But consider this: unless you want to go through the 292-page guide on what is new in tax deductions and wish to click away on the thousands of links provided to optimize your tax return – not only at a federal level but at a state level as well, consulting with a tax preparer who spends all year learning about new tax preparation laws, trends and benefits is probably the best option out there.

A couple of recently passed laws that might have a tax implication in your 2013 tax return exemplify the need to hire an expert: The Affordable Care Act and Tax Preparation for Same Sex Marriages.

For most people, the Affordable Care Act has no effect on their 2013 federal income tax return – in other words, you will probably not be required to report your health care coverage or claim the premium tax credit until you file your 2014 return in 2015. However, there are items that might need to be considered when filing your 2013 tax return, such as the additional Medicare tax, for example.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles
Free Digital Photos.net 
Did you know that while same sex marriage is recognized by the IRS at the federal level -and even when they reside in a state that does not recognize the validity of the marriage, the taxpayer’s same sex spouse cannot file using head of household filing status or their spouse be recognized as a dependent of the tax payer? There are, however, many advantages and benefits of filing taxes under the ‘married filing jointly’ or ‘married filing separately’. And here is where the experience comes in hand!


From Preparing Taxes to Women’s Health Advocacy.

Linda Osborne has been providing business and taxation services to the San Diego community for over 30 years. She is a member of the California Society of CPA’s. After working for various Public Accounting companies in San Diego and decided to open her own practice in 1989. Exceptional tax preparation services meant growth for Linda. She opened her office in Pacific Beach in 2003 and specializes in small business and personal tax advisory services.

She joined the Board of Directors of the Doris A. Howell Foundation in 2001 after knowing Dr. Howell for several years and hearing of the work done by the foundation. " Promoting the health and wellness of women and their families by awarding student research scholarships and hosting lectures from outstanding experts in the most current medical topics seemed a valuable endeavor. It is through education that the breakthroughs in the treatment and elimination of disease will happen", she comments.  Linda realized that a single breakthrough could be the one that saved her or her loved ones from pain and suffering.  She wants to be a part of it.

She currently oversees the financial health of the Foundation as Chief Financial Officer, and we couldn't be in better hands!

Best stated by Mark Twain, “One who carries a cat by the tail learns something that can’t be learned in no other way”. Not that she has carried many cats by the tail, bur her best piece of advice? Actually a couple:

  • Make sure you regularly check with your tax preparer. He or she will be fully aware of the latest news on the year’s tax law changes, and will offer expertise on the best way to file your taxes. He or she will let you know about the documents/records you need to save throughout the year that are tax deductible and can work in your favor. 
  • Beware of Scams: Thieves wanting to get your tax refund or steal your identity are more active than ever! Please be aware that the IRS DOES NOT INITIATE DIRECT CONTACT WITH TAX PAYERS, EVER. Do not engage with any e-mail, phone call or fictitious ‘contact attempt’ from the IRS. The IRS will always contact you with a notice via the postal service. Please also be aware that it is next to impossible to pay “Zero Taxes”, as many e-books might claim. Paying taxes is not a voluntary issue, but an obligation. 

Remember that in filing your tax returns, it’s all about the advice that comes from years of experience and preparation, and not filling out forms. For more information on what’s new at the IRS, visit www.irs.gov/uac/What's-Hot

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