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Client Update Newsletter: December 2022

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it's easy to overlook that tax season is right around the corner. To help you make the most of potential tax saving moves before the end of 2022, this month's newsletter features several year-end tax cutting ideas.

Also have fun with the entire family by testing your holiday song knowledge! Plus, read about how to protect yourself from identity thieves during the upcoming tax season, and how to look at whether it is time to replace your old vehicle versus paying for another costly repair.

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to someone who may be interested in a topic and call with any questions you may have.


Year-End Tax Cutting Ideas

YearEnd Tax Cutting Checklist imageHere are moves you can make to reduce your taxable income. But the year is quickly coming to a close, so plan accordingly.

While the year is quickly coming to an end, there is still time to reduce your 2022 tax liability, but only if you act now.

Test Your Holiday Song Knowledge!

As you gather with family and friends this holiday season, have fun with our annual holiday quiz. This year's edition focuses on popular holiday songs. Get one point for each correct answer, except as noted. Good luck and good cheers!

Test Your Holiday Song Knowledge imageWant some more fun? Have the songs ready to play and start them as you ask the question.

  • Name the movie that introduced the song White Christmas.

    Bonus – Who sang it? (2 points)

    Double Bonus In what year? (2 points)

    Link to song

  • Holiday Inn. If you guessed the classic holiday movie White Christmas...good guess. The song was so popular it became the name of a second hit movie! The song White Christmas was actually introduced in the movie Holiday Inn, and sung by an up-and-coming singer named Bing Crosby, and written by Irving Berlin. The movie was released in 1942.
  • Who sings the popular version of Blue Christmas?

    [Hint: Play Doye O'Dell's version of the song, while asking this question.]

    Link to song

  • Elvis Presley. Most will remember this popular song as Elvis Presley’s most famous Christmas recording, but it was initially recorded almost 10 years earlier by country music singer Doye O’Dell in 1948.
  • How old was the singer of the original hit Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree?

    Give yourself a point if you can get within 2 years.

    Link to song

  • The singer is Brenda Lee who was 13 years old. An interesting fact: The song was written by Johnny Marks, who was Jewish and did not celebrate Christmas.
  • Name three songs that have reindeer in them.

    (One point for each answer up to 3 points)

    [Suggestion: Play Gene Autry's Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer during this question.]

    Link to song

  • Here are seven, but there are definitely more!

    Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
    Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
    The Night Before Christmas
    Little Saint Nick
    Up on the Housetop
    Run Rudolph Run
    The Christmas Song

  • The song Jingle Bells began its life under a different name with different lyrics. Name the original tune.

    Bonus Name the artists who sing the most popular recording of this tune.

    Link to song

  • One Horse Open Sleigh. The song, written by James Lord Peirpoint in 1850, was originally purported to be written around Thanksgiving for his father's Sunday School class. It was so popular, it received new lyrics and was used again during Christmas. It turns out some of the original lyrics were considered too suggestive to sing...but that's another story.

    Bonus The artists on the most popular recording of this tune are Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters.

  • Not all the classics come from bygone years. Mariah Carey added her own holiday music classic in 1994. What is the name of the song?
    Link to song
  • All I Want for Christmas is You. In 2017, The Economist reported that Carey has earned over $60 million in royalties from that song in the United States alone!
  • Who recorded the best-selling Christmas album of all time? Which is second place?
  • According to Billboard, the most popular Christmas album of all time belongs to Elvis Presley: Elvis's Christmas Album. (Link to album)

    Second place goes to Kenny G’s Miracles: The Holiday Album, which has sold over 7.3 million albums. (Link to album)

Total possible points: 17 points

14 or more points: You are a holiday genius! You must be in a musical group.

9 to 13 points: It's in you, just bring it out!

4 to 8 points: Take heart. Even the Grinch needed to start someplace.

0 to 3 points: Pay attention and stop eating the cookies!

Disclaimer: All songs mentioned here are to be used solely as part of this quiz for personal use. All songs mentioned here are the rights of their respective copyright holders. No ownership rights or other rights are intended or implied. If you love the songs, please support the respective artists and their respective owners.

Identity Thieves Love Tax Season

Identity Thieves Love Tax Season imageThe vast amount of information shared online during tax season makes it a haven for identity thieves, and they're doing everything they can to take advantage of the opportunity! Here are several ways that identity thieves are targeting you, common signs of ID theft and steps to take if you become a victim.

How Identity Thieves Target You

Common signs of ID theft

Here are some of the common signs of identity theft according to the IRS:

  • In early 2023, you receive a refund before filing your 2022 tax return.
  • You receive a tax transcript you didn’t request from the IRS.
  • A notice that someone created an IRS online account without your consent.
  • You find out that more than one tax return was filed using your Social Security number.
  • You receive tax documents from an employer you do not know.

Other signs of identity theft include:

  • Unexplained withdrawals on bank statements.
  • Mysterious credit card charges.
  • Your credit report shows accounts you didn’t open.
  • You are billed for services you didn’t use or receive calls about phantom debts.

What you can do

If you discover that you’re a victim of identity theft, consider taking the following action:

Fork in the Road: Repair or Replace Your Vehicle

Deciding whether to put more money into an aging car or to replace it with a new or used vehicle is rarely a simple decision. Plus skyrocketing vehicle prices and economic uncertainty are making the decision process even tougher.

Signs it is time to replace your car

To help you decide if it is time to replace your vehicle, look for these signs:

  • Fork in the Road Repairing Your Vehicle vs Trading it In imageThe kids would rather walk miles to their friend’s house than ride in the car.
  • Your oil bill is higher than your gas bill.
  • The mechanic names a repair bay after you.
  • Your employer politely asks you to park next door.
  • The sound of the engine causes tornado sirens to blare.

If none of these apply to you, congratulations! Your car might still be street legal, but there are other things to consider. All joking aside, making the final call can be difficult. Here’s a few helpful ideas:

Making an informed decision

Spend some time with the numbers

While a new, shiny car is fun, all too often it can create future financial hardship. So also consider the long-term financial impact of your decision. This includes:

Cars are unpredictable, but taking an analytical approach and making the best decision with the facts that you have will pay off more times than not.

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