barton kitty blogYou’ve seen them. Those cheesy motivational posters with sayings like, “Hang in there!” with a kitty dangling from a tree branch. While we’re all about motivation, we’re less about looking at a poster for inspiration, and more about actually doing. Instead of telling you, “Hang in there!” and sending you off – we sit with you and help you off the tree branch. At bartonCPA, we have our own “successories” – if you will - a list of core values we infuse in all that we do, and we’d like to share them with you.

barton dee dee necklace.JPGTEAMWORK. Our team is all about collaboration and participation. We’re better together. We love coming to work, as there’s always something unexpected around the corner. A lot of times it’s Dee Dee’s obnoxiously-loud jewelry, but sometimes it’s a spontaneous taco lunch brought into the office, or a walk-in visitor who ends up becoming a cherished client.

barton tacoINTEGRITY. We hold each other to a high standard. We are honest and ethical in all that we do. Honesty and “account”-ability (get it?) are at the core of bartonCPA. For example, if you (unnamed coworker) wear that hideous shirt to work one more time, we’re going to have to get really honest with you. And for our clients, the same principle applies (usually in a much softer tone).  We’re going to tell you honestly what we need to make sure we’re both working together towards a shared goal...with integrity.barton puffy shirt

RESPONSIBILITY. We keep our commitments. We take full responsibility for our decisions, actions and results, as they are exceedingly important to us. We never waiver from being there as your trusted guide, helping you through all the new tax laws and changes happening in today’s world. The only thing we can’t fully be responsible for is our laughter level at times.

RESPECT. We respect our clients. We respect each other. We respect that we all have different and unique ways of seeing things, of hearing things, and of processing things. We respect that the late, great Aretha Franklin wrote a song about it. It’s all about *fist-bump-to-chest* R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  Can I get an AMEN?!barton aretha

CLIENTS. You! You make us run, and get us excited to want to work every day. We truly find joy in helping you understand (or, not – which is why we’re here) what can be done to help you have a successful tax season and profitable company, year after year. We love when you spontaneously stop in to say hi. We hope you brought brownies. But we won’t hold it against you if you didn’t, because we love our clients too much. (We like any kind of baked goods, actually, especially if the key ingredient is chocolate. Just FYI.)

In the end – having these core values is what keeps us motivated, on track, and zeroed-in on your happiness and success when it comes to your accounting and money. We may not have photos of a kitty, or a cloud-covered rainbow sky with a trite saying on our walls, but we live by these values each and every day.

And always remember: the journey is the destination. (insert eye-roll here).
barton journey 2

barton blog sept seinfeldSome people hear “Certified Public Accountant,” and the title tends to have a little “yada, yada, yada” to it. We get that. But this blog is the place where we endeavor to help you understand the importance of having a partner in your financial needs, and to be a valued part of assisting you in understanding all the ever-changing nuances in the world of taxes and finances. So – in the words of Kramer – “giddy up!” barton blog sept yada 2

If you look up CPA in the dictionary (which – by dictionary, we mean google it), here’s what you will find:

“A CPA – or Certified Public Accountant – is a trusted financial advisor who helps individuals, businesses, and other organizations plan and reach their financial goals.”

What exactly does this mean? Let’s put it into some real life situations (with a nod to our everlasting obsession with Seinfeld):

You are self-employed or own your own business. Maybe you’ve just started a new product line called “The Bro.” You may be an expert at marketing this new, umm, garment – but…did you know there are several ways you as a business owner can lower your taxes? There are big write-offs for self-employed and small business owners. We can help you, bro!

barton baily grad

You have kids and want to contribute money to a college savings account, or a trust. Especially for the good kids. ;) We can help you set all that up, and make sure your hard-earned money translates into an educational and successful future for your children, rather than ending up being tossed into some random’s man hands. 

Grandpa Joe just passed away and left you a pretty sizable inheritance. Don’t run to the nearest travel agent and book your Hawaiian vacation just yet…inheritance taxes can be costly if you don’t navigate through the specifics. We love helping with the fine print, so let us be your guide. Grandpa Joe would be so proud of you, and wouldn’t judge if you double-dipped a chip.

The IRS called you and said you’re going to jail if you don’t pay $10,000 in back taxes. RED FLAG. The IRS NEVER makes phone calls, they only communicate through written documents. So if you get this type of call, just tell the caller to “get OUT!,” hang up, and call us. This is a scam, and there are several more out there. We can help educate you to understand real vs. fake. 

barton blog nigerian prince

(That Nigerian Prince guy? Also not real. Don’t accept his call either).

There are many more ways we can be of financial assistance, we’re just giving you a taste to understand some of what we do in this bizarro world of CPA’ing. It’s what we love to do, and we are the masters in this domain. Call us today! We’ll be friendly and helpful – even if you’re Newman.

tax reform barton CPABe aware… your 2018 tax returns will look very different from previous years! This year has ushered in the United States’ biggest tax reform law in more than thirty years. The team at barton CPA has been studying and delving deep into the new tax reform bill and here is an overview of the areas that might affect you.

TIP: Don’t try to do your taxes alone! These changes are multi-leveled and tricky. Let our team help you through the process for one low rate. Call today and schedule your appointment!

Tax rate changes: Both individual and corporate rates have changed. The maximum individual rate is reduced to 37% and the corporate rate is now a flat 21%. The rate change could benefit you, or in some cases, raise your tax liability.

Standard deduction increases: Personal exemption deductions have been eliminated.

Increased Child Tax Credit and new Dependent Credit: The credit has increased for each child to $2,000, of which $1,400 per child is now refundable. In addition, each non-child dependent can now receive a $500 credit. You, however, will have no exemption credit or deduction for yourself, your spouse, or your dependents.

The phase out thresholds for these credits have drastically increased. Married taxpayers filing a joint return can claim the full credits if their adjusted gross income is $400,000 or less ($200,000 for all others). The credits are fully phased out for married taxpayers filing a joint return when their adjusted gross income reaches $440,000 ($240,000 for all others). This means more taxpayers will be able to claim these credits in 2018.

questioDisappearing deductions: Beginning with the 2018 tax year, you will no longer be able to deduct:

  • State income tax and property taxes above $10,000 per year in total;
  • Moving expenses (with an exception for certain military);
  • Employee business expenses such as mileage, travel, entertainment, home office expenses, union dues, tax preparation fees, and investment fees, among others;
  • Mortgage interest beyond interest on $750,000 of acquisition debt, if you purchase a new home; and
  • Mortgage interest paid on equity debt

Some new benefits for individuals: These new benefits include:

  • The medical expense AGI threshold will temporarily drop to 7.5% of AGI for 2017 and 2018;
  • The AMT threshold is increased, so fewer middle-income taxpayers will be subject to AMT;
  • The estate tax exclusion has nearly doubled to $10 million; and
  • The annual gift tax exclusion remains the same ($14,000 for 2017 and $15,000 for 2018), but the maximum rate on gifts is 35%.

TaxdogBartonSmall business benefit: Beginning in 2018, there will be up to a 20% deduction from net business income for a sole proprietorship, LLC (excluding those taxed as a C corporation), partnership, S corporation, and rental activity. The new rules are complex and barton CPA is prepared to help you maximize this deduction.

Barton CPA is staying current and up-to-date on all changing tax laws. Set up your appointment today.

Contact us via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 760.969.6499 so we can help you navigate these complex changes.


professor and gingerJust sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of the changing rules. 2018 tax laws get confusing, but we’ve got your back. Yes, we’ve got your back.

July is a time for sun, fun, and vacation. Put stress on the back burner, and know that our barton CPA staff is constantly finding ways to take care of your tax questions. As we all navigate through the unchartered waters of the new 2018 tax laws, we want you to learn a few things along the way. We don’t want you to get lost on a three-hour-tour…that could mean years of confusion! So let’s put ourselves in the trusty Barton Minnow – ala Gilligan’s Island – and let our fearless leader, Professor Greg Barton, guide us through some important facts:

  1. There are still seven tax brackets and tax rates for 2018: 10%, 12%, 22%, 24% 32% and 37%.
  2. Standard Deduction Amounts will increase to $12,000 for individuals, $18,000 for heads of households, and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly.
  3. There is an additional Standard Deduction amount of $1,300 for aged or blind spouses and $1,600 for each elderly or blind person who is unmarried.
  4. Vacationing in the mountains can sometimes lead to spiders, which can then lead to cutting vacation time short. (This might have a little Ginger – aka Dee Dee – written all over it.)spider
  5.  You can gift your child or grandchild $15,000 tax-free.  Did you hear that? TAX-FREE. Get that college fund started off right, or help pay down those student loans. We can help!
  6. Have you seen the new sample tax return? It’s super cute. Meaning super tiny. The Hubble telescope is still trying to find it.
  7. The new tax code makes a big change to the way pass-through income is taxed – including sole proprietorships, LLCs, partnerships, and corporations. In other words, if you own a small business and it generates $100,000 in profit in 2018, you may be able to deduct $20,000 of it before the ordinary income tax rates are applied. Certain businesses that have over $157,500 ($315,000 for a joint return) are subject to special rules that limit this deduction.
  8. Untitled 2If you decide to get a new dog, there’s a 75% chance it will eat all your expensive pillows and patio furniture.
  9. Mortgage interest payments are deductible on acquisition mortgage debt of up to $750,000 – formerly it was $1,000,000. Still waiting for the numbers on stress medication deductibles.
  10. Reminder: if your business is a Partnership, S Corporation, or LLC your taxes are due September 17. If you are a C Corporation, sole proprietorship or SMLLC, your taxes are due October 15. Mark your calendar, and we’re here for you!

Unfortunately the IRS notes in Publication 502, that medical expense deductions “do not include…..vitamins or a vacation." So, what can be deducted?

One of the most important major changes impacting taxpayers beginning in 2017 is the allowance of medical deductions which exceed 10 percent of one’s adjusted gross income. In 2016, people 65 years and older were allowed to deduct medical costs that exceeded 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income. Now everyone is on a level playing field with the 10 percent requirement.

Keeping track of medical related costs such as co-pays, prescriptions, and often forgotten, mileage for driving to medical appointments. These miles can add up and might push you over the 10 percent limit. You can also deduct costs for eyeglasses, chiropractic services, acupuncture, travel expenses, home renovations, reclining chairs, therapeutic swimming, whirlpool baths, wigs, artificial teeth and various other qualifying items. There are certain rules in which some of these qualify and a professional tax consultant can evaluate your medical status to make sure you are not overlooking any of these possibilities if they apply to you.

Another hot topic for healthcare when it comes to taxes is of course, Obamacare, or Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The battle over repealing Obamacare is getting very real. However, it is still in effect for now through 2017. If you did not have health coverage in 2016 and don't qualify for a health coverage exemption, the penalty fee is 2.5% of your household income or $695 per adult ($347.50 per child), whichever is higher. And, the same will hold true for 2017.

There are also special rules often overlooked for medical deductions for children of separated parents. Even if a child is claimed as a dependent by one of the parent’s, the other parent can still deduct any medical fees associated with the same child. Keeping track of any medical fees you are paying or splitting can add up on top of yours, to reach that 10 percent limit.

You might also consider shifting out-of-pocket medical expenses into flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts or health reimbursement arrangements so that you can deduct the full amount of your medical expenses. Using a flexible spending account through an employer, or through a health savings account, you can set aside pre-tax dollars from your wages, and then use those pre-tax dollars to pay for medical and dental expenses.

The IRS has a list of close to 100 possible medical deductions. Sifting through all of the details can be cumbersome, so you might consider meeting with a CPA who works with these tax laws ongoing and can cover all the bases when evaluating your tax situation and medical expenditures. If you need assistance in filing your 2016 taxes, or strategizing your 2017 tax planning and financial goals, barton CPA is a reputable Coachella Valley firm and offers a complimentary consultation.

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Phone (760) 969-6499

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