Legal & Taxes

From left: Edwardo “Eddie” Morfin of Morfin Law Firm in Kennewick; Mario Ledesma of Ledesma Law Offices in Richland; Kari Hayles-Davenport of Kennewick; and Allison King and Patricia Chvatal of Chvatal King Law in Richland.

Legal Aid group honors area attorneys’ contributions

Each year about 4,000 people reach out to the Benton-Franklin Legal Aid Society for legal assistance. And each year Tri-City area attorneys donate their time to help those they can. The nonprofit society recently held its annual awards luncheon to recognize attorneys who significantly contributed to the organization’s efforts to find pro bono legal representation…

Franklin County Assessor Peter McEnderfer reviews levy calculations. He’s optimistic taxpayers will feel relief in their tax bill this year.

Assessor anticipates decrease in property tax bills

Despite a higher state school tax levy in 2018, families in Eastern Washington may see some relief on their property tax bill this year. That’s because the state collected more than it anticipated, and to alleviate the tax burden for 2019, the state rate of $2.70 per $1,000 of assessed property value will drop to…

JAN_DUI

Kennewick attorney fields frequently asked questions about DUIs

By Alex Johnson As a DUI defense attorney here in the Tri-Cities, I often get questions about this area of law. Here are short answers to frequently asked questions about driving under the influence. What is the “legal limit” for a DUI? When I’m asked this question, it is usually pertaining to alcohol-based DUIs. The…

Chris Porter, a partner at Richland’s PorterKinney PC, said thanks to this year’s tax code overhaul “almost all of us will pay less in taxes in 2018. … It’s not political, it’s math.” Overall, most of the tax adjustments have been beneficial to business owners, according to two local certified public accountants. (Courtesy PorterKinney PC)

Local CPAs optimistic most business owners will pay fewer taxes in 2018

Although business owners were anxious to see how the tax code overhaul affected their bottom line in 2018, many are scratching their heads as regulations fall into place. “I’ve put in enough hours at this point it feels as though I’m getting ready to take another CPA exam,” said Ty Schatz, a certified public accountant…

Attorney Beau Ruff works for Cornerstone Wealth Strategies in Kennewick.

Tax code provides gift that doesn’t receive the appreciation it’s due

By Beau Ruff At death, there is a little-known tax benefit that the federal government provides. It is an adjustment to tax basis and it can have a profound effect on the taxation of the assets owned at death. This column discusses two kinds of taxes that apply at death: the estate tax and the…

(Courtesy GotCredit.com)

Several local business leaders feeling optimistic about tax reform

As 2018 ushers in changes to the United States tax code, many Tri-City business leaders are trying to wrap their head around what it means and how it will affect their companies. The bill was signed by President Trump just before Christmas and is the first major change to the tax code since former President…

(Courtesy 401kcalculator.org)

Experts discuss ways to find deductions before new tax law takes effect

Tri-City tax professionals are boning up on the new tax code as they prepare for the start of the 2017 tax filing season. Signed into law just before the end of the year, the changes mark the first major reform of the tax code since the mid 1980s. It won’t take effect until 2018 taxes…

Nonprofit board members should be aware of liability pitfalls

By Beau Ruff Charities and nonprofits need good people who are willing to donate time and energy to make sure the enterprise is running efficiently and doing good deeds. So, they seek out volunteers who are willing to devote time and energy to serve on the board and help to oversee the group’s operations and…

choosing the right tax preparer

IRS offers tips for choosing qualified tax return preparers

As the tax filing season approaches, the Internal Revenue Service is reminding taxpayers to start thinking about who will prepare their federal tax returns. In 2017, more than 132 million individual and family tax returns were e-filed, the most accurate, safest and easiest way to file, according to the agency. More than 16 million were…

Maximize deductions this tax season.

Tax advisers field unusual questions to help clients maximize deductions

For many Americans, tax season comes with spring. But for Ty Schatz, a certified public accountant with Michels & Schilperoot PS Inc. in Sunnyside, the season kicks off in mid-November. “Clients want to know where they stand tax-wise and what could be done prior to year-end to reduce their tax bill,” he said. Saving clients…

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