Daniel J. Brown, CPA, a local firm with more than 25 years experience

Dan provides income tax preparation and planning services and IRS representation. In addition, he counsels clients on business start-ups, divorce, estate issues, retirement and college planning, and many other tax and financial matters.

By providing exceptional service, Dan builds lasting relationships with clients. Many have been returning since the firm was established and children of clients have become clients themselves. Many clients who move to other states or abroad continue to use his services.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, in-person meetings have been significantly curtailed. Zoom meetings are available. Documents can be dropped off at the office, emailed using our secure portal, sent by USPS, FedEx, or UPS, or faxed.

Understand Your Tax Opportunities and Pitfalls

"I have seen people overpay taxes by thousands of dollars because they made uninformed decisions."

Dan wants clients to avoid making uninformed decisions and to pay no more income tax than is required. After considering the circumstances of clients, he offers tax advice and gladly answers their questions. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) passed in December 2017, effective January 1, 2018, had a broad impact. It affected: (a) small business owners, independent contractors, and landlords, (b) divorce settlements, (c) employees with unreimbursed business expenses, (d) charitable giving-especially for those over 70.5, and (e) the deductions for state and local taxes (SALT) and mortgage interest.

djbhome.jpgTCJA nearly doubled the standard deduction and introduced the concept of Qualified Business Income (QBI). With exceptions, only 80 percent of income classified as QBI is taxable. TCJA also eliminated the personal exemption for taxpayers and their dependents; in its place credits for dependents were introduced.

More recently, The SECURE Act and Coronavirus relief bills were passed. Go to the Tax Law Changes tab for more information.

Below are the types of questions Dan is asked:

  • I am starting a new business, what expenses can I deduct? Or, I will be an independent contractor, what can I deduct? Should I make estimated tax payments?
  • With the higher standard deduction and cap on state and local taxes, I no longer get a tax savings from my charitable contributions. Is there a way I can deduct my contributions?
  • How does Qualified Business Income affect me?
  • In the past, I made nondeductible IRA contributions but never told my tax preparer. Is that OK?
  • I had a high income for many years and made large retirement plan contributions; but I have not worked this past year; are there tax planning opportunities?
  • As a self-employed person, how should I save for my children's college, for retirement? To pay for medical expenses?
  • I received a small inheritance. What will the income tax be?
  • Should I convert my retirement accounts to a Roth IRA?
  • I changed jobs. Should I rollover my 401(k) or use it to pay bills? Should I use it for my child's tuition?
  • Is my IRA ever required to file a tax return?
  • My widowed mother named me executor of her estate; when she passes, what should I do?
  • I have a bank account overseas and pay income tax on the earnings to the foreign country. Can I disregard it on my federal 1040?
  • Should I sell my appreciated rental property or do a like-kind exchange?
  • Can I make a "back door" Roth IRA contribution?
  • My income is too high for me to qualify for an education credit; can my child take the credit?
  • I am a minister. How is my self-employment tax calculated? What's covered by my "housing allowance"?
  • I play online poker and was told I should file a FinCEN form 114. What is this form and how do I file it?
  • The divorce is not final and we are living apart. Should we file jointly or separately? Head of Household?
  • My child's college tuition and fees were paid by scholarships; am I disqualified from taking education credits?
  • What are the advantages of deducting a home office? Am I eligible?
  • As part of our estate planning, my spouse and I created a joint living trust. Should we file a tax return for the trust? Since our assets are less than the personal exemption, when the first one passes, should the surviving spouse file a 706 estate tax return?
  • Will my estate pay an estate tax when I pass?
  • I receive money every month from my ex-spouse. Is it taxable?
  • What is the downside to financing my new business with my IRA?
  • I exercised stock options and sold the stock; how do I figure the taxable gain?
  • Should I gift my house to my children now, while I am living, or pass it to them after I die?
  • Does the elimination of the "stretch" IRA affect my estate planning?

Dan asks clients:

  • Do you have a will or trust? Is it up to date? (If your trust does not consider "portability" and does not allow flexibility in determining how much of the estate should be put into a credit shelter trust, it is probably not up to date.)
  • Have you reviewed your primary and contingent beneficiary designations on your life insurance and retirement accounts lately? Do not rely on your will for designating beneficiaries of these assets.

Appointments are available 9:30 am to 7:30 pm Monday through Thursday and 9:30 am to 3:30 pm Friday and Saturday. Call 630 629-4400 to schedule an appointment.

4 Miles South of Oakbrook Shopping Center
119 E Ogden Avenue, Suite 130
Hinsdale, Illinois 60521
630 629-4400
630 455-1190 fax
Email: info@djbrowncpa.com