Gifts

2019 Annual Inflation Adjustments

 
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Now that the 2018 tax filing season is over, here are some 2019 tax numbers that may be of interest.

  • Standard Deduction:

    • $24,400 for Married Filing Jointly (increased $400)

    • $12,200 for Single (increased $200)

  • Adoption Credit: $14,080 (increased $270)

  • Qualified Business Income Threshold:

    • $321,400 for Married Filing Jointly (increased $6,400)

    • $160,700 for Single (increased $3,200)

  • Unified Credit against the Estate Tax: $11,400,000 (increased $220,000)

  • Annual Gift Tax Exclusion: $15,000 (no change)

  • Refundable portion of Child Tax Credit: $1,400 (no change)

  • Federal Income Tax Brackets: See tables below.

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Want more details and more numbers? Read the IRS’s Revenue Procedure 2018-57.

Building a Business: Digitizing Family Memorabilia

Do you have boxes full of old photos and VHS recordings? Have you thought about giving memories for Christmas? What does this post have to do with my CPA blog?  Keep reading.

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In the spring of this year, I digitized all our family’s old VHS recordings. Digitizing these memorabilia provided me several benefits.

  • Clutter reduction: I now have a whole empty corner in my cabinet—it feels so good!
  • Nostalgia creation: Shortly after my grandmother’s funeral, we as a family gathered in my living room to watch old family videos on my iMac.
  • Film preservation: Film deterioration has stopped because the recordings are now in mp4 format.

Sometimes there are also by-products of a project. I wasn’t looking for family blackmail opportunities… it kind of just happened. Truly! After I digitized the recordings, I sent a short video increment to a group of seven (Yes, only seven people!) over text. What would you do if you came upon a family member appearing as a milk-maid and dancing with a broom? The memory was made to be shared! Seriously! It’s not as if I shared the video publicly! (Although, I am talking about it publicly.)

How do you digitize your family’s memorabilia of pictures and videos? You can either do it yourself, or you can hire someone to do it. There are pros and cons to both. If you decide to do it yourself (like I did), be prepared for a very, very, very slow process; it takes lots of personal and computer-resource time.

But if you decide to hire someone, that’s where Lauren Schudson comes into the picture. I had the privilege of meeting Lauren, licensee and entrepreneur of Pixologie Place, at a networking event. More recently, we met for coffee so I could learn about her and her business.

Lauren began her business in November 2016. Her background in communications and community relations truly complements her current business endeavors. As every entrepreneur knows, it can take time to set things up. There can be months of learning, development, and training.

Lauren firmly believes in and sees the benefit of improving oneself personally and professionally. In the past, Lauren worked with an executive career coach when she was trying to determine the details of her self-employment adventure. Currently, Lauren receives one-on-one consulting from a business coach through the Waukesha County Center for Growth, which is funded by the Small Business Administration. In addition, she is also working with Shawn Perrin, of Vision First, a leadership coach who supports clients in stepping into their str4engths with wholehearted ownership to attain professional personal transformation. For Lauren, these coaches have been worth every penny and every moment!

Lauren’s interest in digitizing family memorabilia started a couple years ago. She had photo albums sitting in storage for two years after her mom’s passing. Other family members desired copies of the photos. Lauren started researching digitization and found only one place nearby in Oak Creek: Pixologie Inc. Lauren used Pixologie’s on-site services to digitize her own memorabilia. To make a long story short, she ended up meeting the owners, talking business, and becoming a licensee to provide services in the Waukesha County area.

Lauren provides numerous memorabilia services, and maybe one or more of these services would be a perfect Christmas (or other special occasion) gift!

  • Photo Organization – This is the initial step. If you prefer not to organize your own photos, Lauren can help you.
  • Photo Digitization – Using a scanner, Lauren will digitize each photo into a separate electronic file.
  • Video Digitization – Each VHS tape (and all other video formats) can be made into a DVD or a digital data file.
  • Digital Organization and Back-up – If you have digital files, you’ll need digital organization. Files can be stored on either a USB or hard drive and can be uploaded to a cloud-based storage service. Pixologie Place recommends having all images saved in at least three places: at your home, on a digital device outside of your home, and on a cloud-storage tool.
  • Photobooks -  These can be printed and digitized. If you would like a printed photobook, Lauren works with a high-quality printing service (not the chain-store printing services).
  • Other Digital Services – After your photos or videos are digitized, she can provide you slideshows, photo boards, electronic videos, photo gifts, cloud-sharing services, and more.

If you are interested in Lauren’s services and digitizing your family’s memorabilia, please visit Lauren’s website.

Coming soon… Part 2 of Lauren’s story… where I’ll share Lauren’s responses to business and accounting questions.