Posted October 16, 2016 ~ "How to Challenge a Wrong Bill"


"Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves." -Abraham Lincoln


Dealing with a billing error can be frustrating. But giving up too quickly will only cost you money. I've learned this the hard way, and many of my clients and friends might benefit from what I've learned.


So, if you've got an erroneous bill to settle, here's what to do: 

  • Write a polite letter. Control your irritation if you want results. Describe the problem and ask for help. Customer service personnel will be more willing to work with you if you don't attack them.
  • Follow the chain of command. Addressing a letter to the CEO of a bank, for example, may only delay a resolution. Start at the bottom, and work your way up until the problem is resolved.
  • Write within 60 days of receiving the erroneous bill. The Fair Credit Billing Act will protect you only if you follow its limits. That means writing to the company within 60 days after the bill was sent to you.
  • Give full information. Include your name, address, account number, a brief description of the problem, and copies of the sales slips and other documents that support your claim. Try to keep the letter to a single page.
  • CC a regulator. If you show that you're sending a copy of the letter and documents to the Comptroller of the Currency or the Federal Trade Commis­sion, you signal that you mean business.
  • Confirm delivery. Send the letter by certified mail with return receipt.

Much of what we do around here at Team Kubiak comes down to going to bat on behalf of our clients and making sure that they aren't getting taken to the cleaners. The above is just a few points from our methodology.


The best advice? Have a professional in your corner. Our main office number is (518) 893-2683. Or email


Posted September 16, 2016 ~ "It's a New Season for Us"


Let me start with a brief warning reminder: if you receive a call from the 'IRS' threatening you in any way, please remember that these are from people trying to scam you. DO NOT give them ANY information. Just hang up!

Lots of important things are happening in the world these days, but based on what I'm seeing in social media, perhaps the thing that people are most interested is in the return of NFL and college football. I'm a Buffalo Bills fan and the year did not start well for me...


Perhaps that causes a mere shrug of the shoulders for many, but regardless of how we feel about it, what it does signify is that summer is over. Saturdays and Sundays are now full of tailgates and soon, in most cities where I have clients, autumn colors.

Around here, we're investing ourselves in continuing education so that we can take advantage of every available (and ethical) tax move on behalf of our clients, and gearing up for what promises to be a very full final quarter with our Accutax and Owlview family.


Our economy is now about 'knowledge.'  That's why I take the time each week to inform you about the "real world" steps you should be taking with your family's finances and how to be prepared for any circumstance.

So I've put together a simple primer on what you should be pulling together over this quarter. But the BEST WAY to be prepared is to have a conversation now about a proactive strategy to minimize your tax burden. January through April may be "tax season," but September through October is "tax planning season." And to that end, I suggest you call us at (518) 893-2683 and set up a time for a tax planning session. But regardless, here's what you need to be making sure you are ready for 2017...


Ensuring Your 2016 Taxes Are Done Right

Believe it or not, now is the time to start making sure that you'll be ready for a few months from now, when tax time is upon us.

Generally speaking, you should keep any and all documents that may have an impact on your federal tax return. Individuals should usually keep records and supporting items for their tax returns for at least three years, including:

  • bills, credit card and other receipts
  • invoices, mileage logs
  • canceled, imaged or substitute checks or other proof of payment

You should normally keep records relating to property until at least three years after you sell or otherwise dispose of property, including:

  • home purchase or improvement
  • stocks and other investments
  • IRA transactions
  • rental property records
  • Health insurance verification. IRS will be sending out Form 1095 before the end of January 2017. It's a good idea to be armed with your own documentation as well, such as insurance cards, EOB forms, statements from your insurer, etc.
  • Small business owners.  Keep all employmenht tax records for at least four years after the tax becomes due or is paid, whichever is later. Also keep:
  • Gross receipts: cash register tapes, bank deposit slips, receipt books, invoices, credit card sales slips, invoices
  • Proof of purchases: canceled checks, cash register receipts,  credit card sales slips, invoices
  • Expense documentation: auto mileage log, canceled checks, cash register receipts, account statement, credit card sales slips, invoices, petty cash slips
  • Documents to verify your assets: purchase and sales invoices, real estate closing documents, canceled checks

Here's the best part of all of this... By pulling together this information NOW, we can really work our "magic" and ensure that we aren't simply playing catch-up for you after the fact. That's what tax planning is all about.


So give us a call, and let's plan the rest of 2016 and beyond.


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