2021 Tax Organizer

CLICK HERE -> Generic Tax Organizer 2021 <- FOR THE 2022 TAX SEASON


Another tax filing season is fast-approaching.  We hope your 2022 new year is off to a great start.  Our entire staff appreciates having you among our good and loyal clients – thank you!

As was the case last year, Gallagher Financial Services offers various options that will allow our firm to effectively prepare your taxes.  Along with scheduling an in-office appointment, you have the convenient option to share your tax docs with us via our CCH iFirm tax portal.  Of course, you may still prefer to mail us your tax docs or drop them off in person – curbside options will be available!

Whichever method, please provide us with all your pertinent 2021 tax documents.  Included with this tax letter is a convenient checklist of common tax documents we’ll need this tax season.  As in previous years, clients with more elaborate taxes can also refer to our tax planner worksheets that are tailored to your unique situation.  A generic version of our tax planner is available at the top of this page.

This year, please consider getting us your tax documents in advance.  Even if you expect to owe taxes, it good to know in advance to allow for proactive planning.  For 2021, those who received advance child tax credits may be concerned about the tax consequences!  Importantly, you must bring us your IRS letter 6419 that shows the advance payments your received.  We need this information to reconcile the amount you received with the tax credit you are allowed.  In addition, we’ll also need to know the amount you received for the 3rd round of stimulus checks (the maximum was $1,400 per person, including dependents).   Let us know your contributions to charity (separate the amount for cash vs. non-cash donations). The next page explains the options available for us to prepare your 2021 taxes.

As always, please contact our office with your questions or concerns.  You can reach me by email at Mark@markgallagher.com.  You can reach Jeff Youngquist by email at jeff@markgallagher.com.  You can always call my office at 651-774-8759 and a member of my team will be eager to assist you!

Best Regards,

Mark Gallagher CFP®

2020 Tax Organizer

Click here -> Generic Tax Organizer 2020 for the 2021 Tax Season

After a rollercoaster year, the 2021 tax filling season is fast-approaching once again. Without a doubt, the Covid-19 pandemic has introduced a paradigm shift in our daily routines! As we all adapt to what’s been deemed “the new normal”, Gallagher Financial Services is committed to being here for you. We also are very grateful to have you among our good and loyal clients – thank you!

Amidst the concerns of a lingering pandemic that involves various forms of “social distancing”, Gallagher Financial Services seeks to provide viable options for us to effectively prepare your taxes. While we still intend to offer some in-office appointments, we also have other innovative alternatives. At the forefront, we’ve implemented a secure client portal called CCH iFirm that’s integrated with our tax program. This new portal will enable us to easily and seamlessly share tax docs back and forth with you. The CCH iFIrm platform even includes the option for you to electronically sign your tax return (similar to DocuSign).  Of course, you may still prefer to mail us your tax docs or drop them off in person – curbside options available!

Whichever method, please provide us with all your pertinent 2020 tax documents. This post contains a convenient checklist (found below) of common tax documents we’ll need this tax season as well as a link to our 2020 Tax Organizer (found above). As in previous years, clients with more elaborate taxes can also refer to our tax planner worksheets that are tailored to your unique situation.

This year, more than ever, please consider getting us your tax documents in advance. Especially folks who received unemployment benefits that may be concerned about the tax consequences! From our perspective, it seems best to know in advance – even if there’s negative new that allows time for some proactive planning. For those who are tech savvy, we strongly urge you to use the new CCH iFirm portal.

To Use the New Client Portal – Utilize our New Client Portal to share your tax docs with us. This paperless option also has an option for you to review and electronically sign your tax docs.

  • Give us a call at 651-774-8759 to request to use the portal
  • Alternatively, email Jeff at Jeff@gallagherfinanialservies.com

Noteworthy Items:

  1. Stimulus Checks – The Economic Impact Payment you received is tax-free!
  2. Unemployment Benefits  – If applicable, we will need a copy of Form 1099-G
  3. Pandemic Relief for Business Owners – Include your PPP loan status, EIDL loans or advances, along with other government grants you received
  4. Medical Expenses – If you can benefit from itemizing, the amount of your medical expenses over 10% is deductible
  5. Health Insurance – If you buy your insurance through the MNSURE exchange, bring us a copy of the 1095-A
  6. H.S.A. Plans – If you’ve contributed or received distributions from a Health Savings Account, we will need Form 5498 and Form 1099-SA
  7. 529 Plans – MN allows a tax credit of up to $500 per year

As always, you may contact our office with your questions or concerns. you can reach us me by email at Mark@markgallagher.com or call my office at 651-774-8759 and a member of my team will be eager to assist you!

Charitable Giving Incentives Under the CARES Act

Presented by Mark Gallagher

With many individuals and families facing catastrophic hardships because of the COVID-19 pandemic, charitable giving to those most adversely affected has become increasingly important. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted in March 2020, included tax provisions designed to incentivize individuals and companies to make charitable contributions in 2020. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, enacted in December 2020, extends these incentives through December 31, 2021. These charitable giving incentives do not require that donations be made to charities assisting in the pandemic.

Above-the-Line Charitable Deduction
For the 2020 or 2021 tax years, each taxpayer can take an above-the-line charitable deduction of up to $300 for certain charitable contributions. Typically, charitable contributions are deductible only for individuals and couples who itemize their deductions; however, this new deduction applies only to those taking the standard deduction. Most taxpayers use the standard deduction since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which removed many itemized deductions.

Contributions to a donor-advised fund (DAF) are not eligible for this above-the-line deduction; therefore, to take this new deduction, taxpayers should verify they are contributing to an eligible charitable cause.

Income Cap Removed for Charitable Contributions
Although the above-the-line deduction is not available for those who itemize their deductions, the CARES Act did make changes to certain tax limitations for those who itemize to incentivize larger gifts. For 2020 and 2021, the deduction available on cash contributions to charitable organizations has been increased from 60 percent of a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (AGI) to 100 percent. Taxpayers can carry donations greater than 100 percent of their AGI to future years.

This applies only to cash contributions and not to long-term appreciated assets, which enjoy long-term capital gain tax treatment. The charitable deduction for long-term appreciated assets is still capped at 30 percent of AGI. For corporations, the deductibility of cash contributions has been increased temporarily from 10 percent to 25 percent of taxable income.

Like the restrictions related to the above-the-line deduction, the removal of the AGI cap does not apply to gifts made to DAFs.

An Excellent Time to Give
With so many in dire need of assistance, it’s a wonderful time to help the community through charitable giving. As a bonus for their generosity, individuals and companies should be sure to use these new tax incentives.

This material has been provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute either tax or legal advice. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a tax preparer, professional tax advisor, or lawyer.


Mark Gallagher is a financial advisor located at Gallagher Financial Services at 2586 East 7th Ave. Suite #304, North Saint Paul, MN 55109. He offers securities and advisory services as an Investment Adviser Representative of Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. He can be reached at 651-774-8759 or at mark@markgallagher.com.

Authored by the Investment Research team at Commonwealth Financial Network.
© 2020 Commonwealth Financial Network®


Coronavirus Update, June 12th 2020

In this video available at https://vimeo.com/428236152 , Brad McMillan, Commonwealth’s CIO, provides an update on the coronavirus pandemic, including the economic and market implications. The virus remains under control, with the case growth rate at about 1 percent per day and daily case growth at about 20,000 per day. But while we didn’t see any signs of a national wave of second infections, it was a different story at the local level. Infection rates started to tick up in some states, which is something we need to keep an eye on. The news on the economic side, however, was better. Thus far, the reopening has been happening faster and more successfully than most imagined. In fact, last week’s jobs report revealed 2.5 million jobs were created in May. With economists anticipating a loss of 7.5 million jobs, this result was certainly a positive surprise. Plus, we saw a bounce in consumer and business confidence, as well as a rise in consumer spending. The financial markets had been rising in response to this tailwind of good news, but then we saw some volatility at the end of the week. Is there reason to expect more turbulence ahead? Watch Brad’s video to learn more.