Chornyak & Associates

December 2018

As 2018 comes to an end under the new federal tax law, it is time for you to consider year-end planning options. Our first article may raise some questions for you, and we are ready to help with your tax planning.

Protecting your personal identity is becoming increasingly important; our second article will provide ideas to consider as we all try to reduce our risk in this area.

This month's "What's Happening Now" section shares stories on how Walmart is helping with downtown centers, Should you Downsize your Home, and provides a short video inside an Amazon warehouse on Cyber Monday.

We'd like to hear from you. Please feel free to contact us by phone at 614-888-2121, toll-free 877-389-2121 or e-mail with any questions or comments.

Sincerely, Joe
Year-end Tax Tips for 2018

Year-end Tax Tips for 2018

Sitting down with a calculator or a software program to figure out what you might owe Uncle Sam at tax time is nobody's idea of a good time, but you have a wide range of tactics at your disposal to make sure your tax bill is no more than it has to be. You might be surprised by all your options.

First, Analyze Your Finances

Tally up your income and your expenses for the year to date. Now anticipate what they'll be for the remainder of the year.

Now estimate what you anticipate your income, expenses, and savings will be in 2019. Read More



As we learned from the Equifax breach in 2017, we can fall victim to identity theft through no fault of our own. Although it isn't feasible to master every identity theft scenario, it's worth your time to learn more about the available identity theft tools and services and how to initiate a recovery plan if you become a victim. Here, we review four remediation resources and services, focusing on the benefits and risks of each. These tools may be used concurrently.

Credit monitoring
This service monitors your credit file for changes or suspicious activity. Credit monitoring can send alerts–typically via e-mails or text messages–if there are hard-credit inquiries about you or when new lines of credit are opened. If anything looks fishy, you can report the activity to the company holding that account and the major credit bureaus. At this stage, some incidents may be remediated.

• Often, this service is free of charge after major breaches (e.g., Equifax, Anthem) when social security numbers (SSNs) have been exposed.
• Credit monitoring doesn't restrict your access to your credit file.

• Credit monitoring is reactive. You're notified after unauthorized activity has occurred.
• You must entrust another company with your SSN.
• Only credit is monitored; other accounts are not.

Fraud alerts
A fraud alert is a cautionary note that you can have placed on your credit report. It tells credit lenders or service providers that you may have been a victim of identity theft, so they must verify with you before making changes to your credit. For example, if you apply for a credit card while you have a fraud alert in place, the credit card company may call you to verify that you were the one who submitted the application. Verification usually happens over the phone, but there is no standard means of verification defined by law. Read More

What's Happening Now

Walmart Town Centers Inside Amazon Warehouse on Cyber Monday Should I downsize my Home

Market Update

Markets ride a roller coaster

After a tough October, November looked to be more of the same. Indeed, markets dropped further down into correction territory at midmonth. But they rebounded and closed higher by month-end. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 2.04 percent and 2.11 percent, respectively, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.49 percent.

Strong fundamentals for U.S. companies drove this rebound. According to FactSet, with 96 percent of the companies in the S&P 500 reporting (as of November 23, 2018), the blended earnings growth rate was 25.9 percent. This result would be an improvement from an estimate of 19.3 percent at the beginning of the quarter and would represent the highest quarterly growth rate in eight years. Read More