RBG - Intern Post - 5 People (2)

2024 Internship Spotlight

Internships offer a dynamic avenue for expanding your network and forging valuable connections. At RBG, interns collaborate directly with industry professionals, fostering relationships that can shape their future careers.

Beyond networking, internships serve as a direct pathway to permanent positions. RBG actively cultivates talent, often recruiting interns for full-time roles, with a clear trajectory for advancement up to Partner level. Dedication and effort during an internship with RBG can significantly increase your likelihood of receiving a job offer, setting the stage for a successful career journey.

This year, we’ve had the pleasure of hosting a fantastic cohort of interns. As we spotlight their experiences, we’ve asked each of them three key questions:

  1. What have you learned so far during your time at RBG?
  2. What has been your favorite part about interning at RBG?
  3. Based on your experience, what’s your biggest piece of advice you’d give to a future intern?
See their insightful responses below:


Q: What have you learned so far during your time at RBG?

A: “While interning at RBG, I have become more familiar with the audit process and how an audit team completes its work.”

Q: What has been your favorite part about interning at RBG?

A: “My favorite part of interning at RBG has been the fact that I don’t feel as though I am just an intern. RBG has made me feel like I am part of the staff, even if I am a very inexperienced part of the team.”

Q: Based on your experience, what’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to a future intern?

A: “My advice to future interns is to be bold and ask questions because there will always be something you need help understanding, or there may be a more efficient way to perform the work you’re doing.”

Eric Daniels
    Senior, University of Memphis

Q: What have you learned so far during your time at RBG?

A: “I have learned about the audit process for both banks and private companies. I did not realize how much teamwork was involved with accounting until I worked with the audit team. I have also learned how to fill out 1040’s and 1041’s. There is something new in almost every tax return I prepare, so it is interesting to see it and take in all that knowledge.”

Q: What has been your favorite part about interning at RBG?

A: “I have enjoyed everyone I have worked with. Everyone here wants others to learn and they want to help out anyway they can. Working here pushes me to want to learn and improve.”

Q: Based on your experience, what’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to a future intern?

A: “I would definitely recommend coming into your internship wanting to learn. I had heard before about how everyone in accounting is always learning, but I really see it now. Don’t let that thought overwhelm you, but be excited for it.”

James Strickland
     Senior, University of Memphis

Q: What have you learned so far during your time at RBG?

A: “During my time at RBG I have learned how to prepare tax returns for individuals and trusts. I have also learned how to improve my professional communication and time management skills throughout this internship.”

Q: What has been your favorite part about interning at RBG?

A: “My favorite part of interning at RBG has been the people, everyone is so willing to help and answer any questions I may have. It feels like everyone tries their best to make others feel comfortable asking questions and receiving help.”

Q: Based on your experience, what’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to a future intern?

A: “My biggest piece of advice for a future intern would be to not be too hard on yourself at first. Taxes are complicated, and I often felt down about myself or my work especially in the beginning. The point of an internship is to learn and grow, so as long as you are willing to ask questions and learn from mistakes, then you will do great!”

Christian Russell
    Senior, Arkansas State University

Q: What have you learned so far during your time at RBG?

A: “I have learned more about Partnership Tax and the many differences between it and an individual return.”

Q: What has been your favorite part about interning at RBG?

A: “I have enjoyed that there isn’t an overarching sense of seniority and that new hires can fit right in professionally and socially.”

Q: Based on your experience, what’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to a future intern?

A: “Come into your internship willing to ask a lot of questions and get involved in the RBG culture!”

Ian Sharp
    Master’s Student, University of Memphis

Q: What have you learned so far during your time at RBG?

A: “Auditing is very different from the classroom. In the classroom, you’re only rewarded when you get something right. However, in the real world, much of what you do is learned by asking questions and through trial & error.”

Q: What has been your favorite part about interning at RBG?

A: “The collaborative aspect! Because I’m introverted, reaching out to clients, meeting new people, and getting to try new things is easily what I value the most out of my internship.”

Q: Based on your experience, what’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to a future intern?

A: “RBG is filled with nice people, so if you do run into something you don’t understand, just ask! As long as you are willing to learn, they will teach you.”

Lucas Hayden
    Master’s Student, Christian Brothers University

Q: What have you learned so far during your time at RBG?

A: “I’ve gained valuable experience in setting up operations for the CAAS department through collaboration with IT. This allowed me the autonomy to implement robust data security measures like KeePass, safeguarding our clients’ sensitive information. My skills now include payroll management, e-filing of 1099s, business tax e-filing, and annual report creation. Additionally, I’ve honed my ability to conduct loan reviews and prepare tax workpapers, along with filing 1040s and 1041s. I’ve also acquired proficiency in various software applications such as Engagement, Return Manager, Client Write-Up, Document, and Yearli.”

Q: What has been your favorite part about interning at RBG?

A: “The opportunity to experience all 3 departments (CAAS, Audit, Tax). My internship with RBG gave me the opportunity to improve my cognitive ability in the profession before deciding where my career would start as a full-time employee. Each department has diversified my intellectual portfolio. In addition to this, I appreciated the level of understanding everyone had when it came to me balancing grad school and working hours.”

Q: Based on your experience, what’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to a future intern?

A: “Make connections your first day on the job. Interacting with all colleagues (not just in your department) could open a door of opportunities for learning and mentorship. I also recommend that you not be afraid to ask questions and keep a notebook at all times to write down the responses. This notebook will be extremely helpful down the line when you need refreshers.”

Martina Jones
    Master’s Student , Rhodes College

Q: What have you learned so far during your time at RBG?

A: “I have learned how to use tax forms before even having any of the classes. I’ve also learned how to work in an environment like RBG.”

Q: What has been your favorite part about interning at RBG?

A: “The exciting events, the kindness of the community, and the understanding of those working around you.”

Q: Based on your experience, what’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to a future intern?

A: “When you come work at RBG, make sure you go to the events and just talk to everybody, they are all very kind.”

Carson Young
    Sophomore , University of Memphis

Matt Day-RBG Post

Meet Our Team – Matt Day

Matt Day, our Client Advisory & Accounting Services Leader, brings a rich history of experience and dedication to the RBG team. Since joining the firm in November 2023, Matt has added immense value to the Client Advisory & Accounting Services department. In his role, Matt spearheads a team dedicated to serving a diverse array of clients, spanning industries such as non-profits, restaurants, and manufacturing.

A proud alumnus of the University of Mississippi, Matt holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Management (2005) and recently earned his second BBA in Accounting (2021) from the University of Memphis.

Matt finds solace and joy in his family life. He & his wife, Nicole, are proud parents to their son, Miller, who will be turning two this April! Matt’s greatest pride lies in the gift of fatherhood, cherishing every moment with Miller as they navigate life’s adventures together.

When not immersed in financial strategies or familial bliss, Matt’s playful side emerges. Known for his uncanny impersonations of co-workers and a penchant for tree-climbing expeditions with Miller, Matt finds joy in the simple pleasures of life.


Fun Questions

1. What fictional place would you most like to visit?

Neverland/Get to fly and not age

2. What is a new skill that you would like to master?

A programming language; SQL, Python

3. What do you wish you knew more about?

Different languages and other cultures

4. What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home?


5. What question would you most like to know the answer to?

Chicken or the egg

6. What is the most impressive thing you know how to do?

I’ve been told that my impersonations of co-workers are simply that, impressive

7. What was the best compliment you’ve ever received?

“WE love having your child in our class” – a teacher told me as my son was being separated from the rest of his peers for pushing

8. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Even my wife would agree with me: Our son, Miller

9. What is your favorite smell?

New shoes/Leather

11. When was the last time you climbed a tree?

Last week- I tend to do that a lot more with an almost 2 year old

Smart phone, coffee, pen and notepad with text " to do list", retro style

Your February Financial To-do list

January has come and gone. You may or may not have stuck to your resolutions, but the good news is that February is here. Now is the perfect time to hunker down and get your monetary ducks in a row. Here are a few things to put on your agenda to get your financial house in order.

Pay Off Holiday Debt

Yes, it was fun to go shopping for holiday gifts, but those interest rates are high – you’ll want to pay your balances off as quickly as possible. And here’s a tip: you can make more than one payment per billing period. In other words, instead of waiting for your next paycheck, pay some of the balance now and some later. This will reduce the interest you’d pay if you waited two more weeks to pay in full. This way, you can actually pay your credit card bills more frequently and pay less over time. While you’re at it, look for lower interest rates and transfer those balances. All it takes is a google search for “zero balance transfer credit card offers” and you’ll a find what you need in no time.

Start Working on Your Taxes

April will be here before you know it, so getting a jump on taxes is a smart idea. Also, filing early will give you more time to figure out how much you owe, if anything. If you want to take the guesswork out of preparing your taxes, you might consider hiring a tax professional. When you make your selection, ask for a price quote. Some tax preparers often want to see which forms you need before they work on your taxes, but you can still ask for a list of fees for various types of tax help to get a ballpark idea. Here’s a red flag: if someone says they’ll base your fees on a percentage of your refund, run away. This is a violation of IRS rules.

Get a Free Credit Report

All the big reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – offer a free report one time every 12 months. So why not find out? When you see the truth of your credit report, it can motivate you to change some habits, like paying earlier, more often and on time. No one likes late fees.

Save on a Gym Membership

In January, you probably got pummeled with lots of solicitations for a gym membership at low, low prices; but in February, the prices are even lower. If you don’t want to commit, you can sign up for a trial run. You can even negotiate a deal if you ask to speak to the manager. Finally, some gyms will offer you a deep discount if you agree to use the facilities during off-peak hours or on certain days. Flexibility is the key!

Buy Things on Deep Discount

With high prices and high interest rates, it makes sense to check out all the price cuts on Consumer Reports. On this site, you’ll find all the good stuff: cars, home and garden supplies, appliances, electronics and more.

These are just a few of the items you can put on your financial to-do list. All it takes is carving out some time and getting started. Once you get going, you’ll probably make more progress than you ever dreamed.


Page of newspaper with words municipal bonds. Trading concept.

Municipal Bond Outlook for 2024

One of the positive aspects of sustained high interest rates is higher yields on bonds, particularly high-quality municipal bonds. It is possible that 2024 will present a different scenario, as the Federal Reserve begins a schedule of monetary easing by reducing interest rates over time. The potential for this strategy, combined with a slowdown in inflation and economic growth – and exacerbated by the potential volatility of a U.S. presidential election – offer a hazy but ultimately positive outlook for municipal bonds.

For now, investors with a long-term outlook (up to 10 years) can take advantage of current high interest rates before they begin declining. A key recommendation is to focus on the credit quality of muni bond issuers, which is more likely to face adjustments due to lower reserves and unreliable revenue streams during an economic slowdown.

The following are some municipal bond market considerations for long-term investors:

  • While absolute rates are expected to decrease in 2024, muni bonds should continue to offer high yields and strong credit quality.
  • Speaking of credit quality, despite the larger universe of corporate bonds, there are more AAA- and AA-rated munis than corporate bonds. For example, there are only 13 unique issuers of AAA-rated bonds within the Bloomberg U.S. Corporate Bond Index. Of these 13, two comprise the majority of outstanding AAA corporate bonds. This means an investor is better able to diversify assets across a mix of high-quality muni bonds or a municipal bond fund.
  • Remember that munis are generally exempt from federal and state income taxes (when the investor lives in the issuing state) and might therefore provide a higher tax-equivalent yield when compared to yields of other long-term bonds.
  • In order for municipal bond income to be comparable to the after-tax yield of corporate bonds, the investor should be subject to a 45 percent or higher total cumulative tax rate. This is referred to as the “break-even” rate wherein municipal bonds will likely yield more after-tax income.
  • Longer-term, AAA-rated municipal bonds (up to 10 years) are expected to offer greater value compared to shorter-term munis.
  • Credit conditions are expected to continue their upward trend in 2024. As a general rule, municipal bonds are highly rated, but the average credit rating has increased even more since the pandemic. For example, the percentage of AAA- or AA-rated bonds in the Bloomberg U.S. Municipal Bond Index increased from 67 percent (pre-pandemic) to 71.4 percent as of November 2023.
  • Some of the most popular provisions of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are scheduled to expire in 2025. Demand for muni bonds might soar this year as taxpayers seek more tax-advantaged benefits given the potential loss of itemized deductions and a reduced standard deduction. Look for this sunsetting tax legislation to be a hot issue as this year’s election season gets up and running.

Given the higher yields available for the past 15 years, municipal bond returns are projected to be favorable in the near term. However, be wary of issuers that lack strong reserves and whose revenue streams are linked to economic activity.

Perhaps most importantly, investors should consider their objectives when investing in municipal bonds. If already in or nearing retirement, take into account your current tax bracket, the type of account you plan to invest in (taxable or tax-advantaged), credit quality, and time to maturity to effectively assess the value of municipal bond income in your portfolio.

Capacity Building written in a notepad with marker.

Optimizing Your Business’ Performance with Capacity Management

When it comes to business operations and measuring performance, the optimal production scale a company can sustain is an important metric to measure. If a business’ capacity can’t be realized and sustained – or the bottlenecks can’t be identified and addressed in a timely manner – a business will likely stagnate and fail. Understanding more about capacity management can help businesses reduce the chances of dealing with sub-optimal performance.

Capacity Defined

A business’ capacity is defined as its highest level of production on a consistent basis. By measuring the capacity of a business, we can calculate its ongoing revenue projections. This type of evaluation also can help a company determine how to manage production snarls and identify ways to increase capacity reserves to help it manage abnormally high production demands. 

Capacity Utilization Rate Defined

This ratio is the percentage of a business’ production capacity that’s currently utilized. If an organization has a capacity utilization rate of 60 percent, the firm is currently operating at 60 percent of its theoretical capacity. When it comes to analyzing a business, this percentage can determine how much capacity may be available for spikes in demand.

This is calculated by taking the actual output and dividing it by theoretical output, with the result multiplied by 100, or as follows:

(actual output/theoretical output) x 100 = capacity utilization rate

Activity Capacity Overview

Activity capacity assesses the scale of production of a particular task over a given time frame (a quarter, six months or a 12-month fiscal year) while accounting for regular production factors. Common facets of production that affect output include worker rest periods, equipment upkeep, crew swaps, etc. This investigation allows a business to determine if it can accomplish projected production in the near term with existing equipment, or if the business needs to analyze bottlenecks before reassessing.

Budgeted Capacity

This method is used to approximate manufacturing quantity scheduled for subsequent time frames. Criteria that’s analyzed for the plan hinges on forecasted market demand, resource availability and production capabilities. It’s an imperative consideration that impacts sales forecasts, indirect operational budgets and the direct production budget.

Depending on the type of business, budgeted capacity can be represented in either hours or units. For example, a company would evaluate industry and economic demand trends, along with the time frame it’s trying to forecast and what resources the business has available for production. The follow steps are commonplace during this process:

Step 1: The business plans to produce 480,000 widgets for the projected time frame.

Step 2: The business looks at how many shifts will be run, how much each shift can produce, how many days the company will operate and the number of hours available for production for each shift. This will help the company determine production and resource availability for the projected time frame.  

Step 3: The business will look at what it’s able to produce based on its full capacity:

    Potential per shift = 100 widgets per hour x 8 hours a shift x 1 shift = 800 widgets

    Potential per day = 800 widgets per shift x 3 shifts per day = 2,400 widgets

    Annual production = 2,400 widgets per day x 275 working days per year = 660,000 widgets


The budgeted production of 480,000 widgets annually is approximately 73 percent of the business’ total production capacity. This leaves the business with ample room to respond to new clients and/or increased demand from existing clients for unexpected orders.

While each business is unique, taking steps to analyze and make more educated projections is one way to increase a company’s efficiency.

Copy of RBG New Hire Template- Multiple

RBG Admits James Hunter Stock, III, JD, CPA and Jeree Wheat, CPA as Partners

MEMPHIS, TN —Reynolds, Bone, & Griesbeck, PLC (RBG) admits James “Hunter” Stock, III, JD, CPA and
Jeree Wheat, CPA into the firm partnership effective January 1st, 2024.

Hunter will serve as a Tax Partner in RBG’s Private Client Group, leading the firm’s estate and gift tax
practice. Hunter’s extensive knowledge, strategic insight, and dedication to client success have been
instrumental in shaping RBG’s tax services. When asked what drives his success, Hunter says, “I’m
motivated by knowing that I can help people and make a positive difference in my clients’ lives by serving
them well. I am also motivated by my family – a wonderful wife and three awesome children.”

As Tax Partner, he will continue to drive innovation and excellence in serving our clients’ complex tax
needs. “I enjoy working with clients to plan for their future while navigating an ever-changing tax
landscape, and then seeing their goals being achieved,” Hunter said.

Jeree will serve as an Assurance Partner primarily practicing in the firm’s Private & Non-profit Group,
continuing to be a technical resource and assurance efficiency leader. When asked what she loves most
about her job, Jeree says, “It’s the people I work with…not just the numbers. Not only do I get to interact
with our staff every day and watch them grow, but we all get to work with a phenomenal group of clients
as well.”

As Assurance Partner, mentoring and developing RBG employees to ensure attention to client needs and
quality service will remain a top priority for Jeree.

“We are proud to have them as partners and are excited about the positive impact they will have on our
clients, our team and the success of the firm,” said Carl “Skeet” J. Haag, CPA, Managing Partner of RBG.
“Their outstanding client service, exceptional dedication, expertise and leadership, exemplify RBG’s WHY
statement to challenge and inspire our people and clients to achieve their goals while creating lasting

RBG is a premier CPA and advisory firm delivering custom tax, accounting, auditing and consulting services to a wide variety of clients. They are building on their 100-year legacy by investing in the next generation of professionals and are passionate about helping their client partners reach their goals. For more information, please visit www.rbgcpa.com

Textured image of the United States Capitol dome on a cloudy day

Congress at Work: Expanding Benefits for Veterans and Extending Government Funding Until January 19, 2024

The Congress at Work series of articles is designed to give you a glimpse of various types of legislation currently under consideration. While either the Senate or the House of Representatives may initiate a bill proposal, be aware that many bills never become law; they may never make it out of committee, be blocked by a Senate filibuster, be delayed, lack enough votes, never be agreed upon by the two houses, or vetoed by the president.

A bill to amend Title 38, United States Code, to extend and modify certain authorities and requirements relating to the Department of Veterans Affairs and for other purposes. (S 2795) – This bill was introduced on September 13 by Senator Don Tester (D-MT). This act extends various Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs and benefits, including extending the use of contract healthcare professions for disability exams from three to five years; extending authorization for VA emergency preparedness for public health emergencies through fiscal year 2028; and extending certain fee rates under the VA’s home loan program through November 15, 2031. The bill passed in the Senate on September 13, the House on September 26, and was signed into law by the President on October 6.

Wounded Warrior Access Act (HR 1226) – This bill requires the VA to develop and maintain a secure online website that will allow claimants to request records related to their VA claims and benefits, as well as a process for reporting violations. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) on February 28. It passed in the House on March 7, the Senate on November 2, and was signed into law on November 13.

Korean American Valor Act (HR 366) – This act amends U.S. Code Title 38 to treat certain members of the armed forces of the Republic of Korea, who served in Vietnam under the Armed Forces of the United States, as veterans for purposes of qualifying for healthcare by the VA. The legislation was introduced on January 13 by Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), and was passed in the House on May 22 and in the Senate on October 19. The bill was enacted by President Biden on November 13.

A bill to amend Title 38, United States Code, to strengthen benefits for children of Vietnam veterans born with spina bifida, and for other purposes. (S 12) – Introduced by Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) on Jan. 26, this bill requires the VA to provide healthcare, job training and monetary benefits to children of Vietnam veterans who were born with spina bifida – for the duration of the child’s life. The bill also requires the VA to establish an advisory council responsible for the care, coordination and ongoing outreach to assist with any care changes over time. The bill passed in the Senate on July 13, the House on September 19, and was signed into law on October 6.

Further Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act, 2024 (HR 6363) – This continuing resolution (CR) was introduced by Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) on Nov. 13. It is part of a two-step process to continue funding most government programs and activities at fiscal year 2023 levels for the current fiscal year (2024). The CR expires on January 19, 2024, by which time budget legislation will need to be passed in order to avoid a government shutdown. This CR passed in the House on November 14, the Senate on November 15, and was signed by the President on November 16.

Rebecca Jacobs

Meet Our Team – Rebecca H. Jacobs

Rebecca joined RBG in January 2009, initially joining as an intern. During this internship phase, her roles primarily revolved around handling tax-related matters and client accounting. Her dedication and competence eventually led to a full-time position within the company, marking her transition to the role of a tax staff member, which she assumed in October 2011.

In her capacity at the firm, Rebecca specializes in providing a wide spectrum of services, including tax compliance and consulting. Her niche, however, revolves around serving high-net-worth individuals and families, demonstrating her expertise in this specific area. Rebecca has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting earned from Christian Brothers University for her undergraduate degree, while she pursued a Master of Science in Accounting with a concentration in Tax at the University of Memphis.

Rebecca has cherished almost 12 years of marriage to her husband, Seth. The two are parents of a 9-year-old daughter named Vivian and a 3-year-old son named William. She also maintains close family ties to one brother, one sister, and four nieces, all residing within the Memphis area.

Fun Questions

  1. If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

Probably cook. I love to make food, but don’t feel like I have time to do real cooking anymore.   

  1. What fictional place would you most like to visit?


  1. What is a new skill that you would like to master?

I’d like to learn how to play the guitar.

  1. What do you wish you knew more about?

Other cultures – I love learning about how different people live and how it’s similar/different from me.

  1. What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home? 

My senior year of high school I traveled to England during Spring Break.

  1. What question would you most like to know the answer to?

Where is the Ark of the Covenant?

  1. What was the best compliment you’ve ever received? 

Probably something relating to my kids being well-behaved. It was likely a lie, but it’s nice to hear as a parent.

  1. What accomplishment are you most proud of? 

Being a mom to two pretty awesome kids.

  1. What is your favorite smell? 

Dinner that someone else is cooking.

  1. If you had a clock that would countdown to any one event of your choosing, what event would you want it to countdown to? 

My daughter getting her driver’s license so I can stop being an unpaid chauffeur.

  1. When was the last time you climbed a tree?

My freshman year of college. I did a high ropes course and we had to climb a tree (using ropes, belay, etc.) to get started.

  1. What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten? 

Crocodile (yes, it tastes like chicken)

  1. What was your first job? 

A hostess at a small Italian restaurant

  1. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? 

Invisibility – I love people watching.

An overworked  business man

How to Organize Your Tax Documents

Since tax time isn’t until next April, organizing your documents right about now might not be top of your mind, or even something you want to do. However, if you don’t want to have to scramble come springtime, you might want to organize your paperwork all year long. Here’s why: It expedites the process when you really do have to begin your tax prep and it’s actually pretty easy. Start with simple categories (listed below), grab some folders and put them in a filing cabinet – or any safe place. This way, when tax time comes around, you’ll be ready.


This is pretty obvious, but it’s not just limited to your paycheck, W-2 forms or 1099s. You’ll also want to keep jury duty records, income and expenses from a hobby (or side hustle), prizes and awards (monetary), health care reimbursements, as well as alimony you received. If you earned money doing something, keep the receipts and put them in this folder.


First, make a copy of the state taxes for your vehicles. Even if you don’t own your own business, make sure you keep track of miles driven, parking and tolls. (Of course, if you have a company, you’re already doing this.) Next, keep all your receipts for gas, car washes, maintenance, etc., so you can claim these.


Be sure to keep receipts for childcare. Why? You can get a credit that will cover up to 35 percent of childcare expenses, or up to $3,000 for a child under 13, or $6,000 for two or more qualifying children. Furthermore, your employer may offer a plan that excludes up to $5,000 from your taxable wages for qualified childcare expenses. In addition to these costs, make sure you keep a record of child and caregiver tax ID numbers and/or Social Security numbers. You’ll need them.


Keep these receipts for all out-of-pocket procedures. You know there will be some. In fact, if your total annual medical expenses are greater than 7.5 percent of your AGI (adjusted gross income), you can claim the deduction. Hang on to those precious receipts.


This is an important category. First, make sure you have all the necessary documents for your 401k, IRAs, etc. But that’s not all. Do you have a college fund? Any other investments? If you have any doubt about something, don’t throw it away. Keep it.

Real Estate

Whether you own one home or many, make sure you keep your 1098, which is your mortgage interest statement. Your closing statement, property taxes and home improvement receipts are also important papers to safeguard.


Did you give to a friend’s kid’s band fund? Give any clothes away to Goodwill? Donate to your alma mater? Wherever you’ve made contributions, document it. It’ll come in handy.


This is the category for the things that don’t fit neatly into any of the above categories. If you have questions about any of your receipts, check out this guide.

Admittedly, keeping track of important tax documents and receipts isn’t the easiest thing to do – or the most fun. But if you designate categories, slow down, and take time to stash important papers away, you’ll be way ahead next spring.





Internet and computer security concept.

Securing Your Identity: The Role of Decentralized Identity Systems in Data Breach Prevention

Data breaches have been on the rise as cybercriminals keep coming up with new ways to steal user-sensitive information. Just in the second quarter of 2023, 110.8 million user accounts were breached. Of these accounts, 49.8 million were from the United States, accounting for 45 percent of the global figure. However, amid the rising threats, a revolutionary concept known as decentralized identity systems has created a solution to reduce data breach cases.

Data Breaches and the Current State of Identity Management

A data breach happens when unauthorized individuals or entities gain access to sensitive information, often for malicious purposes. These breaches can happen to anyone, from individuals to large corporations, and they come with severe consequences that could include financial losses, reputation damage, and identity theft.

The current identity systems are centralized and have inherent vulnerabilities and limitations. These centralized identity systems involve a central authority, such as a government agency or a corporation, storing and managing individuals’ personal information. This means that if a hacker breaches the central authority’s security, he or she gains access to a vast amount of sensitive data.

Furthermore, since the centralized systems often collect extensive personal information, the practice raises concerns about data privacy. The entities storing user data predominantly control and monetize it, which has led to discomfort and distrust among users.

The centralized systems also create a fragmented user experience. This is because different platforms, such as social media, online retailers, news websites, etc., require users to create accounts. Users then must juggle multiple usernames, passwords and data formats, complicating the digital experience. Businesses also incur high costs associated with ensuring secure systems, the latest infrastructure, and compliance.

How Decentralized Identity Systems Can Help Prevent Data Breaches

Decentralized identity systems are an alternative to centralized identity management. These systems put individuals in control of their own digital identities. The decentralized identity systems are enabled by technologies such as Web3, a concept based on a trust framework for identity management. Web3 evolution has led to decentralized identifiers, and this allows for secure management of user data and authentication through blockchain wallets.

Using blockchain technology ensures the security and immutability of identity data. Once information is added to the blockchain, it cannot be altered or deleted without the user’s consent.

However, they allow users to have control over their identity information. Users choose what data to share and with whom, enhancing privacy and security. There is no need for third parties to verify user identity.

Since users store data on their devices or a location they choose, it eliminates single points of failure. Instead of a centralized authority, identity data is distributed across a decentralized network of nodes. Additionally, these systems use advanced cryptographic keys, allowing only the user to access their data.

Decentralized identity systems are already making an impact in various industries, such as healthcare, financial services, and government services. The security benefits of decentralized identity include:

  • Enhanced Security

Decentralized identity systems offer robust security measures. With data stored on a blockchain, it becomes exceedingly difficult for hackers to breach the system. Even if one node is compromised, the decentralized nature of the network ensures that other nodes maintain the integrity of the data.

  • Privacy Control

Users regain control over their personal information. They decide what data to share and retain the ability to revoke access at any time. This puts an end to excessive data collection by corporations and governments.

  • Reduced Identity Theft and Fraud

Decentralized identity systems make it incredibly challenging for fraudsters to impersonate individuals or access their data. This significantly reduces the risk of identity theft and related fraudulent activities.

  • New Economic Models
    Decentralized identity models can create new economic models where consumers are awarded when they choose to share their data with service providers.

While decentralized identity systems offer promising solutions, they are not without challenges. The widespread adoption of decentralized identity systems presents scalability challenges. Another challenge is usability, as complexity can deter individuals and businesses from embracing this technology. The need for a regulatory framework is another challenge, as it is necessary to address factors related to legal and compliance.


Decentralized identity systems offer hope in an age where data breaches are a constant threat. These systems can revolutionize how users secure their digital identities by putting control back into individuals’ hands. While challenges exist, the benefits of enhanced security, privacy control, and reduced fraud make decentralized identity systems a promising solution in the ongoing battle against data breaches.