Key tax developments during the first quarter of 2015

The following is a summary of the most important tax developments that have occurred in the past three months that may affect you, your family, your investments, and your livelihood. Please call us for more information about any of these developments and what steps you should implement to take advantage of favorable developments and to minimize the impact of those that are unfavorable.

2015 luxury auto depreciation dollar limits and lease income add-backs released. Annual depreciation and expensing deductions for so-called luxury autos are limited to specific dollar amounts. These amounts are inflation-adjusted each year. The IRS has announced that for autos (not trucks or vans) first placed in service during 2015, the dollar limit for the first year an auto is in service is $3,160; for the second tax year, $5,100; for the third tax year, $3,050; and for each succeeding year, $1,875. The dollar limits are the same as those that applied for autos first placed in service in 2014. [Read more…]

Tax Increase Prevention of 2014

In the recently enacted “Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014,” Congress has once again extended a package of expired or expiring individual, business, and energy provisions known as “extenders.” The extenders are a varied assortment of more than 50 individual and business tax deductions, tax credits, and other tax-saving laws which have been on the books for years but which technically are temporary because they have a specific end date. Congress has repeatedly temporarily extended the tax breaks for short periods of time (e.g., one or two years), which is why they are referred to as “extenders.” The new legislation generally extends the tax breaks retroactively, most of which expired at the end of 2013, for one year through 2014. [Read more…]

Charitable Donations of Appreciated Stock

If you are planning to make a relatively substantial contribution to a charity, college, etc., you should consider donating appreciated stock from your investment portfolio instead of cash. Your tax benefits from the donation can be increased and the organization will be just as happy to receive the stock.

This tax planning tool is derived from the general rule that the deduction for a donation of property to charity is equal to the fair market value of the donated property. Where the donated property is “gain” property, the donor does not have to recognize the gain on the donated property. These rules allow for the “doubling up,” so to speak, of tax benefits: a charitable deduction, plus avoiding tax on the appreciation in value of the donated property. [Read more…]

Individual Mandate

Beginning in 2014, unless your are covered by an exemption, you are required to maintain basic health insurance coverage (known as minimum essential coverage) for yourself and any of your dependents, or pay a shared responsibility payment (a penalty). The requirement to maintain coverage or pay a penalty is generally called the “individual mandate.” [Read more…]

Tax Planning for College

 Many of our clients with college-bound children are concerned with setting up a financial plan to fund future college costs. If your children are already college age, your goal is to pay for current or imminent college bills. We’d like to address both of these concerns by suggesting several approaches that seek to take maximum advantage of tax benefits to minimize your expenses. (Please note that the following suggestions are strictly related to tax benefits. You may have non-tax-related concerns that make the suggestions inappropriate.) [Read more…]

Recent developments that may affect your tax situation

 The following is a summary of the most important tax developments that have occurred in the past three months that may affect you, your family, your investments, and your livelihood. Please call us for more information about any of these developments and what steps you should implement to take advantage of favorable developments and to minimize the impact of those that are unfavorable.

Delayed start date for 2014 tax filing season.  In October 2013, the IRS said that the start date of the 2014 tax filing season would be delayed past the original Jan. 21, 2014 start date because of the government shutdown. However, at that time, it did not provide a specific delayed start date. It has now done so. Late in 2013, the IRS announced that the start date for the 2014 tax season would be Jan. 31, 2014. But it stressed that the Apr. 15, 2014 due date is not extended. Those unable to meet the deadline can apply for an automatic six-month extension, the IRS noted. [Read more…]

Tax Planning Strategies for 2013

 

Year-end tax planning could be especially productive this year because timely action could nail down a host of tax breaks that won’t be around next year unless Congress acts to extend them, which, at the present time, looks doubtful. These include, for individuals: the option to deduct state and local sales and use taxes instead of state and local income taxes; the above-the-line deduction for qualified higher education expenses; and tax-free distributions by those age 70- 1/2 or older from IRAs for charitable purposes. For businesses, tax breaks that are available through the end of this year but won’t be around next year unless Congress acts include: 50% bonus first-year depreciation for most new machinery, equipment and software; an extraordinarily high $500,000 expensing limitation; the research tax credit; and the 15-year writeoff for qualified leasehold improvements, qualified restaurant buildings and improvements and qualified retail improvements. [Read more…]

Key tax developements during the third quarter of 2013

 

The following is a summary of the most important tax developments that have occurred in the past three months that may affect you, your family, your investments, and your livelihood. Please call us for more information about any of these developments and what steps you should implement to take advantage of favorable developments and to minimize the impact of those that are unfavorable. [Read more…]

Key tax developments during the second quarter of 2013

The following is a summary of the most important tax developments that have occurred in the past three months that may affect you, your family, your investments, and your livelihood. Please call us for more information about any of these developments and what steps you should implement to take advantage of favorable developments and to minimize the impact of those that are unfavorable. [Read more…]

Overview of the tax provisions in the 2012 American Taxpayer Relief Act

The recently enacted 2012 American Taxpayer Relief Act is a sweeping tax package that includes, among many other items, a permanent extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for most taxpayers, revised tax rates on ordinary and capital gain income for high-income individuals, modification of the estate tax, permanent relief from the alternative minimum tax (AMT) for individual taxpayers, limits on the deductions and exemptions of high-income individuals, and a host of retroactively resuscitated and extended tax breaks for individual and businesses. [Read more…]