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Why making annual exclusion gifts before year end can still be a good idea

December 20, 2016

A tried-and-true estate planning strategy is to make tax-free gifts to loved ones during life, because it reduces potential estate tax at death. There are many ways to make tax-free gifts, but one of the simplest is to take advantage of the annual gift tax exclusion with direct gifts. Even in a potentially changing estate tax environment, making annual exclusion gifts before year end can...

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The Tax-Smart Way to Replace a Business Vehicle

December 5, 2016

Although a vehicle’s value typically drops fairly rapidly, the tax rules limit the amount of annual depreciation that can be claimed on most cars and light trucks. Thus, when it’s time to replace a vehicle used in business, it’s not unusual for its tax basis to be higher than its value. This can be costly tax-wise, depending on how you dispose of the...

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Employers that hire Holiday Help: Understand the Health Care Law’s Rules Around Seasonal Workers

November 28, 2016

As an employer, your size – for purposes of the Affordable Care Act –  is determined by the number of your employees. If you hire seasonal or holiday workers, you should know how these employees are counted under the health care law.

Employer benefits, opportunities and requirements are dependent upon your organization’s size and the applicable rules. If you...

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Using independent contractors? Protect your business with these tips.

November 22, 2016

Many businesses use independent contractors to keep payroll taxes and fringe benefit costs down. But using outside workers may result in other problems. The IRS often questions businesses about whether workers should be classified as employees or independent contractors for federal employment tax purposes.

If the IRS reclassifies a worker as an employee, your company could be hit with...

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Proposed Tax Changes for Individuals

November 21, 2016

Now that Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States and Republicans have retained control of both chambers of Congress, an overhaul of the U.S. tax code next year is likely. President-elect Trump’s tax reform plan, released earlier this year, includes the following changes that would affect individuals:

• Reducing the number of income tax brackets from...

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What to Expect at Tax Time if You Rent Out Your Vacation Home

November 14, 2016

Renting out a vacation property to others can be profitable. If you do this, you must normally report the rental income on your tax return. You may not have to report the rent, however, if the rental period is short and you also use the property as your home. Here are some tips that you should know:

Vacation Home.  A vacation home can be a house, apartment,...

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How Identity Theft Can Affect Your Taxes

October 31, 2016

Tax-related identity theft normally occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. Many people first find out about it when they do their taxes.

The IRS is working hard to stop identity theft with a strategy of prevention, detection and victim assistance. Here are nine key points:

1....

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How Selling Your Home Can Impact Your Taxes

October 10, 2016

Usually, profits you earn are taxable. However, if you sell your home, you may not have to pay taxes on the money you gain. Here are ten tips to keep in mind if you sell your home this year.

1. Exclusion of Gain.  You may be able to exclude part or all of the gain from the sale of your home. This rule may apply if you meet the eligibility test. Parts of the test involve your...

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Miscellaneoud Deductions Can Trim Taxes

October 3, 2016

Miscellaneous deductions may reduce your tax bill. These may include certain expenses you paid for in your work if you are an employee. You must itemize deductions when you file to claim these costs. Many taxpayers claim the standard deduction, but you might pay less tax if you itemize. Here are some IRS tax tips you should know about these deductions:

The Two Percent...

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ACA and Employers: How Seasonal Workers Affect Your Workforce Size

September 19, 2016

For purposes of the Affordable Care Act, an employer’s size is determined by the number of its employees. Employer benefits, opportunities and requirements are dependent upon the employer’s size and the applicable rules. If an employer has at least 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees, on average during the prior year, the employer is an large...

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Back to School? Learn about Tax Credits for Education

September 14, 2016

If you pay for college in 2016, you may receive some tax savings on your federal tax return, even if you’re studying outside of the U.S. Both the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit may reduce the amount of tax you owe, but only the AOTC is partially refundable.

Here are a few things you should know about education...

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How A Wedding Can Affect Your Taxes

August 29, 2016

With all the planning and preparation that goes into a wedding, taxes may not be high on your summer wedding checklist. However, you should be aware of the tax issues that come along with marriage. Here are some basic tips to help with your planning:

• Name change. The names and Social Security numbers on your tax return must match your Social Security Administration...

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Tax Break for Charitable Taxpayers

August 22, 2016

Charitable taxpayers should take advantage of the now permanent tax break for IRA owners. Taxpayers can transfer up to $100,000 per year from their IRA directly to a charity if they are age 70 ½ or older. The donation is considered as part of the taxpayer’s annual required minimum distribution and is not included in taxable income. Because the payout is not included in taxable...

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