You May Need to Consider Estate Planning to Minimize Your Current Federal Income Taxes 03-04-2015

A resent report published by the Congressional Research Service stated that less than 0.2 percent of all estates will owe federal estate tax. Therefore, most people wouldn't think about estate planning. However, almost everyone who is in the middle class or higher owes federal income annually. You should determine if estate planning today could affect you. If so, you should focus on strategies to reduce federal income taxes by minimizing capital gains, utilizing capital losses while you're still alive and updating your designated beneficiaries. Continue reading

2014 Federal Tax Returns: What is Renewed, What is New 03-04-2015

No one enjoys the process of filing and paying taxes. The tax-filing process is complicated by the ever-changing tax laws. The Tax Increase Prevention Act and Affordable Care Act are two of the more recent laws that could possibly affect your 2014 federal tax returns. Here are some highlights that businesses and individuals should know before they file their 2014 federal taxes. Continue reading

The End of Winter is Around the Corner: How to Keep March Madness under Control 03-04-2015

We won't soon forget this brutal winter. Everyone is probably looking forward to spring. "March Madness" can signal the beginning of spring for many people. Employers should capitalize on the spirit and excitement of the NCAA basketball tournament by fostering a "team" environment, rather than consider the tournament a workplace distraction -- but there are some cautions. Also: Two tax proposals you may not be aware of that are unpopular with NCAA fans. Continue reading

Reprieve for Small Businesses with Health Premium Reimbursement Plans 03-04-2015

Good news from the IRS: If you are a small business that has been reimbursing employees the cost of buying their own health coverage, you have been granted a temporary reprieve. Previously that arrangement was deemed unacceptable and, therefore, subjected small businesses to hefty penalties. Learn what you must do by June 30 to avoid penalties. Additionally, you can find information about recent changes to the small business health care tax credit. Continue reading

Extension Made Available to Employers to File Work Opportunity Tax Credit Paperwork 03-04-2015

Employers have been provided extra time to file a form required to claim the Work Opportunity Tax Credit for eligible employees. Thanks to the IRS, employers now have until April 30, 2015 to file the required form, Form 8850, to claim this valuable tax credit for qualifying workers that were hired during 2014. This article contains details concerning the IRS relief and outlines the steps an employer must take to take advantage of this valuable opportunity. Continue reading

A Victory for Small Businesses: The IRS Simplifies Repair Regulations 03-04-2015

GREAT NEWS! A major burden on small business was lifted by the IRS. The recently published final repair regulations presented a tax filing nightmare for many small businesses. However, the IRS recently made it easier for small businesses to take advantage of the final repair regulations. Here's some background on what the regulations address and how the IRS has provided relief from some of the red tape for qualifying small businesses. Continue reading

S Corps and Partnerships: Make Sure You Avoid Failure-to-File Penalties 03-04-2015

The S corporation is a popular business structure utilized by many privately held businesses. A recent Tax Court case serves a reminder to taxpayers that there's a steep penalty for S corps (and partnerships) that fail to file timely federal tax returns, even if there's no taxable income to report. These penalties are easy to avoid. There is also some information reviewing the qualifications for switching from C corporation to S corporation status. Continue reading

IRS Announces 2014 Standard Mileage Rates 12-06-2013

The Internal Revenue Service has announce the Standard Mileage Rates for 2014. Beginning January 1, 2014, the mileage rates for business use of an automobile are:

  • 56 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 23.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

For more information, please visit the IRS site by clicking here.

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Affordable Care Act Provisions Delayed 07-02-2013

The Obama Administration announced on July 2, 2013, that implementation of certain provisions found in the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) will be delayed until January 1, 2015.  Specifically, the delay affects the shared responsibility payment provisions of the employer mandate. Prior to this announcement, employers with more than 50 full-time employees would have been exposed to a penalty for not offering health insurance to their full-time employees beginning January 1, 2014.  In plain English, the penalties (shared responsibility payment) for failing to provide health insurance coverage have been delayed by one year.

The Administration explained that this delay was to allow employers, insurers, and other affected parties time to comply with the reporting requirements of the law.  In its published release, the U.S. Department of Treasury went on to encourage employers to voluntarily implement information reporting in 2014 even though it will not be enforced.  To view the full text of the publication on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s website, please click here.

At this time, there are many unanswered questions.  However, even if there is a delay in the enforcement of the penalties until 2015, testing periods for plan years beginning January 1, 2015, will start on October 15, 2013, if employers want a 12 month measurement period.  The Administration is delaying the penalty provisions because employers did not have enough time in 2013 to implement these testing periods, among other things.  It is critical that employers use this delay to their advantage and begin testing employee hours at the earliest date of October 15, 2013, depending on plan year and management decisions.

In addition, based on the information presently available, we have seen nothing to suggest that other reporting requirements, scheduled for 2014 implementation, are being delayed.  One such requirement is the disclosure to employees concerning their coverage options within the state run exchanges.  The state health insurance exchanges are required to be operational by October 1, 2013, regardless of whether the exchange is operated by the state or federal government.  One of the requirements that must be met is the distribution of information by employers to employees, regardless of the number of employees, concerning the new health insurance exchanges.  As an employer, this information must be given to all of your employees no later than October 1, 2013, the same day the health insurance exchanges are set to open.   There is an additional requirement if your business address is in a county in which 10% or more of the population is only literate in a non-English language.  If you meet this requirement, you must provide the material in their native language.   Templates for this information are available below along with a link to the Department of Labor’s website.

We will continue to update you on new developments as they occur.

Templates Regarding Required Information to be Disclosed to Employees Regarding State Run Health Exchanges:

Notice to Employees of Coverage Options

Department of Labor Website

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Tax Refund – What to do? 04-25-2013

If you are looking for ways to spend your tax refund, check out the Wall Street Journal’s article “Don’t Just Spend It – Smart Moves for Your Tax Refund.”  This article discusses various ways to spend (or save) your tax refund from paying down debt, increasing your educational background, or saving for retirement.  What move will you make?


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