Donate appreciated stock for twice the tax benefits

Published: 11/6/2018 3:07:42 PM

A tried-and-true year end tax strategy is to make charitable donations. As long as you itemize and your gift qualifies, you can claim a charitable deduction. But did you know that you can enjoy an additional tax benefit if you donate long-term appreciated stock instead of cash? 2 benefits from 1 gift Appreciated publicly traded stock you’ve held more than one year is long-term capital gains property. If you donate it to a qualified charity, you may be able to enjoy two tax benefits: If you itemize deductions, you can claim a charitable deduction equal to the stock’s fair market

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Buy business assets before year end to reduce your 2018 tax liability

Published: 11/6/2018 2:12:38 PM

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has enhanced two depreciation-related breaks that are popular year-end tax planning tools for businesses. To take advantage of these breaks, you must purchase qualifying assets and place them in service by the end of the tax year. That means there’s still time to reduce your 2018 tax liability with these breaks, but you need to act soon. Section 179 expensing Sec. 179 expensing is valuable because it allows businesses to deduct up to 100% of the cost of qualifying assets in Year 1 instead of depreciating the cost over a number of years.

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Tax planning for investments gets more complicated

Published: 10/9/2018 11:11:03 AM

For investors, fall is a good time to review year-to-date gains and losses. Not only can it help you assess your financial health, but it also can help you determine whether to buy or sell investments before year end to save taxes. This year, you also need to keep in mind the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). While the TCJA didn’t change long-term capital gains rates, it did change the tax brackets for long-term capital gains and qualified dividends. For 2018 through 2025, these brackets are no longer linked to the ordinary-income tax brackets for individuals.

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Tax-free fringe benefits help small businesses and their employees

Published: 10/8/2018 6:59:02 PM

Tax-free fringe benefits help small businesses and their employees In today’s tightening job market, to attract and retain the best employees, small businesses need to offer not only competitive pay, but also appealing fringe benefits. Benefits that are tax-free are especially attractive to employees. Let’s take a quick look at some popular options. Insurance Businesses can provide their employees with various types of insurance on a tax-free basis. Here are some of the most common: Health insurance. If you maintain a health care plan for employees, coverage under the plan isn’t taxable to them. Employee contributions are excluded from income

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Keep it SIMPLE: A tax-advantaged retirement plan solution for small businesses

Published: 8/27/2018 12:30:01 PM

Keep it SIMPLE: A tax-advantaged retirement plan solution for small businesses If your small business doesn’t offer its employees a retirement plan, you may want to consider a SIMPLE IRA. Offering a retirement plan can provide your business with valuable tax deductions and help you attract and retain employees. For a variety of reasons, a SIMPLE IRA can be a particularly appealing option for small businesses. The deadline for setting one up for this year is October 1, 2018. The basics SIMPLE stands for “savings incentive match plan for employees.” As the name implies, these plans are simple to set

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Keep an eye out for extenders legislation

Published: 8/14/2018 11:01:14 AM

The pieces of tax legislation garnering the most attention these days are the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) signed into law last December and the possible “Tax Reform 2.0” that Congress might pass this fall. But for certain individual taxpayers, what happens with “extenders” legislation is also important. Recent history Back in December of 2015, Congress passed the PATH Act, which made a multitude of tax breaks permanent. However, there were a few valuable breaks for individuals that it extended only through 2016. The TCJA didn’t address these breaks, but they were retroactively extended through December 31, 2017, by

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Do you still need to worry about the AMT?

Published: 8/7/2018 11:10:23 AM

Do you still need to worry about the AMT? There was talk of repealing the individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) as part of last year’s tax reform legislation. A repeal wasn’t included in the final version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), but the TCJA will reduce the number of taxpayers subject to the AMT. Now is a good time to familiarize yourself with the changes, assess your AMT risk and see if there are any steps you can take during the last several months of the year to avoid the AMT, or at least minimize any negative

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What you can deduct when volunteering

Published: 7/12/2018 7:08:24 PM

What you can deduct when volunteering Because donations to charity of cash or property generally are tax deductible (if you itemize), it only seems logical that the donation of something even more valuable to you — your time — would also be deductible. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Donations of time or services aren’t deductible. It doesn’t matter if it’s simple administrative work, such as checking in attendees at a fundraising event, or if it’s work requiring significant experience and expertise that would be much more costly to the charity if it had to pay for it, such as skilled

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Home green home: Save tax by saving energy

Published: 7/3/2018 11:24:54 AM

Home green home: Save tax by saving energy “Going green” at home — whether it’s your principal residence or a second home — can reduce your tax bill in addition to your energy bill, all while helping the environment, too. The catch is that, to reap all three benefits, you need to buy and install certain types of renewable energy equipment in the home. Invest in green and save green For 2018 and 2019, you may be eligible for a tax credit of 30% of expenditures (including costs for site preparation, assembly, installation, piping, and wiring) for installing the following

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Do you know the ABCs of HSAs, FSAs and HRAs?

Published: 6/26/2018 11:16:36 AM

Do you know the ABCs of HSAs, FSAs and HRAs? There continues to be much uncertainty about the Affordable Care Act and how such uncertainty will impact health care costs. So it’s critical to leverage all tax-advantaged ways to fund these expenses, including HSAs, FSAs and HRAs. Here’s how to make sense of this alphabet soup of health care accounts. HSAs If you’re covered by a qualified high-deductible health plan (HDHP), you can contribute pretax income to an employer-sponsored Health Savings Account — or make deductible contributions to an HSA you set up yourself — up to $3,450 for self-only

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Choosing the best business entity structure post-TCJA

Published: 6/25/2018 10:27:26 AM

Choosing the best business entity structure post-TCJA For tax years beginning in 2018 and beyond, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) created a flat 21% federal income tax rate for C corporations. Under prior law, C corporations were taxed at rates as high as 35%. The TCJA also reduced individual income tax rates, which apply to sole proprietorships and pass-through entities, including partnerships, S corporations, and, typically, limited liability companies (LLCs). The top rate, however, dropped only slightly, from 39.6% to 37%. On the surface, that may make choosing C corporation structure seem like a no-brainer. But there are

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The tax impact of the TCJA on estate planning

Published: 6/20/2018 6:39:54 PM

The tax impact of the TCJA on estate planning The massive changes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) made to income taxes have garnered the most attention. But the new law also made major changes to gift and estate taxes. While the TCJA didn’t repeal these taxes, it did significantly reduce the number of taxpayers who’ll be subject to them, at least for the next several years. Nevertheless, factoring taxes into your estate planning is still important. Exemption increases The TCJA more than doubles the combined gift and estate tax exemption and the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption, from

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2 tax law changes that may affect your business’s 401(k) plan

Published: 6/11/2018 1:25:13 PM

2 tax law changes that may affect your business’s 401(k) plan When you think about recent tax law changes and your business, you’re probably thinking about the new 20% pass-through deduction for qualified business income or the enhancements to depreciation-related breaks. Or you may be contemplating the reduction or elimination of certain business expense deductions. But there are also a couple of recent tax law changes that you need to be aware of if your business sponsors a 401(k) plan. 1. Plan loan repayment extension The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) gives a break to 401(k) plan participants with

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What businesses need to know about the tax treatment of bitcoin and other virtual currencies

Published: 6/5/2018 7:29:21 PM

What businesses need to know about the tax treatment of bitcoin and other virtual currencies Over the last several years, virtual currency has become increasingly popular. Bitcoin is the most widely recognized form of virtual currency, also commonly referred to as digital, electronic or crypto currency. While most smaller businesses aren’t yet accepting bitcoin or other virtual currency payments from their customers, more and more larger businesses are. And the trend may trickle down to smaller businesses. Businesses also can pay employees or independent contractors with virtual currency. But what are the tax consequences of these transactions? Bitcoin 101 Bitcoin

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Putting your child on your business’s payroll for the summer may make more tax sense than ever

Published: 5/31/2018 2:13:16 PM

Putting your child on your business’s payroll for the summer may make more tax sense than ever If you own a business and have a child in high school or college, hiring him or her for the summer can provide a multitude of benefits, including tax savings. And hiring your child may make more sense than ever due to changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). How it works By shifting some of your business earnings to a child as wages for services performed, you can turn some of your high-taxed income into tax-free or low-taxed income. For

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Do you need to adjust your withholding?

Published: 5/9/2018 11:00:06 AM

Do you need to adjust your withholding? If you received a large refund after filing your 2017 income tax return, you’re probably enjoying the influx of cash. But a large refund isn’t all positive. It also means you were essentially giving the government an interest-free loan. That’s why a large refund for the previous tax year would usually indicate that you should consider reducing the amounts you’re having withheld (and/or what estimated tax payments you’re making) for the current year. But 2018 is a little different. The TCJA and withholding To reflect changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

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A review of significant TCJA provisions affecting small businesses

Published: 5/8/2018 1:47:04 PM

A review of significant TCJA provisions affecting small businesses Now that small businesses and their owners have filed their 2017 income tax returns (or filed for an extension), it’s a good time to review some of the provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that may significantly impact their taxes for 2018 and beyond. Generally, the changes apply to tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, and are permanent, unless otherwise noted. Corporate taxation Replacement of graduated corporate rates ranging from 15% to 35% with a flat corporate rate of 21%Replacement of the flat personal service corporation (PSC)

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IRS Audit Techniques Guides provide clues to what may come up if your business is audited

Published: 5/7/2018 5:44:55 PM

IRS Audit Techniques Guides provide clues to what may come up if your business is audited IRS examiners use Audit Techniques Guides (ATGs) to prepare for audits — and so can small business owners. Many ATGs target specific industries, such as construction. Others address issues that frequently arise in audits, such as executive compensation and fringe benefits. These publications can provide valuable insights into issues that might surface if your business is audited. What do ATGs cover? The IRS compiles information obtained from past examinations of taxpayers and publishes its findings in ATGs. Typically, these publications explain: The nature of

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Get started on 2018 tax planning now!

Published: 5/2/2018 7:53:18 PM

With the April 17 individual income tax filing deadline behind you (or with your 2017 tax return on the back burner if you filed for an extension), you may be hoping to not think about taxes for the next several months. But for maximum tax savings, now is the time to start tax planning for 2018. It’s especially critical to get an early start this year because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has substantially changed the tax environment. Many variables A tremendous number of variables affect your overall tax liability for the year. Looking at these variables early

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Can you claim your elderly parent as a dependent on your tax return

Published: 4/25/2018 4:01:57 PM

Can you claim your elderly parent as a dependent on your tax return? Perhaps. It depends on several factors, such as your parent’s income and how much financial support you provided. If you qualify for the adult-dependent exemption on your 2017 income tax return, you can deduct up to $4,050 per qualifying adult dependent. However, for 2018, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the dependency exemption is eliminated. Income and support For you to qualify for the adult-dependent exemption, in most cases your parent must have less gross income for the tax year than the exemption amount. (Exceptions may

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All Posts

Donate appreciated stock for twice the tax benefits

11/6/2018 3:07:42 PM

Buy business assets before year end to reduce your 2018 tax liability

11/6/2018 2:12:38 PM

Tax planning for investments gets more complicated

10/9/2018 11:11:03 AM

Tax-free fringe benefits help small businesses and their employees

10/8/2018 6:59:02 PM

Keep it SIMPLE: A tax-advantaged retirement plan solution for small businesses

8/27/2018 12:30:01 PM

Keep an eye out for extenders legislation

8/14/2018 11:01:14 AM

Do you still need to worry about the AMT?

8/7/2018 11:10:23 AM

What you can deduct when volunteering

7/12/2018 7:08:24 PM

Home green home: Save tax by saving energy

7/3/2018 11:24:54 AM

Do you know the ABCs of HSAs, FSAs and HRAs?

6/26/2018 11:16:36 AM

Choosing the best business entity structure post-TCJA

6/25/2018 10:27:26 AM

The tax impact of the TCJA on estate planning

6/20/2018 6:39:54 PM

2 tax law changes that may affect your business’s 401(k) plan

6/11/2018 1:25:13 PM

What businesses need to know about the tax treatment of bitcoin and other virtual currencies

6/5/2018 7:29:21 PM

Putting your child on your business’s payroll for the summer may make more tax sense than ever

5/31/2018 2:13:16 PM

Do you need to adjust your withholding?

5/9/2018 11:00:06 AM

A review of significant TCJA provisions affecting small businesses

5/8/2018 1:47:04 PM

IRS Audit Techniques Guides provide clues to what may come up if your business is audited

5/7/2018 5:44:55 PM

Get started on 2018 tax planning now!

5/2/2018 7:53:18 PM

Can you claim your elderly parent as a dependent on your tax return

4/25/2018 4:01:57 PM