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

| Tax Briefs

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 Read more [...]

Could “bunching” medical expenses into 2018 save you tax?

| Tax Briefs

Some of your medical expenses may be tax deductible, but only if you itemize deductions and have enough expenses to exceed the applicable floor for deductibility. With proper planning, you may be able to time controllable medical expenses to your tax advantage. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) could make bunching such expenses into 2018 beneficial for some taxpayers. At the same time, certain taxpayers who’ve benefited from the deduction in previous years might no longer benefit because of the Read more [...]

Year end tax planning for 2018 in the wake of tax reform 2.0

| Tax Briefs

By Lou Ann Taylor, CPA     On September 28, House lawmakers passed the third and final portion of Tax Reform 2.0 despite the high probability that the Senate will not hold a vote on it because it doesn’t seem to have the votes needed to pass. This comes as planning strategies are being considered for year-end tax savings for 2018 by applying the new tax provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). Tax Reform 2.0 is actually a collection of three bills. The Protecting Family and Read more [...]

Donate appreciated stock for twice the tax benefits

| Tax Briefs

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 Read more [...]

Charitable IRA rollovers may be especially beneficial in 2018

| Tax Briefs

If you’re age 70½ or older, you can make direct contributions — up to $100,000 annually — from your IRA to qualified charitable organizations without owing any income tax on the distributions. This break may be especially beneficial now because of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) changes that affect who can benefit from the itemized deduction for charitable donations.   Counts toward your RMD   A charitable IRA rollover can be used to satisfy required minimum distributions (RMDs). You must Read more [...]

The tax deduction ins and outs of donating artwork to charity

| Tax Briefs

If you’re charitably inclined and you collect art, appreciated artwork can make one of the best charitable gifts from a tax perspective. In general, donating appreciated property is doubly beneficial because you can both enjoy a valuable tax deduction and avoid the capital gains taxes you’d owe if you sold the property. The extra benefit from donating artwork comes from the fact that the top long-term capital gains rate for art and other “collectibles” is 28%, as opposed to 20% for most other Read more [...]

Tax planning for investments gets more complicated

| Tax Briefs

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 Read more [...]

Play your tax cards right with gambling wins and losses

| Tax Briefs

If you gamble, be sure you understand the tax consequences. Both wins and losses can affect your income tax bill. And changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) could also have an impact. Wins and taxable income You must report 100% of your gambling winnings as taxable income. The value of complimentary goodies (“comps”) provided by gambling establishments must also be included in taxable income as winnings. Winnings are subject to your regular federal income tax rate. You might Read more [...]

Choosing the right accounting method for tax purposes

| Business Briefs, Tax Briefs

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) liberalized the eligibility rules for using the cash method of accounting, making this method — which is simpler than the accrual method — available to more businesses. Now the IRS has provided procedures a small business taxpayer can use to obtain automatic consent to change its method of accounting under the TCJA. If you have the option to use either accounting method, it pays to consider whether switching methods would be beneficial. Cash vs. accrual Generally, Read more [...]