Tax reform update on employee and business meals and entertainment

| News, Tax Briefs

By Dave Garrett, CPA, CGMA     As you’re likely aware, in late December 2017 Congress passed and the President signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The law will phase in a wide variety of changes to the way businesses calculate their tax liabilities — some beneficial, some detrimental. Revisions to the treatment of employee meals and entertainment expenses fall in the latter category. Before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, taxpayers generally could deduct 50% of expenses for business-related meals Read more [...]

What you can deduct when volunteering

| Tax Briefs

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 Read more [...]

Home green home: Save tax by saving energy

| Tax Briefs

“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, Read more [...]

Do you need to adjust your withholding?

| Tax Briefs

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 Read more [...]

Factor in state and local taxes when deciding where to live in retirement

| Tax Briefs

Many Americans relocate to another state when they retire. If you’re thinking about such a move, state and local taxes should factor into your decision. Income, property and sales tax Choosing a state that has no personal income tax may appear to be the best option. But that might not be the case once you consider property and sales taxes. For example, suppose you’ve narrowed your decision down to two states: State 1 has no individual income tax, and State 2 has a flat 5 percent individual Read more [...]

The TCJA changes some rules for deducting pass-through business losses

| Tax Briefs

It’s not uncommon for businesses to sometimes generate tax losses. But the losses that can be deducted are limited by tax law in some situations. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) further restricts the amount of losses that sole proprietors, partners, S corporation shareholders and, typically, limited liability company (LLC) members can currently deduct — beginning in 2018. This could negatively impact owners of start-ups and businesses facing adverse conditions. Before the TCJA Under pre-TCJA Read more [...]

Be aware of the tax consequences before selling your home

| Tax Briefs

In many parts of the country, summer is peak season for selling a home. If you’re planning to put your home on the market soon, you’re probably thinking about things like how quickly it will sell and how much you’ll get for it. But don’t neglect to consider the tax consequences. Home sale gain exclusion The U.S. House of Representatives’ original version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act included a provision tightening the rules for the home sale gain exclusion. Fortunately, that provision Read more [...]

Get started on 2018 tax planning now!

| Tax Briefs

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 Read more [...]