Don’t be a victim of tax identity theft – File your 2017 return early

| Tax Briefs

The IRS has just announced that it will begin accepting 2017 income tax returns on January 29. You may be more concerned about the April 17 filing deadline or even the extended deadline of October 15 (if you file for an extension by April 17). After all, why go through the hassle of filing your return earlier than you have to?   But it can be a good idea to file as close to January 29 as possible. Doing so helps protect you from tax identity theft.   All-too-common scam   Here’s why early Read more [...]

The TCJA temporarily expands bonus depreciation

| Tax Briefs

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) enhances some tax breaks for businesses while reducing or eliminating others. One break it enhances — temporarily — is bonus depreciation. While most TCJA provisions go into effect for the 2018 tax year, you might be able to benefit from the bonus depreciation enhancements when you file your 2017 tax return.   Pre-TCJA bonus depreciation   Under pre-TCJA law, for qualified new assets that your business placed in service in 2017, you can claim a 50% first-year Read more [...]

The New treatment of alimony under the 2017 Tax Reform Law

| 2017 Tax Reform Updates, Tax Briefs

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Act) has made changes to the tax treatment of alimony.  These changes take effect for divorce agreements and legal separation agreements executed after 2018. Current rules Under the current rules, an individual who pays alimony or separate maintenance may deduct an amount equal to the alimony or separate maintenance payments paid during the year as an "above-the-line" deduction. (An "above-the-line" deduction, i.e., a deduction that a taxpayer need not itemize Read more [...]

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Key provisions affecting businesses

| 2017 Tax Reform Updates, Business Miscellaneous, Tax Briefs

On December 20, Congress completed passage of the largest federal tax reform law in more than 30 years. Commonly called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (TCJA), the new law means substantial changes for business taxpayers. The following is a brief overview of some of the most significant provisions. C-Corporate Tax Rates Reduced - For tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017, the corporate tax rate is a flat 21% rate. Dividends-Received Deduction Percentages Reduced - For tax years beginning Read more [...]

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Changes the Home Mortgage and Equity Loan Interest Deduction

| 2017 Tax Reform Updates, Tax Briefs

The rules for how taxpayers deduct home mortgage and home equity lines of credit interest have changed under the new tax Act starting in 2018. The pre-Act rules for mortgage interest deductions allowed married filing joint taxpayers to deduct interest on mortgage debt up to $1 million used for a primary residence and a second home. The limit was $500,000 for a married filing separate taxpayer. Married filing joint taxpayers were also able to deduct qualifying home equity debt limited to the lesser Read more [...]

2017 Tax Reform Last Minute Strategies

| 2017 Tax Reform Updates, Business Briefs, Tax Briefs

Congress has enacted the biggest tax reform law in thirty years, one that will make fundamental changes in the way you, your family and your business calculate your federal income tax bill, and the amount of federal tax you will pay. Since most of the changes will go into effect next year, there's still a narrow window of time before year-end to soften or avoid the impact of crackdowns and to best position yourself for the tax breaks that may be heading your way. Here's a quick rundown of last-minute Read more [...]

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Key provisions affecting individuals

| 2017 Tax Reform Updates, Tax Briefs

On December 20, Congress completed passage of the largest federal tax reform law in more than 30 years. Commonly called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (TCJA), the new law means substantial changes for individual taxpayers. The following is a brief overview of some of the most significant provisions. Except where noted, these changes are effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026. Drops of individual income tax rates ranging from 0 to 4 percentage Read more [...]

What you need to know about year-end charitable giving in 2017

| Tax Briefs

Charitable giving can be a powerful tax-saving strategy: Donations to qualified charities are generally fully deductible, and you have complete control over when and how much you give. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind this year to ensure you receive the tax benefits you desire. Delivery date To be deductible on your 2017 return, a charitable donation must be made by Dec. 31, 2017. According to the IRS, a donation generally is “made” at the time of its “unconditional Read more [...]

2018 Q1 tax calendar: Key deadlines for businesses and other employers

| Business Miscellaneous, Tax Briefs

Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the first quarter of 2018. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you. January 31 File 2017 Forms W-2, “Wage and Tax Statement,” with the Social Security Administration and provide copies to your employees. Provide copies of 2017 Forms 1099-MISC, “Miscellaneous Income,” to recipients of income from your business where required. Read more [...]

You may need to add RMDs to your year-end to-do list

| Tax Briefs

As the end of the year approaches, most of us have a lot of things on our to-do lists, from gift shopping to donating to our favorite charities to making New Year’s Eve plans. For taxpayers “of a certain age” with a tax-advantaged retirement account, as well as younger taxpayers who’ve inherited such an account, there may be one more thing that’s critical to check off the to-do list before year-end: Take required minimum distributions (RMDs). A huge penalty After you reach age 70½, Read more [...]