Selling your home? Consider these tax implications

| Tax Briefs

Spring and summer are the optimum seasons for selling a home. And interest rates are currently attractive, so buyers may be out in full force in your area. Freddie Mac reports that the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.14% during the week of May 2, 2019, while the 15-year mortgage rate was 3.6%. This is down 0.41 and 0.43%, respectively, from a year earlier. But before you contact a realtor to sell your home, you should review the tax considerations. Sellers can exclude some gain If Read more [...]

How entrepreneurs must treat expenses on their tax returns

| Tax Briefs

Have you recently started a new business? Or are you contemplating starting one? Launching a new venture is a hectic, exciting time. And as you know, before you even open the doors, you generally have to spend a lot of money. You may have to train workers and pay for rent, utilities, marketing and more. Entrepreneurs are often unaware that many expenses incurred by start-ups can’t be deducted right away. You should be aware that the way you handle some of your initial expenses can make a large Read more [...]

Plug in tax savings for electric vehicles

| Tax Briefs

While the number of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) is still small compared with other cars on the road, it’s growing — especially in certain parts of the country. If you’re interested in purchasing an electric or hybrid vehicle, you may be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500. (Depending on where you live, there may also be state tax breaks and other incentives.)   However, the federal tax credit is subject to a complex phaseout rule that may reduce or eliminate the Read more [...]

Three questions you may have after your return is filed

| Tax Briefs

Once your 2018 tax return has been successfully filed with the IRS, you may still have some questions. Here are brief answers to three questions that we’re frequently asked at this time of year.   Question #1: What tax records can I now throw away?   At a minimum, keep tax records related to your return for as long as the IRS can audit your return or assess additional taxes. In general, the statute of limitations is three years after you file your return. So you can generally get rid of Read more [...]

Why mission always reigns supreme

| Business Miscellaneous

By Chris Mennel, CPA     Think for a moment about starting a restaurant. As an owner, you have to worry about borrowing money from a bank, hiring employees, creating a menu, setting prices, paying bills and an endless list of other tasks.  But if the food doesn’t taste great and the experience isn’t enjoyable, then the restaurant is never going to make it. Nonprofits follow a similar trajectory. There are so many important aspects: fundraising, board governance, succession planning, fraud Read more [...]

Make a deductible IRA contribution for 2018. It’s not too late!

| Tax Briefs

Do you want to save more for retirement on a tax-favored basis? If so, and if you qualify, you can make a deductible traditional IRA contribution for the 2018 tax year between now and the tax filing deadline and claim the write-off on your 2018 return. Or you can contribute to a Roth IRA and avoid paying taxes on future withdrawals. You can potentially make a contribution of up to $5,500 (or $6,500 if you were age 50 or older as of December 31, 2018). If you’re married, your spouse can potentially Read more [...]

Still working after age 70½? You may not have to begin 401(k) withdrawals

| Tax Briefs

If you participate in a qualified retirement plan, such as a 401(k), you must generally begin taking required withdrawals from the plan no later than April 1 of the year after which you turn age 70½. However, there’s an exception that applies to certain plan participants who are still working for the entire year in which they turn 70½. The basics of RMDs Required minimum distributions (RMDs) are the amounts you’re legally required to withdraw from your qualified retirement plans and traditional Read more [...]

The 2018 gift tax return deadline is almost here

| Tax Briefs

Did you make large gifts to your children, grandchildren or other heirs last year? If so, it’s important to determine whether you’re required to file a 2018 gift tax return — or whether filing one would be beneficial even if it isn’t required. Filing requirements Generally, you must file a gift tax return for 2018 if, during the tax year, you made gifts: That exceeded the $15,000-per-recipient gift tax annual exclusion (other than to your U.S. citizen spouse); That you wish Read more [...]

Vehicle-expense deduction ins and outs for individual taxpayers

| Tax Briefs

It’s not just businesses that can deduct vehicle-related expenses. Individuals also can deduct them in certain circumstances. Unfortunately, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) might reduce your deduction compared to what you claimed on your 2017 return. For 2017, miles driven for business, moving, medical and charitable purposes were potentially deductible. For 2018 through 2025, business and moving miles are deductible only in much more limited circumstances. TCJA changes could also affect your Read more [...]