Are You Eligible for the New Dependent Credit and HOH Filing Status?
The IRS recently clarified who's eligible for the new $500 tax credit for dependents who aren't qualifying children under age 17, as well as how much income those individuals can earn each year without negating the credit. The income test is also relevant if you're unmarried and want to use the beneficial head of household (HOH) filing status. Here are the details.
Small Employers: Should You Jump on the MEP Bandwagon?
Congress and the U.S. Department of Labor are working on rules that would make it easier for small employers to join multiple employer plans (MEPs). These defined contribution plans are designed to help American workers save for retirement. MEPs are expected to lower administrative costs, but do they offer the simplicity that employers want? Here are some issues to consider.
Can You Have Too Much Tax Deferral?
Deferring income is a conventional tax planning strategy for businesses and individuals alike. It's especially effective when your tax bracket is expected to remain the same or decrease in future years. But under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, deferring too much income might be inadvisable. Here's why it's important to think twice before you defer income under today's tax law.
5 Ways to Boost Deductions for Charitable Giving
Are you feeling generous? The holiday season is a popular time to donate to charities. But many people are uncertain about whether they'll be allowed to deduct charitable contributions on their 2018 federal income tax return. This article reviews the provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that may affect charitable giving and provides strategies to maximize the tax benefits.
Vacation Homes Classified as Rentals See Little Impact from Tax Reform
How is your vacation home classified for federal income tax purposes? Those that are classified as rental properties are subject to complicated tax rules. Here's an overview of the tax treatment for rental properties with minimal personal use under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
7 Year-End Tax Planning Moves for Small Businesses
What can small business owners do before year end to lower their tax bills? That question is top of mind every autumn, but the answers may be less familiar (and possibly more complicated) under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This article updates some tried-and-true tax strategies to account for the tax law changes that went into effect this year.
Tax Savings from Cost Segregation Studies Add Up for Businesses
A cost segregation study can help substantially reduce your company's tax bill, if you purchased real estate to rent out or use in business. Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, more generous bonus depreciation and Section 179 deduction rules may allow significant first-year depreciation deductions for land improvements and contents of buildings. Here are the details.
Free Credit Freezes and Fraud Alerts Are Here!
Has a credit reporting agency ever charged you a fee to "freeze" your accounts after a security breach? It sounds like double jeopardy, right? Fortunately, a new law no longer allows this to happen. Here's how you can take advantage of the new consumer-protection rules that recently took effect under the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act.
IRS Issues Guidance Deducting Meals Bought During Entertainment
As a small business owner, can you deduct for federal income tax purposes the costs of taking a customer or business contact out to a baseball game and buying hot dogs and drinks? The IRS just issued guidance answering that question. This article explains how these types of entertainment and meal expenses have changed under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Reporting Income from Vacation Home Rentals under Todays Tax Rules
Many people own vacation homes that they use for both personal and rental purposes. This article explains how to report income and expenses under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for properties that are rented out but also used a great deal of time by owners and their family and friends. Different rules apply to properties that are rented out with minimal personal use.
Employers: IRS Updates Business Travel Per Diems
Itemized deductions for unreimbursed business expenses are disallowed for employees from 2018 through 2025. So, formal expense reimbursement policies and procedures may be a necessary evil under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Employers can simplify the process by paying travel per diems instead of requiring employees to submit receipts for actual travel expenses. Here are details.
Tax Law Allows Employees to Defer Income from Equity-Based Pay
Restricted stock, stock options and other forms of equity-based compensation can help private companies attract and retain skilled workers. Now, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the deal is even sweeter, because qualified employees may be able to defer the tax hit from these awards for up to five years. This article explains how this election works and what's required to qualify.