Articles Posted in Tax Planning

The recently enacted 2010 Small Business Jobs Act includes a wide-ranging assortment of tax breaks and incentives for businesses. Here’s a brief overview of the tax changes in the Small Business Jobs Act.

Enhanced small business expensing (Section 179 expensing). To help small businesses quickly recover the cost of capital outlays, small business taxpayers can elect to write off these expenditures in the year they are made instead of recovering them through depreciation. Under the old rules, taxpayers could generally expense up to $250,000 of qualifying property–generally, machinery, equipment and software–placed in service in during the tax year. This annual limit was reduced by the amount by which the cost of property placed in service exceeded $800,000. Under the Small Business Jobs Act, for tax years beginning in 2010 and 2011, the $250,000 limit is increased to $500,000 and the investment limit to $2,000,000. The Small Business Jobs Act also makes certain real property eligible for expensing. Thus, for property placed in service in any tax year beginning in 2010 or 2011, the $500,000 amount can include up to $250,000 of qualified leasehold improvement, restaurant and retail improvement property.

Extension of 50% bonus first-year depreciation. Before the Small Business Jobs Act, Congress already allowed businesses to more rapidly deduct capital expenditures of most new tangible personal property placed in service in 2008 or 2009 by permitting the first-year write-off of 50% of the cost. The Small Business Jobs Act extends the first-year 50% write-off to apply to qualifying property placed in service in 2010 (as well as 2011 for certain aircraft and long production period property).

Having Unfiled Tax Returns and need Help?

Taxpayers with unfiled tax returns can invite a lot of problems. The famous IRS has coined ten years for the collection of taxes that are owed. If the return for owed taxes was filed ten years ago, the IRS will probably use the last address known to them. The government will not be able to maintain any contact if you have already left the country. But if by any chance, you return back within the ten years limit, this can be a big problem. If you start earning or start with any job, it will be very easy for the IRS to contact you and then you are in big trouble. They not only claim the unfiled tax returns but all of the fines interest and penalties that have accrued over the original payment are also asked for. If you have somehow not at all bothered to file the tax returns, it is very important for you to have all the documents necessary to file your tax returns. Having lower income or lots of medical bills will not make any difference. It could simply lead to the conclusion that you probably are left with no money at all to pay for the mortgages or even the regular bills.

If anyone finds himself stuck in such serious circumstances it is strongly suggested that services of an experienced tax relief professional be asked. Only they will be able to guide you properly as to what is required to be done. They will be able to sort through all of the back taxes of past years and negotiate with the IRS to make some reasonable solution. The help of tax relief expert can invite many days of annoyance, severe deadlines or some difficult and confusing forms to be handled on your own. The tax relief specialist, as a professional will do his best to help you deal with the situation and come out of it successfully. He will be spending most of his time to sort out the best interest of the client and find a solution.

Important tax developments in the first quarter of 2010

IRS Tax Relief

While the new law tax changes in the health reform legislation and the hiring legislation were the most significant developments in the first quarter of 2010, many other tax developments may affect you, your family, and your livelihood. These other key developments in the first quarter of 2010 are summarized below. Please call us for more information about any of these developments and what steps you should implement to take advantage of favorable developments and to minimize the impact of those that are unfavorable.

Tax changes affecting individuals in the 2010 health reform legislation

Mike Habib, EA

I’m writing to give you a brief overview of the key tax changes affecting individuals in the recently enacted health reform legislation. Please call our offices for details of how the new changes may affect your specific situation.

Basic Trust Taxation Rules It is estimated that $4.8 trillion in wealth will be inherited or transferred from one generation to the next by 2015, with much of it transferred through a variety of trusts. Filings of trust returns (Form 1041) are now the third most frequently filed income tax return behind individual and corporate returns. Although the vast majority of these transfers are legal, there is widespread potential for fraud.In the last few years, the Internal Revenue Service has detected a proliferation of abusive trust tax evasion schemes. These promotions are targeted towards wealthy individuals, small business owners, and professionals such as doctors and lawyers.Abusive trust arrangements typically are promoted by the promise of such benefits as:

  • Reduction or elimination of income subject to tax.
  • Deductions for personal expenses paid by the trust.

Essential year end tax planning

Year-end tax planning could be especially productive this year because timely action can nail down a host of tax breaks that won’t be around next year unless Congress acts to extend them. These include, for individuals: the option to deduct state and local sales and use taxes instead of state income taxes; the standard or itemized deduction for state sales tax and excise tax on the purchase of motor vehicles; the above-the-line deduction for qualified higher education expenses; tax-free distributions by those age 70 1/2 or older from IRAs for charitable purposes; and the $8,000 first-time homebuyer credit (expires for purchases after Nov. 30, 2009). For businesses, tax breaks that are available through the end of this year but won’t be around next year unless Congress acts include: 50% bonus first year depreciation for most new machinery, equipment and software; an extraordinarily high $250,000 expensing limitation; the research tax credit; the five-year writeoff for most farm equipment; and the 15-year writeoff for qualified leasehold improvements, qualified restaurant buildings and improvements and qualified retail improvements. Finally, without Congressional “extender” legislation (which has come at the eleventh hour for several years), alternative minimum tax (AMT) exemption amounts for individuals are scheduled to drop drastically next year, and most nonrefundable personal credits won’t be available to offset the AMT.

High-income-earners have other factors to keep in mind when mapping out year-end plans. Many observers expect top tax rates on ordinary income to increase after 2010, making long-term deferral of income less appealing. Long-term capital gains rates could go up as well, so it may pay for some to take large profits this year instead of a few years down the road. On the other hand, the solid good news high-income-earners have to look forward to next year is that there no longer will be an income based reduction of most itemized deductions, nor will there be a phaseout of personal exemptions. Additionally, traditional IRA to Roth IRA conversions will be allowed regardless of a taxpayer’s income.

Roth IRA Rollovers

Mike Habib, EA

I am writing to tell you of an interesting new rollover opportunity that’s coming up in a few months. After 2009, you will be able to roll over amounts in qualified employer sponsored retirement plan accounts, such as 401(k)s and profit sharing plans, and regular IRAs, into Roth IRAs, regardless of your adjusted gross income (AGI). Currently, individuals with more than $100,000 of adjusted gross income as specially modified are barred from making such rollovers.

Year-end tax planning client letter with checklist

As the end of the year approaches, it is a good time to think of planning moves that will help lower your tax bill this year and possibly the next. Factors that compound the challenge include the stock market’s swoon, the difficult economic climate we’re in right now, and the strong possibility that there will be tax changes in the works next year. In fact, there might even be another economic stimulus package carrying tax changes enacted before the end of this year.

The indisputably good news we are certain of is that Congress has acted to “patch” the AMT problem for 2008, has retroactively reinstated a number of tax breaks (such as the option to deduct state and local general sales tax instead of state and local income tax and the above-the-line deduction for higher education expenses), and has created new tax breaks that go into effect for the 2008 tax year (including a tax credit for first-time homebuyers, a nonitemizers’ deduction for state and local property tax and a nonitemizers’ deduction for certain disaster losses). For 2008, businesses enjoy tax breaks such as a beefed-up expensing option and a 50% bonus first-year depreciation write-off for most machinery and equipment placed into service this year and a reinstated research credit.

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Mike is a true professional. He really came thru for me and my business. Dealing with the IRS is very scary. I'm a small business person who works hard and Mike helped me see that they are not that scary after all. He was always there with the answers I needed and was very good about calling me back which I appreciated since your first reaction is to freak out and ask a million questions. He solved a messy case and worked very hard to resolve it. His rates are VERY reasonable for the amount of work he does! I give him my highest recommendation!Marcie R.
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