Reminder To Home-Based Businesses: Simplified Option for Claiming Home Office Deduction Now Available; May Deduct up to $1,500

This year for the first time they can choose a new simplified option for claiming the deduction for business use of a home. In tax year 2011, the most recent year for which figures are available, some 3.3 million taxpayers claimed deductions for business use of a home (commonly referred to as the home office deduction) totaling nearly $10 billion. The new optional deduction, capped at $1,500 per year based on Read More

Small Business Health Care Tax Credit for Small Employers

How will the credit make a difference for you? For tax years 2010 through 2013, the maximum credit is 35 percent of premiums paid for small business employers and 25 percent of premiums paid for small tax-exempt employers such as charities. For tax years beginning in 2014 or later, there will be changes to the credit: The maximum credit will increase to 50 percent of premiums paid for small business Read More

IRS Warns of Pervasive Telephone Scam

The Internal Revenue Service is warning consumers about a sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, throughout the country. Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In Read More

2014 Pension Plan Limitations

The Internal Revenue Service has announced cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2014.  Some pension limitations such as those governing 401(k) plans and IRAs will remain unchanged because the increase in the Consumer Price Index did not meet the statutory thresholds for their adjustment.  However, other pension plan limitations will Read More

2014 Standard Mileage Rates

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2014, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be: 56 cents per mile for business miles driven 23.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations The business, medical, and moving expense rates decrease one-half cent from the 2013 rates.  The charitable rate is based Read More

In 2014, Various Tax Benefits Increase Due to Inflation Adjustments

For tax year 2014, the Internal Revenue Service has announced annual inflation adjustments for more than 40 tax provisions, including the tax rate schedules, and other tax changes. Revenue Procedure 2013-35 provides details about these annual adjustments. The tax items for tax year 2014 of greatest interest to most taxpayers include the following dollar amounts. The tax rate of 39.6 percent affects singles Read More

Give Withholding and Payments a Check-up to Avoid a Tax Surprise

Some people are surprised to learn they’re due a large federal income tax refund when they file their taxes. Others are surprised that they owe more taxes than they expected. When this happens, it’s a good idea to check your federal tax withholding or payments. Doing so now can help avoid a tax surprise when you file your 2013 tax return next year. Here are some tips to help you bring the tax you pay during the Read More

Questions and Answers on the Individual Shared Responsibility Provision

Basic Information 1. What is the individual shared responsibility provision? Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government, state governments, insurers, employers and individuals are given shared responsibility to reform and improve the availability, quality and affordability of health insurance coverage in the United States. Starting in 2014, the individual shared responsibility provision calls for Read More

Give Withholding and Payments a Check-up to Avoid a Tax Surprise

Some people are surprised to learn they’re due a large federal income tax refund when they file their taxes. Others are surprised that they owe more taxes than they expected. When this happens, it’s a good idea to check your federal tax withholding or payments. Doing so now can help avoid a tax surprise when you file your 2013 tax return next year. Here are some tips to help you bring the tax you pay during the Read More

The Premium Tax Credit

Basic Information Starting in 2014, if you get your health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may be eligible for the Premium Tax Credit. This tax credit can help make purchasing health insurance coverage more affordable for people with moderate incomes. The open enrollment period to purchase health insurance coverage for 2014 through the Marketplace runs from Oct. 1, 2013, through Read More