Year-End Marital Status and Taxes: Timing Is Everything

As if the process of getting married (or divorced) isn't difficult enough, couples also need to take income tax considerations into account before tying (or untying) the knot. That's particularly true for those who plan a change in marital status late this year or early next year. A taxpayer's marital status for the entire year is determined as of December 31. A taxpayer who is married (or Continue Reading

Think Outside the Gift Box this Holiday Season

Many businesses scramble around at year end to come up with clever, relevant holiday gifts to send to customers to reinforce brands and cement business ties. But the most memorable ideas aren't necessarily the most expensive. In today's high-paced, electronic world, a well-thought-out holiday card with a personalized, handwritten message can sometimes be a refreshing change of pace. Finding Continue Reading

IRS Announces Various Tax Benefit Increases for 2015

For tax year 2015, the IRS recently announced annual inflation adjustments for many tax provisions, including the tax rate schedules, and other tax changes. IRS Revenue Procedure 2014-61 provides details about these annual adjustments. The tax items for tax year 2015 of greatest interest to most taxpayers include the following dollar amounts: Tax Item 2015 2014 Highest Continue Reading

Ten Year-End Tax Planning Ideas for Individuals

Another year is winding down. Before the hustle and bustle of the holidays sets in, it's a good time to brainstorm ideas to lower your 2014 tax bill. Here's an overview of what's happening in the world of tax -- and 10 simple tax-saving strategies that you can implement before year end. Setting the Current Federal Tax Scene Here's some important information for taxpayers about the Continue Reading

Who Are the Latest IRS Targets? A List of 22 Audit Triggers

What triggers an IRS tax audit? While the IRS isn't about to publish a list, there are a number of items that are known to raise the IRS's interest in a return. What are your chances of being audited? For individuals, it depends on your income. In fiscal year 2013, returns reporting income of under $200,000 stood a 0.88 percent chance of an audit. Those with incomes of $200,000 and more had a Continue Reading

Lower Tax Bill with a Last-Minute Retirement Account Contribution

Tax Day is right around the corner. If your tax bill is higher than you'd like, there may still be an opportunity to lower it: If you qualify, you can make a deductible contribution to a traditional IRA right up until the Tuesday, April 15, 2014 filing date and still benefit from the resulting tax savings on your 2013 return. Small business owners can set up and contribute to a Simplified Continue Reading

Think the ACA Thresholds Don’t Apply to Your Business? Not So Fast

The Obama Administration's most recent change to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may have given some employers the wrong impression. With this modification, employers with 50 to 99 employees now have until 2016 to comply with the "Shared Responsibility" provisions of the law. Some employers -- especially those who are close to the threshold of 99 employees -- may be surprised to learn they are not Continue Reading

What’s New on Your 2013 Form 1040

Last year's W-2s and 1099s should be arriving in your mailbox or inbox soon. So it's officially time to start thinking about filing your 2013 personal tax return. Here's what you need to know about the key tax law changes that took effect in 2013: Higher Rates for Upper-Income Individuals Most individuals will pay the same federal income tax rates for 2013 that they did for 2012 (10, 15, Continue Reading