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“Taxing” is a word synonymous with “onerous” and “wearing.” Bond Beebe, Accountants & Advisors, have created a user friendly blog called “It’s Taxing” to inform and educate our clients and business associates on timely topics related to tax, estates, accounting and finance. We hope our blog answers your questions and alleviates the heavy burden and anxiety related to understanding complicated tax laws and related matters.
For many people, there is nothing as dreadful as dealing with income taxes each year. When you first sit down with all the forms and receipts, you may feel overwhelmed; our goal is to simplify the process while keeping you in compliance with the tax codes so you can preserve, grow & protect your assets.
A lot has changed for 2013 – there are a number of new taxes and tax increases. If you are just sitting down to review your forms and filing your taxes has you scratching your head this year, here are 6 important strategies that will help you make the most of your tax situation:
Last week the IRS released its annual “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2014 as a reminder to be on the lookout for fraud and take steps to protect sensitive information as you file your taxes. Not surprisingly, identity theft tops this list.
Tax-related identity theft continues to grow – last year 1.6 million Americans were victims within the first half of the year. It is essential to be on the lookout for scams and take the necessary precautions with your social security number and other personal information.
The estate tax landscape has a ‘permanent’ playing field now; the current Federal legislation exists in such a way that the rules will remain consistent for the foreseeable future. Back in 2010, estate tax was in a period of uncertainty due to the expiration of the Bush-era tax rules. Then the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 created permanent estate and gift transfer tax laws, thereby providing a standard, predictable set of rules for estate planning.
The American Taxpayer Relief Act made the federal estate tax exemption permanent at $5 million, indexed for inflation, which now stands at $5,340,000 for individuals who pass in 2014. A federally-taxable estate is one above the current exemption where the decedent’s gross assets exceed allowable deductions, including those assets transferring to the surviving spouse. In other words, a decedent’s estate would not pay estate tax (40%) until the estate’s net assets exceeded $5,340,000.
The IRS released the much anticipated “repair and maintenance” regulations for Sections 162(a) and 263(a) in September of last year, providing guidance regarding the deduction and capitalization of costs related to tangible property. The final regulations replace the temporary regulations issued in 2011.
Much was written about these changes when they first came out, however, since these regulations will affect virtually everyone who has a business (as most businesses have tangible property) and just took effect at the beginning of 2014, we wanted to remind you of some of the regulation’s highlights.
As of December 31, 2013, a number of tax provisions affecting both individuals and businesses expired. Currently, it is unclear whether Congress will retroactively extend any of the provisions, but the possibility remains. A few of the notable expired provisions are outlined below:
In July of 2013, North Carolina adopted N.C. Gen. Stat. § 105-164.4(a)(11), which imposes the 4.75% general State and applicable local and transit rates of sales and use tax “to the sales price of a service contract” sold by a retailer on or after January 1, 2014 and sourced to this State.
As I mentioned previously on the blog, I had the pleasure of joining Wayne Zell of Odin Feldman Pittleman on his radio show, Power of Attorney. We discussed a number of tax changes for 2013 and I shared several strategies to help deal with those changes and increases.
You can listen to the entire podcast here, but here are the basics:
The IRS announced the 2014 optional standard mileage rates this week. They are as follows:
For those keeping track, the rates for business, medical, and moving mileage each decreased by one-half cent from their respective 2013 rates. The charitable mileage rate remains unchanged.
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