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2013 Year-End Tax Planning for Businesses

In recent years, end of year tax planning for businesses has been further complicated by uncertainty over the future availability of many tax incentives. The 2013 year-end is no different. In the early hours of January 1, 2013, the Senate passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which permanently extended the so-called Bush-era tax cuts. However, other popular provisions were only extended through 2013. Therefore, 2013 tax strategies include concerns over expiring provisions. But 2013 is also unique due to changes that are affecting businesses.

For example, as part of its primary purpose to facilitate health care reform, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPAC<) includes key tax provisions that affect businesses. Some requirements are already in effect, while other provisions apply starting in 2013 or later. Higher tax rates may be imposed on distributions to owners and the net investment income regulations have the potential to impact individuals who are owners of pass-through entities. In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in mid-July on the unconstitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) means changes to retirement plans and employee benefits for same-sex marriages. Also, compliance with final repair regulations affects virtually all businesses.

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2017 Year-End Tax Planning for Businesses

As year-end approaches, each business should consider the many opportunities that might be lost if year-end tax planning is not explored. A business may want to consider several general strategies, such as use of traditional timing techniques for delaying income recognition and accelerating deductions. A business should also consider customized strategies tailored to its particular situations.

For the 2017 tax year, taxpayers have relative clarity with respect to available credits and deductions. With the exception of a handful of industry specific tax credits and deductions that expired at the end of 2016, most temporary credits and deductions were permanently extended by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act). A few others were extended for 5-years through 2019. Far less clear, however, is the possibility of the enactment of tax reform legislation by year’s end. The final scope of such legislation, if enacted, remains unknown. At a minimum, tax reform legislation is expected to result in a reduction of corporate and individual tax rates. However, whether such reductions would apply to 2017, as well as to 2018, will remain uncertain, likely until late November or early December. Nevertheless, much of the preparation for these contingencies should begin now.

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Year-End Tax Planning for Businesses

In recent years, end of year tax planning for businesses has been complicated by uncertainty over the availability of many tax incentives. The 2014 year-end is no different. In the early hours of January 1, 2013, the Senate passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which permanently extended the so-called Bush-era tax cuts. However, other popular provisions were only extended through 2013. Therefore, 2014 tax strategies include concerns over the fate of the expired provisions. President Obama, the chairs of the House and Senate tax writing committees, and individual lawmakers all made tax reform proposals in 2014. The proposals ranged from comprehensive tax reform to more piece-meal approaches. However, any progress on legislation is stalled until after the elections and possibly into the beginning of 2015.

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