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Advanced Tax Planning

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2012 Taxpayer Relief Act Changes to Alternative Minimum Tax

As you know, the alternative minimum tax (AMT) traps more middle income taxpayers every year. To partially alleviate this tax burden, Congress has been enacting annual “patches” to the AMT to increase exemption amounts. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (2012 Taxpayer Relief Act) provides immediate relief for the AMT by permanently increasing the AMT exemption amounts retroactive to the 2012 tax year. Beginning in 2013, these base AMT exemption amounts will be adjusted annually for inflation.

For 2012, the exemption amounts are increased to $78,750 for married couples filing jointly and surviving spouses, $50,600 for single taxpayers and heads of households, and $39,375 for married individuals filing separately.

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2012 Year End Tax Planning for Individuals

Individual Tax Planning in 2012 & 2013

Year-end tax planning is always complicated by the uncertainty that the following year may bring. Even with the election behind us, 2012 is one of the most challenging in recent memory for year-end tax planning. A combination of events – including possible expiration of some or all of the “Bush-era” tax cuts after 2012, the imposition of new so-called Medicare taxes on investment and wages, doubts about renewal of tax extenders, and the threat of massive across-the-board federal spending cuts – have many taxpayers asking how can they prepare for 2013 and beyond, and what to do before then. The short answer is to quickly become familiar with expiring tax incentives and what may replace them after 2012 and to plan accordingly.

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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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2016 Year-End Tax Planning for Businesses

As businesses approach the end of the calendar year, each has a unique opportunity to save additional taxes through taking a variety of strategic steps. Businesses seeking to maximize tax benefits through 2016 year-end tax planning may want to consider several general strategies, such as use of traditional timing techniques for income and deductions, and the role of the tax extenders (those made permanent and those expiring at the end of 2016), as well as strategies targeted specifically to their particular business.

As in past years, planning is uncertain because of the expiration of at least some popular but temporary tax breaks. Also added to the mix is the far-reaching Affordable Care Act (ACA) and whatever changes to 2017 the new Congress and Administration may make to the Tax Code.

 

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2016 Year-End Tax Planning for Individuals

Although tax planning is a 12-month activity, yearend is traditionally the time to review tax strategies from the past and to revise them for the future. Yearend has also become a time when there is an increasing need to take a careful look at what’s changed within the tax law itself since the beginning of the year. Opportunities and pitfalls within these recent changes – as they impact each taxpayer’s unique situation—should not be overlooked. This is particularly the case during year-end 2016. Here are some of the many consideration that taxpayers should review as year-end 2016 approaches.

 

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Is There a New 3.8% Sales Tax on Real Estate?

We were asked:

I am trying to find out if it is true that homeowners selling after Jan 1 2013 will have to pay a 3.8% sales tax on their sale. I have asked a couple of realtors but on one can give me an answer. I get emails all the time claiming that this is a part of Obamacare in order to pay for it.

We get this question all the time. There was an extremely popular email that claimed such, and the idea gained new life as 2013 rolled around.

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Plan For Next Years Tax Changes This Year

Tax law changes can be complex and numerous from year to year. Often though, tax advantages are only stumbled upon instead of planned for. 

Stay up-to-date by following our suggestions, and let us plan together now, not next year.

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Proposed Regulations on Net Investment Income Tax and Additional Medicare Tax

The IRS has issued long-awaited and much needed proposed reliance regulations on the operation of the two new surtaxes imposed under the 2010 healthcare legislation: the 3.8 percent Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT), and the 0.9 percent Additional Medicare Tax. Both surtaxes are scheduled to come into full effect on January 1, 2013. The proposed reliance regulations and the frequently asked questions on the IRS website attempt to address many of the gaps in the application of these surtaxes that have been questioned by tax professionals, employers, and taxpayers. The guidance on each of these surtaxes is extensive and is immediately critical for affected taxpayers.

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Sunsetting of Bush-Era Tax Cuts

Sunset-Provision-Bush-Tax-Cuts

More election year uncertainty: 2012 began with the fate of the “Bush-era tax cuts” unsettled, and no resolution appears in sight. Rather than just waiting for Congress to act, you should consider implementing certain protective tax strategies now. To maximize benefits, advance planning that considers a number of “what ifs” should be undertaken soon. With budget pressures looming, the likelihood that EGTRRA< and JGTRRA< expiring provisions will be rolled over for one or two more years into 2013 and 2014 is highly unlikely. Therefore, a strategy that accelerates into 2012 whatever tax benefits are currently available deserves careful consideration.

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Tax Planning For High Income Tax Payers

We know that you have worked hard for your money and would like to reap the benefits to the greatest extent possible. Your ultimate goal is to sustain a successful wealth-building strategy while avoiding unnecessary and expensive tax consequences. We are interested in helping you achieve these objectives.

For the last few years, there has been talk of major tax reform that would place an increased tax burden on higher income individuals. Included in these discussions is the so-called “Buffet Rule,” which would impose a minimum tax rate of 30 percent on adjusted gross income (AGI) over $1 million. Most tax professionals predict that tax reform has little chance of becoming law in 2014, but it is wise to weigh your options carefully with higher tax rates looming on the horizon.

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Tax Ramifications of Supreme Court Decision on Defense of Marriage Act

In a 5 to 4 decision, the United States Supreme Court has found that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates the equal protection clause of the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as applied to persons of the same sex who are legally married under the laws of their state (U.S. v. Windsor).

This decision opens the door for same-sex married couples to enjoy many federal tax-related benefits previously available only to opposite-sex married couples. These include income tax benefits, estate and gift tax benefits, taxpayer-friendly employee benefits, and more. Same-sex couples must now also deal with circumstances under the tax law that may create a so-called “marriage penalty.” Employers must prepare for extensive changes in the treatment of same-sex couples, and provisions under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are also affected.

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What is a Form 8752 & Why Do I Need To File It?

"Form 8752 - Required Payment or Refund Under Section 7519" is certainly not the clearest form title.

Simply:

The IRS asks Fiscal Year, S Corporations, and Partnerships to file a Form 8752. The IRS then holds in an escrow-like account an estimate of you would have paid if you operated on a calendar year end. Essentially its like a security deposit that a landlord may require from a tenant.

However, since it is "in escrow" you receive a portion of the funds back if your profit decreases from year to year, and your receive the funds back in total if there is a tax loss or the business is dissolved. 

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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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