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News & Insights

Tax Planning Tips for Cutting 2017 Income Taxes in Light of Tax Reform

The conventional tax wisdom at the end of the year is to pull in deductions to offset current tax liability and push off income to postpone tax payment. This takes on added significance in 2017 with enactment of the new tax reform law, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Because the bill, just signed into law by President Trump on Friday, December 22, cuts individual tax rates and eliminates or scales back most itemized deductions in 2018, many taxpayers have even more tax incentive to follow the traditional pull-and-push strategy.  But the ball is about to drop on another year, so don’t delay. Here are some ideas to lower taxes for 2017 in the wake of the new tax law. ..

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What the Tax Reform Bill Means for Individuals

H.R. 1, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which both houses of Congress passed on Dec. 20, contains a large number of provisions that affect individual taxpayers. However, to keep the cost of the bill within Senate budget rules, all of the changes affecting individuals expire after 2025. At that time, if no future Congress acts to extend H.R. 1’s provision, the individual tax provisions would sunset, and the tax law would revert to its current state.  Here is a look at many of the provisions in the bill affecting individuals. ..

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20 Great Pieces of Advice

Accounting Today recently asked over a hundred leaders in the tax and accounting profession to share the best piece of advice they’d ever received in their lives — here’s a sampling of some of the favorites: ..

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An Early Look at 2017 Year-End Planning

Year-end planning this year faces an almost perfect storm of uncertainties. Leading the pack is tax reform, with basic questions remaining on what “reform” will cover and when it will become effective ... if at all. Also deserving careful considered is the usual flow of developments released during the course of this past year by the IRS and the courts, as well as additional changes that will take place between now and year-end. On top of all that, of course, is consideration of each individual taxpayer’s circumstances, which can also vary from year to year. ..

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How to Avoid Costly Tax Traps with Inherited IRAs

Here’s what you need to know about the accounts Gen Xers and Millennials stand to inherit from parents and grandparents. Over the next few decades, the Gen X and Millennial generations will be the recipients of one of the greatest wealth transfers in history. A portion of that will be in the form of IRAs from their parents, grandparents, and other relatives.  An inherited individual retirement account (IRA) can be a tremendous boon to the beneficiary.  Depending on the relationship between the decedent and the beneficiary, an inherited IRA may come as a complete surprise to the beneficiary.  Without proper planning, federal and state taxes can take a sizable bite out of the proceeds. The IRS has special rules that must be followed. ..

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IRS Updates Special Per-Diem Rates for Business Travel

Business travelers who incur expenses while traveling away from home have new per-diem rates to use in substantiating certain of those expenses (IRS Notice 2017-54). The new rates will be in effect from Oct. 1, 2017, to Sept. 30, 2018. The IRS provided the 2017–2018 special per-diem rates, including the transportation industry meal and incidental expenses rates, the rate for the incidental-expenses-only deduction, and the rates and list of high-cost localities for purposes of the high-low substantiation method.  The updated rates are effective for per-diem allowances paid to any employee on or after Oct. 1, 2017, for travel away from home on or after that date. ..

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Republicans Unveil Tax Reform Framework

Republican lawmakers released a framework for tax reform this week, announcing that their goals are to cut tax rates, simplify the Internal Revenue Code, and provide a more competitive environment for business. The framework generally reiterates proposals made by President Donald Trump in April.  Under the framework, the top individual tax rate would be 35% and the corporate tax rate would be 20% (Trump had been calling for a 15% corporate tax rate).  While the framework provides tax reform targets, it does not provide legislative language, which would still need to be developed in the congressional tax-writing committees. Republicans have announced that their goal is to have tax reform legislation enacted by the end of the year. ..

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When It Comes To Tax Time, Who Is A Dependent?

So who is a dependent? Let's take a look at the rules, and we'll begin by addressing who isn't a dependent. Namely, these three: ..

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