Monday, September 30, 2013
In a "2013 Summertime Tax Tip," the IRS reminded taxpayers about the current rules on home sales. Here's a quick review of those rules.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
As schools get back in session, it's a good time to check the education tax breaks for which you might qualify. First, there's the "American Opportunity Tax Credit" for a percentage of qualified expenses paid during the first four years of higher education. Second, the "Lifetime Learning Credit" allows a deduction for a percentage of qualified expenses paid for any year the American Opportunity Credit isn't claimed, and it even applies to job-related classes. Third, you may qualify for a deduction for interest paid on student loans. Fourth, education savings accounts allow annual nondeductible contributions for children under 18, with tax-free withdrawals for qualifying education expenses.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
As year-end approaches, don't overlook this option to reduce your business taxes for 2013: accelerated write-offs for business asset purchases. For example, the Section 179 immediate expensing deduction lets you write off the cost of assets you purchase and place in service this year, including vehicles, equipment, and software. For 2013, the maximum Section 179 deduction is $500,000. Another example is the "bonus" depreciation deduction, which allows you to expense up to 50% of the cost of new assets, including those that might not qualify for Section 179.
Friday, September 13, 2013
The tax law signed last January extended the tax break that allows contributions of up to $100,000 from a traditional IRA to a qualified charity. Taxpayers aged 70½ or older can make a distribution directly from an IRA to a charity. The amount donated is not included in the taxpayer's gross income and is considered part of the required minimum distribution for the year.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Review your tax deductions for 2013 while there's still time to manage them for a lower tax bill this year. The standard deduction for 2013 is $12,200 for married couples filing a joint return and $6,100 for single taxpayers. If your deductions are close to the threshold, consider accelerating deductible expenses. For example, you can add sales tax paid on a new vehicle to the IRS standard amount when claiming the itemized deduction for state and local sales tax.