The IRS and the Treasury recently issued regulations intended to curb the growing use of "corporate inversions." Here's how an inversion typically works: A U.S. company acquires a foreign company in the same business with the intent of changing the corporation's headquarters to the foreign country in order to enjoy that country's lower tax rate. The new rules put more restrictions on inversions in order to make them less attractive to businesses.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Thursday, November 20, 2014
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen recently discussed the major concerns the IRS has as it readies itself for the upcoming tax filing season. The proliferation of tax scams is a big concern with millions of taxpayers already having been taken in by scammers impersonating IRS agents. According to Koskinen, these scammers make threatening phone calls, trying to intimidate victims into providing personal financial information that can be used to steal identities.
A second area of concern is the IRS's involvement in handling the premium tax credits under the Affordable Care Act. Some taxpayers who were given advances on the credits based on income estimates may find that they may be receiving smaller refunds or owing the IRS money after filing their 2014 tax returns.
Monday, November 17, 2014
Some itemized deductions are limited by a percentage of your gross income. An example is miscellaneous deductions. These provide a benefit only if your total outlay for costs such as investment fees and unreimbursed employee business expenses exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income.
If you consistently lose out on these deductions, check now to determine if pulling some of January's expenses into December will help.
Keep an eye on your exposure to the alternative minimum tax whenever you plan a strategy for making the most of deductions. Some expenses aren't deductible under those rules.
Friday, November 14, 2014
Did you celebrate your 70½th birthday in 2014? Do you have a traditional or rollover IRA? If both answers are yes, the deadline for taking the initial required minimum distribution from your retirement account is April 1, 2015.
Required minimum distributions are the smallest amount you can withdraw from your account to avoid penalties, and your 70½th birthday is the triggering start date. That's defined as six months after your 70th birthday.
As an example, if your actual birthday was in July 2014, you'll turn 70½ in January 2015. That means you don't have to take a minimum distribution for 2014. Instead, you're required to take your first minimum distribution no later than April 1, 2016. After the first distribution, you must complete each annual withdrawal by December 31.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
The IRS is facing budget cuts that will result in fewer audits and other enforcement activities. The IRS reports that it will do 140,000 fewer correspondence audits in 2014 than it did in 2013. The individual audit rate for 2014 is expected to drop to 0.80%, a decline from the 0.96% rate in 2013. That translates to one audit for every 120 tax returns filed in 2014. The audit rates for partnerships, S corporations, and corporations are falling as well.
Friday, November 7, 2014
As the year draws to a close, you may decide to donate cash or property to one or more worthy causes. Besides the satisfaction of helping others, there's another reward for your benevolence: a tax deduction on your 2014 return. But the IRS recommends that you keep the following points in mind: