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Tax Briefing(s)

One month after the presidential election, taxpayers are learning more about President-elect Donald Trump’s tax proposals for his administration. Although exact details, including legislative language, are likely months away, taxpayers have a snapshot of the president-elect’s tax proposals for individuals and businesses.


The likelihood exists that federal tax-cut legislation will become law sometime in 2017. Nevertheless, the possibility also remains that comprehensive tax legislation may be delayed until 2018 either because of difficult negotiations or intervening events, or it could eventually even get tabled indefinitely, except for a few provisions, if momentum turns to other matters. The contents of a tax bill, too, can vary – from a compromise between the House GOP’s “Better Way” blueprint and President-elect Trump’s tax plan as set forth during his campaign—to a significantly rewritten version if Senate Democrats and fiscally conservative House and Senate members are able to gain seats at the negotiating table.


Each new filing season may bring changes to the Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, as well as draft instructions for Form 1040 and any related Schedules, and this year is of no exception. The following highlights some of the changes to 2016 Form 1040, its Schedules and other Forms, which can be found on the IRS website at www.irs.gov. The draft Form 1040 and Instructions are expected to track what will appear in the final Form 1040 and Instructions this year since "tax extenders" common to past years have either been made permanent or run through 2016. Any year-end tax legislation from Congress likely will have a prospective impact only, into tax year 2017 and beyond.


Virtual currency – often referred to as ‘bitcoin” -- is a mystery for many people but an everyday currency for others. As virtual currency grows in popularity, questions arise about its taxation. The IRS treats virtual currency as property and not as currency. This means that general tax principles that apply to property transactions apply to transactions using virtual currency.


Child care can undoubtedly prove to be a costly expense for any taxpayer. In some instances, taxpayers must weigh whether the cost of child care is a deterrent to returning, or, in some cases, entering the workforce. Although the IRS may not be able to control market prices of child care options, it does offer a credit that can lessen the burden that child care costs may have on the budget of working parents.


As an individual or business, it is your responsibility to be aware of and to meet your tax filing/reporting deadlines. This calendar summarizes important federal tax reporting and filing data for individuals, businesses and other taxpayers for the month of December 2016. 

 

 


The actual date a business asset is placed in service is important because it affects when depreciation may be claimed for tax purposes. Depreciation begins in the tax year that an asset is placed in service. The placed-in-service date is especially important in the case of end-of-tax year acquisitions.

More small businesses get into trouble with the IRS over payroll taxes than any other type of tax. Payroll taxes are a huge source of government revenue and the IRS takes them very seriously. It is actively looking for businesses that have fallen behind in their payroll taxes or aren't depositing them. When the IRS finds a noncompliant business, it hits hard with penalties.

No, parking tickets are not deductible. Internal Revenue Code Sec. 162 (a) provides that no deduction is allowed for fines or penalties paid to a government (U.S. or foreign, federal or local).

The AMT is difficult to apply and the exact computation is very complex. If you owed AMT last year and no unusual deduction or windfall had come your way that year, you're sufficiently at risk this year to apply a detailed set of computations to any AMT assessment. Ballpark estimates just won't work

You've waited until the last minute to fill out your income tax return. Instead of owing more taxes to the IRS, as you feared, you discover that you're entitled to a big refund. You breathe a sigh of relief.

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