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1. 2015 inflation-adjusted items and tax tables issued   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
The IRS issued the annual inflation adjustments for 2015 for more than 40 tax provisions as well as the 2015 tax rate tables for individuals and estates and trusts (Rev. Proc. 2014-61).Among the inflation-adjusted amounts that have increased are the personal exemption, which increases from $3,950 in 2014 to $4,000 for 2015, and the standard deduction, which for married taxpayers filing joint returns increases from $12,400 in 2014 to $12,600 in 2015.

2. QDROs demand the attention of CPAs   CPEDirect

BY Ray A. Knight, CPA/PFS, J.D., and Lee G. Knight, Ph.D.
A key issue in separation, divorce, and other domestic relations proceedings is whether and how to divide a participant’s interest in a retirement plan. This is a recurrent issue in divorce proceedings, because more than 90 million workers in the United States actively participated in private employer-sponsored retirement plans as of 2011 (Department of Labor, Private Pension Plan Bulletin, June 2013, available at

3. Electing to aggregate rental activities: Better late than never  

BY Bradley D. Kay, J.D., LL.M.
Taxpayers that own several rental properties have to make many decisions when it comes to reporting income or loss from those properties. Among them is whether it would be more beneficial for the income or loss to be characterized as active rather than passive. If the taxpayer wants active characterization applied to income (e.g., to reduce or eliminate liability for the new Sec.

4. One-IRA-rollover-a-year rule will be effective in 2015, IRS says   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
Following up on its promise earlier in the year to follow the Tax Court’s holding that the limit of one rollover per year applies on an aggregate basis and not on an IRA-by-IRA basis, the IRS withdrew a proposed regulation from 1981, Prop. Regs. Sec. 1.408-4(b)(4)(ii), which had provided otherwise (REG-209459-78).

5. The lure of a Sec. 475 election   CPEDirect

BY Jay A. Soled, J.D., Mary B. Goldhirsch, J.D. and Kristie N. Tierney
Prudence is in order any time a taxpayer considers an election under the Internal Revenue Code. When it comes to Sec. 475, this axiom is especially relevant. Sec. 475 permits mark-to-market accounting for eligible taxpayers, which is a substantial deviation from the Code’s traditional standard of income recognition only when it is realized.

6. IRS issues 2015 inflation adjustments for HSAs   WebExclusive

BY Alistair M. Nevius, J.D.
The IRS issued the calendar year 2015 inflation-adjusted figures for the annual contribution limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) and the minimum deductible amounts and maximum out-of-pocket expense amounts for high-deductible health plans (Rev. Proc. 2014-30). Individuals who participate in a health plan with a high deductible are permitted a deduction for contributions to HSAs set up to help pay the individuals’ medical expenses (Sec.

7. Before you sign: Natural gas lease tax issues  

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
The practice of extracting natural gas from shale through hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as “fracking,” is becoming more widespread throughout the country. It is essential for practitioners to understand the tax issues that could arise for clients who own property with shale gas deposits. From 2001 to 2011, Americans signed more than a million leases to allow energy producers to drill for natural gas on their land.

8. Act before the deadline: Exclusion of 100% of QSBS gain  

BY Laura Jean Kreissl, Ph.D., and Darlene Pulliam, CPA, Ph.D.
Taxpayers have a short window in which to act if they want to take advantage of the Sec. 1202 provision that allows exclusion of 100% of the gain realized on the sale or exchange of qualified small business stock (QSBS). Unless the law is amended, for QSBS acquired after Dec.

9. How the government shutdown affects taxpayers and tax practitioners   WebExclusive

BY Alistair M. Nevius, J.D.
The failure of Congress to agree on a continuing spending resolution on Monday led to the first federal government shutdown since 1995–1996. The shutdown involves a large number of federal government functions, including many affecting taxpayers and tax practitioners. As this item was posted, it was not clear how long the shutdown would continue.

10. Applying business provisions of the American Taxpayer Relief Act   CPEDirect

BY Laughlin Cutler, Esq., Douglas M. Sayuk, CPA and Camille Shoff
While the comprehensive corporate tax reform desired by the business community remains highly elusive, businesses did receive a number of concessions via the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), P.L. 112-240, which was signed into law Jan. 2, 2013. The act extends through 2013 an assortment of expired or expiring temporary business tax credits and other provisions, thus providing a narrow window for tax planning.
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