Tax planning

2015 inflation-adjusted items and tax tables issued

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

QDROs demand the attention of CPAs

Expertise in qualified domestic relations orders and dividing retirement benefits in divorce can be a valuable accounting and tax specialty.

Electing to aggregate rental activities: Better late than never

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

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

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

The lure of a Sec. 475 election

A mark-to-market election can be very beneficial for securities or commodities traders. Here’s how to determine who qualifies for the election and who should make it.

IRS issues 2015 inflation adjustments for HSAs

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

Avoiding the squeeze: Trusts, estates, and the new ATRA tax regime

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 raised the top income tax rate to 39.6%, and a new 3.8% tax on net investment income also applies beginning in 2013. Both taxes apply to trusts and estates with income in excess of $11,950 in 2013, in contrast to much higher thresholds for individuals. This new tax regime necessitates drafting wills and trusts to give executors and trustees maximum discretion so they can reduce these taxes.

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

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.

Before you sign: Natural gas lease tax issues

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

How the government shutdown affects taxpayers and tax practitioners

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

Applying business provisions of the American Taxpayer Relief Act

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

PFP Q&A: Planning for change

With the Baby Boomer generation hitting retirement age, personal financial planning has become an increasingly important service for many accounting firms. But practitioners are dealing with plenty of changes, including the implementation of new tax laws and the landmark rollout of new standards. The JofA assembled a team of industry


Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.