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Archive for Lisa Nason

New Per-Diem Rates Go Into Effect – Reimburse Employees On Travel, Lodging, Meals

Lisa Nason- Per Diem Rates

The new per-diem numbers are now out, effective October 1, 2018. These numbers are to be used for per-diem allowances paid to any employee on or after October 1, 2018, for travel away from home on or after that date. The new rates include those for the transportation industry; the rate for the incidental expenses; and the rates and list of high-cost localities for purposes of the high-low substantiation method.

Per diem rates are a fixed amount paid to employees to compensate for lodging, meals, and incidental expenses incurred when traveling on business rather than using actual expenses.

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Simplifying Tax Compliance for Seniors

Lisa Nason - Simplify Tax Compliance For Seniors
According to Adam Smith’s Canons of Taxation, the tax compliance function in any society needs to be convenient. This has not always been the case for many seniors in the United States. Form 1040EZ, Income Tax Return for Single and Joint Filers With No Dependents, currently used by eligible taxpayers under age 65, is not available to older taxpayers. Seniors age 65 and older may also not find relief in filing Form 1040A, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, because of its $100,000 cap on taxable income and its prohibition on itemized deductions.

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Benefit From These Tax Breaks For College Expenses

Lisa Nason- Benefit From Tax Breaks For College Expenses
If you’re a college student (or the parent of one), you should know about some key tax breaks that are available to you when you do your taxes. There are two tax credits for higher education. They’re targeted at different types of students, so it pays to know the differences.
American Opportunity Credit
This credit is for students who are earning their undergraduate degrees. The credit is specifically limited to those expenses incurred in the first four years of college. The credit is worth $2,500; the really good news is that $1,000 of that is refundable, meaning you could get that back as a refund even if you don’t owe any taxes. There’s an $80,000 income ceiling for single filers to qualify for the credit ($160,000 if you’re married filing jointly). If income is more than those amounts, the credit starts to decrease. The credit is available through the 2017 tax year.

IRS Clarifies Interest On Home Equity Loans Can Still Be Deductible

Lisa Nason, Interest On Home Equity Loans

In an Information Release, IRS has announced that in many cases, taxpayers can continue to deduct interest paid on home equity loans under the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Taxpayers may deduct interest on mortgage debt that is “acquisition debt.” Acquisition debt means debt that is: (1) secured by the taxpayer’s principal home and/or a second home, and (2) incurred in acquiring, constructing, or substantially improving the home. This rule hasn’t been changed by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Under pre-Tax Cuts and Jobs Act law, the maximum amount that was treated as acquisition debt for the purpose of deducting interest was $1 million ($500,000 for marrieds filing separately). Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017 and before Jan. 1, 2026, the limit on acquisition debt is reduced to $750,000 ($375,000 for a married taxpayer filing separately).

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017 and before Jan. 1, 2026, there is no longer a deduction for interest on “home equity debt.” The elimination of the deduction for interest on home equity debt applies regardless of when the home equity debt was incurred.

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New Supreme Court Ruling Could Affect Many Online Shoppers

Lisa Nason, Online Shopping

The Supreme Court changed the landscape of online shopping Thursday, freeing state governments to compel retailers beyond their borders to collect sales-tax revenue from consumers and giving a boost to brick-and-mortar stores. With the boom in Internet commerce increasing exponentially, the court’s 5-to-4 decision could have an impact on millions of Americans almost immediately. For years, avoiding sales tax was a prime perk of online shopping.

States were the big winners at the Supreme Court. They previously were able to require only companies with a physical presence in their states to collect taxes, costing them an estimated $8 billion to $33 billion in uncollected taxes per year.

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Health Savings Accounts(HSAs) And High Deductible Health Plans(HDHPs)

Lisa Nason, Health Savings Plans
The IRS issued the calendar year 2019 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.
Under Sec. 223, individuals who participate in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) are permitted a deduction for contributions to HSAs set up to help pay their medical expenses. The contribution deduction limit is subject to an annual inflation adjustment.
For 2019, the annual limit on deductible contributions is $3,500 for individuals with self-only coverage (a $50 increase from 2018) and $7,000 for family coverage (a $100 increase from 2018).

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Calculator To Determine If You Should Buy Or Lease A Car

TaxConnections Member Lisa Nason of Nason Accounting located in Greenville, South Carolina shares a valuable calculator that helps you determine whether you should buy or lease a car. Use this calculator to find out! It calculates your monthly payments and your total net cost. By comparing these amounts, you can determine which is the better value for you.

Prior to using this handy Lease Or Buy Car Calculator, you may appreciate knowing the following definitions:

Purchase Price

Total purchase price. Price should be after any manufacturer’s rebate.

Down Payment

Amount paid as a down payment, which for leases is often called a capital reduction.

Sales Tax Rate

Percentage sales tax to be charged on this purchase. Sales tax is included in each lease payment. Sales tax for buying is charged on the total sale amount.

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Self-Employment Tax Calculator (Tax Year 2018)

Self-Employment TaxCalculator

Use this calculator to estimate your self-employment taxes. Normally these taxes are withheld by your employer. However, if you are self-employed, operate a farm or are a church employee you may owe self-employment taxes. Please note that the self-employment tax is 12.4% for the FICA portion and 2.9% for Medicare.

Additional Medicare Tax

This calculator does not include any required amounts for the Additional Medicare Tax. This tax applies to a household and not an individual tax payer. Joint filers with over $250,000 in earned income, single filers with over $200,000 in earned income and married persons filing separately with over $125,000 in earned income will owe an additional 0.9% of the amount exceeding these thresholds. These thresholds are not index to inflation. This is paid only by the tax payer, there is no additional employer amount. This additional tax is calculated on your full tax return and while it is directly related to your earned income it is not calculated with your self-employment taxes.

Net Farm Income Or Loss

This is your net farm income or loss. This should include both the net farm profit or loss from Schedule F along with any income from farm partnerships. Please note that if your gross farm income is $2,400 or less and your net farm income is $1,733 or less there is a ‘Farm Optional Method’ for calculating income subject to self-employment taxes. If you qualify for this optional method it may produce a slightly lower income subject to self-employment taxes. This calculator assumes that you will not use the ‘Farm Optional Method’. For more information see IRS Schedule SE Part II, Optional Methods to Figure Net Earnings.

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IRS Clarifies Interest On Home Equity Loans Can Still Be Deductible

In an Information Release, IRS has announced that in many cases, taxpayers can continue to deduct interest paid on home equity loans under the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Taxpayers may deduct interest on mortgage debt that is “acquisition debt.” Acquisition debt means debt that is: (1) secured by the taxpayer’s principal home and/or a second home, and (2) incurred in acquiring, constructing, or substantially improving the home. This rule hasn’t been changed by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Under pre-Tax Cuts and Jobs Act law, the maximum amount that was treated as acquisition debt for the purpose of deducting interest was $1 million ($500,000 for marrieds filing separately). Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017, and before Jan. 1, 2026, the limit on acquisition debt is reduced to $750,000 ($375,000 for a married taxpayer filing separately).

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S Corporations vs. C Corporations In 2018

Many of you are wondering how the new tax rate changes will impact you. Obviously, we can’t answer that off the top of our heads as each person’s situation is different, and in many cases, experts are still trying to figure out how the changes will play out. One of the biggest changes is the corporate tax rate reduction to a maximum of 21% versus the maximum tax rate for individuals being around 37%.

The new tax legislation becomes effective January 1. That means many business owners are now considering whether to reorganize themselves as C corps.

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Track Your Charitable Organization Driving Miles

Now that the effects of last year’s tax reform bill are being felt, the proposals to reform the reform keep rolling in. Last month, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) put forth a bill to reinstate unreimbursed job expenses. This week, Rep. Richard Nolan (D-MN) introduced H. R. 5662, also known as the Volunteer Driver Tax Appreciation Act of 2018.

The purpose of the bill is to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to equalize the charitable mileage rate with the business travel rate. For 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) optional standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck are 54.5 cents per mile for business miles driven but a mere 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

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Charitable Miles Deduction: Is It Changing Under The New Tax Reform?

Now that the effects of last year’s tax reform bill are being felt, the proposals to reform the reform keep rolling in. Last month, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) put forth a bill to reinstate unreimbursed job expenses. This week, Rep. Richard Nolan (D-MN) introduced H. R. 5662, also known as the Volunteer Driver Tax Appreciation Act of 2018.

The purpose of the bill is to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to equalize the charitable mileage rate with the business travel rate. For 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) optional standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck are 54.5 cents per mile for business miles driven but a mere 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations. Read more

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