Archive for Tax Planning

Construction Tax Planning: A Proactive Approach To Accelerated Depreciation Planning

Peter Scalise

A properly designed and implemented Construction Tax Planning engagement will proactively identify additional tax savings related to new and/or planned construction projects. It should be duly noted that a Construction Tax Planning engagement should not be confused with a Cost Segregation engagement as there are several noteworthy differences between a Cost Segregation Engagement and a Construction Tax Planning Engagement.

Read more

California’s Attempt To Escape the Middle Ages

yours truly

California tax reform is getting an update. Well, sort of.

It’s sobering that California has not seen comprehensive tax reform since the Great Depression. To think that California taxes are a byproduct of economic trends and demographics is harrowing in and of itself. But realizing that, over the past seven decades, no politician or lawmaker wanted to stick up for their state is downright disgraceful.

Read more

New Tax Credits For Architecture And Engineering Firms

Gian Pazzia

Architecture and engineering firms may want to take another look at the oft-forgotten Research & Development (R&D) Tax Credit. Many may be eligible for federal and state research credits without realizing it. Historically, the R&D Tax Credit was geared to only benefit large companies, mostly in the manufacturing, software, high-tech, and pharmaceutical industries. However, recent changes now allow designers of buildings and systems to also claim this credit.

Read more

Retirement Plan Options For Small Businesses

Clifford Benjamin1

According to the US Small Business Administration, small businesses employ half of all private sector employees in the United States. However, a majority of small businesses do not offer their workers retirement savings benefits.

If you’re like many other small business owners in the United States, you may be considering the various retirement plan options available for your company. Employer-sponsored retirement plans have become a key component for retirement savings. They are also an increasingly important tool for attracting and retaining the high-quality employees you need to compete in today’s competitive environment. Read more

The Individual Shared Responsibility Provision and Your 2015 Income Tax Return


The Affordable Care Act requires you, your spouse and your dependents to have qualifying health care coverage for each month of the year, qualify for a health coverage exemption, or make an Individual Shared Responsibility Payment when filing your federal income tax return.   If you had coverage for all of 2015, you will simply check a box on your tax return to report that coverage.

However, if you don’t have qualifying health care coverage and you meet certain criteria, you might be eligible for an exemption from coverage. Most exemptions are can be claimed when you file your tax return, but some must be claimed through the Marketplace. Read more

New Developments – Tax Credits For 2015


1. Earned income (EITC).

Taxpayers with no children it is $503, with one child $3,359, two qualifying children $5,548, three qualifying children $6,342 but are subject to AGI phase­outs. The recent tax law makes permanent the increase of $5,000 in the phase­out amount for joint filers scheduled to expire after 2017. The law also makes permanent the increased 45% credit percentage for taxpayers with three or more qualifying children. Under prior law, both increases had been available only through 2017. It also makes permanent the reduced earned income threshold of $3,000. The law makes the following provisions permanent:

(a) Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Required. The EITC is denied with respect to any taxable year for which the taxpayer has a TIN that has been issued after the due date for filing the return, including extensions. Read more

The Exclusion Amount Of The Gain From The Sale Of Your Main Home


If you sold your home during the year and made a gain, you may be able to exclude all of that gain from your taxable income. To qualify for this tax benefit, the home sold must have been your principal residence. You can exclude from your taxable income, the gain from the sale of your main home, of up to $250,000 ($500,000 if filing a joint return). To qualify for this exclusion, however, all of the following must be true:

• You owned the home for at least 2 of the last 5 years (the ownership test).
• You lived in the home as your main home for at least 2 of the last 5 years (the use test).
• You did not exclude gain from the sale of another home during the 2-year period ending on the date of the sale. Read more

Tax Changes For 2016: A Checklist

Cifford Benjamin-1-20-16-150x150

As the New Year rolls around, it’s always a sure bet that there will be changes to current tax law and 2016 is no different. From health savings accounts to retirement contributions and standard deductions, here’s a checklist of tax changes to help you plan the year ahead.


For 2016, more than 50 tax provisions are affected by inflation adjustments, including personal exemptions, AMT exemption amounts, and foreign earned income exclusion.For 2016, the tax rate structure, which ranges from 10 to 39.6 percent, remains the same as in 2015, but tax-bracket thresholds increase for each filing status. Standard deductions and the personal exemption have also been adjusted upward to reflect inflation. For details see the article, “Tax Brackets, Deductions, and Exemptions for 2016,” below. Read more

Are You Dealing With South African Tax, Legal and Financial Questions?

Africa Tax Legal Financial Questions

We have good news for anyone conducting business in South Africa. One of our super smart tax experts, Dr. Daniel Erasmus recently acquired the Africa Tax, Law and Finance Hub and is offering complimentary access to the site for a limited time only.

We highly recommend you go view our tax professionals video section and scroll down to meet him in the video presentation he has on TaxConnections. If you have any business operations in South Africa, Dr. Erasmus is extraordinarily knowledgeable on the subject. Read more

Eight Tips for Taxpayers Who Owe Taxes

Ronald Marini

While most taxpayers get a refund from the IRS when they file their taxes, some do not. The IRS offers several Payment Options for those who owe taxes. Here are eight tips for those who owe federal taxes.

Tax bill payments.  If you get a bill from the IRS this summer, you should pay it as soon as possible to save money. You can pay by check, money order, cashier’s check or cash. If you cannot pay it all, consider getting a loan to pay the bill in full. The interest rate for a loan may be less than the interest and penalties the IRS must charge by law.

Electronic Funds Transfer.  It’s easy to pay your tax bill by electronic funds transfer. Just visit and use the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. You may also use EFTPS to pay your taxes by phone at 800-555-4477.

Read more

FATCA 2015 Roundup: It’s All Serious Business!

TaxConnections Member Manasa Nadig

A lot has been written about the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act {FATCA} in the past year. As this year comes to a close and I write up this post, I wanted to give you all, my dear readers a synopsis at your finger-tips, a round-up, if you will of some major FATCA events for 2015:

1. FBAR Deadlines Changed:

On July 31, 2015 President Obama signed the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 into law, which modified the due date of several key forms for Americans with foreign income and Americans living abroad. That includes the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, or Form 114, colloquially known as the FBAR.

Any U.S. person with a financial interest in, or signatory authority over, foreign financial accounts must file the FBAR, if at any time, the aggregate value of their relevant foreign account or accounts exceeds $10,000. An account over Read more

Important Tax Dates and Tax Payments, Tax Season Begins (January 2016)

TaxConnections Member Barry Fowler
Individual Due Dates

January 4 – Time to Call For Your Tax Appointment –

January is the beginning of tax season. If you have not made an appointment to have your taxes prepared, we encourage you do so before the calendar becomes too crowded.

January 11 – Report Tips to Employer –

If you are an employee who works for tips and received more than $20 in tips during December, you are required to report them to your employer on IRS Form 4070 no later than January 11.

January 15 – Individual Estimated Tax Payment Due –

It’s time to make your fourth quarter estimated tax installment payment for the 2015 tax year.

Read more