Tag Archive for Tax Credits

West Virginia: Focus On Tax Climate

Monika Miles

Known for its mountainous landscape and rolling hills, this month we travel east to West Virginia. The state has a rich history and is embedded in the Appalachian Mountains.

West Virginia is known for a wide range of outdoor recreational activities, such as skiing, whitewater rafting, fishing, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking and hunting. For something on the calmer side, the state offers many golf courses.

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Tax Preparation Questions To Ask Yourself

Milton Boothe

When you leave your tax preparer’s office each year, there are two very important questions you should probably be asking yourself.

Question #1:

How secure is your personal information after you leave it with your tax preparer? Probably not very secure! Do they leave your paperwork lying about the place, accessible to all, after they have completed your taxes? Are their computers adequately protected by firewalls and effective anti-virus software? Is there adequate background checks done on their employees, who obviously will have unlimited access to your sensitive personal information? The honest truth is that you really don’t know.

Also, you should be concerned about hackers. These criminals have been successful in hacking into supposedly very secure government computer systems; the Office of Personnel Management, and even the IRS itself come to mind immediately. These people know that they will have access to a treasure trove of personal information if they were to hack into the computers of H&R Block, Liberty Tax, or any CPA or other tax preparation office. So what is to stop them from hacking into your tax preparer’s computer, which obviously will be a lot less protected than the government’s computers? Read more

A Spotlight on Movie Production Tax Incentives

Pete Scalise6

Whether you’re a publicly held movie studio conglomerate producing and distributing substantial numbers of films annually commanding significant shares of box office revenues worldwide or an independent filmmaker, movie production tax incentives should certainly be considered and incorporated into the tax planning process to properly tax effect the cost of filmmaking.

Synopsis of Movie Production Tax Incentives

Movie Production Tax Incentives (hereinafter “MPIs”) are tax benefits offered on a state-by-state basis throughout the United States to entice, as applicable, in-state qualified phases of Read more

Responsible Governance – Tax Break Bills Vetoed!

Annette Nellen7

Why are our tax systems so complex?  One key reason is that lawmakers keep adding to them and rarely delete anything.  Also, items added for temporary purposes are often renewed (rather than dropped or made permanent). Also, we often have numerous rules serving similar purposes (such as for higher education spending or savings).

Well, on October 10, 2015, California Governor Brown, said “NO” to nine tax bills presented to him.

His reason was that they might bust the budget given other budget issues.  Each of the nine would have either added or expanded an existing or expired provision or added something new. Read more

Is Your Refund Too High or Do You Owe Taxes? You Probably Need to Adjust Your W-4

TaxConnections Picture - W-4 - 4-24-15 - square

Article Highlights:

• Large Refund or Tax Due
• Employers Withhold Based on W-4
• IRS Online Withholding Calculator
• Self-employed Taxpayers

If your income is primarily from wages and you received a very large refund—or worse, if you owed money—then your employer is not withholding the correct amount of tax (but it probably isn’t your employer’s fault). Sure, you like a big refund, but you have to remember you are only getting your own money back that was over-withheld in the first place. Why not Read more

Back To School Blues And Tax Credits To Go With It

Creative concept with Back to school theme - vector illustration

After the horrible 2013 winter doomed by one polar vortex after another, we couldn’t wait for summer to get around. It did finally arrive but amazingly was gone in the blink of an eye! I am always amazed by how quickly every summer flies by and before we know it, school is back in session. This year, summer was a huge deal in our household, we had a kid to send off to college!

Handy-dandy tax consultant that I am, with major life events, tax planning cannot be far behind. So, I thought I should remind my readers of the the college tax credits that are out there for 2014. Now would be a perfect time to see if they would qualify for college credits.

American Opportunity Tax Credit {AOTC} & The Lifetime Learning Credit {LLC}: These Read more

In Taxes We Trust


Having worked with nonprofits for many years, I am awaiting some creative soul to create a new religion called “Taxology”. A person may seek something that is timeless, certain, and powerfully controls one’s destiny. Something that takes from the rich and provides for the masses sustenance (tax credits) and occasional joy (tax refunds). A book (Internal Revenue Code) that dramatically impacts people’s lives and elders (accountants, attorneys, EAs) continually study and interpret the laws and philosophy within it. Not everyone agrees with the precepts but most comply because they do do not want the wrath of a higher authority (the Internal Revenue Service) bestowed upon them. The book and its thousands of pages have been written by wise sages (Congress) to guide and fulfill our challenged lives. Read more

5 Survival Tips For Tax Season

Tax Season Stress Relievers –

It’s almost that time of year that we all look forward to, especially accountants buckling down with their survival kits! It goes without saying that money and stress go hand in hand. For that reason it is easy to understand that the tax preparation season can be a stressful time of year for CPAs. It is not uncommon for them to put in 70-80 hours/week during the tax season including sleepless nights, lots of coffee, and weekends at the office. To help reduce some stress for our CPAs this tax season, we have put together a list of tips to help ease the stress and make these coming weeks as painless as possible: Read more

Are You Missing the Boat? Do You Find Tax Credits Too Complex? We Don’t!

dollar sign tax credit

Today, there currently are nearly 3,000 tax credits and incentives programs in the United States, sponsored by federal, state and local governments to drive job creation, employee training, capital investment and new business development. These statutory and negotiated opportunities – including point-of-hire tax credits, to property & sales tax incentives, to utility & infrastructure abatements, to name a few – are available to companies of all sizes, across a broad range of industries.

But a relatively small number of companies, regardless of their size or financial sophistication, are benefiting fully from the tax credit and incentive-related benefits to which they are entitled. Industry estimates suggest that fewer than 25 percent of eligible US businesses participate in Read more

California’s Governor Brown Signs Bill Increasing Minimum Wage – Increasing Enterprise Zone Credit Value

TaxConnections Picture - Note

Governor Brown has signed AB 10 which will increase the minimum wage from $8 an hour to $9 an hour on July 1, 2014 and again to $10 an hour starting January 1, 2016.

An unintended consequence of the legislation will be an increase in the amount of Enterprise Zone tax credits qualified employers will be able to claim. Employers may still claim credits for qualified employees hired through December 31, 2013 for up to five years of employment. The credit is calculated as a function of the hourly wage with a limit of 150% of the minimum wage per hour. Currently, the maximum credit an employer can claim is $12 for an hour of qualified work; starting in July of next year that cap will increase to $13.50. Read more

CPAs: Review California Clients Today for Enterprise Zone Credits (Up to $50,000 Per Qualified Employee)

TaxConnections Blogger PostsOn June 27, 2013, the California State Assembly passed AB 93, which eliminates the current Enterprise Zone (EZ) program, replacing it with a new set of incentives, which will be statewide in application. This change requires businesses to take action now to get the most out of existing credits while also preparing to take advantage of the new credits that will be effective January 1, 2014.

The EZ program was first established in 1986 and has been used to attract business to depressed areas in California and to support new and existing businesses located in depressed areas of the state. The program has allowed qualified businesses to claim hiring credits on qualified employees and sales tax credits on qualified purchases.

Do your clients need help understanding the immediate steps they must take? If your clients (CPAs: review your California clients) are in one of California’s 42 EZs, pay California income tax, and have employees, they are a prime candidate to review the various credits that remain available. These credits and refunds can be reviewed for the last four (4) open tax years. The time to act is now. After December 31, 2013 — your clients will have forfeited up to $50,000 per qualified employee. Read more