Blog

A variety of tax-related limits affecting businesses are annually indexed for inflation, and many have gone up for 2019. Here’s a look at some that may affect you and your business. Deductions Section 179 expensing: Limit: $1.02 million (up from $1 million) Phaseout: $2.55 million (up from $2.5 million) Income-based phase-ins for certain limits on the Sec. 199A qualified business income deduction: Married filing jointly: $321,400-$421,400 (up from $315,000-$415,000) Married...

Read more
January 26, 2019

If you’re like many Americans, letters from your favorite charities have been appearing in your mailbox in recent weeks acknowledging your 2018 year-end donations. But what happens if you haven’t received such a letter — can you still claim an itemized deduction for the gift on your 2018 income tax return? It depends. Basic requirementsTo support a charitable deduction, you need to comply with IRS substantiation requirements. This generally includes...

Read more
January 26, 2019

Choosing the right executor — sometimes known as a “personal representative” — is critical to the smooth administration of an estate. Yet many people treat this decision as an afterthought. Given an executor’s many responsibilities and complex tasks, it pays to put some thought into the selection. Job descriptionAn executor’s duties may include: Collecting, protecting and taking inventory of the estate’s assets, Filing the estate’s tax returns and paying its...

Read more
January 26, 2019

Many, if not most, employers today use some form of an “at-will” employment contract when hiring. The arrangement is theoretically simple: The employer can terminate the employee at any time, for any cause — with or without notice. But is that what at-will employment really means? Not necessarily. Common exceptions For every rule, there are exceptions. Those applicable to at-will employment include: Unlawful discrimination (that is, statutory considerations established under...

Read more
January 26, 2019

When President Trump signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in December 2017, much was made of the dramatic cut in corporate tax rates. But the TCJA also includes a generous deduction for smaller businesses that operate as pass-through entities, with income that is “passed through” to owners and taxed as individual income. The IRS issued proposed regulations for the qualified business income (QBI), or Section 199A,...

Read more
January 26, 2019

While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) generally reduced individual tax rates for 2018 through 2025, some taxpayers could see their taxes go up due to reductions or eliminations of certain tax breaks — and, in some cases, due to their filing status. But some may see additional tax savings due to their filing status. Unmarried vs. married taxpayersIn an effort to further eliminate the marriage “penalty,” the TCJA...

Read more
January 21, 2019

While most provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) went into effect in 2018 and either apply through 2025 or are permanent, there are two major changes under the act for 2019. Here’s a closer look. 1. Medical expense deduction threshold With rising health care costs, claiming whatever tax breaks related to health care that you can is more important than ever. But there’s a threshold for deducting...

Read more
January 21, 2019

Now that 2019 has begun, there isn’t too much you can do to reduce your 2018 income tax liability. But it’s smart to begin preparing for filing your 2018 return. Because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which was signed into law at the end of 2017, likely will have a major impact on your 2018 taxes, it’s a good time to review the most significant provisions impacting individual...

Read more
January 21, 2019

What if the unthinkable happens and your spouse dies unexpectedly? Would you be prepared to cope emotionally and financially? As the surviving spouse, you’ll face several tasks and challenges. First steps firstBy no means complete, the following are areas that will need to be addressed: Death certificates. One of the first things to do is obtain death certificates, which you’ll need to provide for various dealings with financial institutions and...

Read more
January 21, 2019

An annual estate plan checkup is critical to the health of your estate plan. Because various exclusion, exemption and deduction amounts are adjusted for inflation, they can change from year to year, impacting your plan. 2019 vs. 2018 amounts Here are a few key figures for 2018 and 2019: Lifetime gift and estate tax exemption 2018: $11.18 million 2019: $11.40 million Generation-skipping transfer tax exemption 2018: $11.18 million 2019: $11.40...

Read more
January 21, 2019