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Tax Court Sets Boundaries on Commuting Deductions

Commuting Deductions

Commuting between your residence and place of business are generally non-deductable, but there are a few exceptions.

Although you usually can’t deduct typical “commuting” expenses from home, you may qualify for a special exception if you’re away working on temporary assignments. But the IRS and the U.S. Tax Court won’t allow borderline deductions, as evidenced by one case involving a construction worker.

We’ll explain what happened in the case, but first, here is some background information. Read more

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Conduct an Effective Year-End Review

Year-End Review

Year-end meetings are a good time to evaluate organizational finances, structure, and operations.

Like any well-run business, a medical practice needs to step back periodically and try to get a bird’s-eye view of where it has been and where it is going. A good time to perform such a review is at the end of the calendar year. Go into the meeting with a plan, prepared to focus on three critical areas: corporate, financial and operational planning.

It is helpful to have a trusted adviser, such as your accountant, facilitate the meeting. An adviser who knows your practice can keep the agenda focused on the business issues, diffuse tense emotions and provide insight based on experience with other medical offices. Read more

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Tax Cheer for Holiday Gifts to Employees

Employee Gifts

Before you decide on year-end gifts for your employees, know the potential tax consequences that may be associeted.

With the holidays fast approaching, you might want to reward your employees for all their hard work in 2018. Gift-giving ideas include gift cards, holiday turkeys and achievement awards.

Although your intent may be essentially the same in all these situations, the tax outcome for recipients of your goodwill may be quite different. Typically, it depends on the value and type of gift or award.  Read more

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Estate Tax Planning Tips for Married Couples

Estate Plan

Under the new tax law, it is important to review your estate plan before the end of the year.

For married people with large estates, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) brings welcome relief from federal estate and gift taxes, as well as the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax. Here’s what you need to know and how to take advantage of the favorable changes. Read more

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IRS Ups the Ante on Retirement Contributions

Retirement Contributions

The IRS recently published annual cost-of-living adjustments for 401(k), IRA, and other qualified retirement accounts.

Every year, the IRS releases cost-of-living adjustments to qualified retirement plan amounts. For the tax year 2019, many of the limits applicable to pensions and other retirement plans will increase. But some will remain unchanged from 2018. Read more

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2019 Cost-of-Living Adjustment for Qualified Retirement Plans

The table below summarizes key 2019 cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for pension plans and selected other items announced by the Internal Revenue Service. In general, annual compensation amounts and limits for elective deferrals were increased, while catch-up contribution limits remain unchanged. The Social Security Administration separately announced the taxable wage base for 2019, which is also included below. Read more

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4 Year-End Strategies to Lower Your Personal Tax Bill

Personal Tax

There is still time to employ some tax-savvy moves that could potentially decrease your 2018 personal tax bill.

The countdown to year-end has begun. Have you positioned yourself to minimize your 2018 tax bill? The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) made sweeping changes to the federal tax laws that will affect virtually all individual taxpayers — and most of those changes went into effect for this tax year. Here are four tried-and-true tax planning strategies, tweaked to account for the TCJA. Read more

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Don’t Panic If You Receive a Benefit Audit Notice

audit

The IRS has provided tips to help your next benefit plan audit go smoothly.

Receiving a notice that the IRS is auditing an employee benefit plan is news that no employer wants to receive. If your company does get such a notice, knowing what to expect and preparing for the audit itself are the best ways to help the process go as smoothly as possible. In one IRS newsletter, the agency’s Director of Employer Plan Examinations advised plan sponsors of the audit process and gave readers a list of tips on how to best handle the situation. Read more

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Are You Eligible for the New Dependent Credit and HOH Filing Status?

HOH

The IRS has clarified a new $500 tax credit for dependents who are not qualifying children under the age of 17.

The IRS continues to publish guidance to clarify provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Here’s what you need to know about qualifying for the new $500 tax credit for dependents and beneficial head of household (HOH) filing status based on having a non-qualifying-child dependent.  Read more