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December 23, 2011
Charitable contributions traditionally peak at the end of the year-end. While tax savings may not be your prime motivator for making a gift to charity, your donation could help your tax bottom-line for 2011. As with many tax incentives, the rules for tax-deductible charitable contributions are complex, especially the rules for substantiating your donation. Also important to keep in mind are some enhanced charitable giving incentives scheduled to expire at the end of 2011
December 20, 2011
Depreciation is a reasonable allowance for wear and tear on property used in a trade or business or for the production of income. Property is depreciable if it has a useful life greater than one year and depreciates in value. Property that appreciates in value may also depreciate if subject to wear and tear. Depreciation ends in the tax year that the asset is retired from service (by sale, exchange, abandonment or destruction) or that the asset is fully depreciated.
December 15, 2011
The term "sick pay" can refer to a variety of payments. Some of these payments are nontaxable, while others are treated as taxable income. Some of the taxable payments are treated as compensation, subject to income tax withholding and employment taxes; others are exempt from some employment taxes.
December 13, 2011
As 2011 winds down, investors should consider several last-minute strategies to improve their bottom line tax liability. Many of these strategies follow traditional advice applicable to any year-end. Others, however, are unique to 2011, not only because of the continuing impact of the economy but also because of major tax changes that are threatening for 2013, which is just a little more than a year away.
December 09, 2011
On November 21, President Obama signed into law the 3% Withholding Repeal and Job Creation Act. The new law does much more than merely repeal withholding on government contractors. The new law enhances the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, expands the IRS' continuous levy authority, and more.
December 05, 2011
Congress' Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (the so-called "super committee") failed to reach an agreement by its November 23 deadline after weeks of sparring over the Bush-era tax cuts. The Budget Control Act of 2011 created the bipartisan super committee in August and instructed it to develop proposals to reduce the federal budget deficit by November 23. The super committee held many meetings and reportedly debated several proposals, all behind closed doors, to reform the Tax Code and entitlement programs. In the end, however, Democrats and the GOP remained far apart on taxes and entitlement programs and announced they could not agree on a final proposal.
November 29, 2011
Tax legislation took a small step forward in October with passage of three trade agreements and a related trade bill. Although relatively minor, the tax provisions are the first to pass Congress with support from Democrats and Republicans. Against this backdrop of cooperation, however tense negotiations continue over more expansive tax proposals, such as individual and corporate tax reform.
November 22, 2011
Job-hunting expenses are generally deductible if you are not searching for a job in a new field. This can be useful in a tough job market. It does not matter whether your job hunt is successful, or whether you are employed or unemployed when you are looking.
November 15, 2011
In light of the IRS's new Voluntary Worker Classification Settlement Program (VCSP), which it announced this fall, the distinction between independent contractors and employees has become a "hot issue" for many businesses. The IRS has devoted considerable effort to rectifying worker misclassification in the past, and continues the trend with this new program. It is available to employers that have misclassified employees as independent contractors and wish to voluntarily rectify the situation before the IRS or Department of Labor initiates an examination.
November 08, 2011
The IRS recently announced that inflation is increasing many dollar amounts in the Tax Code for 2012. For taxpayers, the inflation adjustments may help reduce their overall tax liability in 2012.
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