Wealth & Risk Management Blog

William Byrnes (Texas A&M) tax & compliance articles

Posts Tagged ‘Tax credit’

Will the IRS Help Pay for Your Retirement ?

Posted by William Byrnes on November 17, 2014


IRS logoIf you are a low-to-moderate income worker, you can take steps now to save two ways for the same amount. With the saver’s credit you can save for your retirement and save on your taxes with a special tax credit. Here are six tips you should know about this credit:

1. Save for retirement.  The formal name of the saver’s credit is the retirement savings contributions credit. You may be able to claim this tax credit in addition to any other tax savings that also apply. The saver’s credit helps offset part of the first $2,000 you voluntarily save for your retirement. This includes amounts you contribute to IRAs, 401(k) plans and similar workplace plans.

2. Save on taxes.  The saver’s credit can increase your refund or reduce the tax you owe. The maximum credit is $1,000, or $2,000 for married couples. The credit you receive is often much less, due in part because of the deductions and other credits you may claim.

3. Income limits.  Income limits vary based on your filing status. You may be able to claim the saver’s credit if you’re a:

• Married couple filing jointly with income up to $60,000 in 2014 or $61,000 in 2015.

• Head of Household with income up to $45,000 in 2014 or $45,750 in 2015.

• Married person filing separately or single with income up to $30,000 in 2014 or $30,500 in 2015.

4. When to contribute.  If you’re eligible you still have time to contribute and get the saver’s credit on your 2014 tax return. You have until April 15, 2015, to set up a new IRA or add money to an existing IRA for 2014. You must make an elective deferral (contribution) by the end of the year to a 401(k) plan or similar workplace program.

If you can’t set aside money for this year you may want to schedule your 2015 contributions soon so your employer can begin withholding them in January.

5. Special rules apply.  Other special rules that apply to the credit include:

• You must be at least 18 years of age.

• You can’t have been a full-time student in 2014.

• Another person can’t claim you as a dependent on their tax return.

IRS Resources

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Energy-Efficient Home Improvements Can Lower Your Taxes

Posted by William Byrnes on April 10, 2014


The IRS reported in Tax Tip 2014-47 that a taxpayer may be able to reduce taxes if making certain energy-efficient home improvements last year.

Key Tax Facts about home energy tax credits:

2014_tf_on_individuals_small_businesses-m_1Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit

  • This tax credit is 30 percent (30%) of the cost of alternative energy equipment installed on or in the home.
  • Qualified equipment includes solar hot water heaters, solar electric equipment and wind turbines.
  • There is no dollar limit on the credit for most types of property. If the credit is more than the tax owed for the year, then the  unused portion of this credit can be carried forward to next year’s tax return.
  • The home must be in the U.S BUT it does not have to be the main home.
  • This credit is available through 2016.

Non-Business Energy Property Credit no longer offered after 2013 tax return

  • This credit is worth 10 percent (10%) of the cost of certain qualified energy-saving items added to the main home last year. This includes items such as insulation, windows, doors and roofs.
  • Taxpayer may also be able to claim the credit for the actual cost of certain property. This may include items such as water heaters and heating and air conditioning systems. Each type of property has a different dollar limit.
  • This credit has a maximum lifetime limit of $500, but only $200 of this limit may be for windows.
  • Main home must be located in the U.S. to qualify for the credit.
  • Obtain a written certification from the manufacturer that their product qualifies for this tax credit. They usually post it on their website or include it with the product’s packaging. Taxpayer’s may rely on such certificate to claim the credit.
  • This credit expired at the end of 2013. You may still claim the credit on your 2013 tax return if you didn’t reach the lifetime limit in prior years.

Use Form 5695, Residential Energy Credits, to claim these credits.

For more than half a century, Tax Facts has been an essential resource designed to meet the real-world tax-guidance needs of professionals in both the insurance and investment industries.  Use coupon code: TAX15 and save 15%!

Posted in Taxation | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Act Now on End of Year Expiring Tax Breaks: IRA Charitable Rollovers, Bonus Depreciation

Posted by William Byrnes on December 18, 2013


Individual clients may have one final chance to satisfy required minimum distribution (RMD) requirements without increasing taxable income.

Small business clients, on the other hand, should be advised that the time to expand is now, as special expensing and bonus depreciation rules are also set to expire at year’s end.

Regardless of your client’s situation, the list of expiring tax breaks is robust enough to grab everyone’s attention.

Read Professor William Byrnes and Robert Bloink’s end of year planning tips at > Think Advisor <

 

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Overlooked Obamacare Silver Lining: Savings for Small Businesses

Posted by William Byrnes on October 2, 2013


Your small business clients know that the health insurance exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are coming—and soon—but they may not realize that they create significant benefits for employers in the form of dramatic cost savings above and beyond the current rules governing deductibility of premiums and eligibility for certain tax credits.

Beginning Nov. 1, small business clients will be eligible to sign up online for a specially created Small Business Health Options Program (the SHOP exchange), but clients are unlikely to have realized that the rules of the game have changed with the advent of SHOP.

Read William Byrnes and Robert Bloink’s analysis at Think Advisor

Posted in Compliance, Insurance | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

National Underwriter Offers Tax Advisors Expert Analysis

Posted by William Byrnes on March 22, 2011


Tax and insurance advisors looking for answers on how the new Tax Relief Act of 2010 will impact their clients are finding them in The National Underwriter Company’s just-published Selected Provisions and Analysis of the Tax Relief Act of 2010.  The proprietary analysis is the only practitioners’ guide in Q&A format that answers the most critical questions asked by clients on insurance, estate and gift tax law changes.

Copies of the 64-page report are available for only $12.95 plus shipping and handling here.  Producers and their companies can also license use of their logos and contact information directly on the cover of the guide for a marketing and client-management tool.

National Underwriter’s wealth management experts and report authors, Professor William H. Byrnes, Esq., LL.M, CWM and Robert Bloink, Esq., LL.M., noted, “While most media attention has focused on the Act’s retention of existing tax rates on the highest-earning Americans, tax, insurance and investment advisors are finding that the most important changes, from their perspective, are likely to be found in insurance, estate and gift tax provisions that will drive client decisions on investment strategy and wealth management priorities in 2011 and beyond.”

Rick Kravitz, Vice President & Managing Director of Summit Business Media’s Reference Division, said, “This proprietary analysis – compiled by leading experts in the field – demonstrates National Underwriter’s commitment to bringing timely and critical updates to advisors and financial planners so that they can successfully build their practices and better serve their clients.”

Prof. Byrnes, a former Coopers & Lybrand associate director in international tax and now Dean of the wealth management graduate program at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, noted that the 64-page analysis has answers to more than 100 important questions in these areas:

  • Income Tax
  • Estate and Gift Tax
  • Generation Skipping Transfer Tax
  • Deduction for State and Local Sales Taxes
  • Alternative Minimum Tax
  • Tax Credits
  • Payroll Tax Holiday
  • Wage Credit for Employees Who Are Active Duty Members of the Military
  • Charitable Distributions from Retirement Accounts
  • Bonus Depreciation and Section 179 Expensing
  • Basis Reporting Requirements for Brokers and Mutual Funds
  • Regulated Investment Company Modernization Act of 2010
  • Health Care Act
  • Form 1099 Reporting Requirement for Businesses
  • American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010
  • Requirements for Tax Return Preparers

“This is the only guide available on the market today that gives financial planners and producers issue-specific, time-critical information in Q&A format that addresses their most important technical questions with content that can also be used directly in client presentations,” Prof. Byrnes added.  “The unique combination of The National Underwriter Company’s editorial staff and the resources and professional experience of the wealth management faculty at Thomas Jefferson School of Law provides assurance that these are answers that can be counted on.”

About The National Underwriter Company

For over 110 years, The National Underwriter Company has been the first in line with the targeted tax, insurance, and financial planning information you need to make critical business decisions.  With respected resources available in print, on CD, and online, National Underwriter remains at the forefront of the evolving insurance industry, delivering the thorough and easy-to-use resources you rely on for success.  National Underwriter is a Summit Business Media company.

About Summit Business Media

Summit Business Media is the leading B2B media and information company serving the insurance, investment advisory, professional services and mining investment markets through a variety of channels, including print, online and live events.  Summit provides breaking news and analysis, in-depth practice management strategies, business-building techniques and actionable data to the markets it serves. Through its Media and Reference Divisions, Summit publishes 16 magazines, 20 websites and 150 reference titles. Summit’s Event Division hosts a dozen conferences across the spectrum of markets the company services.  Summit’s Data Division is the leading data provider of financial, marketing and benefits information on corporations, insurance companies and life, benefits and property-casualty agents.

Summit employs nearly 400 employees in ten offices across the United States.  For more information, please visitsummitbusinessmedia.com.

 

Posted in Taxation | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

National Underwriter Offers Tax Advisors Expert Analysis

Posted by William Byrnes on March 14, 2011


Tax and insurance advisors looking for answers on how the new Tax Relief Act of 2010 will impact their clients are finding them in The National Underwriter Company’s just-published Selected Provisions and Analysis of the Tax Relief Act of 2010.  The proprietary analysis is the only practitioners’ guide in Q&A format that answers the most critical questions asked by clients on insurance, estate and gift tax law changes.

Copies of the 64-page book are available for only $12.95 plus shipping and handling here.  Producers and their companies can also license use of their logos and contact information directly on the cover of the guide for a marketing and client-management tool.

National Underwriter’s wealth management experts and report authors, Professor William H. Byrnes, Esq., LL.M, CWM and Robert Bloink, Esq., LL.M., noted, “While most media attention has focused on the Act’s retention of existing tax rates on the highest-earning Americans, tax, insurance and investment advisors are finding that the most important changes, from their perspective, are likely to be found in insurance, estate and gift tax provisions that will drive client decisions on investment strategy and wealth management priorities in 2011 and beyond.”

Rick Kravitz, Vice President & Managing Director of Summit Business Media’s Reference Division, said, “This proprietary analysis – compiled by leading experts in the field – demonstrates National Underwriter’s commitment to bringing timely and critical updates to advisors and financial planners so that they can successfully build their practices and better serve their clients.”

Prof. Byrnes, a former Coopers & Lybrand associate director in international tax and now Dean of the wealth management graduate program at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, noted that the 64-page analysis has answers to more than 100 important questions in these areas:

  • Income Tax
  • Estate and Gift Tax
  • Generation Skipping Transfer Tax
  • Deduction for State and Local Sales Taxes
  • Alternative Minimum Tax
  • Tax Credits
  • Payroll Tax Holiday
  • Wage Credit for Employees Who Are Active Duty Members of the Military
  • Charitable Distributions from Retirement Accounts
  • Bonus Depreciation and Section 179 Expensing
  • Basis Reporting Requirements for Brokers and Mutual Funds
  • Regulated Investment Company Modernization Act of 2010
  • Health Care Act
  • Form 1099 Reporting Requirement for Businesses
  • American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010
  • Requirements for Tax Return Preparers

“This is the only guide available on the market today that gives financial planners and producers issue-specific, time-critical information in Q&A format that addresses their most important technical questions with content that can also be used directly in client presentations,” Prof. Byrnes added.  “The unique combination of The National Underwriter Company’s editorial staff and the resources and professional experience of the wealth management faculty at Thomas Jefferson School of Law provides assurance that these are answers that can be counted on.”

About The National Underwriter Company

For over 110 years, The National Underwriter Company has been the first in line with the targeted tax, insurance, and financial planning information you need to make critical business decisions.  With respected resources available in print, on CD, and online, National Underwriter remains at the forefront of the evolving insurance industry, delivering the thorough and easy-to-use resources you rely on for success.  National Underwriter is a Summit Business Media company.

About Summit Business Media

Summit Business Media is the leading B2B media and information company serving the insurance, investment advisory, professional services and mining investment markets through a variety of channels, including print, online and live events.  Summit provides breaking news and analysis, in-depth practice management strategies, business-building techniques and actionable data to the markets it serves. Through its Media and Reference Divisions, Summit publishes 16 magazines, 20 websites and 150 reference titles. Summit’s Event Division hosts a dozen conferences across the spectrum of markets the company services.  Summit’s Data Division is the leading data provider of financial, marketing and benefits information on corporations, insurance companies and life, benefits and property-casualty agents.

Summit employs nearly 400 employees in ten offices across the United States.  For more information, please visitsummitbusinessmedia.com.

Posted in Taxation | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Selected Provisions and Analysis of the Tax Relief Act of 2010

Posted by William Byrnes on February 8, 2011


Written by the foremost experts in the field – Professor William H. Byrnes, Esq., LL.M, and Robert Bloink, Esq., LL.M

Understand the Act’s Implications for You and Your Clients

  • Analyzes important insurance, estate, gift, and other elements of the Act
  • Provides pertinent information on other important 2010 tax developments
  • Convenient Q&A format speeds you to the information you need – with answers to over 100 important questions

Summary Table of Contents

  • Analysis of the Tax Relief Act of 2010
    • Income Tax Provisions
    • Estate Tax Provisions
    • Generation Skipping Transfer Tax
    • Deduction for State and Local Sales Taxes
    • Alternative Minimum Tax
    • Tax Credits
    • Payroll Tax Holiday
    • Wage Credit for Employees who are Active Duty Members of the Military
    • Charitable Distributions from Retirement Accounts
    • Bonus Depreciation and Section 179 Expensing
    • Basis Reporting Requirements for Brokers and Mutual Funds
    • Regulated Investment Company Modernization Act of 2010
    • Health Care Act
    • Form 1099 Reporting Requirement for Businesses
    • American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010
    • Requirements for Tax Return Preparers

Price: $12.95 + shipping & handling and applicable sales tax

To order:

With our Custom Imprint program, you can place your company’s logo on the cover of this analysis and you’ll leave a lasting impression.  Call 1-800-543-0874 for additional information.

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National Underwriter Offers Tax Advisors Expert Analysis of the Impact of the Tax Relief Act on Their Clients

Posted by William Byrnes on February 7, 2011


NEW YORK, Feb. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Tax and insurance advisors looking for answers on how the new Tax Relief Act of 2010 will impact their clients are finding them in The National Underwriter Company’s just-published Selected Provisions and Analysis of the Tax Relief Act of 2010.  The proprietary analysis is the only practitioners’ guide in Q&A format that answers the most critical questions asked by clients on insurance, estate and gift tax law changes.

Copies of the 64-page report are available for only $12.95 plus shipping and handling here.  Producers and their companies can also license use of their logos and contact information directly on the cover of the guide for a marketing and client-management tool.

National Underwriter’s wealth management experts and report authors, Professor William H. Byrnes, Esq., LL.M, CWM and Robert Bloink, Esq., LL.M., noted, “While most media attention has focused on the Act’s retention of existing tax rates on the highest-earning Americans, tax, insurance and investment advisors are finding that the most important changes, from their perspective, are likely to be found in insurance, estate and gift tax provisions that will drive client decisions on investment strategy and wealth management priorities in 2011 and beyond.”

Rick Kravitz, Vice President & Managing Director of Summit Business Media’s Reference Division, said, “This proprietary analysis — compiled by leading experts in the field — demonstrates National Underwriter’s commitment to bringing timely and critical updates to advisors and financial planners so that they can successfully build their practices and better serve their clients.”

Prof. Byrnes, a former Coopers & Lybrand associate director in international tax and now Dean of the wealth management graduate program at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, noted that the 64-page analysis has answers to more than 100 important questions in these areas:   

  • Income Tax
  • Estate and Gift Tax
  • Generation Skipping Transfer Tax
  • Deduction for State and Local Sales Taxes
  • Alternative Minimum Tax
  • Tax Credits
  • Payroll Tax Holiday
  • Wage Credit for Employees Who Are Active Duty Members of the Military
  • Charitable Distributions from Retirement Accounts
  • Bonus Depreciation and Section 179 Expensing
  • Basis Reporting Requirements for Brokers and Mutual Funds
  • Regulated Investment Company Modernization Act of 2010
  • Health Care Act
  • Form 1099 Reporting Requirement for Businesses
  • American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010
  • Requirements for Tax Return Preparers  

“This is the only guide available on the market today that gives financial planners and producers issue-specific, time-critical information in Q&A format that addresses their most important technical questions with content that can also be used directly in client presentations,” Prof. Byrnes added.  “The unique combination of The National Underwriter Company’s editorial staff and the resources and professional experience of the wealth management faculty at Thomas Jefferson School of Law provides assurance that these are answers that can be counted on.”

About The National Underwriter Company

For over 110 years, The National Underwriter Company has been the first in line with the targeted tax, insurance, and financial planning information you need to make critical business decisions.  With respected resources available in print, on CD, and online, National Underwriter remains at the forefront of the evolving insurance industry, delivering the thorough and easy-to-use resources you rely on for success.  National Underwriter is a Summit Business Media company.

About Summit Business Media

Summit Business Media is the leading B2B media and information company serving the insurance, investment advisory, professional services and mining investment markets through a variety of channels, including print, online and live events.  Summit provides breaking news and analysis, in-depth practice management strategies, business-building techniques and actionable data to the markets it serves. Through its Media and Reference Divisions, Summit publishes 16 magazines, 20 websites and 150 reference titles. Summit’s Event Division hosts a dozen conferences across the spectrum of markets the company services.  Summit’s Data Division is the leading data provider of financial, marketing and benefits information on corporations, insurance companies and life, benefits and property-casualty agents.

Summit employs nearly 400 employees in ten offices across the United States.  For more information, please visit summitbusinessmedia.com.

Posted in Taxation | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

2011 Tax Rates, Credits, and Deduction Amounts

Posted by William Byrnes on February 2, 2011


Child Tax Credit—for taxable years beginning in 2011, the value used in 24(d)(1)(B)(i) to determine the amount of credit under § 24 that may be refundable is $3,000.

Hope Scholarship, American Opportunity, and Lifetime Learning Credits—for taxable years beginning in 2011, the Hope Scholarship Credit under § 25A(b)(1), as increased under § 25A(i) (the American Opportunity Tax Credit), is an amount equal to 100 percent of qualified tuition and related expenses not in excess of $2,000 plus 25 percent of those expenses in excess of $2,000, but not in excess of $4,000. Accordingly, the maximum Hope Scholarship Credit allowable under § 25A(b)(1) for taxable years beginning in 2011 is $2,500.

In addition, for taxable years beginning in 2011, a taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income in excess of $80,000 ($160,000 for a joint return) is used to determine the reduction under § 25A(d)(2) in the amount of the Hope Scholarship Credit otherwise allowable under § 25A(a)(1). For taxable years beginning in 2011, a taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income in excess of $51,000 ($102,000 for a joint return) is used to determine the reduction under § 25A(d)(2) in the amount of the Lifetime Learning Credit otherwise allowable under § 25A(a)(2).

Standard Deduction—In general, for taxable years beginning in 2011, the standard deduction amounts under § 63(c)(2) are as follows:  To read this article excerpted above, please access AdvisorFYI

 

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The Small Business Tax Credit

Posted by William Byrnes on January 26, 2011


During 2010, President Obama realized his goal of providing health care coverage to all Americans when Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

Under the new health care legislation many new changes will affect taxpayers beginning last year.  This week’s blogticles are dedicated to the discussion of the health care legislation and the impact it is projected to have.  We begin with a discussion of the Small Business Tax Credit.

Under the new law, the Small Business Tax Credit allows qualified small employers to elect, beginning in 2010 a tax credit for some percentage of their employee health care coverage expenses.  Generally, a “qualified small employer” is an employer who has the equivalent of 25 full-time workers or less (e.g., a firm with fewer than 50 half-time workers would be eligible), pay average annual wages below $50,000, and cover at least 50 percent of the cost of health care coverage for their workers.

Further, the tax credit will cover up to 35 percent of the premiums a small business pays to cover its workers until 2014, when the rate will increase to 50 percent.  Nevertheless, the credit has phase out provisions which gradually reduce the credit amount for businesses with average wages between $25,000 and $50,000 and for businesses with the equivalent of between 10 and 25 full-time workers.  To read this article excerpted above, please access AdvisorFYI.

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When may a taxpayer deduct as business expenses the costs related to the use of his residence? Part 2

Posted by William Byrnes on December 29, 2010


Seal of the Internal Revenue Service

Image via Wikipedia

Why is this Topic Important to Wealth Managers? We examine the IRS requirements set out in its Publication 587 for determining when a “part” of a home is used and whether that use qualifies as “exclusively and regularly as your principal place of business”.

Yesterday we opened the discussion by what authority of the Code a taxpayer may be allowed to deduct a business expense for use of part of his home in the pursuit of a trade or business.  Today we turn to the following questions: What type of residence qualifies for this deduction? And the requirements for determining when a “part” of a home is used and whether that use qualifies as “exclusively and regularly as your principal place of business”.

What type of residence qualifies for this deduction? Many taxpayers narrowly consider that the “home office” deduction only applies for the traditional house with the white picket fence.  But the Code’s section does not use the word “home”.  Yesterday we noted that Congress chose the phrase “dwelling unit”.  So what is a dwelling unit?  The Section toward its end contains this definition: “The term ”dwelling unit” includes a house, apartment, condominium, mobile home, boat, or similar property ….”  Thus, taxpayers who are homeowners, condo-owners, renters of apartments, even a boat owner or renter, may potentially leverage this deduction.

What constitutes a “portion” of the dwelling unit? To read this article excerpted above, please access www.AdvisorFX.com

 

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The Changing Landscape of the Foreign Tax Credit Regime

Posted by William Byrnes on October 1, 2010


The tax landscape is changing for the amount U.S. multinational corporations may claim through the foreign tax credit.  This change is the result of the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 that requires any increased spending must be offset by a corresponding increase in revenue.  The foreign tax credit modifications narrowly escaped becoming the offsetting revenue raising provisions of the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2010 that extended unemployment benefits.  However, the success was short-lived, as these modifications were added to Pub. L. No. 111-226, the Education, Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act  of 2010. This legislation provides $10 billion of elementary and secondary education funding to protect teacher jobs from being cut.  Nearly $10 billion over ten years is expected to be raised by altering various rules that corporations leverage to calculate their foreign tax credits and foreign-source income, providing the necessary revenue offset for this law.

In the article, we will examine the concept behind foreign tax credits offered in the United States; the history of foreign tax credits in the United States; the changes to the foreign tax credits; and the public policy behind the bill and the potential effects upon multinational corporations.  To download the free article, please link to LexisNexis here at Tax Law Community

You may post any questions or comments below  – Prof. William Byrnes

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