The US District Court in Texas granted a preliminary injunction against the new Department of Labor minimum salary requirement. The new salary requirement for exempt employees was going to increase to $47,476 per year or $913 per week.
With the ever-increasing cost of health insurance and medical care, you should be vigilant in finding ways to claim tax breaks related to health care. Unfortunately, that's now harder than before because a change included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) increased the income-based threshold for deducting itemized medical expenses.
However, some seniors have been given a one-year reprieve: A lower deduction threshold will apply for 2016 to people who are at least 65 years old as of year end. But the lower threshold is scheduled to expire after 2016. So, it could make sense for seniors to load up on medical expenditures before the end of this year to take advantage of the lower threshold.
Charitable giving is on the rise. And the momentum is expected to continue, given the natural disasters and human tragedies that have happened in recent months.
Last year, charitable donations reached an all-time high of approximately $373.25 billion, according to Giving USA 2016: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2015. This report is published jointly by the Giving USA Foundation, a public-service initiative of The Giving Institute and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
Besides fulfilling their philanthropic needs, donors may also benefit from charitable deductions on their personal tax returns. If you're considering donating to a new cause or a long-standing favorite one, remember that gift-giving may come in many different forms. Here are seven ways you can offer support:
Mount Shasta’s Tessa Montgomery is following in the footsteps of her father, Dorian Aiello. She recently completed her CPA exam and experience requirement and has received her certificate granting her the authority to practice as a Certified Public Accountant.
She works at Aiello, Goodrich & Teuscher in Mount Shasta, an accountancy corporation of which her father is a founding partner.
As you know, the primary purpose of the Affordable Care Act (also called the Healthcare Act) was to expand access to affordable health coverage and to make sure that all Americans have at least minimum level health coverage. Central to this is the creation of new Insurance Exchanges, which are being referred to as the Health Insurance Marketplace (or the Marketplace). The Marketplace is intended to provide a competitive private health insurance market where individuals and employees of small businesses can shop for affordable coverage. Every state will have a Marketplace – some will be run by the state, others by the Federal government or a combination of the two. They are currently being set up and are supposed to be up and running by 10/1/13.
Open enrollment for health insurance coverage through the Marketplace begins 10/1/13 for coverage beginning 1/1/14. Individuals who don’t have insurance coverage after 2013 may be subject to a penalty.
On July 11, 2013, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 90 and Assembly Bill 93, which scales back the enterprise zone program of hiring tax credits that had provided employers in locally designated areas large tax breaks for years. Now, sales tax exemptions will be available for manufacturing and biotech research companies and other tax credits negotiated on a case-by-case basis with the administration.
Upon signing of these bills, the TEA (Targeted Employment Area) has been eliminated. What this means for Siskiyou County employers is that it will be much more difficult to get new hires vouchered for Enterprise Zone Tax credits. In addition, effective December 31, 2013, the program will effectively cease and be replaced by a much more defined program.
What this means for local businesses: all employees hired prior to July 9th need to be vouchered before December 31, 2013. For employees hired after July 8th you need to qualify new hires under the other Eligibility Categories BEFORE they are hired. Employees hired in 2013 will continue generating credit for their first 60 months of employment. Taxpayers will still be eligible for a 10-year carryover period to use these credits.
During my 20 years as an auditor with the California Board of Equalization, my colleagues and I noted that tax understatements were generally due to misunderstanding of Sales and Use Tax Laws and Regulations. A few of these misunderstandings were so pervasive that even some technicians answering taxpayers' inquiries were giving erroneous advice on a few issues. Let me try to clarify just a few of these misconceptions…
MYTH #1: Transportation charges are always exempt from Sales Tax
This is false. Certain conditions must be present to make these charges exempt. Generally, to be an exempt freight charge the following three conditions must be met:
How the Supreme Court Repeal of DOMA Will Affect Same-Sex Couples
On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. That section of DOMA defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman, meaning the Federal government did not recognize same-sex marriages.
After the repeal, same-sex marriages that are legally recognized by their individual states will now be recognized at the Federal level as well. These couples will now be eligible to receive numerous federal protections that are offered to spouses in opposite-sex marriages, such as Social Security and pension benefits for spouses, family health insurance coverage, hospital visitation rights, and tax-free inheritance.
Now that tax season is behind us, it is a good time to review the changes that will become effective for 2013. Here is a recap of the most substantive changes effecting tax year 2013:
We expect more changes to come. It should be a busy year as Congress debate health care reform and overhauling the tax code……….As usual, stay tuned……….
As a young professional, planning for retirement is often times an afterthought. Putting away for anything can be a hard task to pull off, especially when the benefit won’t be realized for 30+ years. I suffer from the adult version of “it’ll never happen to me.” In high school, it’s more of the feeling of invincibility; whether it’s driving too fast or other acts of risky behavior where I never considered that I would be put in a compromising situation. As I’ve grown up and had children of my own, I now realize this naivety but a similar scenario is happening in my adult life. Why start saving for retirement now? I have plenty of time, right? Wrong.
The value of social security benefits at retirement is a challenging issue. Our generation, and generations to follow, is faced with planning for retirement on our own and not relying on social security benefits as a source of income as our baby boomer parents can. One very easy and effective approach to saving for retirement is through a 401(k). I am lucky enough to have an employer that offers a plan and matches my contribution. I determine how much I want to contribute, they match that amount and it automatically comes out of my paycheck so I’m not consciously putting money aside, which makes the accumulation process painless.
For those of you without the 401(k) as an option (whether self-employed or such benefits aren’t offered through your employer), there is still a way for you to plan for retirement. An easy way of doing so is through an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). The IRA allows the taxpayer to contribute $5,500 per year ($6,500 if age 50 or over).