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Dugan & Lopatka, CPAs, PC
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End of summer means time for tax planning

As summer winds down, you might want to put serious tax planning on your agenda. Changes that have already taken place (the Supreme Court's decision on premium tax credits under the health insurance laws, for example) and those that are still in limbo (tax extenders) can affect what you'll pay this year.

The June Supreme Court decision upholding the premium tax credit means you'll want to schedule a review of your income to make sure the amount you're currently receiving is correct. The premium tax credit helps offset your health insurance policy premiums. If you requested that the credit be applied directly against what you're paying each month, this "advanceable" portion is based on your estimated income. Changes in your financial situation can affect how much you're eligible to receive, and could mean you will need to pay back part of the credit with your 2015 federal income tax return.

In addition, unless Congress acts before year-end, certain tax breaks called "extenders" may not be available for 2015. These breaks include the deduction for state and local sales taxes and the ability to make tax-free distributions from your IRA for charitable purposes.

To discuss your situation and find the strategies that are most beneficial for you, please call Dugan & Lopatka at (630) 665-4440.

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Divorce can be an emotionally draining process. If you are in the middle of one, you probably just want it to be over. But be careful. Divorce has serious tax implications, and the choices you make now may affect you for many years. Read more.

Check your children's filing requirements

Your children may need to file a 2013 income tax return. A return is needed if wages exceeded $6,100, the child had self-employment income over $400, or investment income exceeded $1,000. If the child had both wages and investment income, other thresholds apply. Contact us for more information or filing assistance.

 IRS Announces New FSA Rule

Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) allow taxpayers to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses. The drawback has been the fact that unused amounts each year are forfeited. Plans could provide a 2½ month grace period to use up unspent set-asides. 

Now a change announced by the IRS adds more flexibility to these accounts. Plans can be modified by employers to allow up to $500 of unused amounts to be carried over into the following year. Health FSAs cannot have both the old 2½ month grace period and the $500 carryover; they can have one or the other (or neither).

Call our office if you have questions.

1099 Reporting Due Soon

Nearly every company, large or small, has to file Form 1099-MISC with the IRS and send a copy to recipients by January 31, 2014.

You use Form 1099-MISC to report miscellaneous payments to nonemployees. This includes fees for services paid to independent contractors, such as consultants, lawyers, cleaning services, and others. Generally, you don't report fees paid to corporations, but there are exceptions (payments to lawyers, for example).

For details or filing assistance, contact our office.

As year-end approaches, don't overlook this option to reduce your business taxes for 2013: accelerated write-offs for business asset purchases. For example, the Section 179 immediate expensing deduction lets you write off the cost of assets you purchase and place in service this year, including vehicles, equipment, and software. For 2013, the maximum Section 179 deduction is $500,000. Another example is the "bonus" depreciation deduction, which allows you to expense up to 50% of the cost of new assets, including those that might not qualify for Section 179.

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23 Things Every Business Needs To Know white paper now available at Dugan & Lopatka, CPAs' website for free download.

The delayed passage of the "American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012" has put the IRS behind schedule. Due to several provisions of the law affecting 2012 tax returns, the IRS could not open the Form 1040 filing season for the majority of taxpayers until late January.

Those taxpayers filing Form 5695 (Energy Credit), Form 4562 (Depreciation), and Form 3800 (General Business Credit) will not be able to file until late February or possibly not until March. Apparently a large percentage of taxpayers in this group typically file later in the season because they have more complex returns.

The IRS must complete the updating of forms and computer programming and testing before it is ready to accept any filings either on paper or electronically. The IRS said that taxpayers will receive refunds faster by e-filing and using direct deposit.

If we can be of assistance to you in preparing any of your 2012 tax filings, please contact Dugan & Lopatka, CPAs at (630) 665-4440.

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