Employers Have until Sept. 28 to Request Certification for Many New Hires
With a key certification deadline fast approaching, the Internal Revenue Service recently urged employers to take advantage of a valuable tax credit designed to help those who hire long-term unemployment recipients, certain veterans, recipients of various kinds of public assistance and other workers who face significant barriers to employment.
The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, enacted last December, retroactively extended the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) for nine categories of workers hired on or after Jan. 1, 2015. For the first time, the legislation also added a tenth category for long-term unemployment recipients hired on or after Jan. 1, 2016, who had been unemployed for a period of at least 27 weeks and received state or federal unemployment benefits during part or all of that time. The special Sept. 28, 2016, certification deadline applies to eligible workers hired between Jan. 1, 2015, and Aug. 31, 2016.
Violent weather can wreak emotional and financial havoc. If your home, vehicle, or other personal property is damaged or destroyed by a sudden, unexpected casualty, an itemized tax deduction may help ease the financial burden.
In most cases, you claim a casualty loss in the taxable year the calamity strikes. However, if you're in a federally declared disaster area, you have the option of amending your prior year return. Either way, to receive the maximum benefit you'll need to calculate the amount of your loss. Here's how.
As the owner of your business, you are the decider of salaries for your staff. That's true for your own salary too. While there is no one-size-fits-all formula for determining how much to pay yourself, here are two factors to consider.
Profitability. Regularly review and update your firm's cash flow projections to determine the salary level you can sustain while keeping the business profitable. Your compensation may be minimal as you start up your business. However, beware of going too long without paying yourself a salary, and be sure to document that you're in business to make a profit. Why? Otherwise the IRS may view your perpetually unprofitable business as a hobby – a sham enterprise aimed at avoiding taxes. That can lead to unfavorable tax consequences.
An August 24, 2016, Accounting Today online post notes that the Internal Revenue Service recently unveiled a new procedure to help people who accidentally miss the 60-day time limit for rolling over their retirement plan distributions into another qualified retirement plan or individual retirement account.
In Revenue Procedure 2016-47, the IRS details how eligible taxpayers can qualify for a waiver of the 60-day time limit and avoid possible taxes and penalties on early distributions, if they meet certain circumstances. The revenue procedure includes a sample self-certification letter that a taxpayer can use to notify an administrator or trustee of the retirement plan or IRA receiving the rollover that the taxpayer qualifies for the waiver.
Are your children in college? You may be able to offset some of the costs of their education with tax breaks. Here's a "tax primer."
Education tax credits include the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit. The American Opportunity Tax Credit can reduce your tax bill by up to $2,500 per student. Currently, the credit can be claimed for all four years of study, and up to 40% of the credit can be refundable.
How can you become financially fit? Here are suggestions for improving your fiscal muscles.
Get your budget in shape. Use your spending history to create a meaningful budget, then stick to it. Resolve not to spend more than you make, and remember that what you "make" is your take-home pay, not your gross salary. Budget for savings too. Pay yourself first. Set up a minimum monthly amount that you put into savings at the same time you pay your other bills.
CPA Compass Blog
The IRS recently released an updated version of Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data. Even if you're not in...
Take a look at this new infographic we created showing the tax environment in Illinois.
After years of work, the IRS has finally issued regulations clarifying for the business community when costs...