The Troy Record has asked me to do a presentation on personal tax tips and such on March 8th from 6:30pm - 8:30pm. We will talk about things that did and did not come out of the December 17th, 2010 legislation as well as discuss our opinions as to where we think things might be headed. We will also discuss some common questions we get from clients as well as common errors we see on self-prepared returns. We'll also touch on some topics about IRS audits/inquiries and deciding on whether or not you should have someone prepare your return for you.
Don't get too far into your fiscal year having not updated your conflict of interest policy. Each board member, officer and/or highest paid employee if in a management position should be signing to the fact that no conflicts are outstanding or if they are, then they disclose the circumstances for the rest of the board to discuss. The 990 and the 1023 both ask about an organization's conflict of interest policy so I would strongly recommend your organization having one especially if you are a 501(c)(3) and receive contributions.
This time every year I am always asked from my business clients what can be expensed and what should be capitalized. I am linking a nice article about what the IRS looks for with regards to their R&M audits and thought it would be a good read for those of you who are nervous about your approach. One thing to think about also is with section 179 and Bonus depreciation available (sorry to get tax-y on you) you might want to consider capitalizing the asset and then use one of these accelerated methods to write most of the asset or all of it off in the first year. As always any questions please shoot me an email. Thanks, Kev-http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Web/20113719.htm
I have the pleasure of sitting on the panel for the Tech Valley Not For Profit Business Council's March event which will focus on tax implications and tax issues facing non-profits. The event is scheduled for March 17th from 1130-2 at the Italian American Community Center and to sign up go to the Albany Chamber Website at www.acchamber.org for event details.
I know it's only February but thinking about retirement limits and retirement goals should be going on at all times. Here are the limits as they relate to 2011:
One of the big shocks coming from the government lately was the reduction in the Social Security withholding tax. In the past 6.2% of your wages up to $106,800 were withheld for "your" social security account (basically the max they would withhold would be $6,621) but currently the rate has been reduced to 4.2% - which is a shock to a lot of people because of the problems you hear about social security having being in the RED all the time. It will produce revenue for the government though because now that amount that used to be withheld pretax will be taxable income to the employee - unless..... think about increasing your 401(k) contribution by the 2% - meaning net-net you will be taking home the same amount of money as in the past but you will be banking more for your retirement - basically let this reduction fund your retirement account. If you are over the wage threshold of $106,800 or you are already contributing the max to your retirement account this might not be that big of a deal to you but if you are not in either one of those boats think about it!!!
Here is a great article about the possible repealing of the crazy 1099 requirements that are headed our way in 2011 and 2012. For 2011 the big change is for landlords - if you own rental property and you have any service done on your rental property during 2011 - anything over $600 (aggregate) would have to be recorded on a 1099MISC. For 2012 - the BIG CHANGE is being required to provide a 1099 for either services or purchases - this could be a HUGE burden on small businesses and any business for that matter. Check out the article and give me a buzz/email if you have any questions...
I know they don't always stick to their word but it is at least nice to hear that they are talking about small businesses. Now if they will just amend some of the ridiculousness surrounding the new 1099 requirements starting this year and next.
With President Obama's signing of the Tax Relief Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 on December 17th, one thing became clearer: most estates for those who died in 2010 would not be subject to the Federal Estate Tax. For example, the billion dollar estate of form Yankees owner George Steinbrenner will only be subject to New York State estate tax, which tops out at about 16% and not the Federal Estate Tax, which will help the Steinbrenner family to continue to pay the highest dollar for young baseball talent and free agents (some overpriced I may add).
I get this question all the time and the attached is a great article that provides dates as to if you file your return by a certain date when you can expect to get your refund. Notice the dates are about a week to two weeks earlier for direct deposit so keep that in mind when you are filing.