Tax Benefits of Health Savings Accounts

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

While similar to FSAs (Flexible Savings Plans) in that both allow pre-tax contributions, Health Savings Accounts or HSAs offer taxpayers several additional tax benefits such as contributions that roll over from year to year (i.e., no “use it or lose it”), tax-free interest on earnings, and when used for qualified medical expenses, tax-free distributions. What is a Health Savings Account? A Health Savings Account is a type of savings account that allows you to set aside money pre-tax to pay … Read More

2018 Year-End Tax Planning for Businesses

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

There are a number of end of year tax planning strategies that businesses can use to reduce their tax burden for 2018. Here are a few of them: Deferring Income Businesses using the cash method of accounting can defer income into 2019 by delaying end-of-year invoices, so payment is not received until 2019. Businesses using the accrual method can defer income by postponing delivery of goods or services until January 2019. Purchase New Business Equipment Section 179 Expensing. Business should take … Read More

2018 Year-End Tax Planning for Individuals

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Once again, tax planning for the year ahead presents a number of challenges, this year, primarily due to tax laws changes brought about the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018. These changes include the nearly doubling of the standard deduction, elimination of personal exemptions, and numerous itemized deductions reduced or eliminated. Let’s take a closer look.

Understanding the Net Investment Income Tax

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

While the Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT) tends to affect wealthier individuals most often, in certain circumstances, it can also affect moderate-income taxpayers whose income increases significantly in a given tax year. Here’s what you need to know. What is the Net Investment Income Tax? The Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT) is a 3.8 percent tax on certain net investment income of individuals, estates, and trusts with income above statutory threshold amounts referred to as modified adjusted gross income or … Read More

Tax Breaks for Businesses Hiring New Employees

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

If you’re thinking about hiring new employees this this year you won’t want to miss out on tax breaks available to businesses with employees. 1. Payroll Tax Deduction for Startups As part of the Research & Development Tax Credit, for tax years 2016 and beyond, startup businesses (C-corps and S-corps) with little to no revenue that qualify for the research and development tax credit can apply the credit against employer-paid Social Security taxes instead of income tax owed. Sole proprietorships, … Read More

Saving for Education: 529 Plans

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Many parents are looking for ways to save for their child’s education and a 529 Plan is an excellent way to do so. Even better, is that thanks to the passage of tax reform legislation in 2017, 529 plans are now available to parents wishing to save for their child’s K-12 education as well as college or vocational school. You may open a Section 529 plan in any state, and there are no income restrictions for the individual opening the … Read More

Home Equity Loan Interest Still Deductible (Sometimes)

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, enacted December 22, 2017, suspends from 2018 until 2026 the deduction for interest paid on home equity loans and lines of credit, unless they are used to buy, build or substantially improve the taxpayer’s home that secures the loan. Under the new law, for example, interest on a home equity loan used to build an addition to an existing home is typically deductible, while interest on the same loan used to pay personal … Read More

5 Easy Ways to Lower your Self-Employment Tax Bill

Brian SingletonBlog

If you're like most small business owners, you're always looking for ways to lower your self-employment taxable income. Here are five ways to do just that. Deducting the Cost of a Home Computer If you purchased a computer and use it for work-related purposes, you can take advantage of the Section 179 expense election, which allows you to write off new equipment in the year it was purchased if it is used for business more than 50 percent of the ... Read More

Using a Car for Business: New Rules under TCJA

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Many of the tax provisions under tax reform were favorable to small business owners including those relating to using a car for business. Here’s what you need to know. 1. Section 179 Expense Deduction If you bought a new car in 2018 and use it more 50 percent for business use, you can take advantage of the Section 179 expense deduction when you file your 2018 tax return. Under Section 179 you can immediately deduct (rather than depreciating) the cost … Read More

Selling your Small Business

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Selling a small to medium-sized business is a complex venture, and many business owners are not aware of the tax consequences. If you’re thinking about selling your business the first step is to consult a competent tax professional. You will need to make sure your financials in order, obtain an accurate business valuation to determine how much your business is worth (and what the listing price might be) and develop a tax planning strategy to minimize capital gains and other … Read More