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.┬áBusiness 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

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

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

Traditional IRAs vs. Roth IRAs in 2017

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Withdrawals from Roth IRAs may be taken out penalty and tax-free before age 59 1/2 as long as they are contributions (not earnings). Withdrawals that are earnings are subject to the same 10 percent penalty tax as traditional IRAs. There is an exception for qualified first-time home-buyers: A maximum of $10,000 of Roth IRA earnings may be withdrawn penalty-free to pay for qualified first-time home-buyer expenses as long as at least five tax years have passed since your initial contribution.Withdrawals … Read More

2016 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 2016. Here are a few of them: Deferring Income Businesses using the cash method of accounting can defer income into 2017 by delaying end-of-year invoices so payment is not received until 2017. Businesses using the accrual method can defer income by postponing delivery of goods or services until January 2017. Purchase New Business Equipment Section 179 Expensing. Business should … Read More

2016 Year-End Tax Planning for Individuals

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Tax planning strategies for individuals this year include postponing income and accelerating deductions, as well as careful consideration of timing related investments, charitable gifts, and retirement planning. General tax planning strategies that taxpayers might consider include the following: Sell any investments on which you have a gain or loss this year. For more on this, see Investment Gains and Losses, below. If you anticipate an increase in taxable income in 2016 and are expecting a bonus at year-end, try to … Read More

Choosing the Right Business Entity

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

When you decide to start a business, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is choosing the right business entity. It’s a decision that impacts many things–from the amount of taxes you pay to how much paperwork you have to deal with and what type of personal liability you face. Forms of Business The most common forms of business are Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), and Corporations (C-Corporations). Federal tax law also recognizes another business … Read More