2014 Is Here. Is Anybody Happy?


A couple of years ago, writing about taxes was fun. There were deductions and exclusions, and the IRS was helpful and forgiving. No more Mr. Nice Guy. The recent investigation of the IRS by Congress seems to have swayed the IRS into punitive action. If they are getting called on the carpet for not following the exact wording of the law, then they will enforce the exact wording.

Taxpayers should therefore be aware that they need documentation like never before, and be very careful in tax preparation; do not expect compassion. For example, one of the recent court cases involved … Read the rest

The Subject is Taxing


Notes on Auto and Medical Expenses, and Foreign Income

The depreciation on new cars purchased in 2013 has been announced as:

Regular Cars

Minivan & SUVs under 6000 lbs.










2016 & thereafter



The 2013 mileage allowance for business use is 56.5 cents per mile in lieu of depreciation, insurance, gas, tires, licenses and all repairs, and those using it must never have taken actual expenses on that auto in prior years.The above includes a “bonus” depreciation of $8,000 in the first year which is not available for “pre-owned” cars. … Read the rest

IRS “Treats” You To Meals and Entertainment


Well, we all know that the IRS seldom gives us treats. As usual, it’s a treatment. They felt that certain expense items needed clarification with regard to who is responsible for picking up the tab on the 50 percent of meals and entertainment that is not deductible. But this rule, it seems to me, is equally applicable to autos and other expenses incurred by individuals who represent a company that is responsible for reimbursing them. The problem the IRS addressed pertains to an employee or independent representative who pays for a business meal or for entertainment. He or she then Read the rest

Review of New Medicare Tax Health Care Reform Act


One of the truly amazing things about the Health Reform Act is that new requirements will keep coming for about the next six years. Some are so onerous that we should all hope that they are changed before they are implemented. Companies with more than 50 employees should start now to become acquainted with some of the information filing requirements that will be implemented in 2014. We concern ourselves here with income tax laws already in effect for 2013.

The first concern is an excise tax of 2.3 percent on the sale of medical equipment to medical facilities or doctor’s … Read the rest

Health Care Law Tax Increases


The Supreme Court has now ruled that the increases in the Health Care Law are tax increases. As we approach 2013, and the beginning of the Health Care Law, we need to face the effects of the eye-opening changes in taxes generated by this law.

Let’s consider what some of those effects are:

•   In 2013, employers must start reporting the cost of each employee’s medical insurance on their W-2. Companies must gear up their record keeping.

•   In 2013, a new tax of 0.9% on earnings in excess of limits. The limits for all of the income tax … Read the rest

The Subject is Taxing


2012 and FORWARD 

We entered the New Year surely unsure of the future of taxation in the United States. All of the Bush tax benefits end on December 31, 2012 unless Congress acts. It seems that the last time Congress acted was for a variety show. Hopefully I underestimate them.

Of immediate interest is that certain things already have dropped out of the tax code unless Congress reinstates them postmortem. For the past several years individuals have had an opportunity to deduct sales taxes as an itemized deduction if it exceeded their state income tax payments (a certainty for states … Read the rest

The End (of 2011) is Near


We have been in a recession for years. For many years now the government has been trying to help businesses last. The Bush years and the first years of the Obama administration produced many helpful laws. But now the (Congressional) worms have turned. Some members of Congress seem to want to end it all (the tax breaks). Some want the tax breaks to continue. Some don’t seem to know what they want. Their ability to act seems hopeless. But what we have before us are sunsets. Not the pretty kind. When these helpful laws were passed, they all had time … Read the rest

Review of 2011 Recent Developments


The IRS has recently announced that the mileage rate for automobiles has been increased from 51 cents per mile to 55.5 cents per mile for the six months that began July 1, 2011, and ends December 31, 2011.  This rule applies to those taxpayers who use the business mileage allowance instead of the actual costs of operating a business auto.  These costs include depreciation, gasoline, insurance and all repairs and maintenance.  The only allowed additional costs to mileage are tolls and parking.  The increase seems reasonable.  Assuming that gas has increased in price about 60 cents per gallon, if … Read the rest

The Subject is Taxing


By now everyone has to be familiar with the new tax law passed in December 2010. For the most part, the tax law of 2010 was brought forward through 2011 and 2012. This article covers some things that may be less familiar.

We’ll start with the auto mileage rate for people not keeping track of actual auto expenses but who do keep track of business mileage. The rate for 2011 is 51 cents per business mile. It’s up one cent from 2010. This will be unwelcome news to most of us who have seen gas zoom up the last

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The Subject Is Taxing


This article is reprinted from the December 2010 issue of the IHRA REPorter.

The following are highlights of the tax implication of the newly passed Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.

Items Decreasing Tax

Business Loans — The government will loan money for five years to small banks (those with assets under $10 billion) to loan to small businesses. The banks will have to pay interest. Unlike when the Bush administration sent out money without strings attached, the rules require banks to report to a newly created loaning agency both the amount and the number of small business loans that

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