Marc Azar Provides Insights on Uncertainty Regarding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
Jul 11,2018
In a recent collaboration with Accounting Today, Smith & Howard Tax Partner, Marc Azar, discussed how CPAs are planning around the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018. “We’re having conversations with all our clients as to the effects of tax reform on their 2018 taxes. It’s enough to get their 2017 taxes done, let alone figure out the implications of the TCJA on their 2018 taxes,” said Azar. To read Marc’s article, Two Tax Seasons at Once, click here.
2018 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act Overview
Mar 27,2018
On December 22, 2017, the most sweeping tax legislation since the Tax Reform Act of 1986 was signed into law. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) makes small reductions to income tax rates for most individual tax brackets and significantly reduces the income tax rate for corporations. It also provides a large new tax deduction for owners of pass-through entities and significantly increases individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) and estate tax exemptions. And it makes major changes related to the taxation of foreign income. It’s not all good news for taxpayers, however. The TCJA also eliminates or limits many tax breaks, and much of the tax relief is only temporary. Here is an overview of some of the key changes affecting individual and business taxpayers. INDIVIDUALS The TCJA includes significant changes for individual taxpayers, most of which take effect for 2018 and expire after 2025. Here are...
Programmatic Marketing Software and R&D Tax Credits
Mar 07,2017
The Future of Digital MarketingThe programmatic marketing software industry is evolving and expanding at record rates, disrupting traditional marketing by putting unprecedented amounts of consumer information to use and enabling advertisers to place a higher value on behavior and demographics than previously feasible. According to research from eMarketer, U.S. programmatic digital display ad spending will reach $22.1 billion by the end of this year, up nearly 40 percent over 2015 and representing two‑thirds of total digital display ad spending in the United States. And Gartner predicts CMOs will spend more on technology than CIOs by 2017.“Programmatic marketing” software uses advanced technology to disrupt the traditional media planning and buying model, automating bidding on audience-targeted digital ad space. Google and Facebook have historically been the largest players in the automated marketing tech space, but the ecosystem is expanding to include media and data providers, in addition to traditional advertising agencies.Funding Marketing...
What’s Your Charitable Donation Deduction?
Jan 28,2017
Giving to charity can provide not only large tax deductions, but also the satisfaction of doing good. On top of that, it’s one of the most flexible tax planning tools because you can control the timing to best meet your needs. Before you donate, it’s critical to make sure the charity you’re considering is indeed a qualified charity and is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. The IRS’s online search tool, Exempt Organizations Select Check, can help you more easily find out whether an organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. Information about organizations eligible to receive deductible contributions is updated monthly. The following chart provides a quick synopsis of allowable deductions. Note: Your annual charitable donation deductions may be reduced if they exceed certain limits based on your adjusted gross income (AGI), the type of donation and the type of charity receiving the donation. If you receive some benefit...
What You Should Know About the Alternative Minimum Tax
Oct 20,2016
When it comes to paying taxes most people want to understand the basics: how much will they owe and when are taxes due. The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) —not so much.Many people haven’t heard of the AMT, and those who have probably wish they hadn’t, but if you truly want to get your arms around tax issues that may affect you, you should read on. The information we’re sharing here can help you solve the byzantine conundrum that is AMT, and can help you plan for it as we approach 2017.Let’s first review some AMT basics.What is the AMT?The AMT is a tax system that was enacted by Congress back in 1969 to keep a small percentage of very wealthy taxpayers from using tax loopholes to avoid paying any tax at all.Congress devised a plan to calculate a person’s tax two different ways—once using the traditional tax system, and once...
Be Aware of Significant Tax Filing Deadline Changes for 2017
Oct 20,2016
Change is in the air when it comes to tax filing deadlines for the 2016 reporting year. Most of the changes were included in the Surface Transportation Act of 2015, which included 2016 effective dates. Some deadlines are being significantly compressed while other entities will have an additional 30 days to file. Additionally, some filers will have a more generous extension. The following chart provides important information about the changes and effective dates. Please note: There are no changes for S corporations and Individual Form 1040s. As always, it is important for you to consult with your tax advisor on which rules and deadlines apply to your situation. If you have any questions, please contact Smith & Howard’s tax department at 404.874.6244 or simply fill out the form below.
Year-End Tax Planning for Contractors: Take Advantage of These Depreciation-Related Tax Breaks
Sep 21,2016
With a few months left to go in 2016, it’s a good time for contractors to consider their tax situations for the year and to take steps that may help reduce their prospective tax liability. Notably, the passage of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 extended or made permanent a number of breaks with the potential to provide significant savings.Several provisions of the PATH Act pertain to depreciation-related tax breaks. You probably read about these every year. The good news is that, thanks to the legislation, they’re still going strong.Section 179 expensingSection 179 of the Internal Revenue Code allows businesses to “expense” the cost of certain tangible property acquired and put into service during the tax year. This means that you can deduct the cost immediately, instead of through depreciation deductions over time.The amount that can be deducted is subject to certain limits: Right now, a...
IRS Strengthens Authentication Process for its “Get Transcript” Online Service
Jul 21,2016
With the goal of increasing protection for taxpayers, the IRS in June launched a more rigorous version of its re-authentication process - Get Transcript - that will make it harder for identity thieves to impersonate taxpayers and access tax return information.  The relaunched program addresses cybersecurity threats via a new, more secure access framework that enables the IRS to require a two-step authentication process for all online tools.According to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated and continue to access vast amounts of personal information through data breaches.“In the face of that threat, we must provide the strongest possible authentication processes, while trying to enhance the ability of taxpayers to legitimately access their data and use IRS services online,” said Koskinen. “We recognize that enhanced security will increase the challenge for taxpayers accessing our online services.”To access the new Get Transcript online feature, taxpayers must have an email...
Active Trustees Can Eliminate Net Investment Income Tax
May 13,2016
What to Look ForWhen the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law, it contained a new net investment income tax (NIIT), with a 3.8% tax applicable to all unearned income for individuals with an income greater than $200,000 and couples with an income greater than $250,000. Among the types of passive income subject to the NIIT is any income from a flow-through entity where the owner is not active in that business. If you are a business owner that has transferred some ownership of your business to a trust for estate planning purposes, your active participation won’t carry over to the trust to allow it to avoid the NIIT.  The OpportunitySince flow-through income from an active business is exempt from the NIIT, the distinction between passive and “non-passive” income is important for taxpayers trying to reduce their tax exposure. When a business owner moves company ownership into an irrevocable...
Sales Tax Refund Opportunities for Manufacturers
Apr 28,2016
Manufacturing Exemptions – Items Used and Consumed in ManufacturingMost manufacturers understand that they are exempt from paying sales tax on items that become incorporated into the product that is eventually sold to a customer. However, what about the sales tax paid on the purchase of machinery and equipment that is used within a facility – directly or indirectly on a product for resale – and necessary to their manufacturing process? Changes to sales tax exemptions over the past several years have left some murky interpretations and guidance as to exactly what activities and materials are exempt in the manufacturing process.Sales tax refund opportunities for manufacturers are one of the best ways for both small and large businesses to reduce up-front costs on business purchases and maintain a healthy product inventory. Many types of machinery and equipment are exempt from both state and local sales taxes. Together, the exemptions can amount...

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