Top Tax Stories of 2015

by: Smith and Howard

January 26, 2016

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Many can agree that 2015 was a year a growth in more than one way. The real estate market has regained its stamina, tax developments made history and the Supreme Court made a few big decisions. It is safe the say that 2015 is a year that will go down in history, tax stories included. That said, here are three of the most significant tax stories of 2015.

Congress passes year-end tax legislation

Once again, Congress scrambled to authorize spending to keep the government running and to reauthorize a package of tax provisions before heading home for the holidays. Known as “tax extenders” in Washington, these provisions include roughly 50 tax reductions and tax breaks that expire every year, including powerful business incentives. However, instead of merely extending the measures another year, Congress made some provisions permanent, taking off the table some of the anxiety that has become a December tradition. Both the spending bill and tax extenders have passed and were promptly signed by President Obama.

 Supreme Court removes last major barrier to Obamacare

Back in June, the Supreme Court’s King V. Burwell decision approved the availability of Obamacare health insurance premium tax credits (subsidies) in states that do not run their own health insurance exchanges. The decision basically guaranteed that all the Obamacare tax increases will be with us through at least 2016. (*Courtesy of MarketWatch)

 Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage

While the Supreme Court’s ruling on same sex marriage was covered mostly because of its cultural implications it created new tax considerations for same-sex couples now pondering marriage.

As a result of the decision, members of same-sex couples who are legally married under the laws of any state are now considered married for both state and federal tax purposes, regardless of where they live. Therefore, members of married same-sex couples who were previously not allowed to file state returns as married individuals should evaluate whether it is advantageous to file amended state returns for previous tax years. Going forward, members of married same-sex couples will file state returns in the same fashion as any other married individual. (*Courtesy of MarketWatch)

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