Tax-Tips

Income Tax Organizer

2016 Organizer Our tax organizers are a useful tool for gathering and documenting tax preparation records. Please keep in mind the organizers are designed to address most taxpayers needs but may not incorporate a unique requirement or recent revenue code modification.

 

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.
Benjamin Franklin

Tax Tips

  1. Congress enhanced “dotcom” AMT tax credit relief.  Relief continues for taxpayers saddled with unrecovered AMT tax credits leftover from the dotcom boom-bust. Legislation authorizes taxpayers to collect refunds up to 100% of their incentive stock option (ISO) related alternative minimum tax credits.  The maximum annual refund equals 50% of qualifying credits subject to certain requirements.  Congress also made this credit available to all income levels.  Previously, taxpayers were disqualified if their incomes exceeded prescribed thresholds.
  2. Capital gain exemption on the sale of principal residence reduced for non-qualified use.  An individual taxpayer may exclude up to $250,000 ($500,000 if married filing a joint return) of gain realized on the sale or exchange of a principal residence.  To be eligible for the exclusion, the taxpayer must have owned and used the residence as a principal residence for at least two of the five years ending on the date of the sale or exchange.  Under legislation passed in July, 2008, gains from the sale or exchange of a principal residence allocated to periods of non-qualified use will no longer be tax exempt.  Non-qualified use means any period (not including any period before January 1, 2009) during which the property is not used by the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s spouse or former spouse as a principal residence.  For purposes of determining periods of nonqualified use, (i) any period after the last date the property is used as the principal residence of the taxpayer or spouse (regardless of use during that period), and (ii) any period (not to exceed two years) that the taxpayer is temporarily absent by reason of a change in place of employment, health, or, to the extent provided in regulations, unforeseen circumstances, are not taken into account.
  3. Maximum Contributions to Retirement Plans for 2015
    1. IRAs (regular and Roth) $5,500, age 50+ $6,500.
    2. 401(k) and 403(b) accounts: $18,000, age 50+ $23,000.
    3. SIMPLE IRAs $12,500, age 50+ $15,500.
    4. SEP-IRA and Solo-401k $53,000.
  4. Deductible IRA/ROTH IRA contributions (2015): The income limits for contributing to a Roth IRA will increase by $2,000 in 2015 to between $116,000 and $131,000 for individuals and $183,000 to $193,000 for married couples.
  5. If you are required to make estimated tax payments to California you must “front load” your quarterly payments.  The first and second quarter payments represent 70% of your obligation; no payment is required for the third quarter.  Remaining 30% is due with the fourth quarter payment.
  6. College tuition tax credits enhanced.  The first four years of college or vocational school tuition and materials qualify for federal income tax credits up to a maximum of $4,000 per year.  Forty percent of the credit qualifies for a tax refund even if the taxpayer has a zero tax liability.  To claim the full credit, your adjusted gross income must be $80,000 or less ($160,000 or less for married filing jointly).  If your AGI is over $80,000 but less than $90,000 (over $160,000 but less than $180,000 for married filing jointly), you receive a reduced amount of the credit. If your AGI is over $90,000 ($180,000 for joint filers), you cannot claim the credit.