Small Business Stock Gain Exclusion Receives 2014 Extension

It’s not like the government to bring everyone some well-needed Christmas cheer, but the new tax bill that lawmakers were finally able to pass brought some good news for many investors before the year ends. It’s unfortunate that it took the entire year to get it done, but at least the tax provisions that did get extended will be good for the entire tax year of 2014.

One important extension affected the small business stock gain exclusion. The new act signed this last week extended the 100% exclusion for small business stock acquired in 2014. That means if the individual shareholder holds the qualified small business stock for five years, they can exclude up to the first $10 million of capital gain for Federal purposes, instead of having to hold it for 10 years before doing so. The exclusion even applies for both regular tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax (ATM).

It’s important to note that for now this extension is only good for the year 2014 and does not apply to next year’s taxes, however, Congress could vote to extend it again next year, as well. If you would like to learn about the Sec. 1202 Small Business Stock Gain, and how it works, then just click here for a detailed explanation. And feel free to contact us at GROCO with any of your tax questions by clicking here.

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Deutsche Being Bank Accused of Tax Fraud By Federal Prosecutors

The U.S. has been increasingly going after foreign financial institutions that try to skimp on taxes. The latest move from the IRS is an aggressive lawsuit against Deutsche Bank, which the federal tax agency claims owes the U.S. somewhere in the neighborhood of $190 million in overdue taxes, penalties and interest.

 However, if you ask Deutsche Bank, they settled this dispute five years ago. According to reports, the large German bank claims that it reached a settlement with the IRS back in 2009 and it is not sure why the U.S. is coming after again regarding the same taxes.

 The issue revolves around a deal that began back in 200 when Deutsche Bank acquired a company that owned three million shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb. When those shares jumped in value, the U.S. claims that Deutsch Bank skipped out on tens of millions of dollars in taxes from capital gains, when the bank eventually sold the shares.

 According to the lawsuit the U.S. claims that the bank set up several so-called “shell companies” in order to absorb the tax blow from the profits made when they sold the shares. The IRS claims, however, that those shell companies did not have enough money to pay the taxes the federal government was owed. The lead prosecutor in the case claims that Deutsche Bank was involved in “nothing more than a shell game.”

 

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Like it or Not, Now Is the Time to Think About Taxes

There are still several days before we officially celebrate Christmas, which means people still have plenty to do, including finding those important last-minute gifts. However, if you are done with your shopping, maybe you can put Christmas aside for a moment and focus on taxes. Taxes are probably the last thing you want to think about right now, but if you wait too long the chance to save some money could melt away as fast as spring snow.

Even though you don’t have to turn your taxes in until April, the choices you make now can make a huge difference. With so many tax considerations still up in the air, along with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there are lots of things to think about, and plan for.

For starters, you can get a better idea of how the ACA will affect you by using the Tax Policy Center ACA Calculator found here. This will give you a better idea of how the ACA and all its intricacies will affect your 2014 tax return. Another possible trouble spot for taxpayers is the continued uncertainty in Washington regarding several tax breaks that expired at the end of last year. Stay tuned.

Of course, there are some measures you can take no matter what lawmakers decide to do. For example, when you have stocks that do well it can help to sell other less-successful stocks. Doing so can help offset your capital gains. Another way to save is to contribute as much as possible to you retirement account. Using up flexible spending accounts before the year is over is also usually a smart move, as is making charitable donations. All of these steps can make for a happier tax return.

If you would like other tax saving tips to help you plan for your return, then contact us online today at GROCO, or call us at 1-877-CPA-2006.

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Thinking About Loaning Cash to Your Business?

Are you looking to start a business, or is your current business in need of some cash? Maybe you can’t get a loan from a bank, or maybe you would rather not use a bank. What about lending some of your own money to your company? Can you do that? Yes, you can, but you’ll need to make sure you do it right.

The first thing to be aware of is the need to document your transaction properly. If you decide to loan your business cash in order to purchase more inventory but your company defaults on the loan then you might be able to write the loan off as a business bad debt instead of a loss from an investment.

A business bad debt is helpful because it can help offset other ordinary income like interest and dividend, and W-2 income. It can also serve to create a net operating loss on your individual return in the event that your income is not high enough to offset your business loss.

There are many other aspects of lending money to your corporation and important steps you should take in order to do it right. You can learn more about the process of lending money to your corporation by clicking here. If you would like to speak with us personally then give us a call at 1-877-CPA-2006 or click here to contact us.

 

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Business in New York Being Buried by Heavy Tax Load

New York, New York: It’s the town so nice they named it twice. But when it comes to taxes in one of the world’s greatest states, things aren’t so nice. That’s because New York is one of the worst places to live if you don’t want to pay a lot of taxes.

 New York has some of the highest tax rates on income, whether it’s personal or business, in the country. The high taxes don’t stop there, either. New York also has some of the highest property taxes, as well. In fact, according to the Tax Foundation New York has the nation’s highest tax burden and the second highest all-in top tax income.

The bad news doesn’t stop there for New Yorkers, as the state is also has the highest local and state corporate tax rate in the country, as well as the country’s seventh highest property tax figure. New York also has the fifth highest workers’ compensation cost and to top it all off New York even gets you in the afterlife with its death tax.

The effects of these taxes are notable. Thanks to its never-ending tax burden, New York has lost more money in income from people and businesses moving out of the state than any other state in America. The numbers are staggering. Between 1993 and 2010, New York lost more than $67 billion in yearly income to other states, along with more than a million taxpayers over that same time period.

The bottom line, if you live, work or own a business in New York, then you won’t be getting any favors at tax time.

 

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Is Corporate America Getting Away With Too Little Tax?

It’s an argument that’s all too common in the business world: big multi-national companies don’t pay their fair share of taxes. A new study will only serve to add more fuel to the fire, as according to its findings, seven of the 30 biggest companies in the United States reportedly paid more to their CEOs in 2013 than they did in taxes.

The Companies

The seven companies who showed up on the list included Ford, Verizon, Boeing, General Motors, Citigroup, Chevron and JPMorgan Chase & Co. According to the study, which was conducted by the Institute for Policy Studies and the Center for Effective Government, the average CEO salary for each of these seven companies was $17.3 million.

 

The Other Side of the Story

However, not all of these companies agree with the numbers. For its part Verizon refutes the claim that it paid more to its CEO than it did in income taxes. The company issued a statement claiming that its total income tax bill in 2013 was $422 million. The company did not disclose a breakdown between state and federal amounts, but it did state that its CEO made much less than what it paid in federal income tax.

 

More Debate

All of the companies, except JPMorgan Chase, have had some kind of response to the study, and each of the companies have stressed that they abide by all tax laws and regulations, both here and abroad.

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Looking to Grow Your Firm? Consider GROCO

There are hundreds of tax and accounting firms all over the country, including right here in the Bay Area. These firms come in all levels of size and expertise. At GROCO, we are always looking to grow our business and we know that many, if not all, companies are looking to do the same.

If you are looking to merge or sale your company, we invite you to consider GROCO as a partner. An ideal merger candidate for our company is a firm that has one to three partners, along with a small staff already in place. This firm should be primarily focused on tax work for very wealthy individuals, but it should also have at least one other area of expertise, including audit services, estate planning, business valuations or forensic accounting.

GROCO has a lot to offer existing tax and accounting firms, including those who may be looking to retire. We are one of the fastest growing companies in the region and we continue to earn many awards and recognitions for our quality and professional work.

 If you would like to learn more about our company and what we stand for, then please visit our About Us page, or continue to research our website to see what drives us. You can also click here to learn more about the possibility of merging with us and you click here to contact us.

 

 

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So-Called Temporary Recession Tax Not So Temporary

Remember the great recession of 2009? Although the recession may now be a thing of the past, some so-called “temporary” taxes are having a harder time fading into the background. That’s because many states throughout the country are still collecting on tax bills that were enacted solely for the purpose of refilling public reserves.

Fourteen states and the District of Columbia imposed 25 new measures during the recession years of 2008 – 2011. So what’s the status of those measures now that the recession is over? Good question. Nine of them have expired on schedule, while three more have yet to reach their termination date.

So what about the other 13? They have all been extended, replaced or in some cases they’ve even been made permanent. For example, in Connecticut, a 10 percent “temporary” corporate income surtax has been renewed twice and has also jumped up to 20 percent. In Kansas, lawmakers imposed a sales and excise tax from 5.7 percent to 6.3 percent then lowered the tax to 6.15 percent, but also made it permanent.

In New York, the state took direct aim at one income group by imposing a tax hike on the rich. They upped the ante even more by imposing a second “temporary” hike on the even richer. That increase is set to expire in 2017 and will impose an 8.82 percent top rate on anyone with income more than $2 million.

The bottom line is if you live in a state that increased taxes for some “temporary” help with the recession, then don’t hold your breath if you’re expecting those measures to disappear anytime soon.

 

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Which Tax Extensions Will Affect Your 2014 Return?

Are You Ready for Your 2014 Taxes? Although many people might answer yes to that question, the fact is taxpayers can only do so much as long as Congress is dragging its feet on several expired tax extenders. The fact that these extenders are still sitting in limbo is nothing new. It happens almost every year, but time is running out to vote on them, which can be frustrating for taxpayers.

Congress extended several laws from 2013 into 2014, which was helpful to a lot of people. Now those same lawmakers need to decide which laws will stay and which laws will go. According to the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act Committee Report several tax provisions are under review for extension. They include:

  • Tax-free distributions for charitable purposes from an individual retirement plan
  • Mortgage debt forgiveness
  • Deduction for state and local general sales taxes
  • Mortgage interest premiums deduction
  • Credit for energy efficient improvements of existing home
  • Deduction for higher education expenses
  • Expense deductions for elementary and secondary school teachers

How Congress decides to vote on these important deductions and credits could have a big impact on many taxpayers’ returns. Meantime, the fact that these are still in limbo makes it difficult to plan for the rest of the year. However, at GROCO we can help you get ready for the tax season no matter what. Just give us a call at 1-877-CPA-2006 or click here to contact us online.

 

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NBA Stars Losing Hefty Amounts of Their Salary to the Taxman

Just about everyone knows that professional athletes make a ton of money. Whether you agree with athlete salaries or not, the fact is those hefty numbers you always see reported when an athlete signs a new deal aren’t really all that they’re cut out to be. Oh sure, they are making a lot of money, but they are also paying quite a large tax bill. In some cases, that bill can put a huge dent in their actual earnings.

According to a new report, when determining whom the highest paid NBA player is, it depends on which numbers you use. Kobe Bryant earns more than any other NBA player, coming in with a salary of $23 million this year. However, if you look at his tax bill, which is estimated at $11.4 million, then his actual take home pay is only $12.1 million. That means he is paying close to half of his salary to the taxman.

Several factors played a role in determining these tax numbers, including where a player lives, and where he plays both his home and road games. Road games play a big role in the equation because some cities enforce the so-called “jock-tax” on individuals who come to the area to work. Pro athletes schedules are easy to track, so these cities can easily implement this tax.

There’s no question that NBA players are well compensated for their services, but remember, most players are giving a huge percentage of their income back in taxes, thus reducing how much they actually take home by a large portion. Of course, these tax numbers are an estimate and there are certain measures these players can take to help reduce their tax bill. So they might be able to take more home than estimated.

Likewise, if you need help finding the all of the best ways to save on your tax bill, then contact. GROCO today.

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