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Tax extenders bill…we are waiting again…

December 16th, 2015 by Melissa Rager

The holiday season is a time of year for traditions, such as trimming a tree, caroling, visiting Zoo Lights, and of course, waiting for the Tax Extenders Bill to be passed! 2015 is no different, and with a slew of tax provisions that have expired with the 2014 tax year, we are once again at a standstill.

Here’s what you need to know about the more popular provisions that the bill would impact:

The more common individual tax extenders include items such as the tax deduction for mortgage insurance premiums, state and local general sales taxes in lieu of state and local income taxes, contributions of property made for conservation purposes, qualified tuition and related expenses, and tax-free distributions from individual retirement accounts that are used for charitable purposes. The bill would also extend the tax credit for residential energy efficiency improvements.

The more common business tax extenders include items such as the tax credit for research expenses, the work opportunity tax credit, various depreciation extenders including the additional 50% depreciation allowance (also known as bonus depreciation), increased expensing allowance for business assets, computer software, qualified real property (also known as Section 179 expensing), the 100% exclusion from gross income of gain from the sale of small business stock, and tax incentives for investments in empowerment zones.

Keep in mind, there are still things taxpayers can do now to plan for 2015. One tax planning item that many seek to increase in the last month of the year, is charitable giving. December is one of the most generous months for charitable organizations, and it comes with a benefit to the donor. Some things to keep in mind when donating this year are the following:

  1. The donation must be made to a qualified charitable organization.
  2. The donor must file Form 1040, and itemize their deductions on Schedule A.
  3. Donations of stock can be a good way to receive a deduction benefit, without having to sacrifice cash that you currently need.
  4. Keep adequate records of all donations, such as donor acknowledgement letters, receipts, and payroll deduction records.
  5. If you’re taking a deduction for noncash property that exceeds $500, Form 8283 must be completed with the return.
  6. If you’re taking a deduction for noncash property that exceeds $5,000, Form 8283 must be completed with the return and this generally requires a qualified appraiser’s appraisal along with the form.

For more information, please consult your tax advisors.

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