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Movies on the Beach

The second annual Movies on the Beach at Pere Marquette Park in Muskegon begins on June 28. Pre-movie music by The Other Brothers will begin at 8:00pm, and the movie, “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark”, will being at 9:30pm. The event is free; however, donations will be accepted for the rescue mission. If you have not come in the past, it is a fun community event for the whole family. For more information on Movies on the Beach, check out their Facebook page Movies On the Beach

We hope to see you there!

MOTB June poster

Reminder of 4 major health care issues that hit consumer wallets in 2013

Below are the common health care issues that have hit consumer wallets in 2013 and will also carry over as health care issues well into 2014.

  1. Individual taxpayers are allowed to deduct medical expenses on their IRS Form 1040 to the extent the costs exceed 10% of their adjusted gross income (up from 7.5% in previous years).
  2. Flexible Spending Accounts face a new federally imposed $2,500 annual cap effective for 2013.
  3. Additional Medicare tax for high-income employees began in 2013.  The Medicare tax rate will be increased by .9% on an individual earning over $200,000 and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly.
  4. New Medicare surtax on unearned income also began in 2013.  A 3.8% surtax called the Unearned Income Medicare Contribution will be imposed on the net investment income of individuals, estates or trusts.  The surtax is on the lesser of net investment income or adjusted gross income of an individual earning over $200,000 and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly.

 

Net investment income includes interest, dividends, royalties, rents, gross income from a trade or business involving passive activities and net gain from disposition of property (other than held in a trade or business).

 

Affordable Care Act Features & Changes By Year

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act. The law puts in place comprehensive health insurance reforms that will roll out over four years and beyond. The Affordable Care Act was put into place to ensure any and all residents of the United States qualify and receive medical health insurance.  The Affordable Care Act has had some changes so please see the link below for an interactive timeline of changes from 2010-2014.

http://www.healthcare.gov/law/timeline/index.html

 

“Where’s My Refund” Tool Sluggish Due to High Traffic Volume

“Due to the heavy volume of refund inquiries, the IRS anticipates both “Where’s My Refund” on IRS.gov and the refund feature on the IRS2go phone app will have limited availability during busier periods. IRS systems are only updated once a day, usually overnight, and the same information is available whether on the Internet, IRS2go smart phone app or on IRS toll-free lines.”

http://leadersedge.michcpa.org/enews/issue662.htm

IRS Plans Jan. 30 Tax Season Opening For 1040 Filers

WASHINGTON — Following the January tax law changes made by Congress under the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA), the Internal Revenue Service announced today it plans to open the 2013 filing season and begin processing individual income tax returns on Jan. 30.

The announcement means that the vast majority of tax filers — more than 120 million households — should be able to start filing tax returns starting Jan 30.

The IRS estimates that remaining households will be able to start filing in late February or into March because of the need for more extensive form and processing systems changes.

The opening of the filing season follows passage by Congress of an extensive set of tax changes in ATRA on Jan. 1, 2013, with many affecting tax returns for 2012.

The IRS originally planned to open electronic filing on Jan. 22, 2013.

Who Can File Starting Jan. 30?

The IRS anticipates that the vast majority of all taxpayers can file starting Jan. 30, regardless of whether they file electronically or on paper. The IRS will be able to accept tax returns affected by the late Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) patch as well as the three major “extender” provisions for people claiming the state and local sales tax deduction, higher education tuition and fees deduction and educator expenses deduction.

Who Can’t File Until Later?

The key forms that require more extensive programming changes include Form 5695 (Residential Energy Credits), Form 4562 (Depreciation and Amortization) and Form 3800 (General Business Credit). A full listing of the forms that won’t be accepted until later is available on IRS.gov.

Source: qtd. from IR-2013-2, January 8, 2013

Congress Approves Eleventh-Hour Agreement To Avert Fiscal Cliff

“The tax side of the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ has been averted. The U.S. senate overwhelmingly passed legislation to avert the so-called fiscal cliff on January 1, 2013 by a vote of 89 to 8, sending the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 to the House, where it was similarly approved on January 1, 2013 by a vote of 257 to 167.” (CCH, 2013)

Read more by clicking the link below:

Congress Approves Eleventh-Hour Agreement To Avert Fiscal Cliff

 

Disaster Relief Funds Now Available For Affected Michigan Fruit Producers

The Michigan Legislature recently appropriated funds to support the previously passed Agricultural Disaster Loan Origination Program of 2012. GreenStone Farm Credit Services will begin processing applications filed under this program immediately. There are now disaster relief funds available for the affected Michigan fruit growers.  Please click the link below to read more about what we are and can do for the Michigan fruit growers.

http://www.greenstonefcs.com/newsandmedia/companynews/Pages/Disaster-Relief-Funds-Now-Available-for-Affected-Michigan-Fruit-Producers.aspx

Year-End Tax Planning

Year-end planning is a bigger challenge this year than in past years because, unless Congress acts, tax rates will go up next year, many more individuals will be snared by the alternative minimum tax (AMT), and various deductions and other tax breaks will be unavailable. To be more specific, as a result of expiring Bush-era tax cuts, individuals will face higher tax rates next year on their income, including capital gains and dividends, and estate tax rates will be higher as well. The AMT problem arises because, for 2012, AMT exemptions have dropped and fewer personal credits can be used to offset the AMT. Additionally, a number of tax provisions expired at the end of 2011 or will expire at the end of 2012. Rules that expired at the end of 2011 include, for example, the research credit for businesses, the election to take an itemized deduction for State and local general sales taxes instead of the itemized deduction permitted for State and local income taxes, and the above-the-line deduction for qualified tuition expenses. Rules that will expire at the end of this year include generous bonus depreciation allowances and expensing allowances for business, and expanded tax credits for higher education costs.

These adverse tax consequences are by no means a certainty. Congress could extend the Bush-era tax cuts for some or all taxpayers, retroactively “patch” the AMT for 2012 to increase exemptions and availability of credits, revive some favorable tax rules that have expired, and extend those that are slated to expire at the end of this year. Which actions Congress will take remains to seen and may well depend on the outcome of the elections. While these uncertainties make year-end tax planning more challenging than in prior years, they should not be an excuse for inaction. Indeed, the prospect of higher taxes next year makes it even more important to engage in year-end planning this year. To that end, we have compiled a checklist of actions (see below) that can help you save tax dollars if you act before year-end. Many of these moves may benefit you regardless of what Congress does on the major tax questions of the day. Not all actions will apply in your particular situation, but you will likely benefit from many of them.

We can narrow down the specific actions that you can take once we meet with you to tailor a particular plan. In the meantime, please review the following list and contact us at 231-726-5800 at your earliest convenience so that we can advise you on which tax-saving moves to make. We also should schedule a follow-up for later this year to see whether the November election results will require changes to year-end planning strategies.

Year End Tax Planning for Individuals

Year End Moves for Business Owners

Other Year End Tax Planning Sources

2013 Tax Changes Require Thorough Year-end Tax Planning

Now Is the Time: Converting a C Corporation to an S Corporation or LLC

Current Developments in S Corporations

Recent Developments in Estate Planning: Part I

Recent Developments in Estate Planning: Part II