- 2015 PATH ACT – THE EXTENDERS
These tax breaks have repeatedly been temporarily extended for short periods of time (e.g., one or two years), which is why they are referred to as “extenders.” The renewal provisions of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 include:
- The Sales Tax deduction for residents of Florida – made permanent
- Tax Credits made permanent are: (1) the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which provides up to $2,500 in tax credits for post-secondary education, (2) eased rules for qualifying for the refundable child credit, and (3) various earned income tax credit (EITC) changes;
- The provision that permits tax-free distributions to charity from an individual retirement account (IRA) of up to $100,000 per taxpayer per tax year, by taxpayers age 70 1/2 or older – made permanent;
- The $250 above-the-line deduction for teachers and other school professionals for expenses paid or incurred for books, certain supplies, equipment, and supplementary material used by the educator in the classroom - made permanent;
- The exclusion of up to $2 million ($1 million if married filing separately) of discharged principal residence indebtedness from gross income - extended through 2016;
- The deduction for mortgage insurance premiums deductible as qualified residence interest - extended through 2016;
- The above-the-line deduction for qualified tuition and related expenses - extended through 2016; and
- The increased contribution limits and carryforward period for contributions of appreciated real property (including partial interests in real property) for conservation purposes is made permanent. The new law also extends the enhanced deduction for certain farmers and ranchers.
- PHONY IRS PHONE CALLS ON THE RISE
Some taxpayers are receiving phone calls from fraudsters posing as IRS agents and demanding immediate payment of taxes “owed.” They often alter the caller ID to make it seem as if the IRS is calling, and sometimes threaten the taxpayer with an arrest by local police if they refuse to pay immediately. They will ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone. The real IRS does not operate in this threatening manner, and will not call about taxes without sending the taxpayer a mailed bill first. Do not give any personal information or payment information over the phone, and contact LGL or the actual IRS regarding any concerns that you may actually owe taxes.
- Florida's Minimum Wage Increases
Starting January 1, 2015 the Florida state minimum wage will increase to $8.05 per hour, effective for the year 2015. Florida law requires the Agency for Workforce Innovation to calculate an adjusted minimum wage rate each year.
On November 2, 2004, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment which created Florida’s minimum wage. The minimum wage applies to all employees in the state who are covered by the federal minimum wage.
Employers must pay their employees the hourly state minimum wage for all hours worked in Florida. The definitions of "employer", "employee", and "wage" for state purposes are the same as those established under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employers of "tipped employees" who meet eligibility requirements for the tip credit under the FLSA, may count tips actually received as wages under the Florida minimum wage. However, the employer must pay "tipped employees" a direct wage. The direct wage is calculated as equal to the minimum wage ($8.05) minus the 2003 tip credit ($3.02), or a direct hourly wage of $5.03 as of 2015.
- Tax Facts to Know about the Affordable Care Act
The IRS has recently released a tax fact sheet that explains some of the key provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Individuals who do not maintain health care coverage throughout the year will be responsible for the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment unless they qualify for an exemption. There are several exemptions including a hardship exemption and an exemption for those that only have a gap in coverage of less than three months. In addition, individuals and families who get their coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace may be eligible for the premium tax credit. For more information on the Affordable Care Act and the premium tax credit, go to Irs.gov.
- Student Loan Interest Deductions
With the start of school approaching, many families are looking at taking out new student loans. The tax advantage of qualified student loans is the deduction for student loan interest. Generally, taxpayers may deduct the amount of interest actually paid on the loan up to a maximum of $2,500. This deduction is also beneficial because it is an adjustment to income that can be claimed even if the taxpayer does not itemize deductions. For questions about this deduction and its related requirements for deductibility, check out IRS.gov or give our office a call.
- Try Out the IRS Tax Withholding Calculator
Unsure of how much federal income tax to have your employee withhold from your paycheck? Try the IRS Withholding calculator to avoid having to much or too little federal income tax withheld from your pay. If you find you need to make changes to your current withholding amount, submit a new W-4 to your employer. Click here to access this IRS provided resource.
- QuickBooks 2011 Payroll Users Need Update Immediately
If you use QuickBooks for payroll preparation, QuickBooks will no longer support QuickBooks 2011 for payroll after May 31, 2014. You should upgrade to the current version as soon as possible! Keep in mind that we have a QuickBooks Professional Advisor on staff to assist you with any of your QuickBooks needs. Our clients also receive discounts of 20% to 30% off all QuickBooks software, forms, payroll services and merchant services, as well as free shipping directly to you.
- Lynch, Gregg & Lynch supports Dade City Rotary Club
The Lynch Gregg & Lynch team had a great time supporting the Dade City Rotary Club's annual fundraiser Rotary Bowl!
- GENERAL TAX FACTS
2013 – Single $6,100
$7,600 if 65 or older
$13,400 if one spouse is 65 or older
$14,600 if both are 65 or older
2013 – $3,900 per exemption claimed on return
MAX WAGES SUBJECT TO SOCIAL SECURITY TAX
2013 – $113,700
2014 – $117,000
MAX ALLOWABLE IRA CONTRIBUTION
2013 – $5,500
$6,500 if 50 or older
Lynch Gregg & Lynch PA
14144 6th Street
Dade City FL 33525