Posts Tagged "Education"

SAY GOODBYE TO THE COLLEGE TUITION DEDUCTION

Posted on Aug 30, 2017

It’s hard enough to watch your child leave for college. Now you also have to say goodbye to the tuition and fees tax deduction. Congress decided not to extend this $4,000 deduction for 2017, leaving many parents worried that college will now be more expensive. But it isn’t as bad as it sounds. That’s because Congress left in place two popular education credits that may offer a more valuable tax break: The AOTC. The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) is a credit of up to $2,500 per student per year for qualified undergraduate tuition, fees and course materials. The deduction phases out at higher income levels, and is eliminated altogether for married couples with a modified adjusted gross income of $180,000 ($90,000 for singles). Lifetime Learning Credit. The Lifetime Learning Credit provides an annual credit of 20 percent on the first $10,000 of tuition and fees, for either undergraduate or graduate level classes. There is no lifetime limit on the credit, but only couples making less than $130,000 per year (or singles making $65,000) qualify. Unlike the AOTC, this deduction is per tax return, not per student. But there’s still hope! In addition to the two alternative education credits, there are many other tax benefits that help reduce the cost of education. There are breaks for employer-provided tuition assistance, deductions for student loan interest, tax-beneficial college savings options, and many other tax-planning alternatives. Please call if you’d like an overview of the alternatives available to you. So who is affected by the loss of the tuition and fees deduction? If you are paying for your student’s graduate-level courses and are making too much to qualify for the Lifetime Learning Credit, the tuition and fees deduction is generally the only means you have to reduce your tax bill. Gilliland & Associates, PC is a full-service CPA firm specializing in tax planning for individuals and businesses in the Northern Virginia area. We are based in Falls Church, VA and also service clients in McLean and Tysons Corner, VA. Gilliland & Associates is known for our superior knowledge and aggressive interpretation and application of tax laws. We help you keep more of your earnings by finding you the lowest possible tax on your business or personal tax return. You can connect with us on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and...

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MEDICAL ACCESS DENIAL – WHAT EVERY COLLEGE STUDENT’S PARENTS SHOULD KNOW

Posted on Aug 9, 2017

Imagine your college-aged daughter has an accident while away at school and ends up in the emergency room. When you call the hospital, you are denied information about her care because you do not have the proper forms signed. HIPAA not so hip Due to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), you no longer have legal access to your child’s health information after they reach age 18. This is the case even if they are still your dependent and their health insurance coverage is in your name. You would not have access to your child’s billing records nor would you be able to consult with medical professionals regarding your child’s health. To avoid this administrative nightmare, make sure you take these steps. Health insurance coverage. Before your child leaves for school, make sure your health insurance will cover your child at his or her new campus home. You may need to inform your insurance company, especially if your child is going out of state for school. Signed HIPAA authorization. Have your son or daughter sign a HIPAA authorization form allowing you access to their medical information. Medical power of attorney. Create a multipurpose medical power of attorney authorization. The medical power of attorney will not only give you authorization to help make medical decisions, it can also include an advance directive or living will. Each state has different requirements so you will need to ensure the correct forms are used. Durable power of attorney. This added legal step authorizes a parent or other agent to make decisions on the student’s behalf. It can be helpful if your student plans on studying abroad or if you will want access to the student’s accounts for possible billing information. Scan two copies of these documents — one for you and one for your child — and keep them in a secure place along with a copy of your student’s insurance card. Gilliland & Associates, PC is a full-service CPA firm specializing in tax planning for individuals and businesses in the Northern Virginia area. We are based in Falls Church, VA and also service clients in McLean and Tysons Corner, VA. Gilliland & Associates is known for our superior knowledge and aggressive interpretation and application of tax laws. We help you keep more of your earnings by finding you the lowest possible tax on your business or personal tax return. You can connect with us on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and...

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Could the Coverdell ESA be the right fund for you?

Posted on Apr 25, 2017

You’re probably familiar with 529 college savings plans. Named for Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, they’re also known as qualified tuition programs, and they offer tax benefits when you save for college expenses. But are you aware of a lesser-known cousin, established under Section 530 of the code? It’s called a Coverdell Education Savings Account and it’s been available since 1998. The general idea of Coverdell accounts is similar to 529 plans – to provide tax incentives to encourage you to set money aside for education. However, one big difference between the two is this: Amounts you contribute to a Coverdell can be used to pay for educational costs from kindergarten through college. Generally, you can establish a Coverdell for a child under the age of 18 – yours or someone else’s. Once the Coverdell is set up, you can make contributions of as much as $2,000 each year. That contribution limit begins to phase out when your income reaches $190,000 for joint filers and $95,000 for single filers. Anyone, including trusts and corporations, can contribute to the account until the child turns 18. There are no age restrictions when the Coverdell is established for someone with special needs. While your contribution is not tax-deductible, earnings within the account are tax-free as long as you use them for educational expenses or qualify for an exception. In addition, you can make a tax-free transfer of the account balance to another eligible beneficiary. Qualified distributions from a Coverdell are tax-free when you use the money to pay for costs such as tuition, room and board, books, and computers. Please call for information about other rules that apply to Coverdell accounts. We’ll be happy to help you decide whether establishing one makes sense for you. Gilliland & Associates, PC is a full-service CPA firm specializing in tax planning for individuals and businesses in the Northern Virginia area. We are based in Falls Church, VA and also service clients in McLean and Tysons Corner, VA. Gilliland & Associates is known for our superior knowledge and aggressive interpretation and application of tax laws. We help you keep more of your earnings by finding you the lowest possible tax on your business or personal tax return. You can connect with us on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and...

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IRS reminds taxpayers about education credits

Posted on Oct 7, 2014

With schools back in session, the IRS has issued a reminder to taxpayers not to overlook available tax credits for education expenses. Tax credits are applied directly against the income tax you owe. Two available credits: the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) and the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC). The AOTC can be up to $2,500 annually for an eligible student and is 40% refundable. That means you could get money back when the credit exceeds your tax bill. The maximum LLC is $2,000 and is not refundable. You can claim only one type of education credit per student each year. Gilliland & Associates, PC is a full-service CPA firm specializing in tax planning for individuals and businesses in the Northern Virginia area. We are based in Falls Church, VA and also service clients in the McLean and Tysons Corner, VA. Gilliland & Associates specializes known for our superior knowledge and aggressive interpretation and application of tax laws, we help you keep more of your earnings by finding you the lowest possible tax on your business or personal tax return. You can connect with us on Google+ <https://plus.google.com/108764776146415485651/posts> , LinkedIn <http://www.linkedin.com/in/gillilandcpa> , Facebook <https://www.facebook.com/gillilandcpa> , and Twitter...

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Grandparents can help with college costs

Posted on Aug 1, 2014

Are you a grandparent who wants to help pay for a grandchild’s college education? You’ll find several ways to do this, each with its own limitations and tax consequences. GIFTS. The simplest way is to make an outright cash gift to your grandchild each year. In 2014, you can give up to $14,000 without any gift tax liability. If your spouse joins in the gift, you can jointly give each grandchild up to $28,000 each year. DIRECT PAYMENTS. You can give unlimited amounts without gift tax consequences if you make the payments directly to a qualified education institution on behalf of your grandchild. Payments can only be for tuition, not for dorm fees, meals, books, etc. EDUCATION ACCOUNTS. You could set up a Coverdell education savings account or a Section 529 plan for your grandchild. These plans offer tax-free growth of amounts you contribute to them. Age, income, and contribution limits apply, however. To discuss the options best suited to your circumstances, contact our office. Gilliland & Associates, PC is a full-service CPA firm specializing in tax planning for individuals and businesses in the Northern Virginia area. We are based in Falls Church, VA and also service clients in the McLean and Tysons Corner, VA. Gilliland & Associates specializes known for our superior knowledge and aggressive interpretation and application of tax laws, we help you keep more of your earnings by finding you the lowest possible tax on your business or personal tax return. You can connect with us on Google+ <https://plus.google.com/108764776146415485651/posts> , LinkedIn <http://www.linkedin.com/in/gillilandcpa> , Facebook <https://www.facebook.com/gillilandcpa> , and Twitter...

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