Posts Tagged "expenses"

New Year, New Job- 5 Tax Tips for Job Changers

Posted on Dec 19, 2017

There are a lot of new things to get used to when you change jobs, from new responsibilities to adjusting to a new company culture. You may not have considered the tax issues created when you change jobs. Here are tips to reduce any potential tax problems related to making a job change this coming year. Don’t forget about in-between pay. It is easy to forget to account for pay received while you’re between jobs. This includes severance and accrued vacation or sick pay from your former employer. It also includes unemployment benefits. All are taxable but may not have had taxes withheld, causing a surprise at tax time. Adjust your withholdings. A new job requires you to fill out a new Form W- 4, which directs your employer how much to withhold from each paycheck. It may not be best to go with the default withholding schedule, which assumes you have been making the salary of your new job all year. You may need to make special adjustments to avoid having too much or too little taken from your paycheck. This is especially true if there is a significant salary change or you have a period of low-or-no income. Keep in mind you’ll have to fill out a new W-4 in the next year to rebalance your withholding for a full year of your new salary. Rollover your 401(k). While you can leave your 401(k) in your old employer’s plan, you may wish to roll it over into your new employer’s 401(k) or into an IRA. The best way is to get your retirement funds transferred directly between investment companies. If you take a direct check, you’ll have to deposit it into the new account within 60 days, or you may be assessed a 10 percent penalty and pay income tax on the withdrawal. Deduct job-hunting expenses. Tally up your job-seeking expenses. If they and other miscellaneous deductible expenses total more than 2 percent of your adjusted gross income for the year, you can deduct them on an itemized return. This includes things like costs for job-search tools, placement agencies and recruiters, and printing, mailing and travel costs. A couple caveats: you can only use these deductions if your expenses were to search for a job in the same industry as your previous job, and you were not reimbursed for them by your new employer. Deduct moving and home sale expenses. If you moved to take a new job that is at least 50 miles farther from your previous home than your old job was, you can also deduct your moving expenses. There’s another benefit for movers, too. Typically, you can only use the $250,000 capital-gain exclusion for home sales if you lived in your primary residence for two of the last five years before you sold it. But there is an exception to the rule if you sold your home to take a new job. Finding a new job can be an exciting experience, and one that can create tax consequences if not handled correctly. Feel free to call for a discussion of your...

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Tax records – What you should keep

Posted on Feb 17, 2017

It’s that time of year when you are getting ready to sort out last year’s financial records and prepare for this year’s recordkeeping. Do you know what you should keep and what can you throw away? Here are some suggestions. Keep records that directly support income or expense items on your tax return. For income, this includes W-2s, 1099s, and Form K-1s. Keep records of any other income you have received from other sources. It’s also a good idea to save bank statements and investment statements. Keep documentation that supports all itemized deductions you claim. This includes acknowledgments from charitable organizations and backup for taxes paid, mortgage interest, medical deductions, work expenses, and miscellaneous deductions. Even if you don’t itemize, keep records of child care expenses, medical insurance premiums if you’re self-employed, and any other deductions that appear on your return. The IRS can audit you routinely for three years after you file your return or the tax due date, whichever is later. But in cases where income is underreported, they can audit for up to six years. So, to be safe, consider keeping your tax records for up to seven years. 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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Track use of your vacation home to maximize tax breaks

Posted on Jul 23, 2015

If you own a vacation home (some boats and recreational vehicles also qualify) that you also rent out to others, keep track of who uses it during the year to maximize your tax breaks. Meet the rules and receive tax-free income. If your home is rented for 14 or fewer days during the year, you don’t have to report the income. You can generally deduct mortgage interest and real estate taxes as itemized deductions, but you can’t deduct any other rental expenses. Limit your personal use, and deduct all your rental expenses. If you limit your personal use to not more than 14 days or 10% of the time the home is rented, all rental expenses are deductible. Offset your rental income with your rental expenses. If you use the property for more than 14 days or 10% of the number of days it’s rented, the rules change. Your rental deductions (except for taxes and mortgage interest) are limited to the amount of your rental income. Example: You stayed in your vacation home 20 days last year. It was rented at fair market value for 190 days. In this example, your personal use exceeded the 10% limit (19 days). Your rental deductions are limited to the rental income you received. Convert the property to your residence, and the gain when you sell may be tax-free. If you use your vacation home as your principal residence for two out of the five years before you sell it, you may exclude up to $250,000 of gain ($500,000 for married couples) from your income. However, you will have to pay tax on gain to the extent of certain depreciation previously taken after May 6, 1997. The rules are complex, but a basic understanding of the rules and good recordkeeping will help you get the best tax breaks from your vacation home. Give us a call if you would like more information. 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+, 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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Know the tax rules for selling online

Posted on Jul 1, 2014

Selling items on eBay and other online auction Web sites has become a very popular way to get rid of unwanted household stuff, as well as a way to turn a little profit. Many users have even started full-time businesses auctioning merchandise on the Web. But like any business venture, selling items in the virtual world has tax implications that are all too real. From a tax standpoint, casual selling on eBay is essentially the same as holding a garage sale. If you sell an item for less than you paid for it, you cannot deduct the loss. When you sell something for a profit, however, you must report it on your tax return. Long-term gains on the sale of collectibles, such as artwork, antiques, or rare coins, are taxed by as much as 28%. Profit is the difference between the selling price and your “basis” in the item. In most cases, basis is simply the amount you paid for it. Inherited items generally have a basis equal to their fair market value at the time of receipt. If the basis cannot be documented, it becomes zero, and you pay tax on the entire selling price. Online selling activity can reach the point where it is deemed to be a business venture. Status as a for-profit eBay business versus a casual online seller is not clearly defined. Factors considered by the IRS include the amount of time you spend selling online and whether you conduct yourself like other self-employed business owners, such as keeping accounting records and advertising your services. The good news is that if you are treated as a business, you can deduct expenses related to your selling activity. The downside to business status is that profits from selling online may be subject to self-employment tax. What’s more, depending on where you live, you may have to deal with sales taxes. Taxpayers who operate like a business, but rarely show a profit, may be treated as hobbyists. In this scenario, losses can only be deducted to the extent of gains. Whether you are an infrequent user of online auction sites, or an all-out eBay business owner, you cannot afford to ignore the tax implications of selling online. For the details you need to avoid tax problems, call our office today. 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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