Extension of 179 expensing New rules introduced in 2008 extended the scope of qualifying equipment where businesses can write-off 100% of the cost in the year of purchase, rather than depreciating it over time. The Section 179 scheme has been extended into the 2009 tax year, with a maximum write-off of $250,000.
2013 Standard Mileage Rates announced
The IRS has announced the following Standard Mileage Rates for 2013. These rates are down from 2012, reflecting the lower gasoline prices:-
● business mileage - 50 cents per mile
● medical or moving expenses - 16.5 cents per mile
● in service of charitable organizations - 14 cents per mile
Tax credits for improving energy efficiency in your home
Tax credits are available for improving the energy efficiency of your home, with items such as insulation, replacement windows and doors, and energy efficient water heaters and furnaces. These are for items placed in service from January 1, 2010 onwards.
Free review of your past tax returns If you believe your previous tax returns may have been incorrect, we can review them for you and help to correct them for up to the maximum prior three years allowed. Unlike with many other tax preparation firms, this is a free review if we are also preparing your current tax return.
Current tax credits for home buyers
There are currently two tax credits available for home buyers, effective for purchases made on or after November 7, 2012:
● for first time buyers - a credit of up to $8,000
● for repeat buyers - a credit of up to $6,500
A first time buyer is defined as a person who has not owned a home during the past 3 years. A repeat buyer is defined as a person who has owned a home for 5 consecutive years during the past 8 years.
Basic requirements for eligibility:
● purchase of a principal residence only
● contract by April 30, 2013, and settle by June 30, 2013
● credit not repayable, provided you own the home for three years
There are income restrictions, and other rules apply. There are also some special rules for active military personnel. We can help you ensure that you are eligible and claim the full benefit.
Previous tax credits for first time home buyers
If you bought a home as a first time buyer between January 1, 2013 and November 6, 2013, you may qualify for a tax credit of up to $8,000, which is not repayable provided you own the home for three years. (This credit has lower income restrictions than the more recent credit effective November 7, 2009, but otherwise is very similar.)
If you bought a home as a first time buyer between April 8, 2013 and December 31, 2013, you may qualify for a tax credit of up to $7,500. This credit is paid back through your tax returns over 15 years, and is effectively an interest-free loan.
Both credits have income restrictions and other rules apply. We can help you ensure that you are eligible and claim the full benefit.
Gains and losses in the stock market If you have experienced losses on sale of stocks or most mutual funds, you can claim a maximum $3,000 loss against capital gains in the same tax year. However you can carry unused losses forward into future tax years.
Job-hunting expenses If you are job-hunting, you can generally claim the expenses involved.
Claiming dependents Remember that Dependents don't have to be living with you to qualify.
Medical expenses Ensure that you claim all your medical deductions - these can include things such as travel expenses to collect prescriptions.
Re-training expenses If you change job or career, any costs of re-training that you incur yourself are tax deductible.