Work: Educational Fringe Benefits Are Still Possible

As reported previously, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 dramatically reduced taxpayers’ ability to itemize deductions. Among the tax deduction opportunities that have vanished, from 2018–2025, are miscellaneous itemized deductions that exceed two percent of the taxpayer’s gross income. Such deductions included unreimbursed employee business expenses. Drilling down, those no-longer-deductible employee expenses included education outlays that were related to someone’s work at your company. Example 1: Heidi Larson is a supervisor at ABC Corp., where she is responsible for a small group of…

Forever G.I. Bill Extends Benefits to Family Members

When you think of the G.I. Bill, you probably recall reading about a program designed to help military veterans receive college educations after they left the armed forces following World War II. Somewhat less known is that the G.I. Bill has endured, in various forms, until present times. Last year, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2017 became law, named for the American Legion member who wrote the initial G.I. Bill. The latest version is known as the “Forever G.I. Bill” because…

529 Plans for Elementary and Secondary Education

For many years, 529 college savings plans have offered a tax-favored way to save for higher education. These plans, officially qualified tuition programs, are named for the IRC section that provides their advantages. In brief, 529 plans are funded with after-tax dollars. In college savings plans, account owners choose from a menu of investments, and any earnings are untaxed. Distributions are also tax-free if they do not exceed the qualifying educational expenses of the account beneficiary: payments of tuition, fees, supplies, and certain housing expenses…

Moving Your Business to Avoid the SALT Cap

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 put a cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions. Beginning with your 2018 tax return, if you itemize deductions, you can count no more than $10,000 a year of SALT deductions for income and property tax on a single or joint tax return (you can choose to include sales tax instead of income tax). SALT deductions (other than those for state and local income taxes) are not limited if they relate to income from a trade or…

Don’t Neglect Estate Planning.

Save Heirs From An Unhappy Ending The article, “More give in the gift tax,” mentions that the federal estate tax exemption now exceeds $11 million per person. Accordingly, few individuals or married couples will owe this tax. Nevertheless, there is more to successful wealth transfer than reducing or eliminating estate tax. Ideally, you’ll want your assets to pass to the desired recipients with a minimum of turmoil and expense. To start, you should have a will prepared by an experienced attorney. Your will should not…