University City Children’s Center

The University City Children’s Center (UCCC) is one of our company’s favorite charities. The UCCC, a non-profit, early childhood education center in St. Louis, has served our community for over 40 years and continues to impact children and families in new, different, and meaningful ways. In 2016, the Center, along with LUME Institute, has contributed to early childhood education in groundbreaking ways. These include: developing the first registered apprenticeship program in the country for early childhood educators with the US Department of Labor, called the Early Childhood Career Pathway Apprenticeship Program; presenting metrics demonstrating LUME’s model of early childhood education to the US Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families in Washington, DC; and creating one of the only Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Model programs in the state of Missouri. Check out their website to learn more information, including how you can contribute to the tuition assistance program and partner with UCCC and LUME Institute to continue to work on closing the achievement gap.

www.uccc.org

As a reminder, a donation to the University City Children’s Center qualifies for a 50% Missouri tax credit in addition to the normal donation deductions. If you have any questions, please call our office, 314-993-4285.

Tax News for Georgia

Georgia Conservation Tax Credit Extended

Legislation has been enacted that extends the conservation tax credit available against Georgia corporate and personal income tax liabilities from December 31, 2016 to December 31, 2021. (Effective April 28, 2016).

Savings Trust Account Deduction Increased

Legislation has been enacted that increases the Georgia personal income tax deduction for contributions to savings trust accounts to $4,000 per beneficiary for contributors filing a joint return (previously $2,000), for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2016.

Property Tax: Bona Fide Conservation Use Property Provisions Amended

Legislation has been enacted relating to bona fide conservation use property for purposes of Georgia ad valorem taxes. Amendments provide clarification of an existing exception to a breach of covenant for bona fide conservation use property. Amendments provide for a new exception, for certain not for profit rodeo events, to a breach of covenant. (Effective April 28, 2016).

Property Tax: Exemption for All-Terrain Vehicles Enacted

Enacted legislation provides an exemption from Georgia ad valorem taxation for certain watercraft and all-terrain vehicles held in inventory for sale or resale. Previously the exemption applied to certain watercraft only. An all-terrain vehicle is any motorized vehicle designed for off-road use which is equipped with four low-pressure tires, a seat designed to be straddled by the operator, and handlebars for steering. (Effective May 3, 2016, applicable to all taxable years beginning on and after January 1, 2017).

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us at the office, 314-993-4285.

*This information was received from CCH Federal Tax Weekly.*

How To Calculate Your Taxes Owed in 2014

calculateWe know that taxes can be complicated. When it comes to items like Medicare surtax, Roth contributions, and the like, it can be confusing where your taxes fall. Below are the rules for calculating your taxes owed in 2014 in regards to some of the most complicated items:

AMT Alert!

UCCC LogoAttention: If you pay the alternative minimum tax, or AMT, you are not getting a tax deduction for the taxes you pay to the state of Missouri!

We have partnered with the University City Children’s Center to change this for you!

By making a donation to the UCCC, you will get many benefits:
– You will be supporting an excellent charity and helping today’s youth.
– You will earn a 50% Missouri tax credit.
– Your effective tax rate will be reduced.
– The IRS will recognize your Missouri estimate payment as deductible.
– The state of Missouri will give you a deduction as a charitable contribution.

If you are interested in learning more about how you could receive the benefits of a donation to the University City Children’s Center, please call our office at 314-993-4285.

For more information on the University City Children’s Center, please go to their website at www.uccc.org

Don’t let your state payments go to waste.

YOP LOGOWould you like to accomplish your charitable goals, reduce or eliminate your Missouri state liability, and give your money to somebody who actually needs it instead of giving it to the state?

If so, the Missouri Youth Opportunity Program is for you.

HKA has partnered with the University City Children’s Center, an excellent organization that promotes creative learning approaches for children, to get you the YOP tax credits you deserve! To make it easier, we have created an excellent process for you.

If you are interested in learning more about the Missouri YOP and our process, please don’t hesitate to call our office at 314-993-4285.

For more information on the University City Children’s Center, please go to their website at www.uccc.org.

Tips for Taxpayers Who Travel for Charity Work

Do you plan to travel while doing charity work this summer? Some travel expenses may help lower your taxes if you itemize deductions when you file next year. Here are five tax tips the IRS wants you to know about travel while serving a charity.

1. You must volunteer to work for a qualified organization. Ask the charity about its tax-exempt status. You can also visit IRS.gov and use the Select Check tool to see if the group is qualified.

2. You may be able to deduct unreimbursed travel expenses you pay while serving as a volunteer. You can’t deduct the value of your time or services.

3. The deduction qualifies only if there is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation or vacation in the travel. However, the deduction will qualify even if you enjoy the trip.

4. You can deduct your travel expenses if your work is real and substantial throughout the trip. You can’t deduct expenses if you only have nominal duties or do not have any duties for significant parts of the trip.

5. Deductible travel expenses may include:

  • Air, rail and bus transportation
  • Car expenses
  • Lodging costs
  • The cost of meals
  • Taxi fares or other transportation costs between the      airport or station and your hotel

Have a question or want to hear more? Give HKA a call at  314-993-4285.

 

Taken from: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Tips-for-Taxpayers-Who-Travel-for-Charity-Work

Tax Return Forget Me Nots

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Before you submit your tax documents to your accountant for completion of your tax return, take a look at the top 5 most commonly overlooked items below to make sure you’ve included everything:

1. Long term care insurance:  Missouri allows for a deduction from taxable income for a portion of your long term care insurance. Many other states allow a deduction or sometimes a tax credit for these premiums.  Although this is one of the questions in the full version of the organizer, because we are so conditioned that medical expense is limited to 10 % of AGI, we forget that the state may allow for some benefit of these itemized deductions. Long term care insurance should be included on your return to take full advantage of this opportunity.

2. Electronic 1099s:  Many brokerage firms now have the option of sending your 1099s directly to your CPA.  All firms are different, but you may be able to save our email address as your CPA in your brokerage online account and have the 1099s securely emailed to us when they are ready.

3. Business expenses and AMT:  The top marginal tax rate is now 39.6%.  This could mean you are out of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) now or will be in the near future.  While you were not deducting any unreimbursed business expenses while in AMT, now you could deduct them.  If you do not track and send them to us, you will not deduct them.  Remember to send us all business expenses (including mileage driven) with your tax documents so you are not missing out on these deductions.  Also, although there are a few states that do, most states do not have AMT so your expenses would be deductible on the state side even if you are still in AMT so go ahead and send everything to us even if you think you will be in AMT.

4. Non Cash Charitable Donations:  Donating items to charities such as the Salvation Army or Goodwill can save you substantial tax.  Websites such as www.itsdeductible.com and www.satruck.org/valueguide give the approximate values of used furniture, clothing, or appliances.  They make what used to be a difficult process, tracking values of donated items, easy and it will save you real money.  Many times, the values these websites give for items in good condition are higher then you may expect.

5. Charitable Mileage and Supplies:  If you use your vehicle for charitable organizations, you can deduct these miles as charitable donations.  If you purchase supplies on behalf of a charitable organization to use at an event, these are charitable donations.  There is a place on your organize for each of these items so remember to include them if they apply to you.

Thanks for allowing the HKA family to work with you again this year on your 2013 tax returns.  If you are not currently a client and wish to learn more about us and what we can do for you, please click here.

Ten Things to Know about Farm Income and Deductions

farm
If you earn money managing or working on a farm, you are in the farming business. Farms include plantations, ranches, ranges and orchards. Farmers may raise livestock, poultry or fish, or grow fruits or vegetables. Here are 10 things about farm income and expenses that the IRS wants you to know.

1. Crop insurance proceeds. Insurance payments from crop damage count as income. They should generally be reported the year they are received.

2. Deductible farm expenses. Farmers can deduct ordinary and necessary expenses as business expenses. An ordinary farming expense is one that is common and accepted in the farming business. A necessary expense is one that is appropriate for that business.

3. Employees and hired help. You can deduct reasonable wages you paid to your farm’s full and part-time workers. You must withhold Social Security, Medicare and income taxes from your employees’ wages.

4. Items purchased for resale. If you purchased livestock and other items for resale, you may be able to deduct their cost in the year of the sale. This includes freight charges for transporting livestock to your farm.

5. Repayment of loans. You can only deduct the interest you paid on a loan if the loan proceeds are used for your farming business. You cannot deduct interest on a loan used for personal expenses.

6. Weather-related sales. Bad weather may force you to sell more livestock or poultry than you normally would. If so, you may be able to postpone reporting a gain from the sale of the additional animals.

7. Net operating losses. If deductible expenses are more than income for the year, you may have a net operating loss. You can carry that loss over to other years and deduct it. You may get a refund of part or all of the income tax you paid for past years, or you may be able to reduce your tax in future years.

8. Farm income averaging. You may be able to average some or all of the current year’s farm income by spreading it out over the past three years. This may lower your taxes if your farm income is high in the current year and low in one or more of the past three years. This method does not change your prior year tax. It only uses the prior year information to figure your current year tax.Things to Know.

9. Fuel and road use. You may be able to claim a tax credit or refund of federal excise taxes on fuel used on your farm for farm work.

10. Farmers Tax Guide. More information about farm income and deductions is in Publication 225, Farmer’s Tax Guide. You can download it at IRS.gov, or call the IRS at 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676) to have it mailed to you.

Nine Tips on Deducting Charitable Contributions

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Giving to charity may make you feel good and help you lower your tax bill. The IRS offers these nine tips to help ensure your contributions pay off on your tax return.

1. If you want a tax deduction, you must donate to a qualified charitable organization. You cannot deduct contributions you make to either an individual, a political organization or a political candidate

2. You must file Form 1040 and itemize your deductions on Schedule A. If your total deduction for all noncash contributions for the year is more than $500, you must also file Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions, with your tax return.

3. If you receive a benefit of some kind in return for your contribution, you can only deduct the amount that exceeds the fair market value of the benefit you received. Examples of benefits you may receive in return for your contribution include merchandise, tickets to an event or other goods and services.

4. Donations of stock or other non-cash property are usually valued at fair market value. Used clothing and household items generally must be in good condition to be deductible. Special rules apply to vehicle donations.

5. Fair market value is generally the price at which someone can sell the property.

6. You must have a written record about your donation in order to deduct any cash gift, regardless of the amount. Cash contributions include those made by check or other monetary methods. That written record can be a written statement from the organization, a bank record or a payroll deduction record that substantiates your donation. That documentation should include the name of the organization, the date and amount of the contribution. A telephone bill meets this requirement for text donations if it shows this same information.

7. To claim a deduction for gifts of cash or property worth $250 or more, you must have a written statement from the qualified organization. The statement must show the amount of the cash or a description of any property given. It must also state whether the organization provided any goods or services in exchange for the gift.

8. You may use the same document to meet the requirement for a written statement for cash gifts and the requirement for a written acknowledgement for contributions of $250 or more.

9. If you donate one item or a group of similar items that are valued at more than $5,000, you must also complete Section B of Form 8283. This section generally requires an appraisal by a qualified appraiser