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  • Important IRS Tax Changes for 2016

    Our accounting firm takes notes of changes every year that would effect the majority of our clients. Congress released it's year-end deal on taxes and spending in December 2015, we've decided to highlight the most notable changes chosen by our team:

    Important Change(s) for Individuals:

    • R&D Tax Credit. Research and development tax credit has been permanently extended allowing a credit of up to 15% of costs.
    • Child Tax Credit of $1000 per qualifying child has been permanently extended.
    • Earned Income Tax Credit has been permanently extended.
    • Tax credits for College: the American Opportunity Credit has been expanded to help students under age 40 pay for college tuition.
    • Tax credit for Teachers allowing $250 in expenses has been permanently extended.
    • Charity Individuals over 70.5 years old can transfer an IRA of up to $100k without to a qualified charity penalty. 
    • Food Donations. S-Corporations and individual donations were given breaks for donations of food inventory and other(s).
    • Benefits for Public Transit Users. There is a new tax break for public transit users pre-tax buyers. This matches a deduction for parking that was a pre tax benefit in cafeteria plans.
    • Snow sledding allowed on Capital Hill. The bill included a very important provision ALLOWING SNOW SLEDDING ON CAPITAL HILL. (Not entirely sure this one will follow through. We're glad they're having fun on the east coast). 
    Change(s) for Businesses:
    • Deprecation. SECTION 179 DEPRECATION  is included at  pre-2015 levels of $500,000 vs the prior law which allowed only $50,000 of write offs.

    Other changes:

    Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account. This is a new type of savings account for individuals with disabilities and their families. For 2015, you can contribute up to $14,000. Distributions are tax‐free if used to pay the beneficiary’s qualified disability expenses. Don't deduct your contributions on your tax return. 

    Due date of return. The due date to file your tax return is April 18, 2016. The due date is April 18, instead of April 15, because of the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia—even if you do not live in the District of Columbia. If you live in Maine or Massachusetts, you have until April 19, 2016. That is because of the Patriots' Day holiday in those states.

    Direct deposits of refund to a myRA® account. You now can have your refund directly deposited to a new retirement savings program called myRA®. This is a starter retirement account offered by the Department of the Treasury.

    Public safety officers. Certain amounts received because of the death of a public safety officer are nontaxable.

    Additional child tax credit. You can't claim the additional child tax credit if you file Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income, or Form 2555-EZ, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. 

    Health coverage tax credit. . The health coverage tax credit, which expired at the end of 2013, has been reinstated. See Who Should File , later. See chapter 38 for information about the health coverage tax credit.

    Expired tax benefits. At the time this publication was prepared for printing, certain tax benefits had expired. These included the deduction for educator expenses and the tuition and fees deduction. You can find out whether legislation extended these and other tax benefits to allow you to claim them on your 2015 return at

    Who must file.  Generally, the amount of income you can receive before you must file a return has been increased. See Table 1-1Table 1-2, and Table 1-3 for the specific amounts.

    Make sure you're getting all the credit you can when filing this season for 2015. If you need help with your return, contact your experts at Kim R. Coyle CPA & Associates.

    staff | 01/13/2016

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