Tax Season in Full Swing with New Interns

It is Saturday morning; you wake up and look outside to find that your car is covered in about a foot of snow.  You check your mobile device to find that, with the wind chill, it feels as though it is -19 degrees, thanks Polar Vortex!  You want to get up and get moving, but it seems as though you just do not have the willpower to leave your home.  Then, all of a sudden, a light bulb flashes above your head with the most brilliant idea you have had thus far, for the year 2014. You say, “I just received my W-2 and 1099 in the mail, I have all the documents I need.  How about I start filling out my tax organizer and get a head start on the process.”  At this point the sun comes out, trumpets sound, and CPAs across the nation stand and applaud just for you, to thank you for being diligent and timely with your tax information.

With all of the tax returns we do as a firm, we like to reach out to local universities and select a few students to take part in our Tax Internship Program.  The program allows a few select students to be fully immersed with our tax process and receive great hands on experience in regards to understanding, preparing, and reviewing tax returns.  Our founder had a strong belief in young professionals, and that is a belief we hold true today.

This year we are excited to announce two new interns to C.H. Dean:  Heather Burton & Mary Whittington.

 

Name:    Heather Burton
Major/Concentration:  Accounting and Finance Major
College:   Wright State University
Hometown:   Portsmouth, Ohio
My favorite things:   Modern Family, Subway, Reading
Favorite quote:   “’Things don’t get easier, you get better.’”
The last thing I read:  The Divergent Series
Guilty pleasure:  Reality TV
I can’t live without:  Grace Kelley (My Cat)
Best advice you ever received: Don’t sweat the small stuff.

 

Name:    Mary Whittington
Major/Concentration:  Accounting and Management Information Systems
College:   University of Dayton
Hometown:   Columbus, Ohio
My favorite things:   Racquetball and Nutella
Favorite quote:   “Count your blessings.”
The last thing I read:  The Great Gatsby
Guilty pleasure:  Pinterest
I can’t live without:  Starbucks and Diet Coke
Best advice you ever received:  Everything is a learning opportunity

Meet the New C.H. Dean Tax Interns

It is that time of year again when W-2’s and 1099’s are all on everyone’s mind.  Yes, you guessed correctly, it is Tax Season.  Here at C.H. Dean we take great pride and care into every tax return we do.  From an individual to a corporation, we work hard to ensure your taxes are done on time and correctly.  C.H. Dean actually started out with our company’s founder, Chauncey Dean, sitting out on picnic tables filling out and completing tax returns.  The company later expanded to the entities you know today that help with a wide range of wealth management that include accounting and payroll needs, 401(k) and pension, family office, private investments, and personal financial planning.

With all of the tax returns we do as a firm, we like to reach out to our local universities and select a few students to take part in our Tax Internship Program.  The program allows a few students to be fully immersed with our tax process and receive great hands on experience in regards to understanding, preparing, and reviewing tax returns.  Our founder had a strong belief in young professionals and that is a belief we hold true today.

This year we are excited to announce two new interns to C.H. Dean:  Kendra Vennekotter & Chris Cowlen.

Name:   Kendra Vennekotter
Major/Concentration:  Accounting & Finance
College:  University of Dayton
Hometown:  Miller City, Ohio
My favorite things:  Doctor Who, Sweatpants, Country Music, Mom’s Meatloaf, Jeopardy, Coffee
Favorite quote:  “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” –Anonymous
The last thing I read:  The Hunger Games
Guilty pleasure:  Fast Food
I can’t live without:  My Sisters
Best advice you ever received:  God helps those who help themselves.

Name:  Chris Cowlen
Major:  Accounting
College:  University of Dayton
Hometown:  St. Louis, MO
My Favorite Things:  St. Louis Cardinals, Baseball, College Basketball, Sandwiches
Favorite Quote:  “It doesn’t matter, it’s in the past.” – Rafiki from The Lion King
Guilty pleasure:  Taco Bell
I can’t live without:  Being able to watch the Cardinals
Best advice you ever received:  “You’re never too old to hug your Dad.” –My Dad

IRA Rules and FAQs

IRAs are a common investment tool that many people use within their portfolios.  But like with any tool, knowing the ins and outs of how they can be used can be tricky at times.  Below are some frequently asked questions as well as some general rules when it comes to an IRA.

Tax Legislation Updates: Qualified Charitable Distributions are available for 2011 but have not been extended for 2012 and future years.

Tax extension legislation in 2010 included an extension of Qualified Charitable Distributions from IRAs through 2011 only. As of December 13, 2011, there have been no additional extensions of that legislation for 2012 and future years. This allows eligible customers to direct distributions from their IRAs to qualified charities and have that count toward the MRD for the tax year 2011. For the tax year 2011, customers have until December 31, 2011 to make a QCD that would count towards their 2011 MRD. Customers may make distributions totaling up to $100,000 to qualified charities for 2011.

What are Minimum Required Distributions (MRDs)?
Beginning for calendar year in which you turn 70½, you are generally required to withdraw a minimum amount of money from your tax-advantaged retirement accounts each year. This amount is called a minimum required distribution, or MRD. Note that you can always take more than the MRD amount.

You generally have to take MRDs from any retirement account in which you contributed tax-deferred assets or had tax-deferred earnings. These accounts include:

  • Traditional IRAs
  • Rollover IRAs
  • SIMPLE IRAs
  • SEP-IRAs
  • Most Keogh accounts
  • Most 401(k) and 403(b) plans

 

Are there any exceptions?
Roth IRAs are an exception. You are not required to take MRDs from a Roth IRA during your lifetime, nor can you satisfy your Traditional IRA MRD requirement with a withdrawal from a Roth IRA. Also, if you continue to work beyond age 70½, and do not own more than 5% of the business you work for, you may be able to defer taking distributions from your current employer’s Keogh, 401(k), 403(b), or other employer-sponsored retirement plan until April 1 of the calendar year after the year in which you retire. Please consult your plan administrator to learn more.

How should I handle year–end transfers or rollovers?
The December 31 market value of each of your retirement accounts should be adjusted for any pending year end transfers or rollovers. For example, if assets were withdrawn from an IRA or qualified employer-sponsored plan within the last 60 days of the prior calendar year, and then a portion or all of those assets were rolled over to an IRA this year, you must add the amount of the rollover to the balance of your IRA as of December 31 of the prior year. This may also apply to year-end transfers not credited to your account until after December 31, unless the MRD attributable to the amount transferred was distributed from another IRA.

How are MRDs taxed?
MRDs are taxed as ordinary income for the tax year in which they are taken and will be taxed at your applicable individual federal income tax rate. MRDs may also be subject to state and local taxes. If you made nondeductible contributions to your IRA, you must calculate your MRD based on the total balance, but your taxable income may be reduced proportionately for the after-tax contributions. Please consult a tax advisor to learn more.

What if I made non–deductible contributions to my IRA?
Regardless of whether or not you made non-deductible contributions, you must use the MRD. If you have made non-deductible, after-tax Traditional IRA contributions (or if your account includes any after-tax rollover amounts), you will not have to pay taxes on the portion of your distribution that represents after-tax contributions, provided you have filed IRS form 8606 each year you made a non-deductible contribution. Remember, you will owe taxes on any earnings on those contributions.

When should I take my first MRD?
You generally have until April 1 of the year following the calendar year you turn 70½ to take your first MRD. This is known as your required beginning date, or RBD. In subsequent years, the deadline is December 31. If you turned 70 between July 1st of last year and June 30th of this year, you will be turning 70½ this year and will need to take your first MRD for this year.

How should I time my first MRD when it comes to taxes?
If you take your first MRD between January 1 and April 1 of the year after you turn 70½, you still need to take your second MRD by December 31 of the same year. Since IRA and Keogh distributions are taxed as ordinary income, this may push you into a higher tax bracket. Also note that if you take your MRD between January 1 and April 1 of the year after you turn 70½, your December 31 account balance is not reduced by the amount of the MRD taken for the first withdrawal carefully.

Taking Your MRDs Each Year
How should I take my MRDs if I have multiple non-Roth accounts?
If you have more than one non-Roth IRA, you must calculate the MRD for each IRA separately each year. However, you may aggregate your MRD amounts for all of your non-Roth IRAs and withdraw the total from one IRA or a portion from each of your IRAs. If you have qualified plan accounts in addition to your IRAs, you must calculate and satisfy your MRDs for IRAs separately from your qualified plan accounts. If you have more than one qualified retirement plan account, you must calculate and satisfy your MRD requirements separately for each qualified plan account. For example, if you have both a profit-sharing Plan and a self-employed 401(k), you must separately calculate and withdraw an MRD from each plan. Also, MRDs for inherited IRAs must be satisfied separately from your other IRAs.

What are the penalties if I miss a deadline?
The penalty for taking less than your minimum required distribution can be severe. If you withdraw less than the minimum required amount, the IRS may assess a penalty equal to 50% of the amount of the MRD not taken.

Do I have to take my MRD if I am still working?
Yes, with certain exceptions: (1) Roth IRAs are not subject to MRDs while you are living; and, (2) in some
circumstances you may delay MRDs from a Keogh, 401(k), 403(b), or other employer–sponsored retirement plan account until you retire, as discussed above in the section titled “A Few Exceptions”. If you are still working and have other tax–deferred retirement accounts in addition to your current employer’s workplace savings plan, you must satisfy your MRD for those other accounts each year beginning when you reach age 70½.

Can I still contribute to my IRAs while taking MRDs?
You can contribute to a Roth IRA after age 70½ as long as you have compensation and meet the eligibility requirements for modified adjusted gross income. Otherwise, you generally cannot contribute to any other kind of IRA in the year you turn 70½ or any year thereafter.

Beneficiaries and Stretching Tax Advantages of Assets
Why is it so important to consider beneficiaries when taking MRDs?
Retirement accounts generally pass outside the instructions of a will. Your beneficiary designations will
determine who receives your retirement assets upon your death. That’s why it is so important to carefully consider whom you have designated as a beneficiary on your accounts. Also, there are opportunities for beneficiaries to stretch out the tax-deferred growth of IRA assets after the death of the original account owner. With proper planning, many beneficiaries can minimize their required distributions and potentially maximize the advantage of continued tax deferral.

Should I convert to a Roth IRA?
If you have been thinking about converting Traditional IRA assets to a Roth IRA, you should consider making that decision before beginning MRDs because Roth IRAs are not subject to MRDs during the account owner’s lifetime.

 

©2012 FMR LLC. All Rights Reserved.  Used By Permission.

FMR LLC is a Fidelity Investments company. The content provided above is general in nature and is for informational purposes only. This information is not individualized and is not intended to serve as the primary or sole basis for your decisions as there may be other factors you should consider. Fidelity Investments does not provide advice of any kind. Fidelity Investments is an independent company, unaffiliated with C.H. Dean, Inc. Fidelity Investments has not been involved with the preparation of the content supplied by C.H. Dean, Inc. and does not guarantee or assume any responsibility for its content. 636402.1.0

C.H Dean Employee Wins Young Professional of the Year

C.H. Dean is pleased to announce that Cory Miller has been selected as the 2013 Young Professional of the year.  The award is being presented by the Beavercreek Chamber of Commerce and is awarded to an individual between the ages of 21 and 40 who has enhanced opportunities for Young Professionals or Young Entrepreneurs within the Beavercreek Community, as well as positively impacted the Beavercreek Business Community.

Over the past year, Cory has taken an active role within the Greene County community, specifically Beavercreek.  During 2013 he served as the President of the Beavercreek Young Professionals (a networking group formed in January of 2013), helped solidify a partnership between the Beavercreek Young Professionals & Franklin University that offers a 20% discount to all of its members for higher education classes, and created The Young Professional’s Cup (a newly formed annual fundraiser that integrates the various Greater Dayton area’s Young Professional groups in an effort to raise money for a local charity).  In addition, Cory was recently elected to serve on the Beavercreek Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors.

Cory is currently C.H. Dean’s Corporate Relations Manager.  He helps create and maintain client relationships along with C.H. Dean’s corporate relationships within the community.

Dean Small Cap Value Fund (DASCX) Exceeds $100 Million

Beavercreek, OH – July 2013

Dean Investment Associates (DIA) is pleased to announce that the Dean Small Cap Value Fund (DASCX) has exceeded $100 million in assets under management as of July 10th, 2013. The open-end mutual fund was launched in 1997.  The current sub-advisor, Dean Capital Management (DCM) in Overland Park, Kansas, took over management of the fund in June 2008. 

“Surpassing the $100 million mark is an exciting milestone,” said Steve Miller, President of C.H. Dean, parent company of Dean Investment Associates. “Managed by Steve Roth for the past five years, the Fund has become a popular option among fee-based advisors throughout the country.”

The Fund employs a traditional value approach, focusing on high-quality companies whose stocks are undervalued for transitory reasons. Quality attributes of the companies we analyze include:  strong market position, high returns on capital, solid balance sheets and good free cash flow generation.  When seeking value, DCM analyzes multiple valuation measures, with an emphasis on the company’s normalized earning power over a full business cycle. 

“The success of the Dean Small Cap Value Fund reflects our patient and consistent application of a disciplined value approach,” said DCM Founding Member and Portfolio Manager Steve Roth. “We are pleased with the Fund’s performance over the past five years, and are optimistic about its future.”

For more information about the Fund, please visit www.deanmutualfunds.com. To request more information about Dean Capital Management, please contact Patrick Krumm at 913-944-4452 or pkrumm@deancapmgmt.com.

About Dean Capital Management (sub-advisor)
Dean Capital Management LLC (“DCM”) is an employee-owned registered investment advisor founded in March 2008.  Located in Overland Park, Kansas, DCM is a long-only, fundamental U.S. value equity manager.  DCM manages portfolios across the capitalization spectrum for advisors, financial intermediaries and institutional clients. 

DCM is majority-owned by the founding principals, who also comprise the investment team.  Additionally, all investment professionals maintain significant personal investments in DCM managed products, further aligning the investment team with our clients. 

About Dean Investment Associates (Fund Advisor)
Dean Investment Associates, LLC, 3500 Pentagon Blvd., Suite 200, Beavercreek, Ohio 45431 serves as investment advisor to the Dean Funds. Dean is a registered investment advisor and the money management arm of C.H. Dean, LLC, a privately held investment management and financial services firm. Dean is a value manager with a strong commitment to the principles of value investing.

You should carefully consider the investment objectives, potential risks, management fees, and charges and expenses of the Fund before investing. The Fund’s prospectus contains this and other information about the Fund, and should be read carefully before investing. You may obtain a copy of the Fund’s prospectus by calling 1(888)899-8343.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment in the Fund will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost.

Small-Cap investing involves greater risk not associated with investing in more established companies, such as greater price volatility, business risk, less liquidity and increased competitive threat. 

Distributed by Unified Financial Securities, Inc., 2960 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN  46208. Member, FINRA.

2013 New Tax Rules

At the beginning of 2013, a new set of tax rules have been implemented.   With so many changes to the tax laws, it can be a bit confusing and even worrisome at times.  Below you will find several highlights of the tax changes being implemented.  The changes range from Estate Tax, Medical Expenses, and Alternative Minimum Tax.

Payroll Tax Increase
Despite the relief over a tax deal for 2013, payroll tax increases may spoil the party. The payroll tax reduction expired Dec. 31. Lawmakers did not renew the two-percentage-point cut in the employees’ share of the Social Security tax. They did not like the idea that government funding was required to make up the decrease in tax revenue for the Social Security trust fund. As a result, they decided to let this break lapse. Thus, employees will see smaller paychecks as the rate returns to normal, unless workers got a raise that offsets the impact. The higher SECA tax rate means that self-employed individuals should boost their estimated tax payments in 2013. We will be taking this into account when producing estimated payment for 2013.

Medicare Surtax
A 0.9% Medicare surtax on earned income kicks in for higher-incomers. This tax hike was passed in 2010 as part of health care reform, but the effective date was delayed to 2013. The levy applies to wages as well as to self-employment income. Singles and heads of household will owe it once total earnings exceed $200,000.  Couples … over $250,000. Married filing separately … over $125,000. So for earnings over the thresholds, the effective Medicare tax rate will be 3.8% (the usual 2.9% rate plus an extra 0.9%). The surtax applies only to the employee’s share of Medicare tax. Employers don’t owe it. Employers will withhold the surtax once an employee’s wages exceed $200,000.

 The 3.8% Medicare surtax on net investment income also begins this year, another aspect of health care reform. It applies to unearned income of single filers and heads of household who have modified adjusted gross incomes above $200,000. It bites couples with modified AGIs over $250,000, $125,000 for separate filers. Modified AGI is AGI plus any tax free foreign earned income. This surtax is levied on the smaller of the filer’s net investment income or the excess of modified AGI over the applicable dollar threshold. Investment income includes interest, dividends, payments of substitute interest and dividends by brokers, capital gains, annuities, royalties and passive rental income. Tax free interest is exempted, along with payouts from retirement plans such as 401(k) s, IRAs, deferred pay plans and pension plans.

Estate Tax
Now let’s turn to other tax changes that are taking effect for this year. The estate and gift tax exemption for 2013 increases to $5,250,000. The tax rate jumps to 40%. The annual gift tax exclusion rises to $14,000 per donee. Congress also revived the portability of the estate tax exemption between spouses. Up to $1,070,000 of farm or business realty can receive discount estate tax valuation, and more estate tax qualifies for an installment-payment tax break. If one or more closely held businesses make up greater than 35% of an estate, as much as $572,000 of tax can be deferred, and IRS will charge only 2% interest. Contact us for more information on the best ways to minimize estate taxes for someone in your situation.

Personal Taxes
The expiration date on the Bush income tax cuts has been eliminated, but tax rates on high-incomers increase for the first time since 1993. A 39.6% rate now applies to taxable income over $400,000 for singles, $425,000 for heads of household and $450,000 for married couples filing a joint return.

 

Marrieds: If taxable income is
Not more than $17,850Over $17,850 but not more than $72,500Over $72,500 but not more than $146,400Over $146,400 but not more than $223,050Over $223,050 but not more than $398,350Over $398,350 but not more than $450,000

Over $450,000

Singles: If taxable income is

Not more than $8,925

Over $8,925 but not more than $36,250

Over $36,250 but not more than $87,850

Over $87,850 but not more than $183,250

Over $183,250 but not more than $398,350

Over $398,350 but not more than $400,000

Over $400,000

Household Heads: If taxable income is

Not more than $12,750

Over $12,750 but not more than $48,600

Over $48,600 but not more than $125,450

Over $125,450 but not more than $203,150

Over $203,150 but not more than $398,350

Over $398,350 but not more than $425,000

Over $425,000

The tax is
10% of taxable income $1,785.00 + 15% of excess over $17,850 $9,982.50 + 25% of excess over $72,500$28,457.5 + 28% of excess over $146,400$49,919.50 + 33% of excess over $223,050$107,768.50 + 35% of excess over $398,350

$125,846.00 + 39.6% of excess over $450,00

The tax is

10% of taxable income

$892.50 + 15% of excess over $8,925

$4,991.25 + 25% of excess over $36,250

$17,891.25 + 28% of excess over $87,850

$44,603.25 + 33% of excess over $183,250

$115,586.25 + 35% of excess over $398,350

$116,163.75 + 39.6% of excess over $400,000

The tax is

10% of taxable income

$1,275.00 + 15% of excess over $12,750

$6,652.50 + 25% of excess over $48,600

$25,865.00 + 28% of excess over $125,450

$47,621.00 + 33% of excess over $203,150

$112,037.00 + 35% of excess over $398,350

$121,364.50 + 39.6% of excess over $425,000

High-incomers resume losing some of their itemized deductions for 2013. Their write-offs are reduced by 3% of the excess of AGI over $250,000 for singles, $275,000 for household heads and $300,000 for marrieds, but the total reduction can’t exceed 80% of itemizations. Medicals, investment interest, casualty losses and gambling losses (to the extent of winnings) are exempted from this cutback. Personal exemptions increase to $3,900 for filers and their dependents, but this write-off is phased out for high-incomers once again. It is cut by 2% for each $2,500 of AGI over the same thresholds for the itemized deduction phase-out.

Capital Gains Tax
The top rate on long term capital gains and dividends rises to 20% for high-incomers (singles with taxable income above $400,000 and couples over $450,000). The Medicare surtax can boost the rate to 23.8%. For others, a 15% rate applies, but filers in the 10% and 15% tax bracket can still qualify for the special 0% rate.

Alternative Minimum Tax
The AMT exemptions are going up for 2013. They jump to $80,750 for couples and $51,900 for both singles and household heads, up from 2012 by $2,050 and $1,300, respectively. The exemptions will automatically increase in future years, based on the rate of inflation. Also, personal tax credits, such as those for tuition and dependent care, will continue to offset alternative minimum tax liability.

Social Security & Medicare
The Social Security wage base rises this year to $113,700, a $3,600 boost. Tax rates are higher, as we noted earlier, with the expiration of the cut in the employee Social Security rate and the 0.9% Medicare surtax on high-earners. Social Security benefits go up 1.7% in 2013, less than half of 2012′s hike. The earnings limits also increase. Individuals who turn 66 this year do not lose any benefits if they make $40,080 or less a year before they reach that age. Folks who are at least 62 but are not 66 by the end of 2013 can make up to $15,120 before they lose any benefits. There is no earnings cap once a beneficiary turns 66, and the amount needed to qualify for coverage goes up to $1,160 a quarter. So earning $4,640 anytime during 2013 will net the full four quarters of coverage.

The basic Medicare Part B premium increases to $104.90 per month in 2013, but the Part B and D premiums are much higher for upper-income seniors if their modified adjusted gross incomes for 2011 exceeded $170,000 for couples or $85,000 for single people. Modified AGI is AGI plus any tax-exempt interest, EE bond interest that’s used for education and excluded foreign earned income. The total surcharges on upper-incomers can be as large as $297.40 a month.

Medical Expenses
The threshold for deducting medical expenses jumps to 10% of AGI for singles under age 65. The same goes for married couples who file a joint return, unless at least one of the filers is age 65 or older. If so, they get the 7.5%-of-AGI cap. Annual ceilings on deductible payins to health savings accounts inch up in 2013. The maximums are $6,450 for account owners with family medical coverage and $3,250 for single coverage. HSA owners born before 1959 can put in $1,000 more. The limitations on out-of-pocket expenses such as deductibles and copayments increase to $12,500 for those with family coverage and $6,250 for single coverage. Minimum policy deductibles increase to $2,500 for families and $1,250 for individuals. Payins to health flexible spending accounts (FSA) are now capped at $2,500, and the limits on deducting long-term-care premiums are a bit higher. Taxpayers who are age 71 or older can write off as much as $4,550 per person, 61 to 70 as much as $3,640, 51 to 60 up to $1,360, 41 to 50 up to $680, and 40 and younger as much as $360. Also, the limit for tax free payouts under such policies increases to $320 a day.

Savings Plans
The maximum 401(k) contribution is $17,500 this year, a $500 increase over 2012. Individuals born before 1964 can put in as much as $23,000. The contribution limits apply to 403(b) and 457 plans as well. The ceiling on SIMPLEs will rise to $12,000. Folks age 50 or older in 2013 can put in an additional $2,500. Employer payins to qualified plans can be based on up to $255,000 of pay. As a result, the payin limitation for defined contribution plans increases to $51,000. Employees now have an easier time switching a 401(k) to a Roth 401(k). A new law lets them transfer their 401(k) money straight to the plan’s Roth account, even if they’re ineligible to take a payout from the plan because they aren’t 59 1/2, etc. The 2013 payin limits for IRAs and Roth IRAs will jump to $5,500, $500 more than for 2012. Anyone who was born in 1963 or earlier can put in an extra $1,000. The income ceilings on Roth IRA payins go up. Contributions phase out at AGIs of $178,000 to $188,000 for couples and $112,000 to $127,000 for singles. The deduction phase-outs for regular IRAs start at higher levels, ranging from $95,000 of AGI to $115,000 for couples and from $59,000 to $69,000 for singles.

Business Taxes
The standard mileage allowance for business driving is 56.5¢ per mile, up a penny. The allowance rises to 24¢ a mile for travel for medical purposes and job-related moves, but the rate for charitable driving remains stuck at 14¢ a mile. 50% bonus depreciation stays in effect for assets placed in use in 2013. This break can be claimed on new assets that have useful lives of 20 years or less. And up to $500,000 of business assets can be expensed, a continuation of the rule that was retroactively reinstated for 2012 as well. The $500,000 ceiling is reduced dollar for dollar after more than $2 million of assets are put in service.  A number of other lapsed business tax breaks continue to be available: the R&D tax credit, the work opportunity credit for hiring disadvantaged workers, 15-year depreciation for restaurant renovations and leasehold improvements, and the 100% gain exclusion for investors who buy stock in a small regular corporation directly from the company and sell more than five years later. All of these provisions expired after 2011 and were revived by Congress retroactively for 2012 and for 2013.

Revived Breaks
A set of tax breaks for individuals was restored. The income tax exclusion of up to $2 million of forgiven home mortgage debt was revived for this year, and several provisions that expired after 2011 were reinstated for 2012 and 2013: the election to write off state and local sales taxes in lieu of state income taxes, deductions for teachers’ class supplies, private mortgage insurance and college tuition, the American Opportunity Tax Credit, and people age 70 1/2 and older being allowed to directly transfer up to $100,000 tax free from their IRAs to charity. Payouts received by IRA owners in Dec. 2012 can qualify for this special tax treatment if transmitted to a charity before Feb. 1, 2013. Also, donors can elect to treat direct transfers made in Jan. 2013 from their IRAs to charity as if the transfers were made in 2012.

More changes are sure to come this year from the IRS, Congress and the courts, and 2013 will mark the start of a major debate on overhauling the income tax code. We’ll be here to report the changes being considered and how you’ll be affected.

Conclusion
Once again, this is intended to be both informative; and, provide you with a few ideas to start you thinking about tax planning for 2013. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you want more details or would like to schedule a tax planning strategy session. We would welcome the opportunity to meet and discuss your situation further.

The source for this information came from:  The Kiplinger Tax Letter – Vol 88, No. 1