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Current Topics....

While there were no major tax law changes in 2015, it does not mean that there is nothing to discuss within the world of taxes. Below are some current topics that you might find of interest.

Identity Theft. One of the major challenges the IRS Is facing these days is that of identity theft and fraudulently filed returns. It is certainly a topic we have dealt with a lot more in our practice in the last few years. The IRS does seem to be getting better at catching fraudulently filed returns prior to them being processed by the IRS, which makes resolution of the issue a little simpler. If you receive a notification from the IRS indicating they suspect a fraudulently filed return has been submitted using your information, please forward it to your tax professional immediately. They should be able to assist in resolving the matter, although keep in mind that we are dealing with the IRS and so the resolution will undoubtedly take longer than you would like. To date, with the identity theft issues we have faced in our practice, we have been able to resolve them to the taxpayer’s satisfaction.

The IRS has additional resources at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/identity-protection.

New Due Dates. For calendar year 2016 returns, there have been changes to the due dates for Partnerships and C Corporations. Partnerships are now have a due date of March 15 and an extended due date of September 15. C Corporations now have an original due date of April 15 and an extended due date of September 15. For fiscal year filers, please consult your tax professional for the due dates of your return.

Affordable Care Act. While a full discussion on this topic is beyond the scope of this article, there are two components of the ACA that are important to understand. The first is the individual mandate. The individual mandate requires that, if you are a U.S. citizen or non-U.S. citizen living in the U.S., you must maintain basic health insurance coverage (known as minimum essential coverage) for yourself and any of your dependents, qualify for an exemption, or pay a shared responsibility payment (a penalty). For 2016, the penalty is the greater of (i) $695 per person for the year ($347.50 per child under 18) up to a maximum penalty per family of $2,085, or (ii) 2.5% of your household income over the applicable filing threshold.

The second component is the employer mandate, which is in effect for all  “applicable large employer,” defined as someone who employed an average of at least 50 full-time employees during the preceding calendar year. An applicable large employer who fails to offer its full-time employees and their dependents the opportunity to enroll in minimum essential coverage under an employer-sponsored plan for any month may be subject to penalties for not offering this coverage.

Please consult your tax professional for further discussion of the ACA and its potential implications for you and your small business.

Overtime Rules. On May 18th , 2016 the Department of Labor updated overtime regulations for determining whether white collar salaried employees are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage and overtime pay protections. To qualify for exemption, a white collar employee generally must: (1) be salaried;  (2) be paid more than a specified weekly salary level, which is $913 per week (the equivalent of $47,476 annually for a full-year worker) under this Final Rule (the "salary level test"); and (3) primarily perform executive, administrative, or professional duties. Unless specifically exempted, employees covered by the FLSA must receive pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than one and one-half their regular rates of pay.

Additional information can be found at https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/final2016/faq.htm.

IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE

 

This notice is meant to comply with I.R.S. requirements. Any federal tax advice in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, to avoid penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer under the Internal Revenue Code or to promote, market or recommend to another party any tax-related matter.

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