We offer tax efficient management of your business finances.
Taxes are probably the challenge that saps the most energy, the most imagination, and the most money from a business. Jones & Roth can help ensure your business is in compliance with the ever-changing tax laws but just as important we can guide you in creating and implementing your future tax saving strategies. Every one of your financial decisions and transactions has a direct or indirect tax consequence. That is why the tax-efficient management of your business financial affairs is so critical. We call our tax impact management service the Tax Edge. Client services provided by our tax professionals:
- Tax return preparation for corporate, partnership,not-for-profit, estate and trust entities
- Comprehensive tax planning
- Estate and succession planning
- Executive compensation planning
- Cost segregation studies
- Multi-state tax issues
- Research and development credits
- International tax planning
- Tax research
- Representation at IRS exams and audits
Business Tax Team
Robin Matthews, CPA
Partner and ShareholderBio
Evan Dickens, CPA
Partner and ShareholderBio
Brian Newton, CPA
Jamie Zolezzi, CPA
Nicole McOmber, CPA
Michael Moomaw, CPA
Elliott Tracy, CPA
Mathew Hamlin, CPA
Whether you had a child in college (or graduate school) last year or were a student yourself, you may be eligible for some valuable tax breaks on your 2017 return. One such break that had expired December 31, 2016, was just extended under the recently passed Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018: the tuition and fees deduction.
But a couple of tax credits are also available. Tax credits can be especially valuable because they reduce taxes dollar-for-dollar; deductions reduce only the amount of income that’s taxed.
Higher education breaks 101
While multiple higher-education breaks are available, a taxpayer isn’t allowed to claim all of them. In most cases you can take only one break per student, and, for some breaks, only one per tax return. So first you need to see which breaks you’re eligible for. Then you need to determine which one will provide the greatest benefit.
Also keep in mind that you generally can’t claim deductions or credits for expenses that were paid for with distributions from tax-advantaged accounts, such as 529 plans or Coverdell Education Savings Accounts.
Two credits are available for higher education expenses:
1. The American Opportunity credit — up to $2,500 per year per student for qualifying expenses for the first four years of post-secondary education.
2. The Lifetime Learning credit — up to $2,000 per tax return for post-secondary education expenses, even beyond the first four years.
But income-based phaseouts apply to these credits.
If you’re eligible for the American Opportunity credit, it will likely provide the most tax savings. If you’re not, consider claiming the Lifetime Learning credit. But first determine if the tuition and fees deduction might provide more tax savings.
Despite the dollar-for-dollar tax savings credits offer, you might be better off deducting up to $4,000 of qualified higher education tuition and fees. Because it’s an above-the-line deduction, it reduces your adjusted gross income, which could provide additional tax benefits. But income-based limits also apply to the tuition and fees deduction.
Be aware that the tuition and fees deduction was extended only through December 31, 2017. So it won’t be available on your 2018 return unless Congress extends it again or makes it permanent.
Maximizing your savings
If you don’t qualify for breaks for your child’s higher education expenses because your income is too high, your child might. Many additional rules and limits apply to the credits and deduction, however. To learn which breaks your family might be eligible for on your 2017 tax returns — and which will provide the greatest tax savings — please contact us.
Happy New Year. I hope your new year is off to a great start.
Every year practices face various challenges and 2018 is no different. In planning for success, you will want to start early.
In our recent webinar featuring Elizabeth Woodcock, we navigated through MIPS/MACRA: Gearing up for 2018. As we enter our second year of the government’s Quality Payment Program we find many still confused along with continued changes to the program. For 2018 it is important not only to understand which quality payment program pathway you will follow, but also how you are scored so you can ensure you are armed for success in meeting minimum thresholds to optimize practice cash flow.
With the deadline to send in your performance data quickly approaching, by March 31, 2018, make sure you are ready. If you missed our webinar, we encourage you to watch the recording as Elizabeth presents some great tips and tools on how your practice can prepare.
Nicole McOmber, CPA is a Healthcare CPA and the leader of the Jones & Roth Healthcare Team. She specializes in practice management, advisory services, and tax & accounting services for medical practices and clinics across Oregon & Southwest Washington.
Working from home has become commonplace. But just because you have a home office space doesn’t mean you can deduct expenses associated with it. And for 2018, even fewer taxpayers will be eligible for a home office deduction.
Changes under the TCJA
For employees, home office expenses are a miscellaneous itemized deduction. For 2017, this means you’ll enjoy a tax benefit only if these expenses plus your other miscellaneous itemized expenses (such as unreimbursed work-related travel, certain professional fees and investment expenses) exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income.
For 2018 through 2025, this means that, if you’re an employee, you won’t be able to deduct any home office expenses. Why? The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) suspends miscellaneous itemized deductions subject to the 2% floor for this period.
If, however, you’re self-employed, you can deduct eligible home office expenses against your self-employment income. Therefore, the deduction will still be available to you for 2018 through 2025.
Other eligibility requirements
If you’re an employee, your use of your home office must be for your employer’s convenience, not just your own. If you’re self-employed, generally your home office must be your principal place of business, though there are exceptions.
Whether you’re an employee or self-employed, the space must be used regularly (not just occasionally) and exclusively for business purposes. If, for example, your home office is also a guest bedroom or your children do their homework there, you can’t deduct the expenses associated with that space.
2 deduction options
If you’re eligible, the home office deduction can be a valuable tax break. You have two options for the deduction:
1. Deduct a portion of your mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance, utilities and certain other expenses, as well as the depreciation allocable to the office space. This requires calculating, allocating and substantiating actual expenses.
2. Take the “safe harbor” deduction. Only one simple calculation is necessary: $5 × the number of square feet of the office space. The safe harbor deduction is capped at $1,500 per year, based on a maximum of 300 square feet.
More rules and limits
Be aware that we’ve covered only a few of the rules and limits here. If you think you may be eligible for the home office deduction on your 2017 return or would like to know if there’s anything additional you need to do to be eligible on your 2018 return, contact us.