Tax Credits Archives - Think Outside the Tax Box

Tax Credits

By Dominique Molina, CPA MST CTS

The Inflation Reduction Act Overview: A Brief Guide for the Non-Tax Professional

Question: How can I explain the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act to my tax planning clients?

Answer: The simplest solution I've found so far is to break the Act into three components: tax credits for electric vehicles, tax credits for home improvements, and how the IRS will use the new funds allocated to them. From there, it's a simple matter of identifying some of the core concepts behind each category. To save you some trouble, I've created new client alerts to illustrate how one might do that!

Keep reading to learn more!

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The Inflation Reduction Act Tax Credits Course

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 expanded existing energy credits and created brand new ones. There are now several new ways tax professionals can help taxpayers save thousands of dollars a year by planning for these tax credits. In this webinar, we will cover the credits likely to be used by individuals and small businesses. We will also discuss tax planning considerations and areas in need of additional guidance.

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The Inflation Reduction Act Town Hall

We’re hosting a live open discussion forum to help educate you on the new Inflation Reduction Act! The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) makes some big promises: lower energy costs, provide tax credits for electric vehicles, negotiate cheaper medications for seniors, deliver faster tax refunds, and create more responsive IRS agents! How all these promises are paid for and how they impact the average American are already the topic of intense debate and, in some cases, the cause of outright fear! In fact, there has been so much concern and debate around this new bill that we’ve decided to hold a town hall on the subject! Keep reading to get all the details...

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10 Reasons Your Clients Should Get a Tax Divorce

As a married individual, you can select a tax filing status as either married filing jointly or married filing separately, and in some cases neither of these statuses achieve what is possible for two single taxpayers each filing their own tax return. In many cases it can seem you are getting penalized for being married in the U.S. You may get frustrated that you seem to keep getting hit with “wealth taxes or penalties.” Of course, you may not refer to it that way. But when you see things like the Alternative Minimum Tax, The Net Investment Income Tax, the Additional Medicare Tax, and a whole variety of other taxes that are higher for married filers than they are for two single people…you may be tempted to think about a divorce. And “live in sin”? No matter your personal beliefs there are at least 10 tax attributes that cost married filers more than two single people. In some instances, children are in the mix, as they relate to specific credits. Some of these situations only apply to wealthy couples. Some only apply to those earning $50,000 or less or seniors. These attributes, commonly known as the so-called “marriage penalty” refer to situations where it may pay to file as two single individuals rather than as a married couple. However to qualify, you cannot legally be married as of December 31. To learn more about these penalties and find out how to work around them, continue reading.

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Make Tax Magic with a Health Savings Account

Congress created one of the best tax savings vehicles in 2003. It wasn’t the individual retirement account (IRA). It wasn’t the Roth IRA.It was the health savings account (HSA). The HSA is the only tax-preferred savings vehicle in which a taxpayer potentially gets both an upfront tax deduction in addition to tax-free and penalty-free distributions. The IRS wrote the HSA rules to give taxpayers maximum flexibility in how they use their HSAs for medical expenses. Strategic use of the HSA can lead to lifelong tax savings opportunities. Let’s review the basic rules as to how an HSA operates, the little-known rules that create tax savings opportunities, and examples of how the HSA can be used to provide tax-free and penalty-free distributions when the taxpayer has a cash need.

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Client Alert

Enjoy Decades of Tax-Free Growth With a 529A

If you’re disabled or support someone who is, a 529A plan can be a powerful way to save for the future. Potential earnings grow tax-free, and you won’t have to pay taxes when you withdraw, as long as the withdrawals meet qualifications. Also known as Qualified ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) programs, these will not only assist you next time you are playing Tax Code Jeopardy but help you create a tax advantaged savings account. One reason you may not hear much about these tax vehicles is that there really is no way I can discern that advisers can make money on them. But since you and I are members of the same club as tax practitioners, I’m confident you will tell your clients about things that can help regardless of whether there is any profit in it. As my first managing partner the late Herb Cohan used to say, “The world is longer than a day.” To learn more about future tax-free money, keep reading.

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COVID-19 Benefits: Taxable or Tax-Free?

Federal, state, and local governments, as well as private organizations, have collectively given trillions of dollars in financial support to individuals and businesses during the pandemic through a maze of government and private programs. These benefits will help taxpayers to a greater extent if they are tax-free, but are they? In some cases, we have a definite answer. For many, it is the classic tax law answer: “It depends.” We’ll review the general tax law rules applicable to deciding, then show three ways you can use the tax law to exclude these benefits from a taxpayer’s income.

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Client Alert

Health Expenses: A Commonly Ignored Portion of the ERC Leaves Relief Money on the Table

The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a huge benefit for businesses, but it is often incredibly difficult to maximize fully. Practitioners must perform a complex interplay of wages between PPP, grants, or other wage credits. They must know the voluminous rules of the ERC program itself, the other programs that may enter into the equation, and the related portions of the Tax Code. With so much to consider, a particularly powerful tool can easily be missed: the ERC health expenses. Many are surprised when someone asks about health programs since they do not realize these benefits count as ERC qualified costs. Some ERC claims ignore health costs entirely or only capture the employee portions. Deductions for health costs are in the payroll data, but employer costs are typically not in pay records. By reviewing all the qualifying health expenses and available methods for allocating costs, you can really increase your ERC. Keep reading to learn more!

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Even an Existing Business Can Claim the $100,000 of COVID Relief Money for Startups

You might be a startup without even knowing it. If you are not a startup business today, you could be shortly. The incentive to start a business and hire employees is especially high now due to the Employee Retention Credit (ERC). With a special rule specifically for startups, the government will pay 70 percent of the first $10,000 of an employee’s wages in both the third and fourth quarters of 2021. This means it’s possible a business with as few as eight employees can claim the maximum $100,000 under the Recovery Startup Business rules (RSB). Even an existing business may qualify as a startup to claim RSB ERC. There are steps a business can still take today to qualify. A new business activity, reorganization, change in ownership, related company, business purchase, or even a more detailed review of the average receipts calculations could trigger a qualification. Read on to learn more about this planning opportunity and the rules to do it well.

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