Tax Lawyers Minneapolis

Underpayment and Overpayment Interest Rates for the Third Quarter of 2014

Underpayment and Overpayment Interest Rates are important to all taxpayers who are either due a refund or owe taxes to the IRS, because the interest on the refund or the amount due will be calculated based on these Interest Rates. This essay reminds U.S. taxpayers that the IRS announced that the interest rates will remain the same for the calendar quarter beginning July 1, 2014. The rates will be:

three (3) percent for overpayments [two (2) percent in the case of a corporation];
three (3) percent for underpayments;
five (5) percent for large corporate underpayments; and
one-half (0.5) percent for the portion of a corporate overpayment exceeding $10,000.

Under the Internal Revenue Code, the rate of interest is determined on a quarterly basis. For taxpayers other than corporations, the overpayment and underpayment rate is the federal short-term rate plus 3 percentage points.

Generally, in the case of a corporation, the underpayment rate is the federal short-term rate plus 3 percentage points and the overpayment rate is the federal short-term rate plus 2 percentage points. The rate for large corporate underpayments is the federal short-term rate plus 5 percentage points. The rate on the portion of a corporate overpayment of tax exceeding $10,000 for a taxable period is the federal short-term rate plus one-half (0.5) of a percentage point.

The rate for large corporate underpayments is the federal short-term rate plus 5 percentage points. The rate on the portion of a corporate overpayment of tax exceeding $10,000 for a taxable period is the federal short-term rate plus one-half (0.5) of a percentage point.

Interest factors for daily compound interest for annual rates of 0.5 percent are published in Appendix A of Revenue Ruling 2011-32. Interest factors for daily compound interest for annual rates of 2 percent, 3 percent and 5 percent are published in Tables 7, 9, 11, and 15 of Rev. Proc. 95-17, 1995-1 C.B. 561, 563, 565, and 569.

Form 8889 for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) were created in 2003 as a means of addressing increasing health care costs. HSAs give individuals enrolled in high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) tax-preferred treatment for money saved for medical expenses. In general, HSAs allow for individuals to defer taxes when money is contributed (even if a taxpayer does not itemize on Form 1040 Schedule A), and money that is eventually withdrawn and used to pay for qualified medical expenses is also usually tax-free.

In this article, we will explain the basics of Form 8889 for HSAs. This explanation is not intended to convey tax or legal advice. Please consult a tax attorney if you have further questions.

Form 8889

Form 8889 is used for all of the following purposes: to report health savings account (HSA) contributions (including those made on behalf of taxpayers, and employer contributions), to report distributions from HSAs, to calculate the correct HSA deduction amount, and to calculate the amounts that taxpayers must include in income and any additional tax that may be owed if a taxpayers fails to qualify as an eligible individual. The IRS defines an HSA as, “[A] health savings account set up exclusively for paying the qualified medical expenses of the account beneficiary or the account beneficiary’s spouse or dependents.” In general, distributions received from an HSA to pay for “qualified medical expenses” (see IRS publications for the specific definition) of an account beneficiary, a spouse, or dependents are excluded from the determination of gross income.

For the 2013 tax year, Form 8889 must be filed under any of the following circumstances: if a taxpayer (or somebody on behalf of a taxpayer, such as an employer) made contributions to an HSA in 2013, if HSA distributions were received in 2013 by a taxpayer, if a taxpayer failed to be deemed an eligible individual during the applicable testing period and certain amounts must therefore be included in the taxpayer’s income, or if an interest in an HSA was acquired due to the death of the account beneficiary. The testing period begins with the month a contribution to a qualified HSA is made, and ends on the last day of the twelfth month following that month.

Subject to certain exceptions, taxpayers who fail to remain eligible individuals must include the qualified HSA funding distribution in income in the year in which they do not meet the eligibility requirement, (and this amount is also subject to a 10% Additional Tax for Failure to Maintain HDHP Coverage).

HSA Deductions

In general, the maximum amount that one can contribute to a HSA plan is dependent upon the type of HDHP coverage that an individual has (For 2013 and 2014, HDHPs require minimum annual deductibles of at least $1,250 for individuals and $2,500 for families). For individuals who have self-coverage, the maximum contribution for 2013 is $3,250, and taxpayers with family coverage, the maximum amount that may be contributed is $6,450. (For 2014, the contribution limit is raised to $3,300 for individuals HSAs, and $6,550 for family HSAs). Individuals who are at least 55 years of age as of the end of their tax year may make an additional catch-up contribution of $1,000 (and this amount will be unchanged for 2014). The maximum HSA contribution amount, however, is reduced by any employer contributions to an HSA, and contributions made to an Archer MSA, and any qualified HSA funding distributions.

In addition, any contributions made to an HSA during the month in which a taxpayer was enrolled in Medicare will not be deductible. Further, HSA contributions are not deductible if a taxpayer can be claimed as a dependent on Form 1040 by somebody else.

Form 8960 and the Net Investment Income Tax

The new Net Investment Income Tax imposed by Internal Revenue Code Section 1411 went into effect on January 1, 2013 for income tax returns of individuals, estates and trusts, beginning with their first taxable year starting on (or after) January 1, 2013. The Net Investment Income Tax applies at a rate of 3.8% on certain net investment income of individuals, estates and trusts that have income above statutory threshold limits.

Form 8960 is used by individuals, estates, and trusts to compute their Net Investment Income Tax. The IRS has posted a draft version of the instructions to Form 8960, and recently, it released the final version of the form itself.

This article will explain the basics of Form 8960 and the Net Investment Income Tax. Future articles on this topic will also provide more information about this tax. The article is not intended to convey tax or legal advice. Please consult a tax attorney if you have further questions. Sherayzen Law Office, PLLC can assist you in all of your tax and legal needs.

The Net Investment Income Tax

As mentioned above, the Net Investment Income Tax applies at a 3.8 percent to certain net investment income of individuals, estates and trusts that have income above statutory threshold limits. If individuals have Net Investment Income, they will owe the Net Investment Income Tax if they have modified adjusted gross income, for purposes of the Net Investment Income Tax (note that individuals with income from controlled foreign corporations (CFCs) and passive foreign investment companies (PFICs) may have additional adjustments to their AGI) above the following thresholds: for married filing jointly returns, the threshold is $250,000; for married filing separately returns, the threshold amount is $125,000; for single taxpayers or Head of household (with qualifying person), the threshold is $200,000; for a qualifying widow or widower with a dependent child, the threshold is $250,000.

Note also that these threshold amounts are not indexed for inflation.

According to the IRS, “In general, investment income includes, but is not limited to: interest, dividends, capital gains, rental and royalty income, non-qualified annuities, income from businesses involved in trading of financial instruments or commodities and businesses that are passive activities to the taxpayer (within the meaning of section 469). To calculate your Net Investment Income, your investment income is reduced by certain expenses properly allocable to the income.” Certain common income items, such as tax-exempt interest, Alaska Permanent Fund Dividends, and distributions from certain Qualified Plans (those described in sections 401(a), 403(a), 403(b), 408, 408A or 457(b)), are not treated as Net Investment Income.

US Persons and Nonresident Aliens

Dual-status individuals, who are US residents for a part of the year and Nonresident Aliens (NRAs) for the other part of the year, are subject to the Net Investment Income Tax only with respect to the portion of the year during which they are US residents. The threshold amounts described above, however, are not reduced or prorated for dual-status residents.

Dual-resident individuals, (see regulation §301.7701(b)-7(a)(1) for more information) who determine that they are residents of foreign countries for tax purposes pursuant to US-foreign country income tax treaties, and who claim benefits of such treaties as nonresidents of the US, are deemed to be NRAs for Net Investment Income Tax purposes.

NRAs are not subject to the Net Investment Income Tax. For married couples in which one spouse is an NRA, and the other is a U.S. citizen or resident, and the NRA has made, or is planning to make, an election to be treated as a resident alien for purposes of filing a married filing jointly return, IRS final regulations provide these couples with special rules and a respective Net Investment Income Tax IRC Section 6013(g) or (h) election.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Professional Tax Planning Advice

In previous articles, we covered some of the new tax changes and deduction phase-outs for 2013 tax returns to be filed in 2014 that could trigger a much higher tax liability for many taxpayers. The Net Investment Income Tax will only add to the tax liabilities many high net-worth taxpayers will face. Professional tax planning may be very important in order to help you lower your future tax liabilities. The experienced tax law firm of Sherayzen Law Office, PLLC can assist with this goal.

Second Quarter of 2014 IRS Underpayment and Overpayment Interest Rates

On March 14, 2014, the IRS announced that the underpayment and overpayment interest rates will remain the same for the calendar quarter beginning April 1, 2014. The rates will be:

three (3) percent for overpayments [two (2) percent in the case of a corporation];
three (3) percent for underpayments;
five (5) percent for large corporate underpayments; and
one-half (0.5) percent for the portion of a corporate overpayment exceeding $10,000.

Under the Internal Revenue Code, the rate of interest is determined on a quarterly basis. For taxpayers other than corporations, the overpayment and underpayment rate is the federal short-term rate plus 3 percentage points.

Generally, in the case of a corporation, the underpayment rate is the federal short-term rate plus 3 percentage points and the overpayment rate is the federal short-term rate plus 2 percentage points. The rate for large corporate underpayments is the federal short-term rate plus 5 percentage points. The rate on the portion of a corporate overpayment of tax exceeding $10,000 for a taxable period is the federal short-term rate plus one-half (0.5) of a percentage point.

The rate for large corporate underpayments is the federal short-term rate plus 5 percentage points. The rate on the portion of a corporate overpayment of tax exceeding $10,000 for a taxable period is the federal short-term rate plus one-half (0.5) of a percentage point.

Interest factors for daily compound interest for annual rates of 0.5 percent are published in Appendix A of Revenue Ruling 2011-32. Interest factors for daily compound interest for annual rates of 2 percent, 3 percent and 5 percent are published in Tables 7, 9, 11, and 15 of Rev. Proc. 95-17, 1995-1 C.B. 561, 563, 565, and 569.

New Deduction Phase-outs for 2013 Tax Returns

Upper-income US taxpayers should be aware that new deduction phase-out IRS rules in effect for 2013 tax returns to be filed in 2014 may increase their tax liabilities or reduce refunds. Two new important changes for high-earning individuals or couples are the new itemized deduction phase-outs and personal and dependent exemption deduction phase-outs. Because of these changes in the deduction phase-out rules, along with other new IRS rules that we have covered in previous articles, the necessity for proper tax planning will only increase in future years.

This article will briefly explain the changes in the deduction phase-out rules; it is not intended to convey tax or legal advice. Please consult a tax attorney if you have further questions. Sherayzen Law Office, PLLC can assist you in all of your tax and legal needs.

New Itemized Deduction Phase-Out Changes

Under the new US tax rules, the amount of itemized deductions that high-earning individuals or couples may take on Form 1040 is subject to a phase-out limitation. Specifically, allowable itemized deductions will be reduced by 3% of the amount of adjusted gross income (AGI) above the certain income thresholds (however, this reduction will not exceed 80% of the original total amount of a taxpayer’s itemized deductions).

The income thresholds are the following: $250,000 for single individuals, $300,000 for married filing jointly couples, $150,000 for married filing separately couples, and $275,000 for heads of households. As an example, consider a married couple filing jointly with AGI of $500,000, and $50,000 of original itemized deductions for Schedule A. Because their AGI is $200,000 over the income threshold, their allowable itemized deductions will be reduced by 3% of the excess ($200,000 multiplied by 3%, equaling $6,000). Thus, their allowable itemized deductions will be reduced to $44,000.

New Personal and Dependent Exemption Deduction Phase-Out Changes

While under the general IRS rule, the amount that taxpayers may deduct for each applicable exemption increased from 2012 (at $3,800) to 2013 (now $3,900), certain taxpayers may lose some or all of the benefit of their exemptions if their AGI exceeds certain thresholds under the new Personal Exemption Phase-out (PEP). Under this rule, the dollar amount of each personal exemption must be reduced from its original value by 2 percent for each $2,500 or part of $2,500 ($1,250 for married filing separately) that AGI is above the above specified income thresholds.
For 2013 tax year returns, the phase-out starts at the following amounts: $250,000 for single individuals, $300,000 for married filing-jointly couples and qualifying widowers, $150,000 for married filing separately returns, and $275,000 for heads of households. If taxpayer’s AGI exceeds these applicable amounts by more than $122,500 ($61,250 for married filing separately returns), their deductions for exemptions amount will be reduced to zero.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Help With Your Tax and Estate Planning

Combined with the new 3.8% Medicare surtax on investment income and the new 0.9% Medicare surtax on salaries and self-employment income earned by certain high-earning individuals, and the increased threshold amount for Schedule A itemized medical expense deductions, the new phase-out rules detailed in this article will dramatically impact many taxpayers. Professional tax planning may help lower your future tax liabilities.

This is why you need to contact the experienced tax law firm of Sherayzen Law Office to help you create a thorough tax plan aimed at taking advantages of the various provisions of the U.S. tax code.