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.

2014 Individual Income Tax Rates

The IRS recently announced the 2014 individual income tax rates with inflation adjustments wit respect to each tax bracket. Remember, since the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was signed into law on January 2, 2013, a new tax bracket of 39.4% appeared. Also, note that the 2014 individual income tax rates listed below do not include other taxes such as those imposed on investment income by the new health care laws. Finally, it is important to remember that the default PFIC regime calculations do not depend on your personal tax rate.

As adjusted for inflation, the following marginal income tax rates will apply to individuals in the tax year 2014:

Filing Single

10% $0 – $9,075
15% $9,076 – $36,900
25% $36,901 – $89,350
28% $89,351 – $186,350
33% $186,351 – $405,100
35% $405,101 – $406,750
39.6% $406,751 and greater

Notice the small range of the 35% tax bracket.

Filing Married Filing Jointly and Surviving Spouses

10% $0 – $18,150
15% $18,151 – $73,800
25% $73,801 – $148,850
28% $148,851 – $226,850
33% $226,851 – $405,100
35% $405,101 – $457,600
39.6% $457,601 and greater

Filing Married Filing Separately

10% $0 – $9,075
15% $9,076 – $36,900
25% $36,901 – $74,425
28% $74,426 – $113,425
33% $113,426– $202,550
35% $202,551 – $228,800
39.6% $228,801 and greater

Filing Head of Household

10% $0 – $12,950
15% $12,951 – $49,400
25% $49,401 – $127,550
28% $127,551 – $206,600
33% $206,601 – $405,100
35% $405,101 – $432,200
39.6% $432,201 and greater

Minnesota Department of Revenue Launches New e-Services System

On October 3, 2011, the Minnesota Department of Revenue announced the launch of its new e-Services online system. This new system is replacing e-File Minnesota and will offer a wider variety of services to 400,000 business taxpayers. The new system was the product of at least four years of diligent work by the Department.

The new E-Services not only provides the ability for business taxpayers to file and pay their taxes, it also allows taxpayers to update their contact information, register new accounts, and send the department secured messages. In addition, business taxpayers will have the ability to view all account information in one location. They can now view their payment history, returns they have filed and all correspondence sent to them by the Department of Revenue.

The functionality being added provides more security flexibility to the business taxpayer. Businesses can create unique user ID’s and passwords which grant online access to tax practitioners and accounts they partner with.

Finally, e-Services will also allow self-service activities 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Business taxpayers now have the ability to handle their tax needs online when it is convenient for them.

The transition to the new system will begin on October 17, 2011 and is currently projected to finish by mid-January of 2012. During the transition, groups of taxpayers will be added each Monday, until all 400,000 business taxpayers have access to e-Services.

Tax Lawyers Minneapolis | 2011 Reduction in Social Security Payroll Taxes

One of the most important provisions of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the “Act”), which was signed into law on December 17, 2010, deals with Social Security tax reduction for employees.

The Act reduces the employee’s share of Social Security tax from 6.2% to 4.2% for wages earned in 2011 up to $106,800. The employer’s share of Social Security tax remains at 6.2%. The Act makes no changes to the Medicare portion of payroll taxes, which remains at 1.45% for each of the employee and employer on all wage income.

Individuals who are self-employed will also benefit from the Act’s Social Security tax reduction. Self-employed individuals would pay Social Security tax at a 10.4% rate on self-employment income up to $106,800. However, self-employed individuals would continue to calculate their deduction for employment taxes without regard to the temporary rate reduction.

If you have tax questions or need tax representation, contact Sherayzen Law Office to discuss your case with an experienced Minneapolis tax lawyer.

Tax Rates on Capital Gains and Qualified Dividends through 2012

Pursuant to the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the “Act”), which was singed into law on December 17, 2010, the tax cuts on capital gains and qualified dividends have been extended through the tax year 2012.

Generally, long-term capital gains of individuals will be taxed at a maximum rate of 15% through the tax year 2012.  The same is true for the qualified dividends received by individuals; this means that these dividends will be taxed at the same rates as long-term capital gains through the tax year 2012 (rather than being taxed as part of a taxpayer’s ordinary income at the relevant tax bracket).