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From Neikirk, Mahoney & Smith, the IRS has released five common questions that they receive from taxpayers, along with the answers.

1. What is included in household income?
"For purposes of the PTC, household income is the modified adjusted gross income of you and your spouse if filing a joint return, plus the modified AGI of each individual in your tax family whom you claim as a dependent and who is required to file a tax return because their income meets the income tax return filing threshold. Household income does not include the modified AGI of those individuals you claim as dependents and who are filing a...

From Neikirk, Mahoney & Smith...
The year is coming to an end, and the Journal of Accountancy has published some tips on last minute tax planning strategies.
According to the Journal of Accountancy, "Taxpayers who have been sitting on the sidelines due to the lack of certainty on the expanded Section 179 deduction, bonus depreciation, the R&D credit and other items normally renewed in an extender package need to take action soon, according to Michael Silvio, director of tax services at Hall & Co. CPAs."

Their last minute strategies include:

1) A Hierarchy of Planning
"Last-minute tax issues...

From Neikirk, Mahoney & Smith, the FASB is proposing clarifications to the definition of the business. This proposal is not because the FASB believes that the current definition is too narrow, but rather that it is too broad. They are concerned that this broad definition can lead to transactions being reported as acquisitions or disposals of businesses rather than assets.

"Clarifying the Definition of a Business, would require that under FASB’s definition, a business would include at least an input and a substantive process that together contribute to the ability to create outputs and would remove the evaluation of whether a...

From Neikirk, Mahoney & Smith, according to the Journal of Accountancy the AICPA has proposed changes to the peer review standards "to help audit firms increase their focus on the proper design and operating effectiveness of their systems of quality control."

The AICPA peer review program monitors the quality of reviewed firms’ accounting and auditing engagements and evaluates the systems under which those engagements are performed. Participation in the peer review program is mandatory for AICPA membership, and peer review is required for licensure in nearly every state.

For more details on the specific changes that have...

From Neikirk, Mahoney & Smith, the IRS has published the following instructions for requesting copy of fraudulent returns.

A victim of identity theft or a person authorized to obtain the identity theft victim’s tax information may request a redacted copy (one with some information blacked-out) of a fraudulent return that was filed and accepted by the IRS using the identity theft victim’s name and SSN. Due to federal privacy laws, the victim’s name and SSN must be listed as either the primary or secondary taxpayer on the fraudulent return; otherwise the IRS cannot disclose the return information. For this reason, the IRS cannot...

From Neikirk, Mahoney & Smith, the IRS has just published some tips on the health insurance marketplace. When you apply for assistance to help pay the premiums for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, the Marketplace will estimate the amount of the premium tax credit that you may be able to claim.  The Marketplace will use information you provide about your family composition, your projected household income, whether those that you are enrolling are eligible for other non-Marketplace coverage, and certain other information to estimate your credit.

Here are three things you should consider during the Health...

From Neikirk, Mahoney & Smith, a recent AICPA survey revealed that over 50% of people underestimated their retirement expenses and the amount of money that they would need to be able to retire. According to the survey, the main cause for people having to change their retirement plans included overspending, health care costs, and poor estimates of retirement spending and income. According to the Journal of Accountancy, to increase clients’ confidence about investing, CPA financial planners who hold the PFS credential recommend that advisers take the following three steps.

1. Help clients create disciplined investing plans
2...

From Neikirk, Mahoney & Smith, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has just released this information on their new myRA program. The myRA (my Retirement Account) program is designed to help bridge America's retirement savings gap. This program is much needed because many Americans aren't making a large effort to put money into a savings account. A Survey in October by GOBankingRates found that 62% of Americans Have Under $1,000 in Savings. Luckily myRA has arrived to help us out, a simple, safe and affordable new savings option for those who don’t have access to a retirement savings plan at work. People can get information about myRA...

From Neikirk, Mahoney & Smith, the IRS has just released the following information to help the public understand Form 1095-B.

"Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, is used to report certain information to the IRS and to taxpayers about individuals who are covered by minimum essential coverage and therefore aren't liable for the individual shared responsibility payment.

Minimum essential coverage includes government-sponsored programs, eligible employer-sponsored plans, individual market plans, and other coverage the Department of Health and Human...

From Neikirk, Mahoney & Smith, the Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers born before July 1, 1945, that they generally must receive payments from their individual retirement arrangements (IRAs) and workplace retirement plans by Dec. 31.

Known as required minimum distributions (RMDs), these payments normally must be made by the end of 2015. But a special rule allows first-year recipients of these payments, those who reached age 70½ during 2015, to wait until as late as April 1, 2016 to receive their first RMDs. This means that those born after June 30, 1944 and before July 1, 1945 are eligible for this special rule....

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