Tag Archives: cpas in toledo

Ohio Municipal Tax Updates

As you may have heard, Governor Kasich recently signed the Municipal Income Tax Reform Bill, which is known as the Amended Substitute House Bill 5 (“HB5”). There is an extensive list of provisions that will take effect on January 1, 2016. Ohio taxpayers have been eager for a bill to emerge that simplifies Ohio’s municipal tax law, and HB5 is a step in the right direction. Here are some of the major changes that you should be aware of:

hb_5_signing

Pass-Through Entity (PTE) Tax: It is important to know that the municipal net profits tax will be imposed at the entity level for pass-through entities (PTE), but PTE owners will generally be taxed on the pass-through income by the municipality in which they reside. HB5 will stay consistent with the previous law set in place for S corporations, meaning tax is imposed at the entity level, and the pass-through income flowing through to resident owners will generally not be taxed by the municipality.

Net Operating Loss Carryforwards (NOL): Starting on January 1, 2017, carryforwards for NOL’s at the municipal level will be consistent across the state. Any loss incurred after the implementation date will have a required 5 year carryforward period, regardless of the municipality. Remember having to keep track of NOL carryforwards separately for each municipality? This is no longer required due to carryforwards now being calculated on a pre-apportionment basis.

Occasional Entrant Revisions: This provision of the municipal tax reform is associated with the amount of days an individual may work in another municipality, away from their primary place of work, before being required to withhold income there. HB5 has increased the amount of days from 12 to 20. Therefore, if an employee is working in another municipality for 20 days or less, the employer will withhold income from where the employee’s primary place of work is located. If the employer expects the employee to work more than 20 days in another municipality, they are required to start withholding from day one. On the other hand, if an employee happens to work over 20 days, which was not originally expected by the employer, the employer must begin withholding income on day 21. For employers who may try to rotate employees to bypass the 20 day rule, provisions are set in place to prevent this.

Does your business collect less than $500,000 of revenue in a given year? This classifies your company as a small business, which means complete exemption from the 20 day rule. Small businesses are only required to withhold income tax from their employees in the municipality of their fixed location, which could be a warehouse, office, etc.

These are just a few of the provisions associated with HB5, which is effective on January 1, 2016. For a deeper look into the provisions and more, click here.

Jason Wenner, Staff Accountant

Can Your Business Save More by Paying More?

A client recently sent me a notification they received from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) informing them that they could reduce their unemployment tax rate by making a voluntary additional payment. Usually, paying more taxes in is something employers try to avoid doing, but for certain employers, making this voluntary payment may save them money.

Unemployment application Form with pen, calculator

The unemployment rate that employers pay is largely based on their experience rate – the lower their experience rate, the lower their tax rate. The experience rate is dependent on factors such as how much the employer has paid into its account, how much has been paid out in claims, as well as what the average annual taxable wage amount is. If the employer has paid in enough contributions, their account could reach a certain threshold that could reduce the experience rate. The ODJFS will usually notify the employer whether an additional voluntary contribution would help the employer reach that threshold to reduce its rate.

A basic calculation is included with the ODJFS notification that allows the employer to estimate whether the tax savings is more than what the voluntary payment would be. In the case of my client, it did not benefit them enough to make the voluntary payment, but depending on how many employees your business has, the voluntary payment could end up saving you tax dollars. Please contact your William Vaughan Company representative should you need any further guidance.

2014 Year-end Payroll tax information and 2015 updates

Social Security and Medicare withholding
The employee’s and employer’s portion of social security taxes withheld has remained unchanged (6.2%). The wage base for 2014 is $117,000. In 2015 the wage base will increase to $118,500.

For 2014 and 2015 the Medicare tax calculation rates are unchanged. The employee’s and employer’s Medicare tax remains at 1.45% with no wage limits. Earners making more than $200,000 in a year are subject to an extra 0.9% Medicare tax. The extra 0.9% tax is not matched by the employer like the 1.45% Medicare tax.

year-end940 FUTA Unemployment tax
The 2014 and 2015 FUTA rate remains at 0.6%. This rate includes the 5.4% credit for State Unemployment paid. There are still credit reduction states published by the IRS and listed on Schedule A (Form 940). A “credit reduction state” is a state that has borrowed money from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits and has not yet repaid this money. In 2014, there are 7 states listed on this credit reduction list. Some of the state changes include:

  • Ohio – .012
  • Indiana .015
  • New York – .012
  • North Carolina – .012

This means that instead of paying the 0.6% in 2014, there is an additional 1.2 % added (or 1.5% for IN), for a total of 1.8% for Ohio. The credit reduction will add up to approximately $84- $126 of extra tax liability per employee for this year. Each year the % will increase another .003 until the state is no longer on the list published by the IRS each fall. Line 11 of the 2014 940 Form is where the amount from Schedule A, calculating your state credit reduction amount is entered. The extra 940 deposit will need to be paid thru EFTPS.gov by January 31, 2015.

1099 Misc forms
These forms are the most common. They are issued to independent contractors who received $600 or more for their services in the calendar year. Make sure you have their address and social security/Federal ID number and any DBA company name in your software. Now is the time to contact the vendors for any missing information and ask them fill out a W-9 form with their current information.
If you have any other questions with other 1099 forms, please contact our company.

Sandra Stone, Accountant

2015 Inflation-Adjusted Items and Tax Tables Released

irs-logoThe annual inflation adjustments for 2015 for more than 40 tax provisions along with the 2015 tax rate tables for individuals and estates and trusts have recently been released by the IRS.

Personal exemption will increase from $3,950 in 2014 to $4,000 for 2015, as well as the standard deduction, which will increase from $12,400 in 2014 to $12,600 in 2015 for married taxpayers filing joint returns. The adoption credit under Sec. 23 is inflation-adjusted from $13,190 in 2014 to $13,400 in 2015.

The revenue procedure also contains the inflation-adjusted unified credit against the estate tax, which is $5.43 million for 2015. One amount that will remain unchanged is the annual gift tax exclusion which will remain at $14,000.

The AMT exemption amount for 2015 is $83,400 for married taxpayers filing joint returns and $53,600 for single taxpayers. The Sec. 911 foreign earned income exclusion increases from $99,200 for 2014 to $100,800 for 2015.

The revenue procedure also includes the inflation adjustments for the Sec. 24 child tax credit, the Sec. 25A Hope scholarship and lifetime learning credits, the Sec. 32 earned income tax credit, and the Sec. 221 deduction for interest on qualified education loans.

The 2015 contribution limits and other figures for pension plans and other retirement-related items have been released as well, along with the Social Security Administration announcing the Social Security wage base will increase from $117,000 in 2014 to $118,500 in 2015.

By: Rachel Mossing, Accountant

House Approves the Renewal of Tax Breaks

United_States_House_of_Representatives.svgLast Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to renew more than 50 expired tax breaks for individuals and businesses through the end of 2014. With an overwhelming pass of 378-46 for the one-year retroactive renewal, it now moves on to the Senate, who is increasingly likely to follow suit.

Among the biggest breaks for businesses are a tax credit for research and development, an exemption that allows financial companies such as banks and investment firms to shield foreign profits from being taxed by the U.S. and several provisions that allow businesses to write off capital investments more quickly.

The biggest tax break for individuals allows people who live in states without an income tax to deduct state and local sales taxes on their federal returns. Another protects struggling homeowners who get their mortgages reduced from paying income taxes on the amount of debt that was forgiven.

Many people are watching this bill as we are in the heart of tax planning season and a lot of these provisions could benefit business owners and individuals. The 10-year cost of the one-year bill is about $42 billion.

By: Amy Slates, CPA

Year-end Retirement Planning Tips

There are only a few weeks left to make 401(k) and some other retirement plan contributions that will get you a tax deduction on your 2014 tax return. Retirees also need to be aware of deadline dates for distributions from your various retirement accounts.

You can make a contribution of up to $17,500 to your 401(k) plan in 2014. Workers age 50 and over can contribute an extra $5,500 to their account as a catch-up contribution for a total of $23,000. Income tax isn’t due on the amount deposited in a traditional 401(k) plan until the money is withdrawn. For self-employed workers, a couple good options are a solo 401(k) plan or a simplified employee pension (SEP). With a SEP, you can contribute up to 20% of your net self-employment income for a total limit of $52,000. The SEP contribution can be calculated before filing your taxes to minimize your tax bill. SEP contributions are not due until the due date of your tax return. That means for a 2014 deduction if you file an extension, your contribution would not be due until October 15, 2015.

Retirement_PlanAnother option is an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). These contributions are not required to be made until April 15th to count toward your 2014 taxes and usually can be figured after your tax liability is determined. The IRA contribution limits are $5,500 or an additional $1,000 for people 50 and over for a total contribution of $6,500. Roth IRA’s have the same limits but are not pre-tax and will not decrease your tax bill, however, are also not taxable when distributed.

Retirees who have reached the age of 70 ½ have required minimum distributions from traditional 401(k)’s and IRAs and income tax will be due on each withdrawal. The date for making the distribution is April 1st after you have reached 70 ½ years of age. The penalty for missing a distribution is 50% tax on the amount that should have been distributed. It is best to consult William Vaughan Company or your financial advisor to make sure the amount required is computed correctly and done by the due date.

It’s probably also a good idea to start planning for the 2015 tax year. The amounts for 401(k) contributions will increase by $500 to $18,000 and $6,000 for the catch-up contributions. Increasing your percent contributed each year can make a big difference in the long run, especially if there is an employer match. There are many options when it comes to retirement plans, make sure you are doing what is best for you and in the necessary time frame to achieve the most benefit.

Diane Cook, Accountant

Don’t Leave Health Care Dollars on the Table

Don’t make the mistake of waiting until the end of December to review your finances. You might not have enough time to take full advantage of some money-saving strategies before the ball drops. Here are some healthy yearend moves you may be able to make.

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Check your deductibles

Many health insurance plans have an annual deductible. If you’ve already met yours for the year, now’s the time to schedule any elective procedures you’ve been considering. If it doesn’t look like you’re going to meet your deductible this year, then switch gears and push any non-urgent visits into next year. That might help youmeet your deductible in 2015.

Max out your benefits

Be sure to take advantage of any benefits your health plan provides you free of charge. For example, it may cover an annual physical and various screenings.

If your employer sponsors a wellness program, don’t wait until the end of the year to check your status. You may be eligible for additional rewards for doing something as simple as scheduling a screening.

Review your FSA

If you have a health flexible spending account (FSA) through your employer, check your balance. If you have more money in your account than you can spend by the end of the year, see if the plan offers a grace period so employees can spend down their funds. Or the plan may allow employees to carry over a certain amount to the next year. Find out if your employer offers one of these options.

Tax tips

If you usually itemize deductions on your tax return, you may want to brush up on the details about the medical expense deduction. You won’t be able to qualify for it until your expenses are over 10% of your adjusted gross income (7.5% if you or your spouse is 65 or older). If you’re close to reaching the threshold, it may influence the decisions you make about elective procedures. You can only deduct unreimbursed medical expenses that exceed the threshold.